Scene: Dive bar on the outskirts of Bogota. A bearded man sits in the back corner, waiting for the guy who sent that weird email in comic sans to arrive.
Sketchy individual: You really want to do this?
Robert Kraft: Of course. Anything to win. Let’s do this shit Tim Donaghy style.
I’m not one to play up conspiracies. Back when Loose Change was hoarding bandwidth in college dorms around the world I cast a skeptical eye. “It’s editing bro, trust.” is what I probably said. Yes, I was an asshole back then.
Beating the Patriots in New England is something the Bills don’t do. Steve Christie was our kicker the last time it happened. It doesn’t help when the referees do their best to help Tom and the boys coast to another win. Complaining about bad calls is useless, but the penalties against the Bills in the first half need to be acknowledged, and I’m not talking about the five flags on seven offensive plays in the first quarter. That’s on Chan. We’ll get to him later.
Leading 17-10, Tom Brady and the Pats offense was driving again. They had scored on 10 consecutive possessions against the Bills, a miserable stat that dates back to the implosion at Ralph Wilson Stadium in September. Danny Woodhead was on his way to becoming the latest anonymous running back to destroy an anemic Bills defense. They didn’t need help. On third and 10 Brady threw an incomplete pass to Julian Edelman. Jairus Byrd was flagged for pass interference on Rob Gronkowski. At best it was illegal contact — a five-yard penalty — Bill Levy and his crew of assclowns didn’t care. The drive was prolonged. Two plays later, Brady sent a pass to the end zone. Brandon Lloyd could’ve caught it, if he were 15 feet tall and had arms longer than Gheorghe Muresan. No matter. Stephon Gilmore was flagged for pass interference. The ball wasn’t catchable.
The Bills, as per usual, did themselves no favors. Bryan Scott dropped an interception on the Patriots’ first drive. A drop so egregious I could only laugh. They nearly broke a 40-year record for penalty yards in a game — 159 in 1970 against the Boston Patriots. The Bills Linebackers were non-existent again. Gailey’s lack of emotion on the sidelines was telling. I’m assuming the guy has checked out. Update that resume when you get a chance.
With all that said, I was proud of their effort. Ryan Fitzpatrick was excellent, throwing the ball with zip we hadn’t seen since early last year. For all his faults, Gailey recognized he had to get C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson more involved. The duo gashed the Patriots feeble defense all day, Jackson’s fumble in the fourth quarter was the only blemish.
We saw passion from Fitz, who screamed “fuck you” at Brandon Spikes after one of his patented cheap shots when the ball was long gone. Scott Chandler reemerged from a three-week vacation in the abyss to become a viable target once again. Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones worked the Pats secondary all day. Kyle Williams –awaiting trial at the Hague for daring to tackle Brady — and Marcell Dareus dominated the interior of the Pats offensive line.
In the end the same deficiencies that plagued the Bills this season led to their undoing. Dave Wannstedt’s band of defenders can’t stop anybody. Stevan Ridley ran the ball with ease. Gilmore was targeted by Brady & Co, they did well picking on the rookie. Byrd and George Wilson continue to struggle. I’d like to see Da’Norris Searcy get more snaps. C.J. killed it, but he only had 12 touches. That has to double.
As Bills fans accepted defeat a final act was to be written. With 2:06 on the clock and down by six, Fitzpatrick and a surging Bills offense had a chance to win. They made it to the Patriots’ 15-yard line. It was really going to happen, narrative be damned. And then the inevitable struck. Interception.
I didn’t handle it well, I never do. I’m proud of these shit bags. This was fun to watch. Thanks for the memories. I need a drink.