Buffalo Bills Winners and Losers: Bills/Browns Edition
Star running back, C.J. Spiller left the game late in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Post-game, Chan Gailey stated that he believed Spiller would only miss one or two games, but with the Patriots and 49ers coming up, the Bills need all the help they can get.
Aside from the Spiller injury, there weren't many losers on the Bills today. To see who ended up as today's biggest winners and losers, read on!
Winner/Loser: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a maddening player. He will make a great pass and then throw five to six passes where you have no idea what he saw. For that reason, I bestow Fitzpatrick as the first ever winner and loser.
The Bills seemed to be cruising to a blowout win when Fitzpatrick fumbled the ball when it slipped out of his throwing hand. From that point on, the Bills lost all of their momentum and the game was on.
The third quarter was also particularly ugly for Fitzpatrick. The Bills' $59 million man completed just two of eight passes for 14 yards. His last four passes of the quarter were all thrown incomplete.
To Fitzpatrick's credit, he bounced back and led the Bills to a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson. He ended the game with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
While his play was very inconsistent, Fitzpatrick deserves credit to leading his team to the win.
Winner: Tashard Choice
When C.J. Spiller injured his shoulder, I believed the worst was to come. Could the Bills move the ball behind Tashard Choice? I wasn't sure, but Choice made me a believer today.
While he lacks the explosiveness of Spiller and the consistency of Fred Jackson, Choice is tough between the tackles and is patient waiting for his blockers.
Choice finished the game with 20 rushes for 92 yards and two receptions for eight yards.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Choice rushed for a gain of 22 yards and played a large role in running out the clock in the fourth quarter.
With Spiller out for at least one week and Jackson's return date unknown, the Bills need Choice to step up if they want any realistic chance of beating the Patriots, 49ers and perhaps the Cardinals.
Winners: Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Mark Anderson
Simply put, the Bills defensive line was outstanding. It's not every day that all four of your starting defensive linemen record a partial or full sack.
The biggest winners today were Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, both of whom recorded their first sacks as Buffalo Bills. Williams finished the game with 1.5 sacks and four total tackles. Anderson finished with two tackles and a sack, beating All-Pro Joe Thomas.
Marcell Dareus finished the game with one-half sack in his only tackle of the game, and Kyle Williams, the Bills' defensive MVP to date, finished with three total tackles and a sack.
The Bills defensive line also deserves part of the credit in bottling up Trent Richardson. The Browns running-back finished with 27 yards rushing on 12 carries. The longest run of Richardson's day was for a gain of six yards.
All in all, it was a great game for the Bills defensive line.
Winners: Arthur Moats, Kelvin Sheppard and Nick Barnett
The Bills' starting linebackers are the other reason Trent Richardson was bottled up all game. The Bills' starting trio of linebackers were all over the field not only making plays on the run, but also in the passing game.
Nick Barnett finished the game with eight total tackles, two which resulted in a loss or no gain.
Arthur Moats finished with six tackles, also recording two tackles that resulted in a loss or no gain.
Kelvin Sheppard had two tackles, one of which resulted in a play of negative-four yards.
The Bills' front seven have plenty to be happy again heading into a huge divisional game against New England.
Loser: Stephon Gilmore
The starting cornerbacks of the Buffalo Bills once again bit on pump fakes and double moves. Today, it was Stephon Gilmore who gave up the big play.
With the Bills up 17-7 in the third quarter, the Browns went on a 13-play drive that resulted in a 22-yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin.
The Bills provided no rush on the play, but Gilmore did himself no favors getting tricked by the Browns wide receiver.
Gilmore felt confident that Benjamin was running a route to the inside, but Benjamin tricked him and was wide open in the left corner of the end zone.
All of a sudden, the Browns were within three, and victory was far from certain.
With Tom Brady and the Patriots coming into Buffalo, Gilmore needs to play aggressively, but not fall for pump-fakes and double moves.
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