Bills were chasing Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson all day.
The Seattle Seahawks right now are on a roll. That continued in Week 15 when they rolled to a 50-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto. It was the second straight game in which Seattle racked up at least 50 points—only the third time that has happened in NFL history.
Buffalo was officially knocked out of playoff consideration with this loss, so now the only thing left on the schedule of note is to be a spoiler to the New York Jets in the season finale.
Buffalo fans welcomed back ex-Bills RB Marshawn Lynch in his first game against the team that drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick in the first-round of the 2007 NFL draft. Lynch came into Week 15 as the No. 2 running back in the NFL with 1,266 yards, trailing only Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings.
Coming into the game, the Bills offense had their work cut out for them. Seattle boasted the No. 3 overall defense in the NFL. The Seahawks were ranked No. 4 against the pass and No. 11 against the run. Seattle only gives up 15.5 points per game on average.
The offenses between the teams were almost identical. Buffalo came in averaging 341.4 yards per game, while Seattle was at 341.2. It is scary how close their averages are.
But when the teams met, it was all Seattle as they have the look of a team that belongs in the playoffs. The Bills obviously do not, as they have now missed out on postseason play for 13-straight years.
Leodis McKelvin was inactive for Buffalo today.
The inactives today for Buffalo were WR Donald Jones, QB Tarvaris Jackson, CB Leodis McKelvin, CB T.J. Heath, DT Jay Ross, C Eric Wood and OL Chris Scott.
The Seattle inactive list included: WR Deon Butler, CB Marcus Trufant, CB Walter Thurmond, CB DeShawn Shead, OL Rishaw Johnson, DT Mike Pearson ad DT Jaye Howard.
With McKelvin out today, the Bills were forced to start Ron Brooks at corner.
Seattle will have to do some reshuffling in their secondary due to injuries and the suspension to Brandon Browner.
With Donald Jones sitting out, T.J. Graham will have to step up and be more of a factor.
Russell Wilson scores one of his three first-half touchdowns.
In the opening drive of the game, the Seahawks drove 76 yards to score a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead. The Seahawks were faced with a third-down and seven-yards to go on two different occasions and they managed to convert both of them.
Kelvin Sheppard sacked Seattle rookie QB Russell Wilson on the opening play of the game, but things for the Bills regarding Wilson would go quickly downhill from there. Wilson wound up scoring on a 14-yard option run and he made it look easy, fooling DE Kyle Moore on the play.
Buffalo responded with a three-and-out drive of their own. After the subsequent punt, Seattle started their next drive on their own 41, and promptly drove another 59 yards to go up 14-0. The Bills recorded their second sack of the game in this drive, this time by Spencer Johnson, but it was of little consequence. Faced with a third-down and 10, Wilson was able to scramble for a 25-yard touchdown run when the Bills lost their gap control on the pass rush.
Buffalo was able to respond with their own scoring drive when the Bills drove 72 yards to cut the lead to 14-7. C.J. Spiller capped off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown around the right end. The Bills only had to convert one third-down play on the drive.
The quarter ended with the Bills trailing 14-7.
Steve Johnson scores on a second-quarter pass.
In the second quarter, the Bills defense didn't have any answers for how to slow down the Seahawks offense. Once again the Seahawks drove down the field, but this drive stalled out on the Bills one-yard line. Seattle kicked a field goal to go up 17-7.
Buffalo followed with another three-and-out drive and Seattle wound up with great field position again, starting at their own 42 yard line. From there they had no problems driving 58 yards to score another touchdown. The key play was a 54-yard run from Marshawn Lynch, who raced right up the middle of the Bills defense untouched.
Whatever positive vibes were generated by the Bills run defense from the past month were wiped out today. After Lynch ran for 54, Wilson completed a four-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller to make the score 24-7.
Once again, the Bills answered a Seattle score with another three-and-out drive and the route was on. Seattle drives 72 yards to score on Russell Wilson's third rushing touchdown of the first half to go up 31-7. Wilson's trio of rushing touchdowns in the first half was the first time that had happened in a game since Dante Culpepper's in 2000.
The game got a little more interesting when the Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Steve Johnson to make it 31-14.
Seattle didn't have any success with their two-minute offense, so they wound up with a three-and-out of their own. The Bills took advantage to drive down and kick a field goal before the half ended to make the score 31-17.
PSY "Gangnam Style" was better at halftime than Bills were in second half.
Halftime stats showed how badly the Bills defense had performed. Buffalo gave Seattle 329 yards of total offense in the first half. The Seahawks were 3-5 on third down. Seattle had gained 174 yards rushing in the first half alone and another 155 yards passing.
Buffalo had picked up 197 yards of offense which was encouraging against the No. 3 overall defense. Remember that Seattle only gave up an average of 15.5 points per game, and the Bills had scored 17 in the first half.
The defense would have to tighten up and make adjustments to stay committed to their gaps as Russell Wilson was picking them apart with his legs.
At the half, it was revealed that C.J. Spiller stood exactly at 1,000 rushing yards for the season on the Fox broadcast. They also revealed that Russell Wilson had set a franchise record with 73 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns (and he only needed one half to establish the record).
Buffalo was going to be getting the ball to open the second half. They had scored the final 10 points of the first half, and hadn't turned the ball over once. Consider that Arizona had turned it over to Seattle eight times the week before, and the Bills had to feel decent about their chances in the second half.
C.J. Spiller rushed for over 100 yards against Seattle today.
Buffalo CB Justin Rogers fumbled the opening kickoff to start the half, which was a bad omen. Luckily, the review booth overturned the call on the field, and said that his knee was down when he fumbled the ball.
The Bills promptly turned the break into a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception. In fact, all three of the Bills' drives in the third quarter wound up with a Ryan Fitzpatrick turnover, as he had two interceptions and one fumble when he was stripped by a sack.
The Seahawks turned the three turnovers into two touchdowns and a field goal. Just like that, all of the momentum was gone, and the lead jumped to 47-17. The worst play was a 57-yard interception return by Earl Thomas, where most of the Bills offense just stood and watched as Thomas returned the interception untouched for another touchdown.
That was the first time you could see the Bills visibly quit on a play this year.
Coming into the fourth quarter, the game was basically over at 47-17, as was the Bills season.
Pete Carroll pulled a bush move faking a punt up by 30 points.
The fourth quarter was basically an exercise in letting some players on the bench get in some snaps in live action. Tyler Thigpen got to throw some passes and Matt Flynn relieved Russell Wilson.
But the highlight of the fourth quarter was when Pete Carroll and his coaching staff ordered a fake punt in the fourth quarter, when they were up by 30 points. The play resulted with the ball at the Bills 10-yard line.
Buffalo responded by showing their anger in each of the plays after the bush move. They surrounded the ball carrier and tackled harder than they had been all day. If one of the Seattle players would have been injured, Carroll would have to blame himself.
That was the kind of move he would pull at USC to impress the voters for the AP Poll. This obviously isn't college football, so if the Seahawks get any bad karma between now and the end of the postseason—well, you know what they say about payback.
The Bills defenders were constantly eluded by Russell Wilson.
Name a Buffalo Bills defensive player, and chances are good that each player you bring up had at least two or three different times that they had Russell Wilson lined up for a significant loss, only to see him sidestep them like they weren't even there.
The defensive linemen and linebackers especially were made to look slow and old by the quick feet of Wilson. He would scramble from one side of the pocket to the other, looking like he was playing with a rear view camera in his helmet. He was uncanny in his ability to escape the pass rush.
With the way that the Seahawks are running the ball and playing solid defense, they look to be a legitimate threat to raise some eyebrows in the postseason. Seattle provides the Bills with a blueprint of what a playoff team looks like.
T.J. Graham with one of his many drops in Week 15 play.
When the Buffalo Bills were ready to turn in their draft pick with the No. 69 selection at the 2012 NFL draft, Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson was still on the board. The Bills had brought Wilson in for a visit and Buddy Nix had gone on record as saying that he liked Wilson.
But when it came time for Nix to decide who he was drafting, he instead opted for WR T.J. Graham. Six draft picks later at No. 75, Seattle drafted Wilson, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to the Week 15 game between Seattle and Buffalo, and it is quite clear which team made the better draft choice. Wilson has a strong arm, great leadership and his legs and mobility made the Bills defenders look absolutely helpless. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a nice guy, but Wilson has him beat in spades.
Why Nix didn't pull the trigger on drafting Wilson, we will never know. But these are the kind of mistakes that bad football teams continue to make. Nix swears that he will draft a quarterback in 2013, so Bills fans can only hope he will be as good as Russell Wilson is.
As for Graham, he received eight targets during the game. He was only able to catch three of them, with the rest resulting in one dropped pass after another. Graham has been slow to develop and has been a major disappointment considering that Buffalo traded up to draft him.
Bills players observe a moment of silence for Connecticut victims.
From here the Bills travel to Miami for their Week 16 game, and close out the season at home against the New York Jets. With a 5-9 record, the Bills might not even beat their 6-10 record of last year, which would be another sign that Chan Gailey isn't making the right moves in his third year with the team.
We have seen more shutouts the past few weekends where other teams are seemingly ready to throw in the towel on a given Sunday. Last week it was the Arizona Cardinals. This weekend, three teams were shutout; the defending champion New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
It is a long season, and the players are probably feeling tired and are hurting. There was a shot of Kyle Williams yelling at his defensive teammates on the sidelines, tired of giving up so many big plays on defense. The pride factor is still there, but it is disappointing to see the team take a step backwards in 2012, after so much more was expected.