Win or lose, I’ve made it a weekly tradition to hand out “game balls” to four Buffalo Bills players who I thought performed the best.
I gotta tell you… I’m really scratching my head right now to come up with four. Frankly I’ve been stuck since I came up with two… and I’m completely grasping for straws with the last selection.
It goes beyond logic had bad the Bills play whenever they face the New England Patriots. This marks 15 games in a row Buffalo has been handled by the Patriots and over their last six home games, Buffalo’s been outscored, 183-36 (thanks for that stat, Sal Maiorana.)
But I digress. Here’s my game balls.
Fred Jackson: Ran for 50 yards on his first five carries as the Bills took the opening drive and ran it down the Patriots throats. Had Ryan Fitzpatrick thrown a better 13-yard pass in the end zone to Stevie Johnson the score would’ve been 7-0, but the Bills had to settle for a field goal. The offense as a whole stunk but it’s not Jackson’s fault. He finished with 81 yards on 13 carries and caught two balls for 11 more. Had Chan Gailey been more committed to a running game that looked good early, Jackson could’ve had a huge game.
Naaman Roosevelt: With Lee Evans already out and David Nelson missing most the game with a rib injury after Fitzpatrick nearly got him killed by Jarod Mayo, Roosevelt stepped up. He had a game-high 74 yards on four catches, two of them being the difficult variety. If nothing else Roosevelt has proven he belongs in the NFL over the past two weeks and should serve as inspiration for any kid playing high school ball in Western New York.
Akin Ayodele: He was credited with a game-high 17 tackles and a couple actually mattered, including one on BenJarivs Green-Ellis for a loss that foolishly I saw the zero numbered part of his uniform and briefly thought it was Donte Whitner. I know… I should’ve known better. On a serious (though I wasn’t lying about the Whitner quip) note, Ayodele played reasonably well for a defense that basically did nothing all afternoon.
Any Fan That Stayed For 60 Minutes: I swear that third quarter felt like it took six hours to complete. If you spent every agonizing second of this contest in the stands during these cold and windy conditions knowing the Patriots were spanking Buffalo around, my hat really truly goes off to you.
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