Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the greatest comeback in NFL history like “The Comeback”. And it wasn’t the wildcard playoffs. But don’t tell Bills fans that last week’s wild comeback shocker against the shell-shocked Raiders wasn’t as fun as the most famous game in Bills history.
Both comebacks were led by underrated Bills QB’s wearing #14. Both saw The Comeback Kids scoring 5 touchdowns in the 2nd half. Both had The Bills scoring 38 points in regulation and winning by 3. And in both games, the Bills made a historic comeback to take the lead — only to lose it late — and then be forced to come back again to win it.
Phew!! If you missed how insane the game-winning TD was at Busby’s, watch this:
The game began as if the Bills weren’t coming back to win, they were coming back to Earth, after their opening day 41-7 scalping of the Chiefs in KC.
Nothing went right except passes intended left.
The Bills new WMD defense made Oakland QB Jason Campbell look like Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” — and made Hero Types out of unknown rookies like #17, Denoname Moore. Moore was covered all day by Leodis McKelvin who blanketed his man and then fell asleep when the ball arrived.
The Bills dropped passes, dropped Raiders only after first down markers, and pretty much dropped a deuce on the first half, falling behind 21-3 to the over-confident, over-Raiders.
Analysts, fans and journalists often over-analyze and over-rate “Halftime Adjustments”, as adjustments are just as often made in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters, and after most possessions on the sidelines.
But the Bills needed 70,000 chiropractors at The Ralph for all the adjustments needed to straighten out the broken back and broken spirit the team suffered in the first half from the visiting bullies.
So you know what halftime adjustments the Bills made to get back in it? To reverse the mojo?
Here’s how Ryan Fitzpatrick explained what the Bills coaches did at halftime to change the team’s fortunes: “We really felt good about our stuff. We didn’t adjust anything.”
WTF? No change from a 21-3 shellacking? We wanted to lose 42-6 when we won the opener 41-7?
Well, the beleaguered Bills came out in the 2nd half and scored 5 touchdowns on 5 possessions. Since STATS started keeping these kinds of stats in 1993, you know how many teams have scored touchdowns on all 5 of their possessions in the 2nd half? An upwards of none.
Fred Jackson, the emotional leader of this ragtag team, and who Fitzpatrick calls “My favorite teammate of all-time”, took the team on his shoulder pads, and ignited The Ralph with an electrifying 43-yard TD scamper to open the second half and open the floodgates.
For the first time in his spotty career, C.J. Spiller showed some spark in spot action, and immediately became the second half of “Slash and Flash” the Bills answer to Thunder and Lightning combos around the league.
David Nelson took over the slack and the slot from an injured Roscoe Perish. All DNelson did was catch 10 passes for 83 yards and the game-winning TD with 14 seconds to go.
The Bills amassed 34 first downs, an all-time franchise record. They went up and down the field and scored, and scored, and scored, and scored, and then with three minutes to go in the game and down by four, they went right down the field and scored again on a perfectly executed, brilliant and daring call by Chan Gailey.
Chan took his best player Fred Jackson out of the game on its biggest play, and replaced him with CJ Spiller. The Raiders worried about Spiller’s speed and two LBs covered him on the swing pass in the flat. That left no one to cover David Nelson in the middle of the endzone for the improbable if not impossible comeback victory.
The Comeback complete — even with a hairy Hail Mary intercepted by mutton-headed rookie Da’Norris Searcy — the Ralph exploded like we haven’t heard since, well, “The Comeback” against the Oilers in 1993.
This Sunday, Come Back into the back rooms at Busby’s when the New England Cheatriots try to cheat the Bills out of what may prove to be an historic comeback to NFL prominence.
UNSUNG PLAY OF THE GAME
Donald Jones — doing a reverse George Wilson and changing helmets from a WR to DB — knocking away a pass that was destined to be an INT in the endzone and game-killer for the Bills. A terrific play to knock the ball down, something he should teach Searcy.
UNSUNG PLAY OF THE GAME II
It didn’t change the outcome, but epitomized the never give up attitude of these new Bills. Early in the 3rd quarter, Bills rookie man-child Marcell Dareus rushed the passer from his left DE position. After two steps forward, he read screen pass and took two steps to his left to guard one of the fastest players in the NFL, Darren McFadden. Jason Campbell faked the screen pass right to McFadden, pivoted, and instead threw a screen pass left, to Marcel Reece. The Bills Marcell saw it, turned, and ran all the way over to the other side of the field, smacked into Reece and drove him into the turf, for a THREE YARD GAIN. It was an incredible display of athleticism, speed, and football smarts from a 343 pound rookie.