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Bills pointless despite monopolizing possession

11/2/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills had three possessions of 10 or more plays Sunday against the New York Jets.

They didn't score on any of them.

The Jets won 26-17, with seven of the Bills' points coming off Jabari Greer's touchdown return on a Brett Favre interception.

Amazingly, Buffalo had the ball for 15:08 straight -- aside from a kickoff -- in the first half and didn't muster a point. In fact, the Bills were outscored while their defense was off the field for an eternity.

A 14-play, 54-yard Buffalo series ended on the final play of the first quarter when Trent Edwards threw an interception Abram Elam returned for a 92-yard touchdown.

"Probably one of the most critical points in the game is that we're on the field for so long, and we're keeping our defense off the field, which is what we want," Edwards said. "Then we don't have any points to show for it and let alone they score a touchdown off of us."

Here's the breakdown on that possession:

  • Eight passes. Edwards completed six of them for 46 yards, including a 22-yard Roscoe Parrish catch and run on third-and-16.

  • Six runs. Marshawn Lynch's attempts went for minus-3, minus-1, 2 and minus-1 yards. Fred Jackson ran twice for no gain each time.

  • Two Jets penalties for 19 yards and two Bills penalties for 10 yards.

Buffalo then had a 13-play, 58-yard possession. It concluded with a Fred Jackson run for no gain on fourth and inches at the New York 8-yard line.

Here's the breakdown for the follow-up drive:

  • Seven pass plays. Edwards completed 4 of 6 attempts for 45 yards. He was sacked once.

  • Six runs. Jackson had all of the carries with Lynch fighting nausea on the sideline. Jackson had Buffalo's longest run of the afternoon for 7 yards on the first play. He also took a direct shotgun snap for a 3-yard gain. Jackson was stopped for no gain on two of his carries.

  • No penalties.

"We have to be able to get a yard," Bills center Duke Preston said. "We didn't get that done today, and that was a big play in the game and fourth and one.

"We had four or five trips in the red zone and only got 10 points offensively, and that's not going to win games. And we know that and we just have to do a better job."

ESPN Stats & Analysis found the Jets went the second-longest amount of time without an offensive play since 2001.

Two years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the ball for 20:09 and failed to score against the Tennesee Titans with possessions that ended with a fumble returned for a touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown.