Tuesday, September 14, 2010
AFC East Week 1 decisive moment
By Tim Graham
» NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
The Buffalo Bills might have been beaten on their first offensive series Sunday, when Miami Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby blitzed unabated and pulverized quarterback Trent Edwards, setting a tone for the afternoon.
Or maybe it was the perfectly placed Chad Henne pass to tight end Anthony Fasano to the Bills' 1-yard line, setting up Ronnie Brown's touchdown plunge a play later.
Those were mammoth plays, but they weren't demoralizing enough. The Bills hung tough. They were down two scores for only 8:23 of the game and climbed within a field goal with 5:13 to play.
That's why a clutch punt claims the first edition of a new weekly series that identifies the decisive moment of the weekend.
Brandon Fields, who struggled with the winds at Ralph Wilson Stadium, dropped a 48-yard punt at Buffalo's 1-yard line, and Jason Allen downed it with 1:48 to play.
"Huuuuuge," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said of the play. "That was a big punt. I just grabbed the kid and told him that's the way to battle back."
That left the Bills, who had 157 yards of total offense at that time, with no shot of getting within field goal range against a prevent defense. Three straight incomplete passes made Bills coach Chan Gailey manufacture hope with an intentional safety.