Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Bengals 23, Bills 20
By James Walker
Let's take a look at the Buffalo Bills', 23-20, loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
What it means: Buffalo's status as a legit, AFC contender is back in question. The Bills (3-1) were coming off a huge upset over the New England Patriots in Week 3. But Buffalo is a young team which showed lack of maturity with Sunday's letdown in Cincinnati. The Bills lost a winnable game by blowing a 17-3 lead at halftime. Many will start to question if this year's Buffalo team is similar to the group in 2008, which started 4-0 and finished 7-9. Buffalo has to prove this team is good enough to keep pace with the Patriots and New York Jets in the AFC East for 16 games.
What I liked: Buffalo finally got off to a fast start in the first half. A defensive touchdown by safety Bryan Scott helped Buffalo take a 14-point lead at halftime. The Bills were outscored 42-13 in the first half the previous two games. Buffalo also has scored a defensive touchdown in back-to-back games. Bills safety George Wilson was productive with 12 tackles and an interception.
What I didn't like: Buffalo's offense could have played much better. The Bills were leading the NFL in points scored in the first three weeks, averaging 37.7 points per game. But Buffalo's offense scored just 13 points against Cincinnati. Give Cincinnati's defense plenty of credit. The Bengals were ranked third in total defense entering Week 4. Cincinnati did a good job of not giving up many big plays, which led to the comeback.
What's next: The Bills will play at home next week against the talented but struggling Philadelphia Eagles (1-3). The Bills got off to a fast start and will try to avoid their first losing streak of the season.