Sunday, October 11, 2009
Bills O-line signals false alarm
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills committed more false starts that Bachman Turner Overdrive on the chorus of "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet."
The Bills were whistled for nine false starts in Sunday's hideous 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The Elias Sports Bureau dug around and found that was the most false starts in a game since the New York Giants jumped 11 times against the Seattle Seahawks in November 2005.
And the Bills were at home. So they can't blame the crowd noise.
"I don't know," Bills offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt replied when asked for an explanation. "We tried to go with those quick cadences. We want to get an up-tempo and try to wear them down a little bit up front, and it jumped up and got us."
Cleveland accepted 13 penalties for 75 yards. Buffalo went into the game second only to the St. Louis Rams in penalties.
Eight of Buffalo's false starts were done by offensive linemen, three of whom did it twice each.
Four false starts occurred at right tackle. Jonathan Scott was caught twice before he got hurt. Then replacement Kirk Chambers did it twice. Left tackle Demetrius Bell also doubled up.
Right guard Andy Levitre had only one false start, but it stung. The Bills had a third-and-1 on the Browns 33-yard line when Levitre jumped. The Bills failed to convert on third and fourth downs.
"It's definitely tough to overcome, especially when we have a third-and-1," Bills receiver Terrell Owens said. "It's tough to win games with that many penalties and, obviously, turnovers."
The Bills had three of those, too. Trent Edwards threw an interception, trying to force a pass to Owens. They also lost a pair of fumbles, including Roscoe Parrish's bobble that gave the Browns possession for the winning field goal.
But the penalties were absurd.
"It's inexcusable," center Geoff Hangartner said, "and we've got to do something to change it."