Fitzpatrick Scoring Strike Leads Bills Past Raiders
Orchard Park, NY
Da'Norris Searcy intercepted a desperation pass with time expiring and the Buffalo Bills held off the Oakland Raiders, 38-35 Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Just 13 seconds prior, David Nelson reeled in a 6-yard touchdown from Ryan Fitzpatrick to give the Bills the lead.
The announced crowd of 68,191 witnessed five lead changes in the fourth quarter alone.
"That was pretty exciting," Fitzpatrick said. "It was up and down all day. We started slow on offense, but once we got that thing rolling, every time we had the ball we were going to score a touchdown."
Had the game ended at halftime, the Raiders' flight home to Oakland is a joyous one. They were up 21-3 heading into the intermission, thanks to rushing touchdowns from Michael Bush, Darren McFadden and Jason Campbell.
"Obviously today wasn't a good day for the Raiders," said Raiders head coach Hue Jackson. "I'm disappointed, not discouraged, but disappointed because I know what's in that locker room and we didn't play that way in the second half."
The Bills came to life in the second half - scoring touchdowns on five consecutive possessions. Fred Jackson, who carried the ball 15 times for 117 yards, scored on a 43-yard scamper during the Bills' first possession after halftime, making it 21-10.
"We needed a big play and I felt like I could get a spark just by making a play, everybody would feed off it and we did," Jackson said.
The next two series resulted in touchdowns from wide receiver Stevie Johnson and Jackson, respectively, suddenly giving the Bills a 24-20 lead.
The Raiders reclaimed the lead with 9:18 left in the fourth quarter when McFadden scored on a 12-yard passing play. Fitzpatrick connected with Scott Chandler on the ensuing drive, giving the Bills the edge, 31-28. Less than two minutes later, Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore somehow pulled the ball down between two defenders on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Campbell.
But in the end, it was Nelson who saved the day on a play where he was inexplicably uncovered.
"I just slipped right underneath the Mike linebacker," Nelson said, after explaining he thought the Raiders might have been keying up on Chandler.
Nelson finished with a game-high 10 receptions for 83 yards.
"I don't know if David's guy got picked or I don't know what happened, but I think they misaligned to be honest," Fitzpatrick said of the Raiders' broken coverage. "It looked to be an extra guy on Stevie's side and David obviously made a good catch."
The two teams combined for 935 yards of total offense, 481 of which belonged to the Bills. The time of possession battle was also close - ending in the Bills' favor by just 47 seconds.
With the win, the Bills are off to their first 2-0 start since 2008.
FOX NFL Sunday: Week 2 Recap
NFL 2011 Week 2 Results
Bills (2-0) 38, Raiders (1-1) 35
Broncos (1-1) 24, Bengals (1-1) 22
Browns (1-1) 27, Colts (0-2) 19
Buccaneers (1-1) 24, Vikings (0-2) 20
Cowboys (1-1) 27, 49ers (1-1) 24
Falcons (1-1) 35, Eagles (1-1) 31
Jets (2-0) 32, Jaguars (1-1) 3
Lions (2-0) 48, Chiefs (0-2) 3
Packers (2-0) 30, Panthers (0-2) 23
Patriots (2-0) 35, Chargers (1-1) 21
Redskins (2-0) 22, Cardinals (1-1) 21
Saints (1-1) 30, Bears (1-1) 13
Steelers (1-1) 24, Seahawks (0-2) 0
Texans (2-0) 23, Dolphins (0-2) 13
Titans (1-1) 26, Ravens (1-1) 13
Giants (1-1) 28, Rams (0-2) 16
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