The offense came alive. They were led by the aforementioned Jackson, who gashed the Bucs defense for 163 yards on 28 carries (plus another 25 yards on 6 catches). Trent Edwards appeased the long-ball fans by connecting with Lee Evans on 32-yard TD for the game's first score and striking deep again in the fourth with a 43-yard TD pass to T.O.
Of course the Bills, not wanting to make their fans feel too comfortable, did allow the Buccaneers to stay within striking distance for most of the game. Their 17-0 lead in the first quarter, after a 31-yard field goal by Lindell, was the biggest of the game. But ultimately, they were able to hold the Bucs at bay and come out on top.
I must say, this is an impressive win for the Bills. Not because of the opponent of course, because let's face it, beating the Buccaneers could be this year's equivalent of beating the Raiders or Rams last year. This win was impressive because the Bills were beat badly Monday night and no one would've been surprised if they had hung their heads a little coming into Sunday's match-up. But the Bills came out swinging, racking up 438 yards of offense and picking off Leftwich twice in the first quarter.
Ok, so why aren't we all restarting the long-dead playoff conversation? Because clearly, there are still holes in this team. The offense, ultimately, has only scored 4 touchdowns in the first two games while the defense has allowed 3 touchdown drives in the last quarter of those games. And the usually potent special teams unit has so far ranked in the bottom half of the league in returns.
Also, four players who started the game with the team were no longer playing when the clock ran out. Leodis McKelvin, Shawn Nelson, Derek Schouman and Brad Butler all left the game with injuries.
As for the rest of the damaged goods, Schouman also injured his knee while fellow TE Shawn Nelson went out with a hurt shoulder. McKelvin left the game early with an ankle injury. Jauron has so far been cryptic about the severity of these injuries, but Nelson posted on his Twitter page, "Thanks for the support. Shoulder is ok," so perhaps he'll be ready for this Sunday's game against New Orleans. The same is possible for McKelvin, who injury isn't believed to be too severe (not that ankle injuries to corners are minor). Either way, these injuries clearly thin the Bills out at important spots on the roster.
It goes without saying that the cornerback position has plenty of depth, but Derek Fine becomes the lone healthy TE on the Bills' roster. In Week 1, the Bills moved TE Jonathan Stupar to the practice roster and unless the Bills can sign someone in a hurry, they would presumably promote Stupar again this week against the Saints. (Chris Brown posted a brief list of possible TE candidates that apparently worked out recently with the team.)
But all in all, the Bills gave we fans plenty to cheer for in the home opener. T.O. got his first touchdown catch, Jackson is drawing comparisons to Squirmin' Thurman and Dick Jauron suddenly knows what it feels like not to be totally hated every second of every day...
(Click here to watch the game's highlights at BuffaloBills.com)
Owens, who caught one bomb for a touchdown and dropped another, only offered up a tweet of praise for his quarterback.
"Man was the Ralph rockin 2day!! Cn’t wait til next!! Gonna b a good 1! Lovin trent more & more!! Watchin nfl primetime!"
Obviously behavior like this is looked on a little easier after a victory, but it's still not much of a show of leadership for a squad getting younger by the minute. I realize that we didn't sign Owens to set an example for anyone, but I guess I thought he would pretend a little harder and a little longer that he doesn't mind playing in Buffalo.
According to ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio, a league source has said Parrish could be dealt by the end of the week. The possible recipients are rumored to be the Chiefs, Jaguars and Redskins.
Parrish has no catches so far this season and a 5-yard average on punt returns.