Bills’ defense turns tide in last minute win over Tampa


The seats were empty at New Era Field Sunday afternoon as fans were on their feet, participating as the 12th man in come from behind 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

LeSean McCoy fumbled the ball halfway into the 4th quarter and Bills fans were having flashbacks of over a decade of losing in the dying minutes of a game as Jameis Winston hit Mike Evans for a touchdown, putting Tampa up 27-20 with 3:20 remaining in the game.

However, on the next drive Taylor threw a bomb along the sideline for a 44-yard gain to Deonte Thompson and a late hit added 15 more yards. Rookie Zay Jones caught a 9-yard pass, setting up a 7-yard touchdown run by McCoy to tie the game up, 27-27 with 2:28 left.

Taylor then threw 2 clutch passes for a combined 20-yards to set up Hauschka for a 30-yard game winning kick, avoiding a ending to a game that Bills fans have seen too often.

The Buccaneers were the first to put points on the board, Winston lead his team down the field with a mix of run and pass plays ending in a 50-yard field goal, 3-0 Tampa Bay.

Following a couple short pass plays, Tyrod Taylor connected with Nick O’Leary for 36-yards. A few plays later Taylor showed off his legs on a 36 yard scramble, setting up a 25 yard field goal to tie the score, 3-3.

Winston moved the ball down field with a heavy passing attack which included a 20-yard pitch and catch to Desean Jackson, but it wasn’t enough to get into the end zone. Tampa Bay was fortunate to settle for a 25-yard field goal, after a forced fumble by Jerel Worthy was absorbed, and the Bucs back the lead, 6-3.

The Bills rushing attack started to spark as McCoy ran the ball to the outside for a 23-yard gain, putting Buffalo in Tampa Bay territory. Taylor showed off his legs with a 16-yard scramble, bringing the ball into the red-zone. McCoy turned the sparks into fireworks, punching the ball in from the 1-yard line for a touchdown, 10-6.

“We wanted to come out and finish the drive with 7, it was definitely a big moment for us on offense,” explained Taylor about scoring before the half.

The Bills defense turned the switch on, feeding off the offense. Ryan Davis, a Tampa Bay native, forced a sack fumble which was recovered by former Buccaneer Leonard Johnson, giving the Bills the ball on their own 44-yard line.

Taylor was over zealous to start the drive, overthrowing McCoy, but quickly got back in tune with a 27-yard completion to Deonte Thomas, whom was signed just 5 days before the game. After a few incomplete passes the Bills attempted a 41-yard field goal which was no good.

The Buccaneers rushed for 42 yards and had 180 yards through the air, compared to 113-yards on the ground and 100 yards in the air for Buffalo.

Buffalo came out of the tunnel with a mission in the second half. Mike Tolbert looked like a tank as he showed off his breakout speed with an 18-yard run, which set up a 22-yard passing touchdown to Logan Thomas to extend their lead to 17-6.

Tampa came out guns locked and loaded with a 53-yard bomb to Jackson but was called back due to a holding penalty. Winston didn’t stop shooting, connecting with O.J Howard along the sidelines for a 14-yard gain, an unnecessary roughness call on the defense put the Buccaneers near midfield. Winston got his backfield involved completing an outlet pass to Doug Martin which he carried for a 17-yard gain. Evans caught a deep pass from Winston for 23-yards, which set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Howard, inching Tampa closer, 17-13.

Taylor showed his determination heading into the fourth quarter completing a 32-yard pass on 3rd and long to Nick O’Leary, putting Buffalo in field goal position. Hauschka nailed a 52-yard field goal to extend Buffalos lead, 20-13.

Hauschka tied the record for most field goals made from 50 yards out and further with 12 consecutive.

The Buccaneers went to the air, completing a 19-yard pass to Evans. Winston displayed his accuracy with a touchdown along the sidelines to Howard, finding weakness in the Bills talented secondary and tying the score at 20 apiece.

McCoy often gets criticized for holding the ball out with one hand. It caught up to him Sunday as he fumbled the ball which was recovered by Buccaneers’ Lavonte Davis, sucking the energy out of Buffalo for a moment.

Winston managed to capitalize on the turnover, driving the ball down the field with a mix of play calls. Evans caught his first touchdown pass of the afternoon, putting Tampa up 27-20 and testing the Bills resilience.

The Bills defense came out with a head full of steam as rookie Tre’Davious White forced and recovered a fumble by Adam Humphries, making up for a touchdown he allowed to Evans to put Tampa ahead earlier in the game.

“I feel there is a lot of heart in this football team which personifies this city doesn’t it,” Bills head coach McDermott explained. “He made a huge play late in the game and a few earlier im proud of him.”

The Bills beat Tampa Bay a projected playoff contender. Buffalo is undefeated at New Era field and will be hosting the Raiders on Sunday at 1 p.m.