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The Bills lose Spiller, but win game

Buffalo Bills v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

Things got a little bleak for a while after the Bills lost running back C.J. Spiller to a left shoulder injury, but the team was able to recover in time to take a 24-14 victory in Cleveland.

The Browns outscored the Bills 14-3 over the second and third quarters, closing a big early Buffalo lead to a slim 17-14 gap. The Bills were able to rebound with a 68-yard drive in the fourth that ended with a Stevie Johnson touchdown catch. Tashard Choice, who replaced Spiller, had a 22-yard run to set up that score and Choice provided strong work over the course of the game in place of Spiller. Choice finished with 91 yards on 20 carries for the day, an effective performance that helped the Bills hold on for the win that bumps them up to a 2-1 record.

It wasn’t a particularly pretty performance overall for the Bills offense, but they did put up 10 points in the second half after losing Spiller and the electricity he brings to the offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick could have been better, but he didn’t turn the ball over in the second half and hand the Browns an easier shot at winning than they could come up with on their own.

Cleveland’s comeback efforts would have been helped by a more consistent performance by their starting quarterback. Brandon Weeden had some strong moments, particularly while going 8-of-12 for 75 yards on the drive that brought the team back within a field goal. He wound up 27-of-43, though, and threw two late interceptions that killed any chance of the Browns making a second bid to move on top of the Bills.

Trent Richardson can only aspire to erratic, though. He picked up just 27 yards on 12 carries as he started very slowly and never really picked up as the game went along because of the score and the Buffalo defense. The Bills unit closed well with the picks and four sacks of Weeden to go with the strong work against the run. It’s two strong efforts in a row for that unit after a rough start against the Jets.

They survived without him today, but Spiller’s status will be a key for the Bills going forward. The offense needs a playmaker of his ability when matched with better opposition than they had on Sunday.

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5 Responses to “The Bills lose Spiller, but win game”
  1. EJ says: Sep 23, 2012 4:58 PM

    The Defense won this game. If it wasn’t for the dumb penalties, you could say they had an excellent game. Forcing Weeden to hurry up, grabbing 4 sacks and 2 Interceptions. Game ball goes to Leodis McKelvin. He played a great game on both sides of Special Teams and also intercepted Weeden in the 4th quarter. Fitzpatrick played It safe after losing Spiller and the Bills got some decent yards from Choice when they needed it the most. Decent game overall. Go Bills!!!! #BillsMafia

  2. markbul says: Sep 23, 2012 5:25 PM

    Browns fans are going to look back at the HOF player they missed when the boneheads drafting took a running back. Stupidity on an epic scale.

  3. kkickflip says: Sep 23, 2012 5:52 PM

    Good job by the Bills’ defense for stepping up and the D-Line for taking over that game and coming together. They’re going to have to do more of that if they want a shot at the Pats without Spiller. Good win though.

    The weather in that game was Football weather as well. None of this sterile dome crap with sushi bars for all the media snobs. I love when Buffalo and Cleveland play because it’s two blue collar places with fans that actually care playing outside in the elements. That’s the football that made the NFL great.

  4. oldcracker says: Sep 23, 2012 6:17 PM

    Seriously, what has GM Heckert added to this team? I thought he was the “draft master?” I’ll never forget his assumption that WR wasn’t a need for the Browns.

    Weinke 2.0, well, is Weinke, too. Richardson is looking like everything Jim Brown predicted.

    Good thing Shurmur is smart enough not to risk Colt taking these early hits. Shurmur is sooo much better than Mangini.

    Gawd!!! Now, with a new owner, we start rebuilding…once again.

    I’m getting too old for this. I was but a teen, focused on the Vn war and the Civil Rights movement, back when the NFL & AFL merged. Now, I’m focused about retiring and the loss of SS & Medicare….and the Browns have yet to even play in a Superbowl. Life is not fair. :)

  5. droyer85 says: Sep 24, 2012 2:43 AM

    The Cleveland Browns are 0-3 because they do not have a head coach. You cannot win in this league without a head coach.

    Oh wait… wrong team.

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