It was a game in which the Bills were facing their fourth rookie quarterback of the season in Seattle's Russell Wilson. The way the game unfolded however, Wilson looked like a seasoned veteran as he orchestrated five touchdown drives and Seattle punted just twice in a 50-17 win over Buffalo.
Wilson rushed for three touchdowns and threw another while former Bill Marshawn Lynch rushed for 113 yards on 10 carries and a score. The two combined for over 200 rushing yards as a tandem.
"We played extremely poor, offensively and defensively today," said head coach Chan Gailey. "The biggest thing was we couldn't stop the run or the scrambles or the quarterback read stuff. A quarterback rushing for that many yards normally you don't win. We couldn't hit a deep ball. We had several chances and couldn't hit a deep ball. We had some opportunities, but the bottom line is we played poorly on offense and defense."
The Seahawks offense made quick work of putting their opening possession of the game into the end zone. Mixing play action passes with a steady diet of Marshawn Lynch on the ground Seattle set themselves up with a 1st-and-10 situation at the Bills 14-yard line.
Russell Wilson pulled the ball out of Lynch's bread basket on a read option play and took it to the end zone himself on a 14-yard touchdown run to the weak side to put Seattle up 7-0 just five minutes into the game.
After a three-and-out by the Bills on their first possession, Seattle marched down the field again needing to go only 58 yards. Again Wilson capped the drive with a scoring run. Facing a 3rd-and-10 from the Bills 25, Wilson found no one open, but scrambled to a wide open lane down the far sideline to the end zone to make it 14-0 Seahawks with just under six minutes left in the first quarter.
"It's frustrating," said Kyle Williams. "That is a type of offensive
run scheme that we've had trouble with. That option that zone read. Since the bye against conventional offenses we've made some strides, and done some good things, but to go back to that we've had some trouble with that zone read thing. To defend that you have to play very disciplined and we didn't."
Buffalo responded on their second series, mixing some passes that moved the chains with C.J. Spiller on the ground. After a Stevie Johnson catch and run got the Bills down to the Seattle 14-yard line, C.J. Spiller followed with a 14-yard touchdown run to the right side to make it a one score game (14-7) before the first quarter expired.
Seattle however, would put the next 17 points on the board, the first three coming on a 19-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka, followed by a three-play 58-yard drive again capped by Wilson with a four-yard pass to Zach Miller off play action (24-7).
Another three-and-out by Buffalo led to another opportunity for Seattle's offense and again Wilson capped a scoring drive. After hitting a wide open Sidney Rice for a 41-yard gain to the Bills 10-yard line, Wilson took it in himself from 13 yards out for his third rushing touchdown of the half on a 2nd-and-13 (31-7)
The Bills tried to climb back into the game getting a touchdown back on a 20-yard scoring strike from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Stevie Johnson to cap a nine-play 82-yard drive. It also put Fitzpatrick and Johnson in a tie for third on the Bills all-time list for touchdown tandems (Joe Ferguson-Frank Lewis) with 23.
Buffalo also got a field goal as time expired in the first half, with Rian Lindell hitting from 41 yards out after the offense put together an efficient six-play 43-yard drive in just 41 seconds to make it 31-17 at the half.
The second half however, did not turn sharply in the Bills favor. In fact it went in the other direction as each of their first three second half possessions resulted in turnovers.
"I thought we obviously didn't come out sharp, but we had some points there at the end of half and getting the ball first, felt like we had a little bit of momentum, but we came out and I had the interception," said Fitzpatrick. "We kind of lost all the momentum we had and it went downhill from there fast."
The first interception by Fitzpatrick was picked off by K.J. Wright on a 1st-and-15 pass intended for Scott Chandler at the Bills 44. Wright returned it 20 yards to the Buffalo 24.
Two plays later Marshawn Lynch rumbled in from 13 yards out to push Seattle's lead to 37-17. Marcell Dareus blocked the extra-point attempt.
"We were confident coming in defending their runs especially going up against Marshawn, who is the second leading rusher in the league," said George Wilson. "We knew we had our work cut out for us and had a good week of practice, but it comes down to execution on the game field and they did a better job of executing today."
Buffalo's offense came out on the ensuing possession and turned it over again. The Bills were on the move and into Seattle territory, but Seahawks DE Chris Clemons came around the edge on Fitzpatrick's blind side on a 3rd-and-4 at the Seattle 39 and forced a fumble. Bruce Irvin recovered and returned the fumble to the Bills 10-yard line.
Four plays later the Bills settled for a 33-yard field goal after they could not punch it into the end zone to make it 40-17 with 7:29 left in the third quarter.
Just three plays after the field goal, Fitzpatrick threw his second interception of the game, which was returned 57 yards by Earl Thomas for a touchdown (47-17).
"I was just trying to do a little too much," said Fitzpatrick. "Scott ran a route and I scrambled out and he turned around and went up field and it was definitely an ill-advised throw trying to do too much. I threw and ducked and it was not really a good decision."
Seattle would add a field goal drive to the ledger after successfully executing a fake punt on a hand-off to Michael Robinson, who went 29 yards to the Bills 14. Hauschka put a 23-yard field goal through the uprights to make it 50-17.
The Bills did not have a second-half drive that resulted in points as Fitzpatrick went 22-39 for 227 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked three times.
C.J. Spiller finished with 103 yards on 17 carries. Stevie Johnson contributed eight catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
"The thing that's coming to my mind is focus," said Johnson. "We've got to understand that yeah they put a lot of points up and they went up early on us, but we're still only down 10 points. We've got to be able to focus in and make sure we take care of the ball, make sure we catch it. I could've caught a pass on the sideline where we could've extended the drive. Just the overall focus has got to be there.
"It's embarrassing at the end of the day when you look at the score. I still have hope for our team."
At 5-9 on the season the Bills were officially eliminated from playoff contention. They have also ensured that they will not finish at or above .500 for the eighth straight season. Next Sunday they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins. Buffalo won the first meeting 19-14. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm.