Welcome to the 2017 edition of Brownie Points, Week 1. There are the highlight reel plays that everyone remembers that were important in getting the victory. But there are always a handful of plays that were critical to the outcome that often go unrecognized. After each Bills win I'll be highlighting a few plays that were significant in the result that you may not have noticed.
In addition, I'll be handing out Brownie points for those players responsible for making those plays in a race for the Golden Brownie award at season's end.
For how you the Bills fan can nominate players for Brownie Points after Buffalo victories, please see below.
Here's a look at the players earning Brownie points for the Week 1 win over New York.
Play 1 – Snap to whistleThird quarter – 9:54 left – Jets are facing a 3rd-and-10 at their own 21-yard line. Josh McCown is flushed from the pocket after Kyle Williams works around the left edge after a stunt game with Lorenzo Alexander allows Alexander to gobble up three blockers.
McCown steps up in the pocket to escape the rush and completes a short underneath pass to Robby Anderson. Before Anderson can turn up field Kyle Williams is on his back making the tackle and holding the receiver to just a four-yard gain.
The play forced the Jets to punt in a one-score game from their own 25.
Play 2 – Convoy crewSecond quarter – 15:00 left – Bills are in a 3rd-and-3 situation at their own 43-yard line. LeSean McCoy bounces a run outside to the left. When receivers Jordan Matthews and Andre Holmes see McCoy coming their way on the left side of the formation, they engage their cornerbacks and begin driving them down the field to block for McCoy.
Matthews seals his man outside toward the sideline allowing McCoy to cut up behind him. Holmes drives his man more than 15 yards downfield, giving McCoy the space to take what would've been a four-yard gain for a 23-yard pickup. Jets safety Marcus Maye, the last defender, finally drove McCoy out of bounds after he reached the Jets' 34-yard line.
Buffalo would score their first touchdown off the drive.
Play 3 – Long chase payoffFourth quarter – 6:44 left – Jets have a 3rd-and-8 at the Bills 37. If the Jets can move the chains here, they'll be in position to score trailing by nine.
McCown drops back to pass and Lorenzo Alexander provides early pressure off the left side. McCown avoids him and rolls to his right. But Jerry Hughes has been sprinting at him from the snap and takes off in pursuit. Running more than 20 yards across the field, Hughes comes close to sacking McCown, but his pressure alone hurries McCown's throw to Robby Anderson along the right sideline.
The hurried throw is a lofted pass that allows Jordan Poyer to break on the ball and pick it off for a critical takeaway.
Play 4 – Well-timed slideFourth quarter – 3:37 left – Bills are trying to kill the clock up 21-12 at their own 20-yard line. Tyrod Taylor runs a play fake to LeSean McCoy in the backfield and runs a naked bootleg to the right side.
Kony Ealy takes off in pursuit as Taylor heads toward the right sideline. Before Taylor reaches the sideline however, he slides and gives himself up to keep the clock running after getting the first down on a nine-yard run.
By staying in bounds and converting the third down, the Bills are able to run another 97 seconds off the clock and take it down to the two-minute warning on third down. Taylor then ran the ball again and stayed in bounds to force the Jets to burn their last timeout before the Bills had to punt on fourth down.
Remember if you have a play that you think went unnoticed in the game be sure to tweet me your candidate for Brownie Points at @ChrisBrownBills with the hash tag #browniepoints. Until the next victory keep an eye out for the guys who make a difference in areas where not everyone is looking.
Brownie Points Leaderboard
1 – Kyle Williams – 8 points
T2 – Andre Holmes – 6 points
T2 – Jordan Matthews – 6 points
T4 – Jerry Hughes – 4 points
T4 – Lorenzo Alexander – 4 points
5 – Tyrod Taylor – 2 points