Game Recap

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GAME RECAP: Bills drop season opener to Ravens

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Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Regular season records: Buffalo (0-1), Baltimore (1-0)

In a nutshell:

The Bills couldn’t get anything going in the passing game. They struggled to gain yardage on the ground, as well. Couple this with a few mishaps on defense and special teams, and it accounts for a 44-point loss in Baltmore.

The offense failed to make plays throughout the day, not picking up a first down until the second half. A quarterback change helped energize the offense a bit in the second half, but the talented Baltimore defense was able to keep Buffalo to three points.

The explosive Ravens offense put points up early and often on Sunday, entering halftime with a 26-point lead. Baltimore added to their lead in the second half, ultimately winning the contest by a score of 47-3.

With the loss, the Bills fell to 0-1 on the season.

Photos from Buffalo's 2018 Week 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

How it went down:

- The Ravens were able to find the end zone on their first possession, finishing off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with an Alex Collins touchdown. Tight end Nate Boyle caught three passes for 40 yards on Baltimore’s opening drive.

 - Baltimore orchestrated another long scoring drive late in the first quarter, capping off a 10-play, 66-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown toss to John Brown. The Bills gave up a big chunk of yardage early in the drive when rookie Taron Johnson was flagged for defensive pass interference, a 28-yard penalty that put the Ravens in Buffalo territory. Baltimore capitalized, getting into the end zone and increasing their lead to double digits (14-0).

 - A 51-yard punt return by rookie Janarion Grant put Baltimore in excellent field position early in the second quarter, as they set up shop at the Bills’ 20-yard-line. Buffalo’s defense stood strong, however, preventing the Ravens from picking up any yardage. Baltimore had to settle for a 41-yard John Tucker field goal, increasing their lead by 3 (17-0).

 - With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, a Nathan Peterman pass sailed over the head of Kelvin Benjamin and into the hands of Ravens’ defensive back Tony Jefferson. Baltimore started the drive at the Buffalo 29-yard-line. The Bills’ defense was able to protect their end zone yet again, forcing another field goal try. Tucker delivered, putting the ball through the uprights from 39 yards out and increasing Baltimore’s lead to 20.

 - The Ravens added to their lead before the end of the half. Flacco led his offense 85 yards down the field with less than three minutes remaining on the clock, completing nine consecutive passes. Baltimore found the end-zone with 17 seconds left in the half when Flacco connected with Michael Crabtree. The Ravens attempted a two point conversion, but were stopped. Baltimore entered the break with a 26-point lead.

- Baltimore’s first possession of the second half started deep in Buffalo territory after Bills’ punter Corey Bojorquez fumbled the ball on what would have been his sixth punt of the day. On the fourth play of the drive, Flacco found Willie Snead in the end zone. The receiver’s first touchdown as a Raven increased Baltimore’s lead to 33 after Tucker added the extra point.

- Less than one minute after Baltimore added another score to their lead, cornerback Brandon Carr intercepted a Peterman pass and returned it to the one-yard line. Javorius Allen took it in from the fullback position to add six to the Ravens’ lead. Tucker’s extra point made it a 40-0 ball game.

- The Bills entered the red zone with roughly five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The series was led by Josh Allen, who replaced Peterman early on in the second half. Buffalo failed to find the end zone on a drive that was littered with penalties. Four flags were thrown on the 12 play drive. Stephen Hauschka was able to connect from 35 yards out to give the Bills their first points of the day (40-3).

- Baltimore took eight minutes off of the clock in the fourth quarter with an exhausting 13 play drive. Lamar Jackson, who replaced Flacco in the third quarter, handed the ball off to Kenneth Dixon on the two-yard line, who bulldozed into the end zone to pad the Ravens’ lead (47-3).

Subplots:

- QB Josh Allen saw time in the second half of the game. He found Andre Holmes in the third quarter for his first career completion.

- Rookie Tremaine Edmunds got the start for the Bills at middle linebacker on Sunday. With the start, Edmunds, who is just 20 years old, became the youngest starting linebacker of the Super Bowl era.

- Edmunds made quite an impact in his NFL debut. He recorded his first career sack early in the second quarter, becoming the first Bills’ rookie to record a sack in their first professional game since defensive end Grant Irons did so on Sept. 8, 2002. Later on the same drive, Edmunds forced a fumble.

- LB Matt Milano and S Jordan Poyer finished the game as the Bills’ leading tacklers, both recording eight.

- DE Trent Murphy recorded half a sack in his Bills’ debut.

- QB Josh Allen, P Corey Bojorquez, LB Tremaine Edmunds, WR Robert Foster, CB Taron Johnson, S Siran Neal, DT Harrison Phillips, and TE Jason Croom made their NFL debuts on Sunday.

- C Russell Bodine, OT Marshall Newhouse, WR Jeremy Kerley, DE Trent Murphy, DT Star Lotulelei, S Rafael Bush, and CB Phillip Gaines made their Bills debuts on Sunday.

- Inactive for the game were WR Ray-Ray McCloud, CB Vontae Davis, CB Ryan Lewis,LB Julian Stanford, OT Conor McDermott, OG Wyatt Teller, and TE Khari Lee.

Up next: The Bills will host the Los Angeles Chargers in their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm.

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