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Schobel INT return voted Play of the Year

It may not have been Buffalo's most improbable play, but it was close. In Week 1 at New England with the score tied at seven and the Patriots facing a 1st-and-10 at their own 35, Kyle Williams broke free to get pressure on Tom Brady. After Brady tried to dump the ball down to Sammy Morris, Aaron Schobel did the rest.

The Bills top pass rusher leaped into the air to snare the pass with one hand for an interception. He then tucked the ball away and carried Morris into the end zone for a 26-yard return for a touchdown to re-establish Buffalo's early seven-point lead (14-7).

That play beat out Terrell Owens' 98-yard touchdown catch from Ryan Fitzpatrick as Buffalo's Play of the Year for 2009, winning by a relatively slim margin in a Bills fan online poll at

Unfortunately Bills fans know how that game ended as a late fumble on a kick return led to a late 12-point comeback in a gut-wrenching 25-24 defeat at the hands of the Patriots. That's why for Schobel, as athletic a play as it was, it rang hollow.

"It (stinks)," said Schobel after the game. "I don't know how many times (Brady's) done that to us. You're beating him for most of the game and he comes back, and their team comes back. In the end their defense made a play and ours didn't. That's what it comes down to."

Schobel was even congratulated for his efforts after the game by Patriots owner Bob Kraft in the bowels of Gillette Stadium.

It was the third interception of Shobel's career, and the first INT return for a score by a Bills defensive lineman since Chris Kelsay did it against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 8, 2007, also on a Monday night, and also in a difficult defeat.

In fact all of Buffalo's Play of the Year nominees for 2009 came in losses, something the players obviously hope to change in 2010.

"We've got to figure a way to finish these games out," said Schobel. "We've got the talent, we've just got to finish them."

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