Monday, September 24, 2012

Bills' offensive line still tops in victory over Browns


The Buffalo Bills' offensive line marched into Cleveland as the best squad on paper: it had yet to give up a sack and boasted the league's No. 1 rusher. It pretty much finished the game right where it started.

For the third straight week, Buffalo's front four kept quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on his feet, allowing him to throw for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 24-14 victory against the Browns.

The line allowed only one sack on Fitzpatrick Sunday, an impressive feat given Cleveland came into the game as one the top five sack leaders in the league. And even more impressively, the Bills were able to rush for more than 100 yards in their sixth straight regular season game, even after losing their second elite running back to injury.

Coach Chan Gailey was sure to tout the squad's effort while speaking with reporters after the game.

“Great job by the offensive line,” Gailey said. “They are so physical. We've been able to block the team's we've played so far pretty good. That's a credit to them and the job they're doing.”

C.J. Spiller, who had already amassed 58 total yards and a touchdown, went down with a shoulder injury late in the first quarter, forcing the Bills to turn to third-string back Tashard Choice to handle the carries. Behind an explosive line, Choice tallied 91 yards, his best performance since December of 2010 with the Dallas Cowboys.

"It was a heck of a job by Tashard to step in there and do what he did today,” Fitzpatrick said. “He just ran really hard and had some tough yards today. Hats off to him because he really helped us out when C.J. went down.”

The Bills' O-line is currently second in the league in QB hits allowed and first in sacks allowed; Fitzpatrick only gets hit 10.5 percent of the time he drops back to pass. Buffalo's rushing offense still leads the league in total yards and in average yards per rush.

Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily