Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bills' defense stalls Browns in must-have win


Sunday, the Buffalo Bills showed ex-Bills-coordinator-turned-Cleveland-Browns-coach Mike Pettine that they didn't miss him all that much.

Buffalo's defense, now led by Jim Schwartz, wreaked havoc on Brian Hoyer and the Browns offense in a 26-10 win at home.

Defensive end Jerry Hughes forced a fumble and returned it for an 18-yard touchdown, safety Da'Norris Searcy snagged two interceptions, and defensive tackle Kyle Williams and linebacker Nigel Bradham tallied sacks in the victory, which kept the Bills' playoff hopes alive while poking a hole in the Browns' postseason ship.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills' offense--thanks mostly to quarterback Kyle Orton-stunk through the first half. The underwhelming Orton threw two interceptions on the Bills' first seven possessions, though he was fortunate to have a stout unit on defense to bail out Buffalo early.

Orton later got into a brief groove and followed up a 34-yard pass to Robert Woods on fourth down with a 3-yard scoring strike to Chris Hogan. Hughes score came seconds later on the Browns' ensuing drive, and the Bills all of a sudden led 14-3 in the third quarter.

Hoyer was was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of Johnny Manziel, who put together a scoring drive on his first possession. It was too late, though.

Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, meanwhile, accounted for 14 of Buffalo's points with four field goals and a pair of extra points. A fifth kick was blocked by Browns defensive back Joe Haden, who had one of Orton's two picks. Former Bills safety Jim Leonhard had the other, which came in the end zone as the Bills were poised to score early.

Buffalo improved to 7-5 with the win.

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