Are the Bills counterfeit?

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

For the Buffalo Bills, it just wasn't in the Cards.

But as they reflect on last night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals and try to rebound from a resounding setback, reality arrived for a Bills team that ran out of comebacks and couldn't come back from an injury to incumbent quarterback Trent Edwards.

If the Bills are truly to emerge as a contender in the wide-open AFC, it will be reflected in the way they use their bye week and how they respond.

If their 4-0 start, which included three comeback wins in succession, wasn't the byproduct of a weak schedule, then perhaps these Bills will pay dividends down the road.

With a winnable home game against a dispirited and disappointing San Diego Chargers team up next in a fortnight and a three-game run of divisional foes, the Bills' true identity shortly will be known.

For now, all that can be gleaned is that the Bills are 4-1, but aren't quite as good as their record indicates.

Whether Buffalo is a playoff team is too early to tell, not with so many question marks being raised by a Cardinals team that is among the most explosive in the NFL, especially when playing at home.

On a day of dominant performances, Arizona's ability to light up the dessert sky was as good as it got with Kurt Warner playing like the MVP quarterback he once was.

It helped the Cards' cause when Edwards left the game with a concussion on the game's third play, but even had he stayed injury-free, the Bills would not have won.

The Bills are an emerging team, but now comes the litmus test, a challenge that will ultimately define this team.

TWO FOR THE SHOW

In the wake of Buffalo's loss, the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans stand as the lone unbeaten teams.

The Titans rely on a stout defence, while the Giants can beat you on either side of the ball.

What is obvious with both teams is that neither beats itself.

No team in the NFL is better than the Giants and no quarterback is as good as Eli Manning, who has supplanted older brother Peyton as the superior signal-caller.

Remember these Titans because unless they find a way to score points, their run of winning football will come to an abrupt end.

A SEASON SALVAGED

Sage Rosenfels provided the desperate Indy Colts with a much-needed lifeline in a fourth-quarter stretch that had a stench like no other.

The host Houston Texans allowed the Colts to score 21 points in 2:10, punctuated by three Rosenfels turnovers and a remarkable one-handed touchdown reception by Reggie Wayne.

Indy was close to dropping to 1-3, but it now has life.

THE DIRECT APPROACH

It often has been said that the National Football League is a copy-cat league.

After watching Ronnie Brown abuse them, the Pats used a direct snap to distance themselves from the 49ers when Kevin Faulk scored on a fourth and goal.

Brown's Dolphins continue to run at will and Miami's defence has been a revelation, its latest conquest coming against a Chargers team in need of self-evaluation.

LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) was held to 57 total yards, while his former understudy, Michael Turner, refuses to relent.

Turner's prowess along the ground has taken the pressure off of rookie quarterback Matt Ryan as the Falcons make everyone forget Michael Vick.

SHIRTS AND SKINS

Washington won its fourth in a row and second in a row against a divisional foe on the road, holding Philly to 58 yards ... Hard to imagine an NFL offence producing 127 yards, but the Chiefs managed to pull it off ... The Bears are 11-1 when Kyle Orton throws for a touchdown.


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