Same old sorry Bills

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- First there was Wide Right.

Then the Music City Miracle.

Now you can add The Nightmare in New England to the ever-ballooning list of heartbreaks delivered by the Buffalo Bills.

Yet another crushing collapse by a franchise that is making a habit of them.

"It tears my heart out for (our fans)," safety Donte Whitner said, wiping tears from his eyes after his Bills suffered a 25-24 collapse on national television to the victorious New England Patriots last night.

"We had them."

Yes, they did.

And then they choked.

With 5:32 remaining in the season opener between the underdog Bills and the host Pats, a Fred Jackson touchdown run gave the visitors a seemingly-safe 24-13 lead.

When it comes to the Bumbling Bills, however, we should know better than to take anything for granted.

In true Bills fashion, Buffalo snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing two Tom Brady-to-Ben Watson touchdown passes in the final 2:06 of play, much to the glee of the frenzied capacity throng at Gillette Stadium.

Down by 11 points, Brady hit Watson for a touchdown just before the two-minute warning. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, leaving the Pats down 24-19.

Cue the turning point.

On the ensuing kickoff, returner Leodis McKelvin opted not to take a knee in the end zone. He decided he would try to run the ball out.

He wanted to be a hero.

Instead he was a zero.

McKelvin was crushed near the 30-yard line and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Patriots.

"When I caught the ball I did not know if I had two feet inbounds or if my momentum took me into the end zone," he said. "If I downed it, it may have been a safety, so I decided to bring it out."

Sorry Leodis, but everyone at Gillette Stadium and the millions of fans watching at home could see there was no danger of that because you were a good two yards deep in the end zone.

Sure, coach Dick Jauron said he had no problem with you bringing the ball out. But it was a bad decision.

And a costly one.

Giving Brady another opportunity. Can you say "gridiron suicide?"

Sure enough, the Pats took advantage as Brady again found Watson in the back of the end zone with just 50 seconds remaining, giving the Pats their first lead of the game.

The way Terrell Owens was used -- or not used -- was ridiculous.

Owens, one of the biggest acquisitions by any NFL team during the off-season, had only three passes thrown his way all night, catching two for 46 yards.

He didn't make his first catch as a Bill until 40 minutes, 19 seconds had been played in the game. Unbelievable.

Why did the Bills bring this guy in? To be a $6.5-million US decoy?

It makes no sense.

Afterward, Owens did not talk to reporters. He did deliver a message on his twitter account that read "RIP Patrick Swayze," in honour of the actor who passed away yesterday.

Owens received some heat for that from a number of press box wags who suggested his priorities were mixed up. But to criticize T.O. for that is both silly and nitpicking.

How about blaming Edwards for not better utilizing a player who has the second-most touchdown receptions in NFL history, trailing just Jerry Rice?

And how about blaming the coaching staff, too, for not finding ways to get the ball into T.O's hands.

Given those facts, Owens had every reason to be pissed.

And so do Bills fans, who have seen this sorry act play out far too many times.

MIKE.ZEISBERGER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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