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Second-quarter analysis: Where did this come from?

By Jay Skurski

Raise your hand if you saw this coming: The Buffalo Bills are administering a beat down to the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Bills lead the Baltimore Ravens, 20-7, at halftime here at Ralph Wilson Stadium, taking the lead even after the second quarter started in the worst possible way.

On the first play of the second quarter, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel was sacked by Ravens defensive end Chris Canty. The ball was recovered by Baltimore’s Brandon Williams, setting the Ravens up at the Buffalo 27-yard line. Three plays later, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown and the Ravens went ahead 7-6.

From there, however, it was all Bills. Buffalo ran the ball on eight straight plays, setting up the play action perfectly, with Manuel throwing a strike to rookie receiver Robert Woods for a 42-yard touchdown. Woods beat Buffalo native and Ravens cornerback Corey Graham on the play.

On Buffalo’s next possession, running back Fred Jackson broke through the line for a 16-yard touchdown.

Injuries add up –- again: Cornerback Aaron Williams, wide receiver Marcus Easley and right guard Kraig Urbik all came off the field and were looked at by trainers at times during the second quarter, but all returned to the field.

Replay review: Officials took several minutes to review a play in which Ravens wide receiver Tandon Doss was originally ruled to have made a catch and then fumbled, but eventually the call was overturned. It was a big break for the Ravens, as it would have given the Bills the ball on the Baltimore 11-yard line.

Tough penalty: The Bills’ final possession of the first half was stalled by a killer holding penalty on center Eric Wood. The Bills went for it on fourth and 1 from the Ravens’ 28-yard line, converting the play on a run by Jackson. Wood’s penalty however, pushed the ball back to the Ravens’ 38, and the Bills punted.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |