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First-quarter analysis: Thad Lewis off and fumbling

By Jay Skurski

It took all of eight seconds for things to go south for the Buffalo Bills today in New Orleans.

Quarterback Thad Lewis was drilled by Saints linebacker David Hawthorne and fumbled on the Bills’ first play from scrimmage. The ball was recovered by New Orleans’ Junior Galette, giving the Saints the ball at the Buffalo 22-yard line.

Buffalo’s defense, though, came through. The Saints lost 7 yards on their first three plays, and kicker Garrett Hartley’s 47-yard field goal missed wide left.

Lewis needs to take better care of the ball.

He fumbled again on the Bills’ third possession. Lewis had the chance to throw, but instead pulled the ball down and was drilled by the Saints’ Cameron Jordan. Had the tuck rule still been around, Lewis would have been saved. Alas, it’s not, and Jordan recovered Lewis’ fumble at the Buffalo 21-yard line. That set up Drew Brees’ 15-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore to open the scoring.

Streak over: Bills kicker Dan Carpenter had made 15 straight field goals after missing his first attempt of the season. His streak came to an end in the first quarter when he missed a 50-yard attempt wide right.

Shaken up: Lewis stayed down for several minutes after his first fumble, forcing backup Jeff Tuel to start taking throws. The Bills’ starter, however, was able to walk off the field under his own power and returned to the game for Buffalo’s second possession. Tuel is the backup with Matt Flynn inactive today for the Bills.

Fred rolling early: Running back Fred Jackson continues to get it done for the Bills. With C.J. Spiller out because of an ankle injury, Jackson carried six times for 42 yards in the first quarter.

tagged

Dan Carpenter | Fred Jackson | Jeff Tuel | Matt Flynn | Thad Lewis
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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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