Cleveland (WKBW.com) With the Cleveland faithful headed for the exits Bills fans used the opportunity to celebrate. Several hundred Bills fans who made the trip into Browns territory cheered until the very end as Buffalo knocked off Cleveland 24-14.
It wasn't pretty at times, it wasn't perfect, but it was a win. The Bills first victory on the road in over a year.
The victory wasn't the only good news to come out of the post game locker room on Sunday. Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey announced that the shoulder injury to running back C.J. Spiller was not expected to be a long term setback. Spiller was scheduled to have further testing on the injury on Monday. Gailey says that the running back will miss at least the home game against New England.
Before his injury Spiller was well on his way to another solid performance. His 32 yard touchdown reception put the Bills up 14-0 in the first quarter. Spiller left on the first play of the Bills next drive.
One guy that deserves a ton of credit is RB Tashard Choice. Clearly the injury to Spiller took the wind out of the Bills sails for a bit, but Choice did everything he could to keep the offense moving. With Fred Jackson already inactive with a knee injury, Choice filled in well and finished the game with 91 yards on 20 carries.
His biggest run came on the most important drive of the game for the BIlls. Leading 17-14 with 14:35 left in the fourth quarter Choice hauled off 22 yards on first and 10, and moved the Bills down to the Cleveland 46. 9 plays later Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson for a 9 touchdown to give Buffalo a 24-14 lead.
The touchdown throw from Fitzpatrick was one of three on the day for the quarterback. He finished the day 22-35 for 208 yards and three scores. For a third straight week there some throws he'd like to have back, (missing a wide open Scott Chandler), but he was 5 of 6 on a drive the Bills had to have and was effective when his team needed him most.
Defensively it was great to see Mario Williams and Mark Anderson both put a mark in the sack column, (Williams credited with a sack and a half) but the bigger story was the units effort against the run. The Bills held Trent Richardson to an average of only 2.3 yards a carry. The rookie finished with only 27 yards on 12 carries. The BIlls finished with four sacks on the day.
The Bills once again won the turnover battle. Ryan Fitzpatrick surrendered a fumble in the first half, Leodis McKelvin and Bryan Scott both picked off Brandon Weeden in the fourth quarter to cement the victory.
So the Bills improved to 2-1 through the first three weeks with the start of a daunting part of the schedule on the horizon. Next up the New England Patriots followed by a trip out west to take on San Francisco before heading to the desert for a showdown against the Cardinal.