Two turnovers in the second half cost the Buffalo Bills a chance to play spoiler at the Green Bay Packers home opener, falling 34-7.
After finishing the first half with momentum on their side the Bills came out for the third quarter looking to cut into a six point deficit, trailing 13-7.
On a third and eight from their own 39, QB Trent Edwards’s short pass up the middle was bobbled by receiver Steve Johnson, as he was hit and the loose ball was picked off by linebacker Brandon Chillar.
The Packers would quickly capitalize as Aaron Rodgers found Donald Driver on a slant to the left side of the end zone for six, putting the Pack up by 13.
Following a Buffalo three and out, Rodgers called his own number, rolling into the end zone untouched and the Bills found themselves down 20 and time was running out.
Trying to force the issue the Bills tried an under screen pass to Roscoe Parrish just off the line of scrimmage, but the veteran was immediately met by defensive back Marlon Burnett. The rookie stripped the receiver as he went to the ground, creating another turnover.
It wouldn’t take long for the Packers to make the Bills pay.
Five plays later, the Lambeau faithful cheered as Rodgers found James Jones in the back of the end zone, putting the game out of reach.
Rodgers finished the game with 255 yards passing with two touchdowns and one he ran in himself.
Despite the quarterback’s fine play it was still no comparison to the strong performance of linebacker Clay Matthews.
The second year USC product recorded three sacks to go along with five tackles in front of his father on Packers alumni weekend.
On the season, Matthews has six sacks and will continue to terrorize quarterbacks for the weeks to come.
Much of the struggles the Bills faced can be attributed to the abysmal play in the first quarter as they failed to gain a single yard or first down.
Also, Green Bay’s first three possessions resulted in points as they jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. It could have been much worse if not for the stellar play of the Bills secondary in the red zone on the first two Packer drives.
Into the second quarter the Bills looked to gain some confidence as they constructed an eight play 80 yard drive, cutting the lead to 13-7.
It was the first red zone touchdown for the Bills this season.
But that was all the Buffalo offence would muster for the rest of the afternoon as they were held to a pedestrian 186 yards.
Not having any time to find receiver will surely be Edwards’s number one complaint when trying to address the offensive issues.
The former Stanford standout managed only 102 yards on 11 completions with two interceptions.
In two weeks the Bills have managed to score only 17 points and will need to improve quickly if they want a chance to compete in their next matchup, against New England in Foxboro.