After breaking the hearts of their fans Monday night, the Buffalo Bills will try to right their Week One wrongs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at home this Sunday.
The Bills (0-1) were minutes away from defeating perennial favourites the New England Patriots, when they gave up 12 unanswered points to lose 25-24, and now have to quickly put that behind them for their meeting with the Bucs (0-1).
“The great thing about our game and league and professional sport, maybe any sport in general, is you have the next game and you don’t have long and you don’t have the luxury of thinking about the past one,” Bills coach Dick Jauron said. “You got to get ready for that next one.
“It was a lousy feeling, no doubt. We got to get past it and we’re past it.
“I believe they are and we are because you don’t have time to waste any time on that one because there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Some positives Buffalo took away from last weeks contest included only giving up one turnover — a very costly fumble — and led for most of the contest.
Quarterback Trent Edwards went 15-for-25, scoring two touchdowns on 212 yards in the air.
His top receiver was Fred Jackson with five catches for 83 yards and one touchdown. Terrell Owens only picked up 46 yards on two receptions in his Bills regular season debut.
The Bucs also lost their season opener 34-21 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Quarterback Byron Leftwich played well, completing 25 of 41 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown. Running back Cadillac Williams also had a good outing, racking up 97 yards on 13 carries and scoring one TD.
“[Their offence is] very aggressive,” Jauron said. “They show you a number of different things. They do a real nice job.”
Buffalo could, however, take advantage of the Bucs’ defence corps who gave up 462 total yards to the Cowboys.
The Bills certainly have some atoning to do for their faithful followers.
“There’s nothing like playing in front of your own fans,” Jauron said. “There’s nothing like the confidence they can give you, the support they can give you, the trouble they can cause the opponent.
“We have to step up and give them some things to get excited about and if we do that, our fans are as good as any and they’re better than most. They get behind us and make it difficult for the other team to play.”
This is Tampa Bay’s first ever regular season trip to Buffalo, despite owning a 6-2 all-time record over the Bills.
Tampa has won the last three meetings between the teams, with Buffalo last beating the Bucs in 1991.