HORRIBLE SEQUENCE #1
Just prior to the punt, the TV camera catches Leodis McKelvin showing off some “Let’s DO this!” body language. I believe that he believes he’s about to make the magic happen. We’re both right. Unfortunately, the 80 yard “touchdown” is aided by Jairus Byrd in a fashion deemed objectionable by the officiating crew. Rather than take a 7-3 lead, the Bills start at their own 38, run twice to get to the 41, throw an incomplete pass, and punt the ball back to the Niners. Official documentation of this play shows a 10 yard penalty primarily because “1 penalty, 62 yards and 7 points” doesn’t fit nicely into any column of the stat sheet.
HORRIBLE SEQUENCE #2
An impressive 58 yard punt by Shawn Powell hits at the Niners 3 and makes a 90 degree turn out of bounds. Trailing 10-3 around the midpoint of the 2nd quarter, this is the perfect opportunity for the Bills to stuff 3 running plays (no way Alex Smith is throwing here) and force San Fran to put the ball back in the hands of the red-hot McKelvin (who has already posted a 59 yard kickoff return to go with the nullified TD.) The Bills D is stout on the first two plays bringing up 3rd and 7 at the Niners’ 6. From the “WildKap” formation, Kendall Hunter gets to the outside and picks up 14 yards. Bills fans curse… but there’s a reprieve. Turns out, the Niners cheated so it doesn’t count. Facing 3rd and 10 at their own 3, Alex Smith gives it to Hunter again. Hunter proceeds to pick up the 1st down, legally this time, with a 12 yard gain.
HORRIBLE SEQUENCE #3
14 snaps into the same deflating, demoralizing drive that started at San Francisco’s 3 yard line, the Bills catch a break. Kaepernick coughs it up, Marcell Dareus’ fumble recovery survives a replay challenge, and the Bills thwart the Niners’ attempt to build on their 10-3 lead in the final minute of the first half. 3 plays later, facing 3rd and 6, Ryan Fitzpatrick finds Scott Chandler who turns upfield, gains first down yardage, and is stripped of the football by Patrick Willis. Niners recover. On the next play, Michael Crabtree is in the end zone. 17-3 San Fran and it’s getting ugly.
HORRIBLE SEQUENCE #4
Short pass to T.J. Graham yields 19 yards as he abuses Donte Whitner in the open field. Brad Smith turns some sort of Wildcat zone read option thing into 35 yards on the next play. What’s working? Getting the ball to playmakers near the line of scrimmage and letting them make people miss has netted 54 yards in plays. What’s next? Ryan Fitzpatrick heaves the ball toward the back of the end zone only to have the ball change its mind in mid-air, descending gently into the waiting arms of Niners DB Chris Culliver at the 2. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
HORRIBLE SEQUENCE #5
No tricks to this one. It’s just one team dominating another, entirely on the ground. Two pass attempts fall incomplete. 5 rushing attempts go for 10, 11, 8, 17, and 16 yards. Touchdown. Yuck.