We have a good one here this week. Just like us, the Buffalo Bills lost 4 Pre-season games and the fans were beginning to get worried about the regular season. To rub salt into the wound, the final game lost was against the Detroit Lions. The fans were beginning to wonder if the Bills would even break even. Everyone was getting nervous.
Yet all of those thoughts were washed away during the closing minutes of the Patriots/Bills game. There was 11 minutes, 43 seconds left on the clock in the 4th quarter. Bills are leading a close game 17-13. Trent Edwards leads a beautiful, beautiful 6 minute drive up the field and caps it all with a shuffle pass to his running back Fred Jackson that went for a touchdown.
The score is 24-13. The Patriots are on their heels, but we all have to remember their grand leader in Tom Brady. He leads a 3 minute drive right back down the field, with big man tight end Ben Watson scoring the big TD right up the middle. The Patriots miss the two point conversion however, narrowing the lead just to 24-19, forcing them to need a TD to win the game. The Bills still lead, and they are now in firm control of the game.
Just over two minutes left on the clock, Patriots have all their timeouts. Only one or two more first downs, and this game is over. Bills win. Biggest upset in Week 1. The Patriots line up for the onside kick.
And then, the Patriots decide to do something interesting. Instead of electing for the onside kick, the Patriots decide to kick the ball down the field.
The Patriot fans are angry. They think that Bill Belichick has just given up the game for them. They had one last chance to get the ball back and the coach blew it! They're screwed. Game over!
And then in runs our returner, my Bonehead of the Week. His name is Leodis McKelvin.
Now, the first thing we need to note is that Leodis is not a bad player. This is not like last week when we're talking about a player that hasn't even played an NFL snap yet. This is the starting corner for the Buffulo Bills and he does a mighty fine job. He came into a league in 2008 as a little known player from the Sun belt, taken 11th overall in the first round. He continued to show improving skills at his position and he became an exceptional special teamer and kick returner during the Pre-season. By midseason in 08, he was a starter. He even had a pick-six in a game against the Chiefs.
But in this game, he singlehandedly blows the game for the Bills. The ball is kicked into the end zone, and instead of playing it safe and downing the ball, he decides that it's a better idea to take it up the field. He fumbles the ball at the 30 yard line fighting for extra yardage, giving the Patriots the ball with 2:05 left to go in the game and all three of their timeouts.
Now let me make this clear to you. The Bills had this game. They had it. It was as good as in the books. The very worst they could do is use up all of the Patriot's time outs and leave the game with 1:30 seconds left on the clock or so with the entire field to drive. Tom Brady or not, nine times out of ten a team loses that battle and loses the game. If the Bills make a first down on 2nd or 3rd down, the game is over. Bye bye Patriots, you're 0-1.
But instead of the story on ESPN being about wondering about how good the Buffulo Bills might be this season, instead they're talking about Brady's tremendous comeback. Instead of another round of the TO show, they'll be worshiping the gutsy playcalling of Bill Bellicheck. Instead of not being mentioned on ESPN, McKelvin is known as the single reason the Bills lost this game. The Patriots are the Kings of the NFL once more, when in actuality they just barely escaped the jaws of defeat.
Now it would have probably been alright if he just closed his mouth and didn't say anything. Let this awkward situation blow over and drown his sorrows in his beer. But instead, McKelvin had this to say after the game.
"I chose to bring it out because that's me," McKelvin said in a somber locker room. "If I had that choice, probably 100 times, I'd do it again. Next time I get the opportunity, I've just got to do my job and make sure I hold on to the ball."
No you don't! Are you joking me? You never bring the ball out and fight for a few pointless yards in that situation! You take a knee and you give your offense a chance to run the clock out! You're not trying to get a touchdown. You're not trying to make a play. You're not trying to do anything at all! You sit down on your rear and give the ball back to the offense. If you choose to bring the ball out of the end zone 100 times in that situation, that would only make you 100 times the bonehead. Trent Edwards was having an amazing game. He's the major reason you're winning in the first place. He deserves a chance to finish the game.
Instead, you run the ball out and give it up simply because it's 'just you.' The Bills lost this game because you wanted to do what you wanted to do. That's enough reason for me to make you Bonehead of the Week. Congratulations.