A blizzard in Buffalo brought old school, smash-mouth football back to the NFL for one weekend. While Ben Roethlisberger was throwing 66 times for 506 yards in a perfect display of the way the new NFL has become a pass-oriented league that’s replaced running plays with short pass plays, two of the last ground-and-pound mohicans faced off on Sunday in a snow-drenched game that will go down in history as Snow Bowl 2017.
LeSean McCoy sends Buffalo Bills fans home happy! https://t.co/m9moMDcIaK
There were only two players who didnt struggle offensively in Buffalos 13-7 OT win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in eight inches of blistery snow and some rough winds; The two perennial Pro Bowl running backs Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy.
For the past nine years, McCoy has been one of the NFLs premier all-purpose backs. The former Philadelphia Eagles star has 9,961 career rushing yards and led the NFL in rushing with 1,607 yards in 2013. McCoy was a monster, racking up 97 yards by halftime. The snow lent him a strong advantage as he was able to still dip and cut and had defenders slipping like they were moonwalking on greasy banana peels.
With his performance on Sunday, McCoy secured the sixth 1,000-yard season of his nine-year career and inched closer to the milestone of 10,000 career rushing yards.
Gore is a five-time Pro Bowl super vet who entered the league in 2005 and has 13,827 rushing yards during an illustrious career with the San Francisco 49ers and Colts. His style of get-down was built for snow and the situation afforded both running backs a throwback situation, to the days when teams rode the backs of their ground gainers and lineman fiercely battled on at the line of scrimmage and in the trenches, fighting to get every inch out of a run.
In this age of aerial dominance, the ground-and-pound running potency of future Hall of Famers such as Gore and McCoy are often overlooked. Minimized even. Nobody rushes the ball 30 times anymore, but his was a job for some vintage pigskin-toting.
Frank Gore hit a career high of 36 carries today. #INDvsBUF
Buffalo had the luxury of feeding the beast known as Shady and he toted the rock a career-high 32 times for 156 yards and the game-winning TD. Gore carried the pigskin a career-high 36 times for 130 yards and helped the Colts send the game into overtime with a late drive.
It was Riggins vs. Dickerson. Payton vs. Tony Dorsett. Thurman Thomas vs. Jerome Bettis. If only for one snowy day in Buffalo.