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Monday, January 3, 2022

Bills Over Falcons 29-15:
Buffalo Bills prove they don't have to always rely on Josh Allen's arm to win
Alaina Getzenberg ESPN
Rarely do you hear a quarterback wishing that the team’s punter had been on the field more often. But for the Buffalo Bills, it’s been two games without a punt from Matt Haack, something that hasn’t been done since the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I wish [Haack] would have punted three times tonight. Obviously we want to end every drive in a punt or field goal or kick, whatever it is, making sure that we’re holding on to the football," quarterback Josh Allen said, referring to three Buffalo drives ended by interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Despite the turnovers, the Bills won 29-15 and clinched a playoff spot, thanks to a Baltimore Ravens loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

As Allen described it, the win wasn’t necessarily “pretty,” with it statically being one of the quarterback’s worst passing games of his professional career. But it proved something important for this playoff-bound team (10-6): It could win in the elements without Allen having his best day.

“It takes all three phases to win the game,” center Mitch Morse said. “I think there were points in every part of this game where one phase had to pick up the other."

Despite the turnovers, the Bills won 29-15 and clinched a playoff spot, thanks to a Baltimore Ravens loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

As Allen described it, the win wasn’t necessarily “pretty,” with it statically being one of the quarterback’s worst passing games of his professional career. But it proved something important for this playoff-bound team (10-6): It could win in the elements without Allen having his best day.

“It takes all three phases to win the game,” center Mitch Morse said. “I think there were points in every part of this game where one phase had to pick up the other."

Running back Devin Singletary scored two of 
Buffalo's four rushing touchdowns 
in a win over Atlanta. 
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports 

Allen threw three interceptions in the span of six plays, which the Falcons turned into 10 points. It was Allen’s second career game with three interceptions (2019 vs. Patriots). He finished the game completing 11 of 26 passes (42.3%) for 120 yards, his fewest passing yards in a start since 2018.

It was his second-worst completion percentage as a starting quarterback -- just behind his 2018 rookie performance vs. the Jaguars -- against a defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 69.1% of passes coming into the game, 30th in the NFL.

Allen struggled against pressure, completing 47% and throwing for 102 yards against standard pressure, both season lows. All of three of his interceptions came in those situations and all were to the right side of the field, although he was not sacked for a second straight game.

Allen told Fox after the game that he felt like the “kid that did nothing on the school project, but got an A today.”

It wasn't all on Allen. One of the interceptions came on a tipped pass and receivers struggled to hold on to passes in the snowy conditions, including a would-be touchdown through receiver Stefon Diggs’ hands.

So how did the Bills come away with a double-digit win? Halftime adjustments played a part.

“We had to get our guys reenergized and back believing in what they were doing and how they were doing it,” coach Sean McDermott. “But I thought the coaches did a great job with that and the players executed.”

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Atlanta dominated the second quarter to take a 15-13 lead as Buffalo allowed some big passing plays. But after halftime, the Buffalo defense held the Falcons scoreless and the Bills' ground game exploded, finishing with a season-high 233 rushing yards and 150 rushing yards after contact -- their most in a game since ESPN Stats & Info began tracking it in 2007. The 19 rushing first downs in the game were the most by the Bills since at least 2000.

Allen ran for almost as many yards as he threw, with a career-high 15 carries for 81 yards and two rushing touchdowns, both on designed rushing plays. He also had a career-high 50 yards rushing after first contact. Giving the dynamic Allen so many carries can be a good thing, but it also increases risk of injury.

“Obviously we want to be mindful and selective where we can with that because of Josh and the position he plays,” McDermott said. “But it’s a good complement to what we do.”

Which is why running back Devin Singletary putting together the day he did is so important for what’s to come. The running back had season-highs in yards (110), rush TD (2), and rushing first downs (7). He had 75 of his yards and both of his touchdowns in the final two quarters. On the Bills' 11-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter, Singletary accounted for seven rushes, including the score.

“Devin has really taken advantage of his opportunities. He's made our lives a lot easier,” Morse said. “I think there were some muddy holes in there and he made us right a few times and that's all you can ask for a running back and then he brought the juice. When you finish a play, he's the first one to pick you up even if he's the one who had the big gainer.”

The rushing attack has received plenty of criticism throughout the season, and the offensive line has dealt with a vast amount of changes due to injuries, performance and COVID-19 -- including offensive tackle Ryan Bates starting his second career game against the Falcons.

But the Bills showed they could win ugly games on the backs of players other than Allen, both on offense and defense. Five defensive players walked away with sacks.

“It just shows that if we need to pick up Josh, we can do that with other guys,” left tackle Dion Dawkins said. “And it’s not just on Josh. It just shows the growth of our organization, that it's not all on Josh’s shoulders.”

For the team to have sustained success in the postseason, the Bills will still need Allen’s arm. But being more balanced on offense can only help.

“These games are going to be tough,” McDermott said. “It’s late December, early January now, the weather is what it is and that’s the style of game they’re going to be and we’ve got to be able to adjust through the course of the game.”

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W. PETE MAIRS

W. PETE MAIRS
Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.

GERALD C. SAHRLE

GERALD C. SAHRLE
Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")
"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.

BRENDA J. PADDOCK

BRENDA J. PADDOCK
Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com.

AUGUST 4-7, 2022

AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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