For the past few weeks Iíve been on a bit of a writing hiatus. Itís doubtful that Iíve been missed Ė almost nobody cares about the Bills these days, and those that do have, for the most part, been able to operate in a world devoid of reality (a great natural defensive mechanism) Ė those people generally donít like to write the negative stuff I write.
Indeed, between traveling, my family getting hit with the flu and the bye week itís been quite some time since I found myself at the keyboard. As much as I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts with others, Iíve liked not having to write about the Buffalo Bills. Itís tough to write the same things week in and week out, year after year Ė I mean, how many times can you write the same things about the same team with the same flaws? Luckily, Iíve been working on the perfect generic Bills postgame article that Iíd like to debut here. Itís taken me years to write, but I think Iíve been able to put something together that covers the problems we see in almost every game. I think if I can avoid using any player names I may be able to sneak this article past my editors here at Bills Daily and you, the fans of Bills Nation Ė the Billsí shortcomings are indeed timeless.
Bills Lose Another Game
Misery Continues for Team and Fans
As a Bills fan, I feel terrible after watching their latest game. That was the type of game that hits you like a stiff punch in the gut Ė it takes the air out of you and leaves you with that painful dead feeling inside. Tomorrowís going to be another one of those tough days at the office Ė I hope people donít come up to me and want to talk about the game because Iíd like to forget about it Ė just too painful.
The game started out well enough Ė the Bills defense played well in the early stages of the game and despite an anemic offense, the team moved the ball. I started to think that the Bills actually had a chance of winning this one. The Bills certainly arenít going to playoffs at the end of the season, but at this point Iíll enjoy any win they can muster.
No sooner than I had a good feeling about the game, I had a bad feeling about the game Ė things turned pretty quickly. Itís a feeling Iím sure you know Ė when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach Ė you know that somehow the Bills are going to lose.
Once again the offensive line played poorly. The Bills quarterback seemed to be under constant pressure. This rag tag group also committed a slew of false start and holding penalties at critical times that really hurt the team. I keep waiting for this group to come together and develop some chemistry to see if they can ever be a serviceable unit, but I think once again they have proven that they simply donít have the collective talent to be an NFL offensive line. Changes are needed here.
In defense of the offensive line (if anyone cares to defend their performance), they are dealing with injuries and once again the group that started the game was not the same as the group on the field at the end of the game due to injuries.
Injuries were definitely a factor. With so many players hurt the Bills had to field a team with many second or even third string players. Some units are so decimated that I understand season ticket holders will be asked for their height, weight and 40-yard dash times next season in case the team needs to find cheap replacement players. Add to that the few more players the team lost during the game and you certainly understand how hard the injury bug has bitten this team. Just imagine what could be if the Bills had all their players healthy Ė then we would actually be able to see what we have.
Quarterback play was terrible once again. The quarterback looked tentative and was overall ineffective. There were a few good plays that made you think he has the skills to be the quarterback the Bills have been looking for but then some downright horrible plays that left you shaking your head. The inconsistency is maddening, but Iíve pretty much come to the conclusion that our signal caller isnít the answer and that this will be a position the Bills have to address prior to next season. There may be some of you who believe that without a decent offensive line you canít really tell what you have at quarterback, but Iíve seen enough Ė holding onto the ball for too long resulted in sacks (seriously, on the rare occasions where your line gives you a full 5 seconds to throw at least know that you have to get rid of the damn thing and not take a terrible sack). The quarterback also had several balls batted at the line Ė a combination of the offensive line getting manhandled and maybe even the stature of the quarterback.
The running game was decent and the running backs took advantage of the few holes they had and the check down passes thrown their way, but the problem once again was that the Bills had to abandon the running game before they wanted Ė just too much ground to make up. If the Bills didnít always seem to play from behind the running game could be a real strength of the team.
Penalty flags continue to rain down on the Bills like a Lake Erie snow squall. The flags make you want to tear your hair out because they are a result of a lack of discipline Ė false start, illegal formation, etc. How many false starts can your bear to see called on the offensive line? Iíve seen enough. This team has no discipline and itís costing them.
Coaching was horrific in this game. Once again the play calling just left me scratching my head (it kind of itched anyway as I had already torn out huge clumps of hair). With the game on the line the coach once again made a decision that only he would have made and it cost the Bills the game Ė where do they get these guys? Even before that game-costing gaffe (canít wait to see how the coach is going to spin that one in the press conference but Iím sure itíll piss me off) the coaches clearly showed why they shouldnít be coaching Ė astoundingly poor clock management, timeouts being burned because the right personnel werenít on the field and the aforementioned litany of penalties exposing an undisciplined team all damn the coaching staff as much as the terrible decision he made.
Once again the real problem was an anemic offense that failed to produce anything when the Bills needed it. Late in the game with the Bills going 3 and out the defense was forced to spend way too much time on the field and they were not up to the task. When your defense is on the field that much youíre not going to win too many games and today was a prime example of that.
Overall the defense played adequately at times but fell victim to the same things yet again. Aside for fatigue late in the game, the Bills defense gave up too many big plays (10+ yards) and couldnít seem to get a third down stop to save themselves. Sure, the offense didnít do them any favors by putting them on the field so much, but at a certain point they need to get themselves off the field when they have those opportunities Ė they didnít do that.
So the Bills go down in defeat yet again and the song remains the same. Sadly, at this point Iím almost hoping that the team continues its losing ways so that Ralph Wilson understands that major changes are needed Ė a new front office and a new coaching staff. Itís plain for all to see that this organization is in need of a major overhaul, one that has to change if it is going to keep its viability and fan base. Surely with a team this poor for this long the rebuilding will soon start Ė a few more losses like this weekís and it will be unavoidable. Take heart, Bills fans Ė this team is due for change. Until then brace yourself for another gut punch.
So there you have it Ė my generic Bills loss article. I think the effort to write it over these years is going to payoff Ė itíll run this week and I can probably run it a few more times before the season is up Ė more free time for me! With the organization as intransigent, clueless and conservative as itís been I think this article could run for years to come Ė think of all the writing thatís going to save me!