I’ve been slacking on here lately, especially when it comes to the Bills. The plan was to get a post up before the game today but now, a couple of hours after the game, I’m sorta glad that didn’t work out.
Immediately after the game this post would have been rather different from a pre-game interpretation of the team. However, after calming down a bit I realized that nothing has really changed. This team isn’t good but they’re not horrible either. Their defense could be comparable to a high school team at times however most of the time the offense can make up for it. That’s no different after today’s loss.
The Bills have played some good teams this year and kept it close, that’s exactly what they did this afternoon. No one expected the Bills to pull off a win today. Pittsburgh is a good team and home field advantage was essentially be canceled out from a fan standpoint. They were supposed to lose this game, badly. However, like so many times this year, they kept it close and took it to overtime…almost winning if it wasn’t for what seemed like a routine catch slipping away.
Look at it this way. If you spotted the Bills 7 points a game their record wouldn’t be 2-9, it’d be 7-4. They’d be tied for 10th in the league instead of their current standing of 29th. They’d be a decent team, and there would be playoff talk. Spotting 7 points obviously isn’t possible but how many times did a touch down slip through their fingers? How many close calls would have turned games around and gave them those 7 points?
Now, lets talk about today’s game. It’s probably the most excited I’ve been watching a Bills game in years. That says something. Making football exciting again is good for Buffalo, the team and the city. Even though the loss today might have knocked the wind out of us, at the same time, it brought us closer to this team. As bad as it felt, deep down there was a feeling of pride by coming so close to sending the terrible towels home soaked with tears.
With that said….this game should have been won. For the 3 seconds that the ball was in the air to Johnson during that OT drive every Bills fan thought we did it, we beat a much better team. A quick punch to the gut and that was over. That typical deflated feeling was back.
I still think he’s going to catch it when I watch that, it’s so simple, receivers make that catch in their sleep. Not today though, and not Stevie Johnson. Was it gods fault? Was he thinking about his touchdown celebration? Did he just crack under pressure? It doesn’t matter, he dropped it and it ended up costing the Bills the game.
So what now? We’ll complain about Johnson, debate what could have been done differently, and eventually look towards next week. A beat down Viking’s team could be just what time team needs to capture it’s third win of the season.
If you told me the Bills would lose to the Ravens in Overtime yesterday morning I probably wouldn’t have believed you. This game wasn’t supposed to be close. The Bills can’t stop anyone from scoring and the Ravens’ defense was going to tear apart the Bills’ offense. It was going to be a blow-out and everyone knew this wasn’t going to be the week they finally get a win.
The game was anything but that though. It was a tightly fought game with the Bills having a decent lead at the 2 minute warning of the first half. Those final 2 minutes were anything but impressive for the Bills though as it was the beginning of the end for this game. A Spiller fumble on a kick-off return started it all. Follow that with a questionable call that negated a Corner interception (which I still don’t get) and a quick second half touchdown and the Ravens suddenly put up 24 unanswered points and the Bills are once again attempting to fight back from behind.
It took a 50 yard Rian Lindell field goal with 4 seconds left in the game to send it to overtime. After the Ravens won the coin toss and a Bills defensive stop the game got ugly quick. The Bills seemed to crush under the pressure and eventually Ray Lewis ended up with the ball after ripping it from Shawn Nelson on yet another questionable call. Not long after that the winning field goal was kicked.
It wasn’t all bad though. Ryan Fitzpatrick played an amazing game. One that has a lot of people talking and saying he might be the future of this team and I have to say I don’t disagree with them. Fitzpatrick ended the day with 374 yards, 4 TD, 2 picks, and a passer rating of 106.2. Those numbers are impressive for anyone let alone a player who came into the season fighting for the number two spot on the team.
The receiving core seemed to make it easy for Fitzpatrick. Johnson ended the day with 158 yards and 1 TD, Evans 105 yards and the other 3 touchdowns. Again, those are all-star type numbers against a defense that’s typically comparable to a brick wall.
Bottom line is that this team is 0-6 which is horrible and now, after a Carolina win, puts them at the bottom of the league by themselves. That 0-6 isn’t as horrible as it sounds though as many of those games have been close and the Bills have routinely put up impressive point totals. Couple that with a tough schedule and it’s making me optimistic this team might not go 0-16. Only question is when will that win come.
After putting up a quick 10 points Sunday afternoon it was hard not to be optimistic about the Bills. The Jaguars are a decent team and putting up points like that against them isn’t something a winless team should be able to do so easily. They actually looked like a good team, making plays work, and moving the ball up the field with what seemed like ease. Special teams even forced a nice turnover which is glad to see them back into last years form. Even with everything going right there was still that thought in the back of all our minds thinking that they’re going to screw this up, and they sure did.
After the 10 point jump and adding a field goal the Bills allowed the Jags 17 unanswered points to take the lead and it was all downhill from there. The Bills were unable to stop Jones-Drew and the other backs from making large gains and Garrard, without putting up impressive numbers, was able to get the passing game going enough to get the win.
It wasn’t all negative though. Fitzpatrick looked good minus a few throws that were about 10 feet to high. He finished the game 20 for 30 with 220 yards and 3 TDs, respectable for any QB let alone one from Buffalo. Those numbers are even more impressive when you see how often he was hurried and flushed out of the pocket or flat-out sacked (3).
Fred Jackson made the most of his first day as the number one back putting down 73 yards on 12 attempts. Spiller averaged just over 6 yards a carry on 5 attempts while he spent most of his day on returns. Steve Johnson also showed a flash of receiving talent ending the day with 2 TDs with 46 yards from 5 attempts.
So here we sit, 0-5 with a much-needed bye week coming up. Hopefully it’ll allow the team to make some changes over the weekend off and improve a bit because as of right now this team has a decent shot of going 0-16 and that’s one part of history they don’t want to be a part of.
Coming into yesterday’s game at Foxboro we all knew it would be a different type of football being played with Edwards riding aluminum and Fitzpatrick behind center. However, I don’t think many of us thought the Bills would put up a fight like they did against one of the better football teams in the league.
We knew what to expect from Fitzpatrick coming into the game. A less physically talented player than Edwards but one with brains and the guts to push the coverage and take chances with the ball…something Edwards would rarely never do, and it almost paid off. His style did give the Bills a somewhat effective passing game and kept the team within striking distance the entire 60 minutes. On the other side, the two interceptions Fitzpatrick threw were pretty horrible as both were overthrown by a mile. However if those turnovers come with the chances Fitzpatrick is willing to take I’m OK with that. I’m not OK with a QB that will check-down on every pass and throw it no more than 5 yards unless a WR is clear of everyone by 10 feet.
The running game was a huge improvement yesterday as well with Lynch putting up decent numbers and being backed by good turnouts from Jackson and Spiller. This game was the first time since pre-season where we had a chance to see what Spiller had us excited for when he was drafted. A TD reception and kick off return is what we needed from him and hopefully he builds from that as we get the 1,2,3 punch from the backfield we expected to have this season.
Brady was able to pick apart the defense and at times seemed to score at will. The tight end Hernandez was able to take advantage of the secondary, ending the day with 65 receiving yards while Moss ended up with 2 touchdowns. The defense was good enough to keep the game within reach though and with a potent offense like New England’s it’s all we could really hope for.
Now, as if Sundays game wasn’t enough to pull you back into the football season, today the Bills announced that Edwards was released and, pending that someone is stupid enough to pick him up on waivers in the next 24 hours, will be a free agent. Perhaps he can follow Lossman’s path and win a UFL championship. Adam Schefter from ESPN is reporting that the Bills will sign Levi Brown, who was cut from training camp, to fill the vacant position.
Looks like the Edwards era is finally over for good. I’m just not sure why now. Edwards didn’t play any worse than he did last season but perhaps they were expecting pre-concussed Edwards to make a comeback this season.
Either way, it makes me a bit more excited for the season and slightly optimistic that we may no longer be the worst team in the league.
Thirteen. It’s been thirteen games against the Patriots since we’ve had a win. During those 7 years the Patriots have been one of the more dominant teams in the league while the Bills seem to be in a forever “rebuilding” stage. There have been some close calls including last years Monday Night’s game where we were a Parrish fumble away from winning in Foxboro on an opening night but a win always seems out of our grasp.
Will the losing streak be 14 after today? The Patriots may not be the dominating team they’ve been in years past but they are still a good football team where as the Bills are, well, not. The big change in Buffalo this week is Fitzpatrick starting over Edwards but I don’t think that’s enough alone to beat New England. The offensive line needs to step up and give Fitzpatrick some time to pass and the backfield needs to step it up and post the numbers that were anticipated from a group of guys that seemed could all be number one backs.
Other key matchups today include the Cowboys in Houston taking on the Texan’s in hopes to stay away from their first 0-3 start since 2001. With a Texan’s win they can start out their season 3-0 for the first time ever. Without some significant change it looks like Jerry Jones won’t have his dream of home field advantage this Superbowl.
Jets and Dolphins fill the Sunday night spot to wrap up the AFC East teams with Miami looking to extend their division lead to 3-0. A Jets and Patriots win could tighten the division up to a 3 way tie in the division.
Lets close this out with a reminder of how close we were to ending this losing streak vs the Pats…
1:00pm kickoff from Gillette Stadium. Lets see if we can pull an upset and maybe turn this season around.
This happens every year. Something exciting happens before the start of the season and all the fans get excited. This year we had the new coaching staff, Spiller, less injuries, and a Trent Edwards that could throw farther than my grandma for a change. For some reason it seemed that feeling was even stronger this time around, making yesterday even more devastating as we settle in for another rough go at this.
The Bills love to string you along. Yesterday was a prime example of that. Friends and I were on the edge of our seats that last down as a tiny voice inside was telling us Edward is going to throw deep, the receiver is going to break a tackle or two and we were going to win this thing. Meanwhile our voice of reason is gagged as it mutters “It’s captain check-down…it’s either a screen pass or a 5 yard lob to whoever is closest. We have no chance in hell of this happening”. Of course our voice of reason was right…he always is.
It quickly became apparent that the huge coaching changes are not going to right this ship. The snap in the end zone was a painful realization of that. I’m not sure if Gailey knew they were in a 2 minute drill situation or not but I’m just hoping he misread the clock and thought it was still the third quarter. Being a quarter off in a game is more excusable than the last few minutes of that game. On top of that it shows just how confident he is with the offense…that he’d rather take a safety and risk getting an onside kick back/wasting a minute off the clock than chance getting 10 yards for a first down.
To prevent this from being all doom and gloom there was a bright side to yesterday’s “game”. The defensive secondary was pretty good. They started out a bit rough as I thought they forgot how to tackle but after some mid-game changes they were playing fairly well. The Packer’s potent offense will be a tougher task for them to overcome but I’m hoping they will pass that test. We all know without some quick improvements our offense doesn’t stand much of a chance at scoring at will.
I hate being the stereotypical “I hate the Bills” fan but it’s hard not to be after a game like that. As a sports fan you have to take the bad with the good…I’m just wondering when is that good going to arrive.
The Bill’s closed their pre-season out last night at Ford Field with a game against the Detroit Lions. Despite a quick defensive and offensive start they fell short, losing 28-23 due to a late surge by the Lions.
The Bills quickly jumped into the lead with a 40 yard interception return by Drayton Florence. That was followed up by a field goal drive by Trent Edwards and a handful of other starters put them up 10-0. That drive included a 50 yard reception to Lee Evans proving that Edwards might just have the long ball in him after all. Edwards finished out the day, only playing in the opening drive, going four for four with 66 yards.
Brohm followed Edwards by completing 2 more field goal drives and looking rather impressive. At this point I believe we’re looking at Brohm as the number 2 QB as he seems to be improving quickly despite stats that aren’t up to par with Fitzpatrick. I think it’s safe to say Edwards has the starting job locked up and despite injury or a drastic change will see a full season of games this year
CJ Spiller didn’t dress for the game as Lynch made his return from an ankle injury. It was still disappointing not to see him play though. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since this team has had a player you looked forward to watching. After an impressive pre-season lets hope he continues the skills he’s shown so far well into the regular season.
The Bills finish the pre-season 2-2 with plenty of things to look forward to…not that improvement isn’t needed in several areas though. Explosive offensive plays is something we’ve seen plenty of this pre-season but has been drastically absent from previous seasons. However an unimpressive special teams and a defense struggling to pick up on the 3-4 system makes it hard to say where this team will be come the end of the season. Nine more days and perhaps we’ll have a better idea.