Buffalo Bills Defense in Epic Fail Mode, Lose to San Francisco 45-3

Dan Van WieContributor IIIOctober 7, 2012

Buffalo Bills Defense in Epic Fail Mode, Lose to San Francisco 45-3

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    The Buffalo Bills defense is sinking to new depths, as they got absolutely drilled today in a 45-3 loss to the San Francisco. 

    The Bills were coming off a poor Week 4 performance which saw them yield 580 yards of total offense to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. In Week 5, they allowed Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers to rack up 621 yards—a franchise record. 

    It was the first time in the last 62 years of NFL football that a team had allowed consecutive opponents to gain more than 550-plus yards of offense. The last team to do it was the New York Yanks in 1950. Not the kind of record the Bills want to be known for.

    For all of the optimism about the Bills defense in the offseason due to the addition of Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Stephon Gilmore and promoting Dave Wannstedt to defensive coordinator, there was supposed to be marked improvement on defense. If anything, it looks like it has gotten worse, which is really hard to believe. 

Bills Defense Makes Alex Smith Look Like an All-Pro QB

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    Alex Smith has been known typically as a game-manager type of quarterback (not that there's anything wrong with that). Today, he looked much more like an All-Pro quarterback, courtesy of the Bills weak defense. 

    Smith completed 12-of-15 passes in the first half for 237 yards. For the game, Smith completed 18-of-24 passes for 303 yards, ending a team streak of 28 games without reaching 300 yard passing. Overall, he finished with three touchdown passes and no interceptions for a QB passer rating of 156.2. 

    The Bills defense came up with no sacks in the game and didn't have a single tackle for a loss of yards on any of the 49ers' 63 plays. They managed to deflect one pass and only managed three quarterback hits out of the 25 passes that San Francisco attempted in the game. 

    For all of the hype that went to the defensive line during the offseason, they are now being the subject of many negative headlines as they are proving to be ineffective against both the run and the pass. 

Just How Bad Was It?

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    For the 49ers offense, this contest represented the first time that they registered a 300-plus yard passer, one 100-yard rusher and two 100-plus yard receivers in the same game since 1961. 

    It seems that in the past two years, a number of NFL players seem to set career high marks when they face Buffalo. That has got to end. 

    Mario Williams did have two tackles and also accounted for two of the three quarterback hits on Alex Smith. It still wasn't enough to satisfy what Bills fans are expecting out of him. 

    Alex Smith hadn't thrown for a 30-yard pass play all year, but he had three of them just in the first half alone against the Buffalo defense. 

    At least the Bills only allowed ex-nemisis Randy Moss to catch just one pass for 11 yards. 

What Is Dave Wannstedt Doing, If Anything?

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    Since early in the third quarter of the game against New England in Week 4, Buffalo has been out-scored by the margin of 90-10. That is not a typo. Ninety points in six quarters of football. Instead of a team running 7-on-7 drills, it is like these offenses are practicing 11-0; that's how ineffective the Bills defense has been in the last six quarters. 

    The Bills offense isn't helping out much either. The offense has scored 10 points in the last six quarters, and they are guilty of way too many three-and-out drives that are bringing a worn out defense right back on the field to be pounded on. 

    These last six quarters have been an epic fail on offense and on defense. You have to wonder what is being said in Bills team meetings and at practice. Whatever they are working on, it doesn't seem to be working.

    Have to tell it like it is, and that's how I see it. 

Time for Chan Gailey to Start Acting Like a Head Coach

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    At what point is Chan Gailey ultimately responsible for the overall effort on offense and defense. 

    In recent press conferences on Buffalo Bills.com, Gailey has been asked if he was pleased with the defensive schemes and defensive effort. He has traditionally replied that he is fine with the defensive scheme and the x's and o's. The players are lined up properly, but they just need to execute. 

    Well, if Gailey winds up getting canned during the season, maybe he will regret not taking a more active role in trying to motivate or get involved in the defense. He simply turns it over to Dave Wannstedt to run the unit as he sees fit. But after these consecutive abysmal outings, is Gailey that secure in his hold on his job that he can afford to turn his back on what is going on? 

Pass Rush Is Non-Existent Again

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    The Bills' pass rush was missing in action on Sunday. Whenever Smith dropped back to pass, he was allowed to take his sweet time to find a receiver. The fact that the Bills had no sacks and only three quarterback hits is really hard to believe.

    Mario Manningham beat Aaron Williams badly on a move that resulted in Manningham being open by at least 10 yards in the end zone. It is difficult for me to come up with players that played well, because I really can't think of anybody that stood out. 

    There were a couple nice plays by Nigel Bradham on defense, Shawn Powell had a nice punt that went pinned the 49ers back within the 5-yard line and Leodis McKelvin had some nice returns. That is the best I can come up with. 

Buffalo Offense Threw in the Towel Early

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    The Bills were only trailing 17-3 at halftime. Buffalo began the second half receiving the kickoff, so if they could generate some points on the first drive and gain some momentum, they still had a shot. Instead, Fitzpatrick and company generated seven yards on a three-and-out series. 

    The other four drives in the second half, generated the following yardage totals; 60, two, seven and five yards. The 60-yard drive brought the Bills well into 49ers territory, but Fitzpatrick threw up a lame duck pass that fluttered up high in the air and was easily intercepted at the goal line. 

    Fitzpatrick is really struggling to complete passes deep down the field and his inability to stretch out the defense is compromising the Buffalo offense. It will be interesting to see if the Bills make any kind of quarterback change in the near term. 

Bills Aren't Controlling the Line of Scrimmage

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    During the press conferences after the Patriots loss in Week 4, Chan Gailey talked about penetrating and disrupting the plays in the backfield. That's exactly what happened on Sunday, on the other team. 

    With the kind of athletes that the Bills have, you would think that Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus, Mario Williams and Mark Anderson would be capable of blowing up a handful of plays per game. But to not have any negative yardage plays for the entire game is just plain sad. 

    Take your pick between effort, pride, communication, motivation or lack of discipline, but there are some key characteristics in a solid base defense that are representing a major disconnect for Buffalo's front-seven right now. 

Bills Need to Win at Arizona in Week 6

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    In Thursday Night Football in Week 5, the St. Louis Rams certainly proved that the Arizona Cardinals can be defeated. 

    The Bills are badly in need of a win. They will be staying out on the west coast rather than flying back to New York in between games. Perhaps not being at home will allow them to forget this debacle and try to focus on beating Arizona. 

    A win would bring the Bills back to .500, and 3-3 would be a shot in the arm. I don't think Arizona has the offensive weapons to continue the offensive onslaught, but I wasn't expecting San Francisco to generate more than 600 yards either. 


    Thanks for checking out the presentation. Sorry that there isn't anything more positive to write about.