Buffalo Bills Analysis: 5 Ways to Save the Season After San Francisco 49ers Loss
"Save" is a relative term in this case, since the Bills won't make the playoffs this year and won't as long as Ralph Wilson owns this team. There is a dozen years of data to back that statement up.
I'm talking more about making it to 8-8, and not being the embarrassment of the NFL, as they have been the last six quarters.
The team will spend the next week in Phoenix, preparing for the game against the Cardinals. I can't fathom what preparation took place before the Niners game besides researching good clubs and nice restaurants. I can assist with places to go and fine dining in Scottsdale, Ariz., but more importantly, I can provide a list of ways to be less of a wretched debacle on the field.
1. Fire Dave Wannstedt
He wouldn't have made it past the Jets game in my world, but in my world, I actually care.
Ralph's world is way different. After the Jets game, Wannstedt was exposed for having no idea of what the Jets would do since they were bad in preseason. Mark Sanchez stood back in the pocket, laughed and threw with zero pressure.
The Jets haven't scored 48 since. The Bills have allowed 45, 48 and 52 in their three losses. If you wonder who would be better to coach the defense now, the answer is anybody. He obviously doesn't care, has zero creativity and showed up for last week's game in a T-shirt that teams hand out to fans for signing up for a credit card.
What Will the Bills Record Be?
2. Cut a Defensive Starter
I would give you a name, but really, does it matter? You can cut any of them and it wouldn't be a big loss.
I understand that calling for a player to lose their job is a bit callous, but this defense is just picking up a pay check at this point, so threaten them with losing the one constant. On Sunday, the Niners set a franchise record for most yards in a game with 621. Not with Montana, not with Young, with Alex Smith.
Someone needs to go to give the defense a kick in the butt.
3. The Ball Baby Game
An offshoot of the kids in school having an egg or some other fragile object project, this will be a tool to assist with the Bills players to have them appreciate and love the ball.
Hit up Maestro's for some steak, some leather goes with the Bills. Get into the Old Town club scene, make sure you don't drop the ball on the dance floor. Stop watching Michael Vick ball-handling instructional videos and cherish the object. These fumbles just ruin momentum.
4. More Logic in Head Coaching Decisions
The fumble that changed everything this week was from Scott Chandler, which for Scott's sake, should have never happened.
With 49 seconds left in the half, at their own 17, with SF having two timeouts, Coach Gailey had two options. One: Run the ball on first down. SF calls timeout. Then kneel again—another timeout. Then kneel, either punt out of bounds or the half runs out. Two: Trust Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw an excellent deep pass and make a big play before the half.
Never trust Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw a good deep ball. The one to Graham wasn't even close. Graham was running a sideline route and I think the ball landed on the other side of the hash mark. With the rotten throw, they couldn't run out the half. Pass to Chandler, fumble, defense back on the field (physically, mentally they were watching seals at the Wharf), game over.
5. Save Us Tarvaris
I was in a weird minority last week where I felt that benching the leader in touchdowns in the NFL was logical. After this week, anything besides it is a season killer. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not going to lead this team to the playoffs.
The taint of playing his career in St. Louis, Cincinnati and now Buffalo can't be shaken. If the excuse is that Tarvaris Jackson doesn't understand the offense, well Ryan's been in it for three years, and although he may understand it, his execution stinks.
Staring down receivers, interceptions galore, missing open receivers for big plays over and over again and terrible execution when it matters. At 3rd-and-3 at their own 30, he hit the open receiver.
Donald Jones going into the end zone for a touchdown, Fitzpatrick throws it behind him. Stevie Johnson open on a streak to the end zone, Fitzpatrick overthrows him by seven yards. Donald Jones streaking to the end zone, Fitzpatrick throws it seven yards behind him. I know he was pressured on the interception, but it was so typical and horrible that it almost looked like a punt returner catching it.
Twenty-six attempts for 126 yards is wretched. Jackson might not be the answer, but at least he's an unknown who will probably reek up the joint. I know Ryan Fitzpatrick is a defender's best friend.
He won't get benched though. Offensive line injuries, David Nelson being lost has been an adjustment, his eye color makes throwing in sunshine more difficult, some excuse will be made to pretend this dreck is not a dam full of leaks.
I have other, more unconventional ways to improve the product on the field for the Bills, including sending some of the players on a Rocky Point trip and stealing their passports. Also, a short plane ride to Nevada to get an inspirational speech from the most famous Bill of all, OJ.
None of my ideas will matter though, since the Bills will keep the status quo as long as Ralph Wilson is alive and owns the team. Mediocre coaching, shoddy free agent signings, terrible drafting, pathetic management and zero sense of urgency, which makes sense for a 93 year old owner. Plus the cloud over the city of Buffalo and Erie County with the lack of a stadium lease extension and Los Angeles getting their act together.
If the Bills players are homesick this week in Phoenix, there is a Ted's in Tempe. My sense is the reaction in Phoenix will be similar to what they would get in Buffalo this week: apathy.
It would almost be depressing if Bills fans weren't so numb to the reality at this point.
As least Buffalo fans have the Sabres to take their minds off of this season. Oh, no they don't. Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" should be the Bills' postgame theme.
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