There's no point in discussing whether or not Chan Gailey will be the head coach of the Buffalo Bills going forward. General Manager Buddy Nix has nixed the talk that would even insinuate he'll nix his head coach.
It's time, then, for Bills fans to accept the reality that their future is tied to Gailey.
Get used to a lack of faith in a kicker making anything longer than a 50-yard field goal—kicker Rian Lindell has attempted just one field goal of longer than 50 yards in the past two seasons, and had an opportunity to put the Bills up by eight points in the fourth quarter before Gailey opted to punt.
Get used to continued confidence in an erratic quarterback—Fitzpatrick had a healthy stat line this week (24-for-30 for 226 yards and a touchdown before the final drive with less than a minute to go), but has been leaned on in some questionable situations this year.
Most importantly, get used to feeling like C.J. Spiller isn't getting enough attention, and as long as Fred Jackson is around, get used to the impossible-to-understand rotation of the backs.
With seven carries for 37 yards and one catch for 15 yards, the third-year back had just eight total touches, his lowest total in two months.
There's no reason not to give Spiller more than 15 touches in a game. Not only is he the best playmaker in the offense, but he's also shown that he can carry the load for the offense in the past. Yet they continually handle him with gloves.
Gailey said that he was trying to keep both backs fresh, but consider the following numbers (via The Buffalo News):
- Spiller had four carries for 10 yards in the first half.
- Spiller had two carries each for 13 yards to open the second half.
- Spiller didn't touch the ball again until there was 9:02 left in the game, and not again after that.
The Bills have ignored Spiller in late-game scenarios in the past; a few that come to mind are games against the Cardinals, Titans, Texans, Patriots and Colts. Add this game to that list, with Spiller earning just one carry for one yard in the final 15 minutes of the game.
When trying to hang onto a five-point lead, there's no reason not to give it to the running back, especially when the running back is the most explosive threat on the offense to begin with.
The misuse of Spiller goes even further than that, though.
Take a look at the games this season where Spiller has carried a substantial workload.
Not only are his averages not far off (and in some cases better) than when the coaching staff is trying to "keep him fresh," but the Bills as a team are 4-3 when he has 15 or more touches and just 1-5 when he is not a substantial part of the game plan.
Of course I want to touch the ball more, but there is no need for me to sit around, mope and groan and do all that because that is high school. ...Is the frustration there? Yeah. Deep down in your gut as a competitor, yeah it is there. But there is nothing I can do about it so I am not going to sit around and pout and be a little baby or a little girl or something.
No, there's nothing he can do about, but there is something Nix can do about it. He has made it abundantly clear, though, that he will not do anything about it and that he's done talking about it.
Thus, the continued refusal to put the banter to rest around Chan Gailey's future as the head coach seems to be in the cards.
It is now borderline passé to continue to discuss Gailey's job security, especially given the numerous (if completely unjustifiable) votes of confidence for Gailey from Nix, but until the coach proves he understands how to manage his roster and the most valuable players on that roster, it will never be passé to question his coaching decisions.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.