Buffalo Bills Winners and Losers: Bills/Dolphins Edition
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I don't know what I did to make Santa's naughty list, but clearly I'm on it. For the last decade plus, I've asked for the same thing every year: a winning football team in Buffalo.
In a game where the Bills should have been playing for pride, it seems that they were instead playing for draft position. Minus a few standout players, many seemed to be going through the motions.
It seems like the Bills are looking forward to next year, and with Christmas just a few days away, it looks like I'll once again be asking for the same thing for Buffalo next season. Eventually, the Bills faithful will get the winner they deserve, right?
Loser: Stevie Johnson
Johnson made a few costly mistakes today. Photo Credit: NFL.com
Stevie plays with plenty of passion, and truly he didn't seem to quit on Buffalo today, but he made a few costly mistakes against the Dolphins.
On Buffalo's first series of the game, they were moving the ball with relative ease. With the ball on Miami's 25-yard line, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson in stride on a beautifully thrown slant pass. Johnson, however, had the ball stripped from behind, and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones recovered the fumble.
When Buffalo received the ball for the third time, they once again found some success moving the ball. C.J. Spiller just ran the ball for 62 yards setting the Bills up with a first down on Miami's 23-yard line.
The next play was a perfectly thrown ball to Johnson who caught the ball and extended the ball into the end zone. However, when Johnson hit the turf, he lost possession of the ball.Therefore, the would-be TD turned into an incomplete pass.
I'm not a fan of the rule, but Johnson knows the rule and simply couldn't hold onto the ball.
Last, in Buffalo's first possession of the fourth quarter, Johnson had a ball fall incomplete. Out of frustration, Johnson threw the ball down the field and was called for a delay of game. Buffalo luckily scored a touchdown on the possession, but Johnson's emotional outburst could have cost the Bills.
All in all, not the best of games for SJ13.
Winner: C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller was dynamic as always for Buffalo.
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
On a day where pretty much everyone looked inept on Buffalo's offense, C.J. Spiller was the exception.
Against the Miami Dolphins, Spiller once again showed off his incredible field vision, speed and ability to make players miss.
Entering the game, Spiller was averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
He finished Sunday's game with 22 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown, good for 6.27 yards per carry.
His longest play of the day was a 62-yard run on Buffalo's third possession of the game.
Overall, another good game for Spiller.
Loser: The NFL's Referees
The referees had some maddening calls against the Bills.
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The referees had a pretty bad game in Miami today. At one point, Ryan Tannehill ran with the ball towards the end zone, and the ball was stripped from his arms.
The referee closest to the play signaled that the ball went out of the end zone and it was a touchback, Buffalo ball. However, after a long pause, the head referee declared that the ruling on the field was a fumble out of bounds and the ball belonged to Miami. What?!
Truth be told, the ball did go out of bounds, but the referee closest to the play called it the other way. How is that not the call on the field?
Then with about 12 minutes to play in the third quarter, Ryan Tannehill threw a ball out to the flat and the whistle didn't blow. Jairus Byrd dove for the ball and recovered it in bounds. The referee closest to the play signaled that it was a backwards pass and Buffalo's ball.
However, when the head referee took to the field, he said that the ruling on the field was a forward pass and Miami's ball. You're kidding me right?
Buffalo then challenged the play, and the referee explained that if a quarterback is contacted by a defensive player and the ball goes backwards, it's still considered a forward pass. Of course it is. That makes plenty of sense.
Did the referees cost Buffalo the game? No. That said, they certainly did the team no favors against Miami.
Winner: Alex Carrington
Carrington has become quite a special teams player.
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Alex Carrington has turned himself into a really nice role player for the Bills. Carrington is solid depth on the defensive line, but his true talent is on special teams.
Against the Dolphins, Carrington blocked a Nate Kaeding field-goal attempt.
As per the Buffalo Bills' official Twitter account, it was Carrington's fourth blocked kick this season. Also, apparently Carrington's nickname is Megahand.
The Lions get Megatron, and Buffalo gets Megahand. Sounds about right.
Loser: Chan Gailey
"Do you think anyone will take us as a package deal next year?"
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This game doesn't bode well for Chan Gailey's future. Besides C.J. Spiller, everyone on the offense looked like they couldn't have cared less.
The team has quit on Gailey, and regardless of what the players say post-game, nothing can convince me otherwise.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick started the game well. He hit Scott Chandler on a beautiful pass and made two great throws to Stevie Johnson. From that point on, it got ugly. At the end of the third quarter, Fitzpatrick hadn't eclipsed 100 yards passing.
Stevie Johnson, our No. 1 receiver? Pretty silent after two significant gaffes.
The defense? Responsible for 24 points to a Dolphins team that has less talent than Buffalo.
Sorry, Chan, but I don't see any way the Bills franchise can bring you back in 2013. The fans don't buy what you're selling, nor do your players.