The Buffalo Bills found another new way to lose to Cleveland today, dropping a 6-3 contest, as the Browns snapped a nine game winless streak.The Browns wish they had two or three games against Buffalo every year, as the Bills seems to be the only team they can beat.
Is the end of the Dick Jauron era finally upon us? Ralph Wilson, please put us out of our misery and show Mr. Jauron the door.
The most amazing part about this game is that Cleveland starting QB Derek Anderson wound up with a QB Passer Rating of just 15.1, and yet the Bills still lost the game. Just think about that, 15.1. Two completed passes out of 17 attempts for 23 yards and the Bills still lost the game! You have got to be kidding me!
To Anderson's credit, he did place a number of throws right on the money, but the Browns receivers kept dropping one pass after another. There were so many drops it was comical. At least Robert Royal displayed with his many drops why Bills fans were not very upset when he left the team.
In my mind, this game magnified how poorly coached the Bills team is, and is further proof of why Dick Jauron has to go away. The Bills were guilty of being flagged for 13 penalties for 75 yards, and also had another three or four penalties that the Browns didn't accept. Out of the 13 flags, nine were false start penalties.
Apparently the Bills offensive gurus haven't figured out a way to have everybody move together after the ball is hiked. Did I mention that this was a home game for the Bills? This is not the preseason, it is Week Five. This is embarrassing for a professional team to perform so poorly and show so little composure.
That number of penalties comes down to coaching. Leadership, poise, moxie. Traits that the coaching staff has not found a way to instill in their players. It is one thing to be keyed up and have the adrenaline rush flowing early on, it is another thing to gain your composure later on and settle down. The offensive line coach Sean Kugler and his assistant coach Ray Brown have to be held accountable and ultimately Dick Jauron has to take the blame for this.
The defense continues to play their heart out and did a great job at giving the offense the chance to win the game.The defense was already playing short-handed, and they lost two more players to injury today, as Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Buggs were carted off the field.
But constant penalties against the Bills offensive line, and poor decisions by Trent Edwards in the passing game resulted in scoring only three points against a Browns defense that is just not that good.
Today's game marks another loss that was a direct result of poor decisions by the Bills special teams. We all remember Leodis McKelvin fumble vs. New England, but this game will be remembered due to the bad decision made by Roscoe Parrish to field a punt at his own 15. Roscoe committed a fundamental sin, by trying to field a punt and run with the ball before he had control of it. Parrish pulled away from the rolling punt a little too early, and as a result, Cleveland recovered at the Bills 15-yard line and was gift wrapped a victory.
These special teams mistakes are too frequent to suggest that Bobby April has control of his special teams players, so promoting him to head coach would be a mistake, in my opinion. He is coaching the NFL's most penalized special teams unit, which again shows that his charges are not disciplined.
They continue to make poor decisions on when to field punts and three separate times bad decisions led to the Browns downing a punt inside the Bills own 5-yard line. The Bills offense already has enough struggles of its' own to be dealing with more than 95 yards to cover.
To the Browns credit, their punter Dave Zastudil placed seven of his nine punts inside the Bills 20 yard line. That was too big of an obstacle for the Bills challenged offense to overcome. If that isn't bad enough, Roscoe Parrish had one punt return for minus 17 yards. This by far was his worst game as a Buffalo Bill.
Trent Edwards did amass 40 yards rushing as he successfully scrambled to keep some drives alive. But, there were too many of Trent's passes out to the flat that are designed to get one yard at the most, and this play happens too frequently in every Bills game.
So going forward, who should the Bills promote or hire as their next head coach? I would truly be surprised if they are able to land a name coach in the middle of the season. Of course a name guy like John Gruden, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Mike Shanahan, Marty Schottenheimer, any of those choices would make many Bills fans happy.
The reality is that none of them would take the job tonight, if it were offered to them. It is not the best form to take a sinking ship in the middle of the season, unless you are already part of the sinking ship. Plus, I doubt Ralph Wilson is willing to dig deep enough in his wallet to land a big time coach.
Maybe one of the revered former Bills players will step forward; Jim Kelly or a Steve Tasker? Was there somebody from the glory years that had aspirations to coach? You don't hear much about any of the old players being rumored to wanting to join the coaching ranks. Instead, we should be realistic and look at who is there in Buffalo now.
Bobby April has the Assistant Head Coach title, but his special teams play speaks volumes that he would not be the right choice. My preference is to promote the coach that is doing the best job right now on the Bills, and that is Perry Falwell. His defense plays inspired, smart and hard. They don't take many foolish penalties. They play clean. Sure, they have a bunch of guys that are getting injured, but that is more a reflection on the poor offense, and keeping his defensive corps on the field for way too long of a time.
After this 1-4 start, and losing back to back games to teams that were winless, it is now time to state for the record that this is going to be a very long year for the Bills. The fans booed throughout the game, so Ralph Wilson has to do something, or team morale will plummet. Bills fans can only take so much abuse. Stay tuned.