The Buffalo Bills fell to 0-5 yesterday after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars 36-36 in front of a nearly empty Ralph Wilson Stadium.
They gave up over 30 points for the fourth straight game, and David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew, and the Jaguars defense took advantage of the Bills weaknesses all day long.
Rather than my typical post game analysis, I will be grading each aspect of the Bills performance yesterday, and trust me, this isn't a report card you want to bring home to Mom and Dad.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is continuing to make his case for earning the starting quarterback job of the Buffalo Bills, throwing for 220 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Who would've thought that a Bills quarterback would have seven touchdowns in three games? Not me.
Fitz played extremely well, given the play of the offensive line, however he appeared to injure his throwing hand and had some balls sail away from him during the fourth quarter.
He got the ball into his playmaker's hands, and showed that he wasn't scared of the deep ball, as he connected with Lee Evans for a 45 yard touchdown early in the first quarter to give the Bills an early 7-0 lead, just two minutes into the game.
He took some sacks, and didn't make the plays with his legs that he did against the Patriots, but he was making solid throws, and found the endzone multiple times.
When Marshawn Lynch was shipped to Seattle earlier in the week for a fourth round pick, there were many people grumbling about the Bills dealing such a talent.
Fred Jackson came out explosive and ran the ball hard, breaking big gains throughout the first half. C.J. Spiller came in as the change-of-pace back and excelled there as well.
Jackson rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries, and Spiller took five carries for 31 yards. However, the Bills running backs managed just five first downs, and weren't able to sustain a drive long enough.
The Bills weren't able to run the ball as much as they would've liked due to being put in passing situations early on.
Entering the season, former seventh-round draft selection, Steve Johnson, out of Kentucky, was the fan favorite to earn the No. 2 receiver role, and was the starter there for the first two games.
Roscoe Parrish eventually took over that role, but Johnson has exploded since, catching two touchdowns yesterday, and one in each of the two games prior to that.
Lee Evans finally made a splash, catching five passes for 71 yards, including a 45 yard touchdown in the first quarter, while Parrish and Johnson continued to shine, combining for nine catches, 104 yards, and two touchdowns.
I like what I'm seeing from David Nelson, the undrafted free agent out of Florida as well. He caught three passes for 21 yards, and now has 10 catches for 100 yards on the year. He is a big target, and he is earning his reps on the field.
The Bills offensive line has been absolutely atrocious this year, and before Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Cornell Green was mostly to blame.
This week however, the blame goes to left tackle Demetrius Bell, who couldn't hold his own against Aaron Kampman, who registered 1.5 sacks on Ryan Fitzpatrick, one coming with the help of defensive end Derrick Harvey.
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton also registered a sack.
Eric Wood was subbed in and out of the game with Kraig Urbik, apparently to keep him fresh for the fourth quarter.
Additionally, undrafted rookie Cordero Howard filled in for Bell on some downs, and finished the game playing right tackle, after seeing all of his reps at the right guard position in preseason.
Overall, this group doesn't look good at all, and with arguably the best linemen on the team, Wood, being in and out of the game doesn't help.
Have any of you ever heard of Deji Karim? Neither have I. Until the Bills allowed the sixth round draft choice out of Southern Illinois rush for 70 yards on 15 carries against a huge four man front that didn't do a thing.
The Bills utilized a 4-3 defensive front this week, in order to contain Maurice Jones-Drew. Having two nose tackles in Kyle Williams and Torell Troup, along with the big fellas Marcus Stroud and Dwan Edwards on the edge was supposed to shut down the Jags rushing attack, and force David Garrard to make plays.
Well, they couldn't stop the run, and Garrard tore up the Bills secondary.
The defensive line simply played slow, and the Jaguars took advantage of that lack of speed, using jet sweeps and reverses with Mike Thomas, who ran for 53 yards on three carries.
Jones-Drew ran for 84 yards on 19 carries, as the Bills allowed opponents to run for over 200 yards for three straight weeks.
The Bills linebackers look completely lost in this new 3-4 coverage, with the exception of Andra Davis, who made an interception and forced a fumble.
Once again, the Bills allowed another tight end to have a huge day, as Mercedes Lewis caught four passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns.
Now on the season, the Bills have allowed opposing tight ends to catch 22 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
Chris Kelsay simply doesn't have the speed to cover these guys, and shouldn't be put in a position to drop into coverage.
Paul Posluzny racked up another 13 tackles on the game, mainly due to the defensive line's inability to bring down whoever was mowing them down themselves.
On another note, the Bills just cut Chris Ellis to make room for Shawn Nelson, who is returning from a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Aside from Reggie Corner's sack on David Garrard, the secondary was pretty atrocious. David Garrard threw three touchdowns, and completed 80% of his passes. The Bills secondary seems like they are waiting for the receivers to get the ball before tackling them, rather than trying to make plays.
Donte Whitner delivered a few hard hits, but his 11 tackles show that teams are getting the ball past the front seven with ease.
Jairus Byrd still hasn't done anything noteworthy this season, and seems a bit out of his element in the new defense, where he has to actually move, rather than cover his specific zone.
Without McGee, opposing offenses are testing the Bills corners, and it is working.
The Bills are entering their bye week, and thankfully I won't have to have my sixth consecutive miserable Sunday of getting mocked and laughed at by friends.
The Bills take on the Baltimore Ravens, and I simply do not know how the Bills will be able to pull one out against them. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee are two solid runners, while they have outstanding receivers and a great quarterback in Joe Flacco.
Buffalo's offensive line will struggle to contain Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg, Terrell Suggs will be gunning for Ryan Fitzpatrick's head; probably untouched.
Oh yeah, Chan Gailey, if you are reading this, please don't send little Roscoe over the middle on any slants. We all saw what Ray "Murda" Lewis did to Dustin Keller opening week.
But it gets better! Ed Reed is expected to play, so we probably shouldn't be too excited about Fitzpatrick's zero interception game.
Hope you guys like hockey, because the Buffalo Sabres will have to be our source of happiness for the next few months!