Bills Lose to Bad Browns Team, Who's to Blame?

Matt SchaeferCorrespondent INovember 18, 2008

The Buffalo Bills not only dropped a heart breaker last night against the Cleveland Browns, 29-27 on Monday Night Football, but they also ended their postseason chances.


Usually in losses like this, there is plenty of blame to go around, but this game was not the case.  


The offensive line finally stepped up and not only did they not allow a sack, but they also looked like they knew what they were doing running blocking. Marshawn Lynch was able to break the century mark for the first time this year after a 119-yard effort. 


The defense wasn’t lights out, but they did the job to the best of their ability. Despite losses in the secondary, like starting safety Donte Whitner and cornerback Jabari Greer, Terrence McGee stepped up his game and played very well.


Minus a 76-yard run by Josh Cribbs in the fourth quarter, the Bills' run defense also played very well, keeping Jamal Lewis in check. Overall, the defense let up 176 yards through the air and 161 on the ground, while also holding Cleveland to five field goals, despite them having great position through the entire game.


Forcing a team to go 3-for-13 (23 percent) on third down isn’t too shabby, either.   


Special teams proved why they were one of the best units in the game (despite that final field goal).


Leodis McKelvin finally had his breakout game as a returner, showing his great speed and field vision and returned one for a 98-yard touchdown. He went on to average 61 yards on his three returns.


Fred Jackson also did very well. He was getting the ball when the Browns were trying to kick the ball away from McKelvin on line drive or high kicks. Jackson had four returns for an average of 15 yards, but remember, he was getting the ball on the 30-35-yard line to start his returns.


Roscoe Parrish also had a game-changing return to set up a score. He only got the ball once, but when you go 34 yards the other way, that is always a good sign of not only Parrish but the blockers, too.


The coaching was so-so. To be honest, I really liked the defensive game plan. They showed multiple blitzes to confuse young quarterback Brady Quinn, and it worked. He went 14 of 36 for 185 yards. 


The game calling towards the end was a little puzzling but I understand where it was coming from. Instead of passing the ball, trying to get it a little closer for Lindell, they decided to run it for three straight plays. 


I didn’t really like it but I do understand it. It got the Browns to use all three timeouts and also they didn’t have too much confidence in Trent Edwards after his three picks in the first quarter.


Instead of risking a turnover, they keep it with the safe choice. Again, I didn’t like it at all, but I understood where they were coming from. 


The coaches did a good job to finally turn the O-line around, although poor game management happened again in this one. The Bills wasted timeouts in places they shouldn’t have, but, on a plus note, at least they didn’t have to challenge anything. 


Head Coach Dick Jauron doesn’t know where the red flag is anyways.      


So let’s take a look at what worked in this game. Running game: check. Offensive line: check. Defense: check. Coaching: well, not 100 percent but still got the job done.  


So what are we missing? On yes, the quarterback.


Trent Edwards was a complete disaster for the fourth game in a row. He threw three interceptions in the first quarter, and from that point on, he looked scared. He would drop back to pass, get plenty of time, and then just throw it to check down, again and again and again. 


That is what his one touchdown pass was in this game. He dropped back, looked downfield, held onto the ball way too long, and then finally dropped it off to Lynch, who made the play.  


Edwards looked like a little child who just didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and we had to sit there and watch him. It really looked like he was indeed scared. He wouldn’t throw the ball down the field at all.  


His go-to-guy in Lee Evans was open on multiple occasions, but he could not get him the ball. Evans, the No. 1 WR on this team had zero balls thrown his way! Are you kidding me? 


The Browns didn’t even bring pressure in this game either. They just dropped back into a zone, usually when Edwards excels by ripping apart defenses. For some reason though, he just couldn’t get the ball to his team and lost a lot of confidence.


From poor reads to terrible passes we have now watched a guy who was being named for MVP early in the season, to a young QB struggling to make his way into the league and get wins for his team.  


Now, I still think Edwards is the man at the QB position but I see why you J.P. Losman fans are now starting to come out of hiding again. One thing I can agree with you with, at least Losman will get the ball down the field. What team catches it, though, is a different story.


Hey, it could be worse though: We could be Detroit Lions fans.