Buffalo Bills: Are More Bills Heads Going To Roll After Loss To The Jets?
The Buffalo Bills were humiliated in front of their home fans Sunday, as the New York Jets saw LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene each rush for over 100 yards in a 38-14 laugher at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Jets have now swept all three AFC East teams, so they are sitting pretty now. The Bills on the other hand, are reeling, and the second half was as bad a display of football as they have turned in this season. Chan Gailey was hurt, angry and humiliated in the post game press conference.
So that can mean only one of two things in 2010 for the Bills. Other players will be released, or someone else will be signed to a multi-year contract extension that has no clue how to play their current position.
Bills Run Defense Is Resembling Swiss Cheese
LaDainian Tomlinson must have drank from the fountain of youth, or else he heard that he was going up against the Bills run defense this week. Tomlinson hadn't topped 100 yards rushing in 26 straight games, but that all changed Sunday when he lit up the Bills for 133 yards in just 19 carries, that included two touchdowns. Most of the Bills missed tackles on him and he faxed out the secondary repeatedly and blew by the linebackers.
To be fair, it should be noted that the Bills held out three starters on defense due to injuries, and they were Marcus Stroud, Andra Davis and Terrence McGee. Their absence hurt the run defense.
Tomlinson's running back partner, Shonn Greene, added insult to injury by also going over the century mark by taking 22 rushes for 117 yards.
The Bills hired George Edwards to teach the 3-4 defense because it would allow the Bills to get more pressure on the quarterback, (check) and it would allow the team to be better against the run (check). Checkmate. I wonder if we can convince Perry Fewell to come back?
As far as George Edwards goes, he seems pretty calm on the sidelines, for a guy who's defense has given up 445 and 444 yards in consecutive games. For anyone counting at home, that makes three straight games of at least 30 points that the Bills defense has allowed. That didn't happen once in the prior ten years, so it means we are sinking to new lows. Thanks to the crack research team at ESPN.com for that little gem.
There Were Some Comical Moments For Entertainment Value
Laughter is the best medicine. Well, we could all use some stiff medicine since the tailgate shots from the bowling ball have now been saved for "staff only". Examples of some good laughs for those Bills fans brave enough to watch a replay of this game would be as follows:
a) Jets open up the game with a touchdown drive. Rather than kick the ball off to C.J. Spiller, who might come up with another big return, the Jets come up with a high pooch kick, that comes to Chris Ellis. Chris demonstrates for all to see how to fumble a kick off when nobody else is close to you.
b) The Jets are busy scoring touchdowns in bunches in the third quarter. Down in red zone, Jets receivers are executing their pass patterns on a misdirection play. They are so wide open that they start running in to each other, because all of the Bills secondary is rolling back in to the same corner of the end zone as the rolling quarterback, except there aren't any receivers there with them. That one was pretty funny.
c) Roscoe Parrish had a good day returning punts. In the second half, he fields a punt and somehow eludes the tackles of the two Jets special teamers that approached him. As he turns to go up field, his own blocker Donald Jones, turns around and in the process lays Roscoe out, killing the return.
And so it goes.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Was The Bills Leading Rusher
We were all curious to see how Ryan Fitzpatrick would follow up the strong offensive showing he orchestrated against the Patriots defense, against a stiffer opponent in the Jets.
The Jets defenders were running their mouth earlier in the week (because if you are in New York that is what you do if you are used to starring on cable shows), that they would make Fitzpatrick pay if he tucked the ball and tried to run against them.
Well Fitzpatrick was smart enough to ignore the idle threats, as he found creases in the Jets defense that allowed him to pick up 74 yards in seven carries. Once again he disdained the slide and preferred to take on Jets defenders head on, which is a mentality that Bills fans will love. Well, they will love it until he gets a concussion and gets knocked out of the game.
The Bills offense had their hands full with the Jets dynamic pass rush, and while allowing three sacks isn't terrible, it isn't great either. Fitzpatrick did engineer two touchdown drives for the day, but he also went a disturbing zero for 10, when trying to convert on third down. The Bills had seven different three and out drives, the kind that wears out your defense very fast.
For the day, Fitzpatrick was 12 -27 for 128 yards and two touchdowns to tight end David Martin and to Steven Johnson. No interceptions, and Fitzpatrick's mobility allowed him to get out of numerous other sack scenarios.
Three Headed Monster Bills Backfield Resembled a Lost Puppy
We heard repeatedly that the Bills were going to be a running team and were going to use all three of their talented running backs to help them generate offense. So how did the three headed monster do?
Marshawn Lynch- with trade rumors still circulating all over the league, Marshawn didn't do much to help his trade value by picking up a measly eight yards in four carries, which included a fumble. After the fumble, Lynch wasn't heard from again.
Fred Jackson - rushed the ball three times for 21 yards, and converted on a key fourth down and short play while operating the Wild Cat offense. Despite the high average, three touches a game is a complete waste of his talent, and he has yet to take on any kind of a meaningful role for Chan Gailey.
C.J. Spiller - Gailey said he wanted to scale CJ back to the basics, and he has been scaled back so far that he also was limited to three touches for the day, outside of kickoff returns. Spiller did have one great kickoff return of 56 yards, but that was negated due to a penalty. He fumbled one kickoff that luckily went out in the end zone or the Bills would have started a drive at their own one. He also whiffed on a blitz pick up assignment that resulted in Fitzpatrick taking a heavy hit.
Whose Head Will Roll This Week?
The Bills have demonstrated throughout the 2010 season that they are not afraid to part with veterans, as the following players have been released so far: Kawika Mitchell, Trent Edwards, James Hardy, Derek Schouman, Chad Simpson, Chad Jackson, and Kirk Chambers.
After this contest, and as lethargic and uninspired as the Bills looked in the third quarter, I wonder how much longer the Bills will keep airing that sound bite of Gailey's drawl stating that he has been around enough winning programs that when he walks out on the field he expects to win. Chan, have you seen your team play lately?
For George Edwards, he is lucky that he has as strong a working relationship as he does with Gailey, because he may be in over his head. The defense still looks challenged to find a way to get consistent pressure on the quarterback, and too often on Sunday they were being dominated at the line of scrimmage by the Jets line.
The Jets running backs were able to gain six, seven, or eight yards frequently before meeting any resistance. Gailey was happy with his coaching staff he assembled because they were all strong teachers. But his players must not be good listeners based on what they showed Sunday.
Watched rookie linemen Torell Troup and Alex Carrington on Sunday, but didn't see them doing much in the game, and never heard Aaron Maybin's name all game long.
Why Did The Bills Extend Chris Kelsay's Contract?
I am still scratching my head over the Chris Kelsay contract extension that the Bills announced last week. Four years for 24 MM. That annual salary of 6 MM was also the same number that the Bills paid Terrell Owens last year, so that begs the question: Who would you rather have on your team for 6 MM a year - Kelsay or Owens?
The Bills continue to make strange draft choices, are unable to trade off their valuable pieces and release them instead, and then pay all kinds of money to a guy that has trouble with containment, gets beaten repeatedly because he has lost a step, and can't cover in the passing game. Doesn't this signing go directly against the Buddy Nix mandate that you don't bring in a veteran to fix a hole, because then you have two problems instead of one, or something like that?
Not sure if this deal had something to do with the departure of Aaron Schobel or not, but it just mystifies Bills fans as to what the sense of urgency was for getting this deal done now, with a player that appears to see his game declining?
Rookie Wide Receiver David Nelson Had a Strong Game
David Nelson, the undrafted rookie wide receiver out of Florida, wound up being the Bills leading receiver for the day, catching four passes for 75 yards.
On one play, he caught a pass in the middle, took a big hit from the Jets defender, and maintained his balance, picking up big yardage on the play.
He is definitely one of the gems that has emerged from this year's rookie crop. Nelson exhibits sure hands, is a sleek receiver, and is basically everything that James Hardy was not, but should have been.
Other bright moments was big hits delivered by both Corey McIntyre and Leodis McKelvin. Also enjoyed the catch that Steven Johnson made along the sideline on a deep pass, except that the Jets defender hit him out of bounds before he could get his second foot down.
One of the more frustrating plays was seeing a Jets fumble sitting there on the field, only to see Jairus Byrd dive for the ball and unable to control it before rolling out of bounds.
Only Major Injury To Report Was On Arthur Moats
Arthur Moats hurt his elbow in the Jets game and will be out for at least 2-3 weeks according to head coach Chan Gailey. The Bills did get Paul Posluszny back for this game, and he managed to come out of the game fine. However, none of the three injured Bills defensive starters this week were ever mentioned as hurt after the Patriots game, so we can only report on what we have heard so far.
Four Games Down With 12 To Go: Jacksonville Next Up
After four weeks, the Bills are now the only AFC team that has yet to win a game. They are tied with three other NFC teams that have yet to win; San Francisco, Detroit and Carolina.
When the schedule initially came out, I was looking forward to the Jaguars game, because I thought the Bills had a strong chance to beat them. But today, the Jaguars beat Peyton Manning and the Colts on the final play of the game, to even their record at 2-2.
Then we have the little matter of Trent Edwards being claimed off waivers by Jacksonville, so you know they will be pumping him for all the information he can provide on the Bills. In addition, the Jags rushed for 175 yards, which means that the Bills run defense will be cut out for them once again.
The Bills appear to be headed for a very long season after today's embarrassment. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back next Sunday and how many other changes will be made. At least the Bills will have Shawn Nelson back from his suspension.