With a lackluster first half, complete with a poor extra point attempt by Carpenter that was missed, the Bills rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 28-21. The game was an exercise in frustration for 2 hours with a side of “can they hold on?” for the final hour and change. The Bills mid-game lost Ronald Darby, Marcell Dareus (late) and had Sammy for a limited snap count, but persevered and got the “W”, while the Jags lost their starter at RB (Ivory), WR (Hurns for a bit) while also having the spectre of Saint Doug(tm) lurking as a back story. In game that meant nothing; however for fans and media it was a fun story to churn about as the game unfolded.
My thoughts are simple this week.
Welcome Back Sammy! – Watkins’ presence (3 catches, 80 yards) at times was in a decoy fashion, but the 62 yard shot he got early in the second half was a joy to watch. That play is what’s been missing from the offense in the last 10 weeks. Some players (Woods, Harvin, heck even Clay) have been in and out of the roster and approximated it. Sammy, however changed this game with that catch. The sooner that young man is totally healthy and ready to contribute, the better this team will be overall.
(PS – I totally would love JuJu Smith-Schuster to team up with him next fall Doug. No pressure.)
Gutsy performance by LeSean – Playing after thumb surgery, against a defense that was boom or bust against the run, early Shady went up against their “boom” – nearly fumbling it if not for a generous ref call. But they met their “bust” when Shady shot through the line for a 75 yard touchdown on the first play of the third quarter, a personal record. All in all, Shady accounted for 103 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving, most of which came on a scamper upfield after a broken play. Not bad at all for the Pitt man, whose alma mater won against Syracuse 76 – 61 in a game I attended yesterday. #H2P
Tyrod, a study – Tyrod was 12/18 for 166 yards, 1 touchdown passing and another running. He also amassed 38 yards on 7 carries rushing, including at least 3 speed option plays mixed in with QB scrambles. A lot of live Bills game tweeting is wading through the “did you see how many guys were open” tweets en masse. Following non Bills fans who think Taylor is good, while also hearing from Bills fans (weekly) telling me that he sucks is an interesting three hours, let me tell you.
I did an interview late last week with Cian Fahey, an analyst I like to read who is a big fan of Taylor in totality – which should run next week. In it I say the same thing to him I’ll say now – until Taylor is treated as solely a QB, I will not see him as a fair evaluation just as a QB. With the line the way it is, the status of his weapons and the intentional putting him in harm’s way, I will see him for what he is – an offensive weapon at QB.
Here’s where most were at the half:
Raymond, you’re not wrong here. The more the NFL avoids easy fixes like re-arranging bye weeks to allow Thursday night games to be competitive, avoiding horrid ref calls with full-time staff and giving logical fines and penalties, the more likely folks will leave. Until then, it’ll be a slow burn out.
When the #DraftSzn rolls around, I am going to be banging the drum for a few players:
WR – Juju, Ross (Washington) and Darboh
S – Adams (LSU), Baker (Washington), Marcus Williams (Utah), Hooker (Ohio State)
RT – Bisnowaty (PITT)
I’m still rolling with 5 til they bring a better line or another offensive game plan to the table.
It’s never, EVER easy is it?
Stringer speaks for us all man. This time however, we didn’t need to fear Omar. This time.
We are bowl eligible! Citrus Bowl here we come!!!
(Who am I kidding – they’d get the Continental Tire Bowl at best!)
And here’s the end game thoughts:
That’s so many Bills games the last decade and change…
Ivory. Hurns. So many things went the Bills’ way. The non-call on Gilmore (PI) and Robey-Coleman (Horse Collar?) loomed large too.
Joe I think summed it up for us all:
With that, the Bills go west to face the Oakland Raiders. I do not forsee that going well (#SpoilerAlert).
Disagree? Hit us up and let us know. I could be wrong – as I am, quite often.
Enjoy Cyber Victory Monday!