“Ugh. Never thought I’d say that we lost because of a missed PAT. Yet, we are fans of the Buffalo Bills, so I shouldn’t be shocked” -Me at a bar-
Where this game was lost
This was obviously a very winnable game for the Bills. They had the game for the taking, up 19-14 with the ball and a little over 10 minutes remaining in the game. On 1st and 10, the Bills decided to go for the jugular. Fitzpatrick dropped back to pass and Stevie Johnson beat his defender down the sideline. A big play seemed to be on the horizon, yet, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a wounded duck, which was picked off and ran back into Bills territory. To me, that’s when the Bills lost this game, (Click “Read more” below for the rest of the article)
as the Bears scored a touchdown a few plays later. I’m not blaming the call on Gailey to go deep. Hell, Johnson beat his man, but Fitzpatrick has to make that throw. It wasn’t even a hard throw to make, as all the quarterback had to do was lead the wide receiver. Instead, Fitzpatrick throw a ball that was caught by the autumn wind of The Rogers “Domed” Centre. Again, that play is on Fitzpatrick and shouldn’t be on the coach.
You know how during the summer, just prior to the NFL season, the elite quarterbacks of the league, actually, more like the 2nd tier guys, go down to Florida to take part in the “Quarterback skills competition”. You know, that stupid contest, where the quarterbacks hit moving targets from 10-40 yards down the field and run around cones. I don’t know about you, but I think Fitzpatrick needs some of those moving targets at practice, especially for 20 yards and beyond. When it comes to making the 10-15 yard throws, Fitzpatrick can get the job done. However, when he’s asked to go down the field beyond 25 yards, he’s a disaster. Twice on Sunday, Fitzpatrick had David Nelson open and all Fitz had to do was lead the ball to his wide receiver’s finger tips for big gains, instead, he either short armed or overthrew his target. It’s the same thing that happened on game-changing interception. I don’t know what it is, because I’ve seen Fitzpatrick gun the ball in tight space before. Maybe it’s a mental thing? Is it a 4th quarter thing? I don’t know, but Fitzpatrick is starting to remind me of “Wild Thing” from the Major League movies and Mitch Williams from the Phillies. He’s just so all over the place at times.
What the hell was Chan Gailey thinking with less than three minutes remaining in the game? First of all, he makes the dumbest challenge I’ve seen by a Bills coach since Dick Jauron (OK, not too long ago). So here I am, at the bar, enjoying my 5th beverage of the afternoon, when Roscoe Parrish caught a pass that was clearly out of bounds. I knew it and so did the Bills fans that were in attendance. Then I saw the replay, which proved that my beer consumption didn’t affect my vision. However, as FOX was going to break, I saw that Chan was talking to the officials. I thought, “Dear god, please tell me he’s not challenging the call.” I guess Gailey’s teacher glasses must have been too fogged up to see the deal. Just a terrible challenge that cost the Bills a 2nd timeout. Then to add fuel to the fire, the Bills decided to go for it on 4th and 10. Now, even if the lost timeout didn’t come into affect, you still punt the football. You’d have a timeout and the two minute warning, and you would have easily been able to pin the Bears deep. Plus, and this is the most important issue with the scenario, you are playing against Chicago, not the Colts or the Patriots. You’re going against a turnover machine like Jay Cutler. You’re going against an ego maniac in Mike Martz, who is probably dumb enough to pass on all three downs. The Bears weren’t running up and down the field on the Bills, as they had less than 300 yards in total offense. You not only have to play the situation, but you have to look at the other side of the field. Just inexcusable coaching-
Poz needs to go
What is with all these people who keep defending Paul Posluzny? I don’t want to hear about all the tackles this guy gets. It’s no different than the people who use to call out London Fletcher when he made tackles 5 yards down the field. That’s pretty much what Poz does, he’s a tackling machine when it comes to bringing down ball carriers after a pick-up of five yards. If you want to see what type of football player Poz is, just look at the play he had against Chester Taylor near the goal line. Here’s your inside linebacker going mono a mono against the 3rd down back, whose like half the size of Poz. Mismatch, right? Nope, as Taylor runs over Poz at the line of scrimmage to pick up a gain of three yards. Just pathetic and a clear sign that Poz is overrated. Hey, at least when Fletcher would blitz the quarterback, he would be affective. It takes Poz all day and half of the night to get to the passer. I really hope the Bills don’t give him a Chris Kelsay like extension.
Some bad stats
-Jay Cutler has been sacked 19 times over his last three games, and of course, he goes up against the Bills defense and gets sacked only once. Even when the Bills pressured Cutler, he would just roll out and run for 7 yards or find the open wide receiver. Again, I’ve asked this question before: Judging by this season, what do the Bills need more, a quarterback or a pass rusher? Not even a close debate-
-The Bills have only one interception on the season. Last year, at this time, the Bills had 15-
-Well, if Bryan Scott knew how to catch interceptions, the Bills would have three interceptions on the year-
-Can Chan Gailey please get rid of the Pistol offense? In case you don’t know what it is, it’s where the quarterback is lined out of a shorter version of shotgun and the running back is lined up directly behind the QB. The Bills seemed to think that running the football out of this formation would work. Instead, I counted 4-5 plays in which running backs lost yardage out of the Pistol. Overall, the Bills gained 46 yards on the ground. It’s not good enough and the Pistol should be unarmed-
-Ryan Fitzpatrick attempted 51 passes. Um, yeah, lets try and lower that number next week-
-Memo to Lee Evans: I know the Bills offense has woken up under Fitzpatrick, at least in comparison to years past, but how about having a 40-million dollar type of game? Catching 3 passes for 31-yards doesn’t exactly say Larry Fitzgerald. I know, the biggest Evans’ fan will say that he’s the reason that Stevie Johnson and Roscoe Parrish have enjoyed career years because he’s getting double teamed. However, I don’t buy that notion. I mean, where were those guys last year? Did T.O. reap into the benefits of having Evans play opposite of him or vice verse? I think the play of Johnson and Roscoe are on Gailey, Fitzpatrick and just players gaining experience. Evans has had his moments, but he’s had some key drops, one that happened today, which aren’t helping his cause for being overrated-
Interior Line is a mess
Speaking of running the football, how about our overrated interior line play? I swear, going into the season, the consensus was that the interior line was going to gel rather nicely. Well, maybe in comparison to the crappy left tackles they would, but in the real world, these guys can’t run block to save their lives. Too many times today I saw Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller get mugged even before hitting the line of scrimmage. I know the Bears are a stout run defense, but it was embarrassing today. Plus, having Eric Wood get blown up on the extra point, didn’t help matters.
Over the Toronto bitch fest
Look, like I wrote yesterday, I’m not happy about the Toronto arrangement, but I totally understand why the Bills have to do this. However, I’m getting really sick and tired of hearing people complain yearly about this. For instance, on the WGR Post show, which shouldn’t allow drunk callers to call-in, The Bulldog was going crazy about the Bills playing in Toronto. Now, it shouldn’t be news to anyone that he’s not a fan of the idea, as he’s complained about yearly, which is fine. However, he said that the Bills playing in Toronto was the worst thing that has happened in Buffalo sports history. Really? Seriously? I’m sorry, but I’d like to have Wide right, No Goal, the co-captains leaving, Bill Polian getting canned, the Music City Miracle and about 20 other circumstances, stricken from the record book!! I mean, enough. It is what it is. I can only imagine what would have happened if the Bills won today, “Oh, I couldn’t even watch the game with a smile because it was on Canadian soil.” Just shut up. It sucks, but like I said, the NFL is all about making money and that’s the devil that we have to sleep with in order to have a team.
Now, if you want to tell me that the lack of a homefield advantage cost us this game? Fine. I can agree with that, as I wrote on Friday that playing in Toronto was a strong reason why I wasn’t picking the Bills. However, it’s the devil we sleep with. Just blame the NFL for not caring about the little guy.