Repeat that over and over to yourselves. Use that number as comfort. Twelve signifies the number of remaining games left in the Bills’ hopeless 2010 season. With a quarter of the season finished, the Buffalo Bills are exactly where almost everyone predicted they’d be: 0-4 and one of the worst teams in football.
Insert synonym for bad here at your own pleasure. I’m fearful I’d just be repeating the same descriptive words to describe yet another sorry Sunday afternoon that can be very loosely called Buffalo Bills football. For everyone who firmly believes that the Bills need to once and for all bottom out and start new with a top draft selection, Christmas is coming early for you. At 0-4, the countdown is starting to warm and if the Bills don’t find any way to beat Jacksonville next week, the 0-16 watch will begin.
After positive signs and signs of life from the Bills in their loss at New England last week, Buffalo returned home and did a laudable job of performing like garbage. They were horrible on offense and putrid on defense. They couldn’t catch or run or tackle. They couldn’t block. They couldn’t keep the Jets off the scoreboard. They couldn’t stop the chorus of boos. They couldn’t stop the masses from flooding the exits.
I wrote that Sunday’s game would be a glaring matchup of the haves, played by the Jets, versus the have nots, of course played by the Bills. And if you didn’t know it beforehand, Sunday’s 38-14 blowout confirmed any lingering suspicions. The Jets have strong management following through on a well thought-out plan for success. They have Mark Sanchez. And they have talent. The Bills, meanwhile, continue to draft poorly and their plan remains to just simply throw it against the wall and pray that it sticks.
Clearly the Bills don’t belong on the same field as the Jets, at least not when it comes to running and stopping the run. Last season in two games, the Jets ran roughshod over Buffalo, totaling 567 rushing yards. Ironically in the first meeting between the teams last year, Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny returned after missing time with an injury. In that game, the Jets ran for 318 yards. Now in the last three encounters versus the Jets, the Bills have allowed 840 yards rushing.
Fast forward a year and the same scenario played out. Posluszny returned after missing the previous two games with a knee injury just in time for the Jets to rack up 273 yards rushing. I’m not pinning the poor defense on Posluszny’s shoulders, I’m just merely pointing out the strange, yet not so strange coincidences. The Bills defense made LaDainian Tomlinson look like the LaDainian Tomlinson of old instead of the old LaDainian Tomlinson. He scored two rushing touchdowns and finished the day with 133 yards rushing, his first game over the 100-yard mark since Oct. 2008.
For most of the day Ryan Fitzpatrick was running for his life which explains his 74 yards rushing, a team high. He threw two touchdowns, the first to tight end David Martin at the end of the first half cutting into New York’s lead 17-7 at halftime. The second came in the meangingless fourth quarter to Steve Johnson when the game was long out of reach. The much anticipated vaunted three-headed rushing attack combined for 40 yards on nine carries and one fumble courtesy of Marshawn Lynch. The Bills were 0-for-10 on third downs, while gaining 223 total yards of offense.
That number, however, fails to tell the story. New York had their bags packed and their minds focused on next week’s game with Minnesota when the Bills offense “got going”, trailing 38-7 in the final quarter when Buffalo gained 126 yards against the Jets’ backups.
So for the fourth time in as many weeks, Chan Gailey heads back to the drawing board in hopes of finding “the right mix”. The last thing I want to do is use this website as my personal outlet for expressing bitter diatribes on the state of the Bills. But that’s exactly how I feel: bitter. We all deserve better. Buffalo has become a laughingstock throughout the NFL, the Oakland Raiders of the East except worse. There’s no better prime example in the NFL of what happens to a franchise that fails at evaluating and collecting talent, in the draft or in free agency. It starts at the very top. Ralph Wilson stinks as an owner and the effect of that is the Bills stink as a team.
Looking for a positive note? I wish I could give you one. It’s all about Saturdays now. Learn these names: Andrew Luck, Ryan Mallet and Jake Locker. They’re considered the top quarterback prospects in college football, and what a coincidence, it just so happens the Bills need a quarterback. If this keeps up, the Bills will have their pick of the litter next April. But of course I’m assuming the Bills actually have an idea how to draft. After all, they took Aaron Maybin a year ago and given the state of things, he still can’t see the field.
Yes, folks, twelve is the magic number. Twelve games left. On a positive note, after next week we’ll be down to eleven.