Immediate Reactions: 49ers 45, Bills 3

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— Look, I know how ugly this football game was, pretty much start to finish. Still it’s very, very important that you make amends with some of the factors outside the Bills control. In no way am I forgiving this performance, but the Niners are an elite team coming off a 34-0 beating of the Jets in New York. The Bills were without a number of starting offensive linemen and their second-choice right guard played injured. On top of all that, the game was being played on the West Coast, which is a notable obstacle The odds were stacked against them just to keep it close. They went with the odds.

— If there was a quarterback on this team worth a roster spot, Fitz would’ve been replaced after that wounded duck interception in the third quarter.

— It’s not often that Fitzpatrick’s quotes bother me, but this one killed me today. He was asked whether this loss was catastrophic. Instead of even a mild sneer, he didn’t even reject the notion.

“It’s tough. It’s tough on team morale now being 2-3. You can’t let these losses linger. I didn’t feel like we came into this game still with some wounds from New England, but we got beat bad by a better team today.”

Say, “No,” Ryan. AT LEAST give us the “one game at a time” baloney. Holy moly.

— See that’s the thing: I hate overdramatizing failure or success, especially early in the season. I had some Twitter arguments with Bills fans during the first half about how quickly they kicked out their own gallows’ stools, but this was horribly, historically bad. I wasn’t even aware it was possible to allow 621 yards of offense. San Francisco gained 417 more yards than the Bills. Yes, it was that bad.

— There isn’t a less-appreciated starting quarterback in America than Alex Smith, at least by Bills fans. The sheer volume of Tweets and other media that couldn’t understand why he’s been successful is stunning. I know he’s on the Left Coast, but he’s also a former No.1 pick whose head coach is one of the top QB gurus active. He has 24 touchdowns and six picks since the start of 2011 and that’s not counting his 5 TD and 0 INT in two playoff games.

— The post to make — and I plan to — is about Buddy Nix rather than Fitz or Gailey. Fitz has certainly been inadequate, but how about these questions for Nix: no suitable backup QB, 5th & 6th rd picks in THIS year’s draft cut, no linebackers. I’m not sure we can make any judgments about Gailey. He hasn’t had too many big decisions to make.

— The Bills had 10 first downs. TEN. The quarterback isn’t doing anything for them right now and the line is doing less. Someone needs to grab soccer’s magic spray and put it all over Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik. The Urbik injury is especially troubling given how quickly San Francisco knifed through the line.

— Nothing in this game could be called a “killer,” but Chandler’s fumble was close. Any look at momentum was kicked directly in the groin when the ball hit the carpet. Glad they reviewed that one so I had time to give the old college try to swallowing my tongue.

— The defense wasn’t world class bad… they were historically bad. If the Bills were Russia, Alexander Mogilny would’ve showed up to Buffalo in 1989 speaking French. There’s apparently a hole in coordinator Dave Wannestedt’s defensive philosophy. That hole is the space between the defensive line and the end zone. It may include the end zone. Buffalo appears horrible at tackling and covering receivers. The linebackers are perhaps the worst performing unit in the country. Almost all of the corners look lost.

— I want to say, “No one’s getting fired,” but I’m just not sure.

— You want to say the star players on offensive aren’t stepping up, but how can you (not counting Fitz as a star, obviously)? Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller didn’t get a ton of chances, Stevie Johnson needs the ball to come near him in order to catch it.

Stat line I liked…

Shawn Powell, four punts, 45 yd average


Stat line I didn’t like…

The rest of them?

Game ball(s)…

For real? Okay, fine. Dareus wasn’t miserable. Lindell kicked a field goal. Yahoo.


— Aaaaaaaaaaaæaaaaaäaaaaaaåaaaaaaah, Pt. II.

Next week…

— On the road again in Arizona (Fitz’s home state). Fortunately, the Cardinals are a poor 3-1 football team. If the offensive line is still this “shambly” (word?), look for Arizona to put up a 31-20 win. Hey, if the Bills ‘D’ is going to mail it in, get me some stamps, too. Make ’em shambly ones.


12 Responses to Immediate Reactions: 49ers 45, Bills 3

  1. Is this what being on the island in Lost feels like? I got physically agressive with my poor 360 controller after Fitz’s wonder fade. I’m just going to stop before I end up with a manifesto. Good night, Go Bills, because in the end it’s the Bill’s and welp I’ll be back next week. Seeeeeeya

  2. “If the Bills were Russia, Alexander Mogilny would’ve showed up to Buffalo in 1989 speaking French.” Love that line. It’s the first time I smiled since the second quarter.

  3. I think that the coach they brought in to work on Fitz’s mechanics in the off-season has actually messed him up. He’s never looked this bad. He’s unsure in the pocket, and while he’s making the right reads, his mechanics have never looked worse. The guy was never an all-pro. He worked well when surrounded by decent talent and was asked to manage the game; take what the defense gives you. Every now and again, he brought that gun slinger mentality to the mix….. And – more importantly, he had the “jim kelly” ability to shake off bad passes.

    The problem is how the team is built at this point. They have offensive linemen that can keep him upright, but they hired a guy who screwed not only with his mechanics, but apparently his head. Worse, the line can block for pass protection, but not run block….. It makes them way too one dimensional.

    The defense is epically bad. I can’t even find a good point to focus on. I have Bills football for over 30 years and I can’t recall a defensives squad this putrid. It looks like every single one of them has a different playbook and none have studied the opposing team’s film. Tackling? Forget it. Pop warner kids tackle better than this bunch.

    There’s been constant complaints about the QB- which happens on every team,…. but frankly, what we all know because we saw it ourselves years ago when the Giants beat us in the superbowl, is that defense wins championships. Offense is exciting, and it fills the seats. But it is never enough to win.

  4. I propose the following solution to this disaster season: 1.)Dave Wannstadt fired immediately – don’t even board the plane to come to Buffalo – we’ll mail your belongings to a forwarding address. Thanks for the records and the bitter memories Dave. 2.) Fitzpatrick is cut tomorrow. He’s terrible; – is now, has been, and will continue to be. Cut him and get some of that wasted money back. Start Tarvaris for the rest of the season and draft a QB next year with your top 3 pick. 3.) Bench Mario Haynesworth.., er, I mean Williams for the next game – don’t even dress him. Let the big excuse-making crybaby sit on the bench in his street clothes and endure the humiliation of being a non-producing whiner who is being dealt with accordingly. For $96 million, you don’t get a pass for being abysmally useless. “I hate overdramatizing failure or success, especially early in the season”. Bwaaaahhhhhhhahahahahah! Only a Bills fan could make a statement like that after the last 2 losses. I respect your undying loyalty, but it’s over dude; deal with it.

  5. Forget Wannstedt, fire Gailey (like I’ve always said). He’s badly mishandled the defense since day one on the job. And he doesn’t have the excuse of lacking talent anymore.

    But, for whatever reason, Gailey gets a pass from most while Dick Jauron was despised. Despite Jauron being more successful.

    • I don’t know if my posts will back me up, but I didn’t call for Jauron until he continued to stick with Trent. I also though Fewell probably deserved a look but I won’t quit on Gailey until this year plays out a little more.

  6. Miss Phoenix,

    To quote Johnny Mac…”You Cannot Be Serious!”

    Chan has badly mishandled the defense, you say? When, since the day he arrived, up to and including the historically bad performance at the Stick this past Sunday, has Thomas Chandler Gailey Jr. ever “handled” the Bills defense, at all? As recently as yesterday he even admitted that he never even pokes his head into the Defensive Meeting Room, since he feels that Wanny and the coaches have more knowledge and experience than he will ever have on that side of the ball. Those are his own words, basically.

    Mishandled? That is a borderline psychotic observation. (Even for you) ;)

    If you were to make the indictment against Chan that as Head Coach he *should* have a handle on that unit, then, fine. I could respect that point. After all, he is responsible for the entire team, whether he chooses to be or not.

    And, when will your somewhat troubling more-than-just-a-silly-schoolgirl crush on Richard Manuel Jauron come to its mature end? Look, Dick was a bad Head Coach. Period. He is, however, a decent defensive coach. But, his fatal mistake was drafting, grooming and standing stubbornly-by a horrible starting QB: Trent “Angel Hair” Edwards. That was his downfall. (It may prove to be Chan’s downfall, as well, only with a moderately better QB – Fitz.) Was Dick more “successful” than Gailey, thus far? Yes. Slightly more successful at having losing records. Faint praise, indeed.

    I am not disputing your notion that Chan should be fired. Maybe he should. Maybe he will be. I just don’t buy your logic about the reasons.

    Personally, I liked the Wanny hire, and I still maintain that this Bills defense, with this collection of undeniable talent, can’t possibly be as bad as it has recently played. It HAS to be better. I still have faith that Wanny (with or without Chan’s input) can get this thing turned around. Then, and only then, will we be able to judge Chan’s job security.

    Like many, I think that Fitz is *a* problem on this team. But he is not *the* problem. Fix the defense, and then we will know whether or not Chan made the same mistake with Fitz, that Dick made with Trent.

    But, first and foremost, we must FIX THIS DEFENSE.

    • Dave “Dave Wannstedt” Wannstedt is definitely the number one guy under the gun right now and I have a lot of questions for TC Gailey. For example, what’s been his role in the roster? Cause opening the year with Tyler Thigpen & Tarvaris Jackson is ridiculous. Going back to the first Nix draft when he skipped over proven big conference talent for Troup & Carrington, man oh man. If there’s a chopping block, the men-in-line of the three are probably:

      1. Nix
      2. Wannstedt
      3. Gailey

      Oddly enough, the league operates in a way where the guy who chooses the players gets fire after the guy who has to coach them.

    • Gailey was the one who insisted on the 3-4 when he started, simply because the good teams did, even though everyone knew the Bills lacked the personnel for it. And it lasted like 5 games. Who knew that LB Chris Kelsay would go wrong?

      Gailey can hire whatever cronies he wants, he’s the one who has the answer for this team sucking. He’s never shown any acumen on the defensive side his entire career, and that won’t change.

      I’m not disputing that Jauron was a bad coach. He was too conservative for his own good. But, fact, Jauron produced better results than Gailey, with less financial commitment to get quality players.

      I’m not one that subscribes to panicking like most, but Nix, Gailey and the entire staff needs to go. This is Amateur Hour. If you think there’s going to be improvement after the last 2 weeks, I don’t know what to tell you.

      The sad thing is that I expect Gailey survives after winning a few of the weak season-ending games.

      • I can’t believe that there is actually a discussion about how “we were better with Jauron”, but you are absolutely correct about that. I don’t know what happened to Buddy Nix, but he put a hell of a team together in San Diego, so how we ended up with an Offensive Coordinator for a head coach, a shaky back up QB for a starter, zero QB depth on the roster, and a proven useless Defensive Coordinator is absolutely beyond me. At least we found out one thing from this disaster experiment: Ralph isn’t “cheap” after all, just extraordinarily inept at staffing…

  7. Who cares about quarterback depth? You need a #1. That’s it. At best, your backup will step in and keep the team warm for a week or two. If it goes beyond that, with very few exceptions, you’re done for the year. Sure, sometimes Tom Brady comes in for Drew Bledsoe and the job is his for the next 15 years or Frank Reich comes in and is a total goddamn hero, but those situations, quite clearly, are not the norm. The point is, why do I care whether I have one quarterback who was formerly borderline respectable and two absolute bums, or three decent guys but still no one special? Call me when there’s one who’s at least good, or more ideally great. We’ll be lucky to have a chance to lose in the wild card round until then, as recent history shows us.

    Go Bills.