Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 19, Miami Dolphins 14

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“The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!,” Dwight D. Eisenhower .

“The history of Chan Gailey is never really written by chance but by choice, Tashard Choice!,” Me.

– Look, I get it: Tashard Choice was awesome at Georgia Tech and Chan Gailey probably remains extremely pleased that the star back transfered there from Oklahoma. It’s really easy to fall in love with a memory and Gailey thinks Choice is one dynamite football player.

And it’s not about the number of carries for Choice in comparison to electrifying running back CJ Spiller. Under 10 carries from your No. 2 back is not outrageous, especially when the ratio is about 3:1 in the other direction. But there is no comparison between Choice and Spiller. Choice is a run-of-the-mill back incapable of breaking the big run. Spiller’s a house threat every time the ball is in his hands. And it’s not as if Choice is a far superior run blocker to Spiller.

But hey, he gives a heck of a speech (cameo from Tyson Chandler Bing Gailey included).

– Look, I’m super happy the Bills won for a number of reasons — not the least of which involves covering the team while they are still in contention — but do you think that performance beats a team not quarterbacked by Ryan Tannehill? Convince me, really, I’d welcome it.


– Aside from a somewhat bogus pass interference call, this was Stephon Gilmore’s best game as a professional. There are signs worth looking for when watching a rookie corner and Gilmore’s aptitudes in playing physical and close to the defender were on display throughout most of Thursday’s game.

– The game also hosted the highest amount of positive times I’ve noticed Kelvin Sheppard in a game. By no means am I reaching out to bronzers for his Hall of Fame bust, but positives are good.


— The Ryan Fitzpatrick: Game Manager experiment paid off Thursday evening. He certainly isn’t the utter failure that gets buckets of vitriol poured on him via Twitter each week, nor is he a new right-handed Steve Young, and it’s reasonable to expect that a team quarterbacked by him with an adequately performing defense could make the playoffs. No, that’s not heaping laurels on him nor calling him the quarterback of the future, but it sure is enough to make a lot of folks exhale and take note of his decision-making, gutsy running and, yes, even his blocking. Smart guy.


— Really liked the addition of the back shoulder throw from Fitz to Stevie Johnson, even if Johnson dropped the first one thrown his way. Johnson is as close to a workhorse wide receiver as the Bills have on the roster. After linebacker and franchise quarterback, wide receiver is easily the next dearth on the roster.

— Leodis McKelvin has quietly — thanks to the Bills record — become one of the most sensational punt returners in the game. There’s a swagger to what he’s doing that is undeniable, especially coming from McKelvin himself who continues to say that if he gets three or four chances a game, one is going all the way. Essentially, he says “Look out” every time he steps back there. It’s easy to say every returner should be like that… but they aren’t.

– Down to the locker room… more to come.

Stat line I liked…

Jairus Byrd, four tackles, fumble recovery, pass defended, interception

– Byrd snagged his fourth interception of the year, but Dave Wannstedt has really figured out the best way to utilize the hard-hitting safety. Byrd has been utilized in some unique blitz looks and almost linebackeresque presnap spots in addition to his centerfield ballhawk skills.

Stat line I didn’t like…

T.J. Graham, two receptions, five yards

– I know he’s a project, but he’s also projected for 30 catches, 222 yards and two touchdowns. That’s slightly more than seven yards per catch and just under 14 yards per game for your third-round draft pick aimed at stretching the field.

Game ball(s)…

Byrd and Kyle Moore

–  No. 54 continues to look just as good as No. 94.


– Phew.

Next week…

– On the road to Indy and Andrew Luck. I can’t buy into this team yet. Just can’t. Colts, 31-17.


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