(WECK 1230) — That is the most fun I’ve had watching a low-scoring garbage sandwich of a football game in a long, long time. It shows how far the Bills have fallen as a franchise that such a contest would inspire texts like, “This is not helping my blood pressure” and “I can’t stand the anxiety”, but such is life. The Bills’ 13-10 OT loss also sent this text my way:
“The Bills are proof that there is a God, and He is not just.”
Sacrilege from my good friend aside, we move on…
— There will be many reasons given for the Bills’ second-consecutive overtime loss and seventh-straight defeat, but there’s one that keeps shouting at me.
For the second week in-a-row, the Bills running backs looked worthless for most of the game. Given C.J. Spiller’s talent and Fred Jackson’s relentless effort, I’m going to put that on the offensive line. Two weeks and two close games where the Bills couldn’t trust their backs to average 4.0 yards-per-carry. That’s just not going to work.
— Staying with the backs, the only excuse I can think of for not featuring Spiller over Jackson is that the Bills want to come as close to “redshirting” him without looking like they don’t trust the No. 9 overall pick. You know, save his body the wear-and-tear of a full worthless season of abuse. I don’t condone, but it’s the only excuse I’d consider accepting.
— The No. 1 beef with overtime so far seems to be Chan Gailey and Curtis Modkins’ insistence on passing in the extra session. I can’t decide if I can get behind this viewpoint, even if it seems the easiest answer. The Bills ran 19 plays in overtime, only four of them runs by a tailback. Jackson had four carries for 13 yards, which isn’t exactly dynamite. Plus, Fitz’s ability to scramble makes every spread formation-style play a possible running play. My early verdict? Not a big deal… and this is coming from a guy who would run on nearly every first down if he was a playcaller. The only playcalling complaint I like is the one that reads, “You’re 0-6. Kick the bleeping field goal”, during overtime (Thanks, Brent Garner).
— Kyle Williams was a monster. The Pro Football Focus guys told the show a few weeks ago that he was the only player they consistently rate well on an consistent basis, and he was all over Brian Waters and the Chiefs interior offensive line. Williams registered two sacks and kept Matt Cassel on the run for the majority of the game.
— Chris Kelsay had one of his worst games ever, and that’s saying something. The outside linebackers looks absolutely lost out there and his advantage of being an intelligent player is now being compromised by his attempts at trying to make up for his physical ineptitudes at OLB. Good thing he’s not signed long-term. Wait, what?!?!?!?!?
— Leodis McKelvin had the football nerd’s play of the day with his wrap-up and stuff of Cassel on a quarterback scramble in overtime. When Terrence McGee comes back, the Bills would be wise to shift Drayton Florence to No. 3 corner. Florence has made major mistakes in multiple weeks and looks to be the corner the Bills dragged off the scrap heap in 2009 as opposed to the one who was a stalwart last season.
— Lee Evans, Stevie Johnson, Roscoe Parrish and David Nelson: You may take a bow. My only beef remains with Evans who seems to quit on one or two poorly-thrown balls-per-game. That shows up in the box score as QOPTBPG. Look for it.
— Okay, what did I think of Fitz? I thought he showed some moxie after struggling through some poor decisions and bad throws. He was Losmanesque on quick drop-off accuracy to Jackson during regulation and very lucky that Derrick Johnson dips his hands in canola oil between drives.
But he’s a leader, and an adequate-enough guy to run your offense. I’d put it this way: Watching Demetrius Bell today and college quarterbacks this season, I’d go left tackle or monster linebacker if Andrew Luck doesn’t come out. If Luck does come out, I would rather karate kick a guillotine blade than pass up on the Stanford product (Yes, even though he went to Stanford).
— One more Fitz point: I’ll give a little credit for his failings this week to the blustery weather, which made Cassel’s pass attempts look ridiculous at times as well.
— Buffalo’s run defense between the defensive line and secondary is pathetic. Half of the d-line’s tackles come when they turn around and pursue the back who is eluding the linebackers quite easily. For this reason, I give Dwan Edwards a gold star, while dishing our silver stars to Torell Troup and Marcus Stroud. I didn’t notice Spencer Johnson for the first time in a long time.
— Aaron Maybin was mistake-free today.
— I’d love to talk to an offensive line expert on what Bell is doing wrong. The inconsistent left tackle has had good games and bad games. The Chiefs match-up falls into the latter. I wonder if it’s the caliber of defensive end that has him struggling or simply a longer learning curve than o-line boss Joe D’Alessandris expected?
— George Wilson dropped a huge potential interceptions. He seems to be struggling more than in recent years. He was a wide receiver, after all.
— Tough luck for Rian Lindell who had his perfect overtime football kicking record short-circuited by the stupid time-out rule. I understand that it’s part of the game, but it certainly limits the drama of the moment, doesn’t it?
— Regardless of the Chiefs’ talent, I will never bet on a Todd Haley-lead team. I like his four downs philosophy, but he’s a horrible game manager. Who is the genius calling pass plays for most of the second half? Is it Charlie Weis? If so, he forgot how to manage an offense while at Notre Dame. Haley constantly bears a countenance of confusion. Why do these NFL coaches refuse to run on the Bills. If Haley ran on every single play, I’d bet the Chiefs would’ve scored two touchdowns without once “keeping the Bills honest.”
— And, oh, Corey McIntyre loves “Twilight” (saysay)
This week’s cut…
If I had to cut a guy based on this week’s performance, it would be Bell or Florence. I don’t, however, wish either off the roster.
Stat line I liked…
Williams, seven tackles, 2.0 sacks
— We covered this on Twitter, where I mentioned he must’ve covered all his meals in monster sauce during the bye week. Williams has been money in the Baltimore and KC games.
Stat line I didn’t like…
Jamal Charles, 22 carries, 177 yards
— I kept expecting one of our defenders to blow loudly on a flute, point to Charles and say, “He’s good.”
It’ll be the Bears and Bills in Canada and with Jay Cutler’s wing-itability surpassing Fitzpatrick, it should be a fun game to watch. They can’t black us out on this “home game”, right? I’m inexplicably high on the Bills right now, so let’s call Fitz going 23-of-36 for 245 yards, 2 TDs and an inteception (one of those might be on the ground). Bills 29, Bears 27 on the strength of five Rian Lindell field goals.
One more thing…
We’ve moved our pregame show to a Monday Night Football outing at Hucklebuckets. Come watch my show from 7-8 on Mondays, followed by whoever is tangoing on MNF on a ton of nice TVs. I’m unaware if the collective weight of the televisions is over 2,000 pounds. Also, you can rarely guarantee which random athlete or personality might be joining me for the hour, plus Luke Russert on the horn.