Immediate Reactions: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Buffalo Bills 22

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving, well, a great November. It’s been an incredibly busy time with loads of paying work and family obligations that has stopped me from doing the “free” stuff like writing here more often, or writing rhymes about football players. Going to try to be in the mix for Bills home games, but just can’t promise that any more.

As for today…

Entertainment?

There was just too much lunacy in Sunday’s game against Kansas City for me to stay silent. Let’s count the ways in which Buffalo put this game in the balance by doing silly things.

  1. Who in the world is in charge of video replay decisions? First, Rex Ryan does not challenge the long completion to Jeremy Maclin that set the Chiefs up for their first touchdown. It was clear before the TV commentators started questioning whether the ball hit the ground that it, indeed, has touched the ground before Maclin had control. Embarrassing.
  2. And only slightly more egg on the face than when Ryan did challenge a pass play. Robert Woods wasn’t close to saving a completion from hitting the ground in the third quarter, but Ryan opted to toss the flag. It, of course, stood.
  3. Boobie Dixon should never, ever, ever run the ball wide, unless you are playing against 11 defensive tackles.
  4. Jerry Hughes jumps into Alex Smith, an NFL quarterback, a relative 10 years after he threw the ball in the red zone.
  5. Back to the challenges: Not challenging the Chris Hogan “non-catch” is ridiculous.

Onto to a quartet of plain old mistakes:

fc0mN— 2nd & 11, :30 to go in the third quarter, and Alex Smith tries to throw a pick-six to Ronald Darby, but the rookie fails to collect the ball.

— There is a book on beating this Bills pass rush and, especially now that Buffalo has the added problem of being down several defensive linemen, teams are going to be able to run on them. They do not have a game-changer at middle linebacker to consistently sniff out plays, and that’s a major area of concern.

— Remember in the preseason and first few weeks, when folks were publicly worried about Greg Roman being the hot coaching candidate and only lasting a year in Buffalo? Safe to say that, if that was true, he’s slid back to the pack. Tyrod Taylor obviously couldn’t find receivers, so perhaps we should reserve that statement to a repeat viewing, but I’ll leave that to you. Not really feeling a reheated helping of that old trash casserole.

In the end, the National Football League’s substandard product was met by a group of Bills coaches who upped the ante on awful. And the Bills are in deep, deep, pretty deserved trouble. If not for the injuries early in the year, you could wipe the “pretty” off that sentence. Plus, Buffalo’s schedule is fairly weak the rest of the way.

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29 Responses to Immediate Reactions: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Buffalo Bills 22

  1. Agreed. Sadly.

    And I’d add that while I’m no football genius, that on third down with 10 minutes in the 4th, Bills on Chiefs 42 down 5, and Chiefs scoring on nearly every drive in second half, coaches should have been thinking in terms of 4 down situation?

    If they did, maybe call a run on third and use the 4th down for short yardage if needed? Instead, they throw for incomplete and punt on forth.

    Two plays later, KC’s Ware up the middle for 35 yard run, and the field is short once again. This leads to the field goal making a touchdown & two point conversion a necessity for Bills, with little time left; something clearly out of reach for this team and coaches, who must have been watching a different game, or thinking about what they’re having for dinner later.

    John

  2. Buffalo made Tom Brady look human on Monday night. Today with no pressure Alex smith looked like a world beater. What does it take for Thurman and Ryan to get the picture? I don’t know, but what I see is total cluelessness in the coaching. This game should have been a win, coach roman called a pretty good game. The defense is a lot better than they can show with the stupid defensive calls. I would rather see the bills lose the one on one coverage and blitz and get in the QBs face instead of running a defense that is no more than a prevent defense that does nothing more than prevent you from winning. Defensively either uses the players to their talents or resign. Coach Ryan and Thurman has totally ruined last years number 4 ranked defense. With this loss we probably will miss the playoffs again. Turned into a sad team.

  3. Let’s not overanalyse this, Rex Ryan is no head coach, Pegula must do the right thing and replace Ryan with a legitimate professional coach.

  4. A disappointing Bills loss. But they earned it.

    After a very strong start, Buffalo withered down the stretch and lost this critical game to a better opponent. Which just about hammers the final nail into their playoff-hopes coffin.

    There were several factors that played a part in this game. However, one of which (surprisingly) was not the bad weather. Both teams handled the elements. Injuries hit both teams, as well. But, one the biggest ingredients was game day coaching.

    Poor game management. This has always been a weakness for Rex Ryan, and today he did his team no favors with his use (or misuse) of challenges. Very bad job.

    Well, it all started great. Early Bills domination. 1st Quarter plus it was all Buffalo. On all sides, except: another missed extra point. Jeez, come on, Danny! Also, a turnover by the Bills (McCoy fumble) but it didn’t hurt them.

    However, other than those miscues, no big complaints.

    The O-line was quite good, in both phases. Some holes opened, and no real pressure on Taylor at all. Tyrod was on his game early – at least on the outside throws (his strength) and particularly to Sammy, who he kept feeding.

    And why not?

    Watkins absolutely abused the KC secondary in the first half. He had Chiefs DB’s beat, scared, and confused. This gave Bills wideouts tons of cushion. And even when they had Sammy doubled, he still beat them. Bills ran pretty well, too.

    On the other side, Bills D stifled KC offense early – Alex Smith looked like Alex Smith. But, eventually, he got quite hot – too hot for a “great” defense to allow.

    After building a decent lead due to Sammy’s big catches, the Bills began to slowly wilt.

    KC finally put together a good possession, pounding the ball effectively on the ground. Which set-up a bomb by Smith (should have been challenged by Rex) that led to a goal line TD run. 80-yard drive.

    The Bills respond. Sammy TD, again. Outstanding. But, KC responds. Another 80-yard drive. Sigh. Alex Smith torches Darby for a deep TD.

    Bills have a chance under two minutes, but offense then sputters for their first 3-and-out of the game. KC uses the final seconds well to set-up a longish FG attempt – doinked off the crossbar.

    Plays, yards, first downs – All huge first half numbers for the Bills offense.

    Entertaining. Bills 16-14.

    But then the wheels start to come off the bandwagon. The Bills score on only one of their second half drives, while KC scores on nearly every drive, and easily controls the rest of the game.

    It starts off bad and gets worse. KC takes opening second half possession for a TD, and the lead. Disappointing. Darby and Gilmore are each burned on this drive. As I’ve said many times – both are good, but neither is great.

    Next Bills drive – Ugh. Henderson gets beat around the edge, Tyrod fumbles, and the Chiefs recover. Bills D stiffens and forces a FG – which KC hits. 17 unanswered points.

    :(

    Next drive, Bills get a huge break when KC jumps offsides on the punt. Then, a few penalties aid the Buffalo drive, and Tyrod hits Shady for a short TD. They go for 2, but are denied.

    After that, Bills offense goes into an utter funk and stalls. Sammy Watkins disappears from the face of the earth – one target, zero catches in the second half. Tyrod cannot make plays without him, especially between the hashes (his weakness) and gets very lucky when KC drops a sure pick-6 on a bad decision/pass.

    Big bullet dodged. So, after KC gets a FG, Bills trail by 8 (30-22) with 3.5 minutes left. Crunch time. Here we go! This year it will be different, right?

    Nope.

    Bills are deep in their own territory, and face a 4th down. They go for it, Tyrod scrambles, but comes up just short. KC takes over, gets one first down, and kneels it out.

    Ball game.

    Very damaging Conference loss. A complete team defeat.

    Offense went stone cold. Tyrod threw some nice balls (outside, always outside) but threw some ducks too. And he reverted back to his jittery tentative tendencies with the game on the line.

    Defense started okay, but got gashed on the ground as KC stuck with the run game. Plus, they allowed Alex Smith (who is not Tom Brady) to shred them as the game played out. That simply should not happen in a “must-win” game.

    Bad coaching hurt them. Rex’s blunders, and his excuses/explanations in his postgame presser, are inexcusable. In-game adjustments (or lack thereof) proved costly. Allowing Sammy to be completely taken away as the sole option. Allowing KC to sustain drive after drive with no key stops.

    This coaching staff in general seems to have no idea how to adjust. They have a decent plan to start a game, but when things change (and of course they always do) they just collapse into futility.

    So, shall we even talk playoffs anymore?

    Playoffs?

    I suppose some Bills fans will convince themselves that this mediocre team can somehow win 4 of their last 5 games and maybe snag a wildcard spot. Our schedule is not that tough! Well, maybe not. But this is the NFL – where no game is a gimme for the lesser teams, like the Bills.

    And suddenly the “tougher” games (Philly, Dallas) look easier, and the “easier” games (Texans, Skins) look tougher.

    Either way, I still will not budge (unless/until the Bills make me) from my prediction for this team…

    8-8. At best.

    So, go beat the Texans, and remain on life-support. Lose, and I will recommend…

    Euthanasia.

    • The odds of 9-7 getting in for the Bills are really low now. They have to win out, other people can hope for that.

      After watching the conclusion of this game and Broncos/Pats, I hate football. This product sucks. So many games decided by bad officiating, stupid rules, and random calls that can be justified at any time.

  5. “I hate football.”

    Well, me? I love football. It’s the NFL that I hate.

    While I can certainly understand your increasing enmity, I choose not to let my own disgust with the league taint my enjoyment of the sport.

    Though, I must admit, it can be sometimes very difficult.

    Thing is, as with most things in life, it has always been thus. When it comes to any human endeavor, nothing has really changed all that much – be it 40 years ago or 4000 years. Humans are still humans – with all their inherent flaws.

    So, as for this NFL “product” – it has always been fairly bad. In fact, I would submit that in some ways it’s actually gotten better. There is now, at least, much more public scrutiny than ever before.

    I can remember watching games 30+ years ago (I’m old, you will recall) and screaming at the TV about bad calls, stupid rules, capricious judgment, etc.

    These things happened just as often, but fewer people noticed or cared enough to gripe too loudly. A bad call in one game was seen by a much more limited audience, and, with no endless replays, no Sportscenter, no Twitter, it was quickly forgotten with a collective – oh, well.

    What’s changed is the emphasis (and money) that is placed upon the sport.

    Big television and social media have magnified the errors to the 1000th power. We all now get see EVERY mistake in EVERY game – over and over. But the mistakes were always there – for those (like you and me and others) who really *watch* the games.

    So, what to do?

    Well, I’m not here to pimp for the NFL, so I would not blame anyone for abandoning this “product” forever. I could respect that stance. As for me, I will still pay it some attention, with one caveat…

    You will recall my Roman Emperor analogy in the previous thread? I treat it simply as a merry diversion. It’s all just a spectacle, staged for my own amusement, and not to be taken too seriously. Ever. Just kick back and enjoy the show.

    And while there is much to hate in this sport at the professional level, there are still those moments in every game when astounding displays of human athleticism occur (a throw, a catch, a block, a tackle – the pure essence of the sport) which induce me to remember why I bother to watch. Not because I love the NFL, but…

    Because I love the game. For what it’s worth.

    As for our Bills. I agree that 9 wins will probably not be enough. But, I think we agree, it’s a moot point anyway. This team is not now, and never was going to be, very good. They will be lucky to get the 8 wins I predicted back in August.

    Oh, you remember August. Back when far too many Bills fans bought what Rex was selling, sight unseen. When dreams of “Best Defense Ever” and “Super Bowl” and other such nonsense were being peddled, and swallowed whole by fans and media alike.

    But, this 2015 Buffalo Bills team’s mediocrity and present lackluster position is really no surprise to some people. People…

    Like you and me, Leelee Phoenix. :)

    P.S. And I’m still with you, kiddo. Know what I mean?

  6. I agree with “Joe Buffalo” here 100 percent (as well as Nick’s original comments), as the only sensible and proactive commentary.

    ST. You can compose paragraph after pointless paragraph of detailed commentary. That’s classic Monday Morning Quarterbacking and while I commend you for your passion, what’s the point? You’re thinking harder about a team than the members do themselves. And they make a hell of a lot more money than you do and go home with far less of a mental burden . . . one would assume.

    Or, we can just prognosticate about the likely bleak future. That’s like calling the sun hot. It is. Hot, and bleak

    The only take away point now should be this: Rex was fun, but he and his staff is horrible and should all be gone as soon as is viable.

    Remember that “Build a Bully” crap? Wow. Just, wow. You all know New York City is laughing their collective asses off right about now, and rightfully so. Either this “bully” has left Buffalo, or he never reported to camp in the first place. But thanks for the rhetoric Rex because Bills fans are in fact among the most gullible in the league.

    Myself included.

    John

  7. I’ll comment on a couple things.

    Sammy Watkins not getting targets in the 2nd half is drawing many people’s dander. It’s not a Sammy thing, it’s a Tyrod thing. The Chiefs clearly shaded Eric Berry to the sidelines, and dared the Bills to beat them with inside throws. And as has been noted often, Tyrod never throws any remotely difficult passes in the middle of the field.

    I’d love an explanation on why Tyrod is limited in this extremely unusual way. It can’t simply be due to his height.

    Rex remains what I thought he was when he was signed. He’s a competent football mind that has his strengths and weaknesses. The game management weakness really shined in this game. His philosophy has been very successful at times, and others not so good. When this defense has been healthy, it’s been ‘elite’ and when dinged up they got average very quickly. Rex is basically just another guy, but that probably was better than signing another Doug Marrone type.

  8. Agree, and disagree (slightly) with Miss Phoenix.

    About Sammy – you are right, Leelee, its all about Tyrod. And, as you know, my concerns about Taylor have only been increasing with each game he has played.

    {Quick note, as an aside:

    I cordially invite any other commenter on this site to visit the archives here (in case their memory is fading or their reading comprehension was faulty) and thereby discover that my predictions about this team have been proven correct time after time, for several years now. The key word being – PREDICTIONS. As defined by Merriam-Webster…

    prediction

    noun pre·dic·tion \pri-ˈdik-shən\

    – a statement about what will happen or might happen in the future

    – the act of saying what will happen in the future : the act of predicting something

    As such, I will let my observations speak for themselves.}

    Now, back to Tyrod…

    We’ve discussed this before briefly, Leelee, and we agree that Tyrod has limitations. The kid is simply not comfortable throwing in the middle of the field. The question is: is he being limited by his coaches because they are afraid of him, or, is he himself afraid, and the coaches know this.

    Personally, while a combo of both, I think it’s more of the latter.

    His short stature probably plays a part, but I just think that Tyrod is not able to see and make those “tough” throws in a crowded area, in a tight window, between the hashes, on a consistent basis.

    Outside throws? Sure. Easy reads and throws. You see the coverage, you see your guy, you throw it up and either he grabs it or it’s a relatively harmless incompletion.

    Inside throws? Harder to see and complete. Lots of traffic, so if it’s not perfectly thrown, there is a much higher risk of it being picked.

    I do think that Tyrod is probably being told to play it “safer” and that’s on the coaches. But, I believe it’s more just him. It’s really not a surprise. Most young or inexperienced or lesser QB’s struggle with that aspect of the pro game. Unless they have supreme confidence in their abilities, they will usually NOT take the riskier option.

    I like Tyrod, he brings a lot to the table. But, I fear that he may never rise above that “average” level as a pro. The kind of guy – absent superior defense, running game, and coaching – will only lead his team to 8 wins (give or take) on a yearly basis.

    So far, and the clock is ticking, he has not shown to be a true “franchise” guy.

    Now, where I disagree with you is about the defense being “elite”. You know how I feel about this. And when that word is used it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

    I simply do not believe that this Bills defense (even at full strength) has ever been great or elite or whatever. They are just too weak in coverage (DB’s and LB’s) to be considered great, absent a ferocious pass rush. And they are too inconsistent in run defense. Some games they stuff it, other games they get gashed.

    This goes back to last year, too. When they were much higher rated. And that was even before the Leelee Theory was proven correct this season, wherein they got worse not better. Which, by the way…

    We both *predicted* would happen *before* it did. ;)

    Last year this defense got torched by Cutler, Brady, Rivers, etc.
    This year it’s been Brady, Eli, Dalton, and even Bortles and Alex Smith, to a degree.

    Yes, those guys are all really good, or at least decent. But “elite” defenses don’t get torched that often. Look, they are still pretty good overall. They don’t stink, like they did 3 or 4 years ago. And, the injuries have played a part, I will grant you that.

    The real problem is that the Leelee Theory was TOO correct. Damn you. :)

    We both knew they would regress, but the drop-off has been worse than I expected. That is partly on the players, and partly on the coaching. Which brings me to your final point.

    About Rex.

    The day he was hired the only good thing I could say about him was that he was NOT Doug Marrone (whom I despised). I didn’t like the hire.

    I think he’s a good defensive mind, but he’s never proven to be competent Head Coach. He is a sub .500 career coach, with bad gameday management skills, and an inability to find or develop a quality QB.

    These are all things that I pointed out…

    AT THE TIME HE WAS HIRED. Not afterward, in case anybody is confused.

    What makes me depressed now is that we may be stuck with him for a few more years. Pegula is not going to eat $20M in salary and fire him this year, like some delusional fans may think. No way.

    So, unless Tyrod greatly improves, or, the Bills somehow find a much better QB in the off-season (trade, draft, whatever) we are going to be suffer through more seasons like this one.

    7 or 8 or maybe 9 win seasons. And only prayers for that elusive playoff spot.

    Now, get Rex Ryan a true franchise QB, and he will be just fine. Of course, almost any coach will succeed if they get that one guy. It changes everything.

    But, this present Bills “formula” with a limited Tyrod Taylor, with a barely good (not great) defense, with bad coaching decisions, with too many overpaid, marginal, under-utilized, slacking or futile players…

    Mario, Clay, McCoy, Hughes, Harvin, Felton – over $200 million. To what end?

    …It’s not a good plan for future success.

  9. Texans game review…

    Well, I liked the Bills this week and, as it played out, I never felt they were going to lose this game. They didn’t. But, Bills being Billsy, they made it close. Of course.

    A win. Needed. Got it. That’s 1 win down and 3 (or maybe 4) to go.

    A back and forth first half that H.G. Wells might have enjoyed. Let’s hop in our time machine and play some football like it’s 1934!

    For the Bills – it was sweep left, sweep right. Not much passing (only 7 attempts) but groundy-poundy. And when it wasn’t McCoy (who looked darn shifty again) it was designed runs for Tyrod.

    For the Texans – it was a few passes but lots of running, too. The Bills did a good job keeping the Texan’s biggest threats – Watt and Hopkins – from doing any damage. Both offenses moved the ball at times and put up points.

    Then, like clockwork, it’s bombs away! Sammy splits the double-team nicely, and Tyrod hits him for a long gainer which sets up a TD catch to Woods. The CB is in position but whiffs on the pass break-up.

    Run, run, run, and bomb it, baby! Rex Ryan football. It worked. Today.

    Bills 21-13 at the intermission.

    Nothing much in the second half. Except, injuries. :(

    Tough seeing Gilmore get hurt. But, perhaps, if the young man occasionally used his arms to tackle, instead of simply lunging at defenders with his shoulder (see Texans second TD and numerous other missed tackles throughout his career) then maybe he would make more plays, and also better avoid injury.

    Oh, I forgot. He’s “elite”. Never mind.

    And McCoy gets dinged and has to miss time for the concush protocol. Other than the bomb, Shady was the Bills entire offense, so his absence is felt.

    Both offenses continue to stall, until – BOMBS AWAY! Sammy again. So, why not just throw 20 or 30 bombs a game to Sammy? It works, right? It’s a great “formula”, right? It’s basically the ONLY thing that works in the Bills passing game – which might make some fans quite content, but not me.

    Anyway, the Sammy bomb is for naught since Carpenter misses the FG.

    Sigh.

    More sluggish offense on both sides until the Texans wake up – and Hopkins abuses Darby for 3 big catches – helping an 83-yard drive and a successful 2-point conversion.

    21-21. Anybody’s game.

    Defenses get stingy, offenses get conservative. Field position battle ensues.

    For two straight possessions, Tyrod gets very lucky – could have easily had two picks – pick 6’s maybe. When he doesn’t throw those bombs, he’s a very average starting QB.

    Finally, Bills make enough plays, McCoy is back and rips off a big gainer. Then, Texans defense falls asleep on Clay and Tyrod hits him wide open for the TD.

    Another missed extra point makes it nervy time. It was bad hold, but still it’s obvious that Carpenter is not Carpenter this year. We may need a new kicker.

    Anyway, defense holds and they get the win. Whew.

    So, now, it’s back-to-back road games. Philly and Washington. Eagles coming off a huge win over the Pats in Foxboro, so they’ll be ready for Shady’s return; and the Powhatan are playing well at home this season.

    Neither game will be easy. Nothing is easy for a mediocre football team. But, let’s see if the Bills have a run in them, and are able to remain alive until X-Mas.

    To quote Hans Gruber:

    “It’s Christmas. It’s the time of miracles.”

    :)

  10. Notwithstanding the fact that, lately, I seem to be talking to myself here, I have a few thoughts about news items regarding the Bills this week. So, here goes…

    (I’ve always liked the sound of my own voice, anyway) ;)

    1. This “Espn 30 For 30” thingy.

    No interest. Why? First, I lived it. No need to do so again. Second, it’s been DONE before. About 20 years ago, NFL Films or ESPN or somebody did the same exact program – called it “Buffalo, One City/One Dream” or something. I’ve watched it in the past (it seems to have been scrubbed from YouTube) but I can’t find it now.

    Same story. They interviewed all the same characters – players (Norwood, and such) and media (Vic Carucci) and fans (like Tim Russert, who was still with us then) and the City Hall losers rally, and all that jazz.

    We are the “greatest” losers ever. Basically.

    Yes, it WAS great the way that team kept fighting, and never gave up. Yes, it’s very “Buffalo” to be so resilient. The thing is: that team DESERVED our loyalty. They EARNED it, year after year.

    The problem now is that very same loyalty has continued UNDESERVED for 15 years now. Too many fans are still clinging to the Glory Days nostalgia, or are too young to even remember when the Bills were truly great.

    They are willing to settle for much less (please, please 9 wins, please) and for all the attendant propaganda and hyperbole, while never demanding a product truly worth their time and money.

    And, as others here have spoken to, it’s not a very healthy proposition, civically, for a downtrodden city (although things are getting slowly better) to be so financially beholden to a football team.

    And a LOSING football team to boot – for 15 years now.

    So, go ahead, enjoy the show. Get misty-eyed. Puff out your chests, and pat yourselves on the back for being so “Buffalo”. And continue to think that those players all loved you (they didn’t and still don’t) and take some perverse pride in achieving something that will never be done again! Losing 4 in a row!

    Fun fact: Some things *should* never be done again.

    And, if anyone should accuse me of not “getting” it – allow me to repeat: I am a WNY native born and bred and I LIVED it. I wasn’t a mere child at the time, with vague memories, but rather a fully-grown adult. I was AT some of those games. I gave that team my time and my money and my dedication.

    Been there, done that. Now, I demand a CHAMPIONSHIP and nothing less. And I demand competence and accountability, while never giving blind loyalty to a franchise that has been a joke for nearly two decades.

    And I simply will not settle for the table scraps of a perennial 7 or 8 or 9 win team, begging for the playoffs every year. Forget the Glory Days. They are dead and gone. Demand more NOW of this team. Speaking of, leads me to my second point…

    2. This “Shady returning to Philly” thing.

    Such hype. Such non-story stories everywhere. The Bills really pulled one over on old Chip Kelly with that trade, huh? Look, Shady’s been fine – a good RB – nothing more. Nothing that MANY other players could have done for far less money.

    And what has it got us so far – exactly a .500 record. Was he worth $16M?

    And, suddenly, Chip Kelly is an idiot, and can’t coach. Even though he’s been far more successful lately than Rex Ryan as a head coach. He’s made the post-season, he just beat the Pats (how’d our Bills do?) and may still make the playoffs, with a mediocre record, granted.

    And Shady won’t shake his hand, and won’t take back any of the ridiculously racist remarks he spouted about Chip? Seems to me that Chip has actually been rather big about all of this. If I were he, I wouldn’t shake Shady’s hand (he offered to) but rather I would punch McCoy in the mouth for his wild and slanderous accusations.

    The same Shady McCoy (lest we forget) who, while being a fine football player, has too often been a repugnant, selfish, sexist, and utterly irresponsible jerk of a human being.

    But, Rex “won” the press conference today, and Chip “lost” it, according to Sully in the News. Good grief. As if that is what really matters.

    Oh, I forgot, in Buffalo – it IS all that matters. That, and reliving the past, while the present product has been an utter embarrassment since the “Glory Days”.

    Any wonder why some of us are so jaded about this team and fans and local media?

    • 1) I’ll watch the Bills 30 for 30 thing, mostly because ESPN usually does a great job with them. But, I’m not expecting to hear anything I haven’t heard before, and I’ll have to skip past the vainglorious Jim Kelly parts. I don’t find anything wrong with reliving the old glory days, but I’m the kind of person that can watch 80s/90s/00s sports all day on Youtube.

      2) Yeah, this McCoy/Kelly ‘story’, I do not care at all. This is a common case of a media driven story started by a dumb, arrogant athlete living in la-la land that can’t control himself. If anything, I want to see Chip stick it to former punk player.

      The only thing that has caused a reaction from me is Doug Whaley’s boastful comments. ‘Put Shady in your fantasy lineup’. Yeah, pat yourself on the back for that trade. Gradually, I’ve grown to wanting Whaley booted out of Buffalo.

  11. On the 30 for 30 – I can understand, Leelee, how your perspective may be different. I know you do remember the Glory Days, but you were quite young, then. And, while duly noting your precocity, I think that our experiences of those years are probably colored by our (slight) age difference. ;)

    Anyway, you do seem to have a certain affinity for nostalgia, I know. You’ve mentioned sometimes tumbling into the intertubes vortex of old music videos or wrestling matches and such. I get it. I find myself reliving certain things too, at times.

    It’s just that the Glory Days stuff, with all its baggage, has proved somewhat detrimental to the Bills, in my opinion.

    That blind loyalty has continued for two decades now. And it has thus allowed this franchise to commit numerous blunders for many years – management, coaching, players, you name it – with no accountability.

    It’s akin to a dysfunctional marriage now. Like, oh, I still remember all those years ago when she/he did that wonderful thing for me, and, no matter how bad things have been since, I cling to THAT beautiful time.

    Anyway, I don’t want to get too heavy or pedantic about it. If people want to watch, fine. Personally, I like to live my life looking forward, mostly. So I’ll just leave off with a song lyric, which seems apropos…

    “These are the good old days.” (Or, should be, at least)

    As for McCoy and Chip – I, too, wouldn’t much mind if Shady fell flat on his face in this game. Of course, I still want the Bills to win. Contrary to what others may think, I am a Bills fan, and always root for them to win. Every game. Always. But, I could take some satisfaction if Shady were a non-factor against Philly.

    Maybe, Tyrod could throw for 300 yards (a first) and maybe over 30 times – and the Bills could win *that* kind of game, for once. Maybe, without any running game at all, he could actually shred a defense from the pocket, for once. And thereby Tyrod Taylor might begin to assuage some of my negativity towards him being prematurely crowned a “franchise” guy.

    As for Whaley. Ugh. You know my feels on this. But, he’s coming back. And so is Rex, of course. So, like it or not, the management, coaching, and core players we have now are going to be what we have next year. And the year after that, probably. Will it work? Will this GM/COACH/QB combination –
    Whaley/Rex/Tyrod – bring us that Championship we all crave in the coming years?

    I remain dubious. That combo doesn’t scream “Champs” to me.

    And, isn’t that what we should all want? Not just prayers for a lucky wildcard playoff spot, and eventual loss. But, after living (and reliving) those four straight Glory Days
    losses, should we all not DEMAND that our team be properly built to…

    Actually WIN one of these damn Super Bowls?

    • I know what you’re saying about living in the past. Nick would talk about that often about that Buffalo mindset when he was a local radio man. And you’re right, Bills fans remain too complacent about reminiscing the old days.

      McCoy is unlikely to make a difference in the game either way, so I shrug.

      Rex and Whaley are just guys to me, Tyrod is the difference that gets me from my previous ‘no hope’ feeling for the past decade to ‘he miiiight be good enough’ with that high-pitched uncertain tinge in my voice.

      • Well, my own voice is far too deep to hit that
        same pitch as yours, but my uncertainty about
        Tyrod reaches similar depths.

        Like, he’s “preeettty” good. Come on, Tyrod
        Taylor, be better! Please?

        So, how was the 30 for 30 for you? I didn’t
        watch a second of it (and have no plans to) so
        you won’t be giving away any spoilers if you
        answer this one question for me…

        Did we win any of them this time? :p

      • Dear Mr. Phoenix,

        I see you’re still using im_o_k’s photos to pretend to be a woman on the internet. Tsk tsk.

        xoxox,

        The Internet

      • This leelee person has been stealing photos from a girl’s instagram for the better part of a decade and using them to pretend to be a woman on the Internet. The real girl’s name is Olga and her blog is im_o_k.

  12. Eagles game review…

    Well, the bubble burst.

    The Bills lost this “must-win” game. And, even though they have struggled this season, the Eagles proved to be a slightly better football team. With a better coach.

    For all the moronic haters out there in the media (hello, Jerry Sullivan) and elsewhere, I will say this: Given the choice between Chip Kelly or Rex Ryan as my Head Coach, I’d take Chip in a heartbeat.

    This was a typical loss for Buffalo: Tyrod throws over 30 times and loses (again). Too many penalties (15) and a very inconsistent, predictable offense coupled with a fairly average (and never great) defense.

    Anyway, it started fast. Looked like it might be a shootout. Philly scores easily on their first drive – fast-paced, up-tempo cuts through the Bills like a knife through hot butter.

    Then the Bills bomb it to Sammy for a TD. Of course. See, it worked! Once.

    But, and it’s the BIG but this whole season – I counted 7 bombs or deepish passes in this game – and the Bills completed just that one, the rest were incomplete or picked (late). As I’ve said – this is not a good formula for winning football. Sometimes it works, but most times it does not.

    Tyrod did make several plays with his legs – but far too many for a “franchise” guy, in my view. He needs to beat teams with his arm, with tough throws all over the field, not just deep prayers.

    Anyway, back and forth game until the first big mistake: Fumbled punt by Thigpen – sets up a TD by Philly, after Bills had them 1st and 30, by the way. Ugh.

    Shady McCoy (in his “revenge” game) got his yards – grinding them out. But he was a non-factor.

    Later, the Bills get a FG. But it could have been a TD to Hogan if Tyrod makes a better (and a gutsier) throw. It was a tight window – but it was there. Tyrod overthrew it. The “safe” throw. That’s where 3 points could have been 7.

    Philly hurt themselves with penalties early – which stalled their drives, and gave the Bills a HUGE field position advantage in the first half.

    Eagles drive late and (receiver out of bounds – stops clock!) get a FG. Bills basically controlled the first half pretty well, and probably should have had more to show for it. Instead…

    Philly 17-10.

    The teams trade FG’s to open second half. Bills then score 10 points in a row.

    Their TD drive is helped by Tyrod’s legs (not his arm, sigh) and then a big run by Gillislee. Who? Hey, good thing we are paying Shady $16M this year (right?) when a guy off the street can show up and be effective. Fun fact: In the modern NFL, no RB alive on earth is worth $16 million a year.

    By the way, thank you, Kiko Alonso, for still over-running plays, missing tackles, and being mediocre in pass coverage, just like in Buffalo, where you were a “legend”.

    Game plods forward until Philly drives past mid-field but Leodis makes a great pick near the goal line! McKelvin had a rough day over all but that was huge. Play could have been overturned, but it held on review.

    Game-saving big break for the Bills, yes?! Except, Bills can do nothing and punt. But Philly punts it right back. Still 20-20 – anybody’s game.

    Philly gets ball back and Ertz makes a big catch and run setting up the Eagles in the red zone. Bills hold them to a FG, so the game is still there (with 3 and a half minutes to go) to win for our local boys.

    Nothing. Sigh. Bills go backwards and punt. Defense needs to get a stop.

    They get it. Bradford makes a dumb play and allows Mario to sack him, losing many yards, when he should have simply thrown the ball away. So, another chance for the Bills! Two minute drive. Here we go!

    Tyrod gets picked (on a deep ball) and it’s over.

    Sigh.

    So, here we are again, 16 years and counting, down to our last dying gasp. Every other pertinent AFC team won their games: Jets, Steelers, and Chiefs. The Bills are two games back but still officially “in the hunt”.

    LOL.

    So, Santa will bring another lump of coal to Bills fans this year. As it should be. Some of us knew, and said so before the season, that this was a mediocre team, that should have never been considered a true playoff contender. But, oh the hype, the mindless, clueless media and fan hype…

    But – Rex Ryan! The tattoo! His pickup truck! Best defense ever! Super Bowl or bust! 60,000 season tickets! Well, to me, they looked like an 8-8 team in August, and nothing has changed in December.

    Except, they might not even get to 8-8 now.

    No matter. It’s all academic. But, what DOES matter is this: Can anyone make a convincing argument that NEXT year this Buffalo Bills team, with the very same management and coaching and players will be any better than just mediocre, again?

    I want to Billieve. I really do. But I simply cannot.

    :(

    • The Bills went ‘all-in’ with free agency and cap moves this offseason. As I said then, if this doesn’t work, how in the world can you sell hope with this team? Unless they really hit in the draft with the usual middle picks, this team isn’t changing significantly until at least 2018, unless it’s in a worse way with decreasing/aging talent.

      Tyrod’s performance improves the mood somewhat, but from the management perspective, he basically fell in the Bills’ lap. If Peyton Manning’s body gave out a few months sooner, Tyrod is probably starting in Denver now.

      This remains a run-first team that expects to win with defense in 2015, even with improved QB play. That philosophy failed, like I expected it would. Billieving in this archaic team is very hard to do.

      • Unfortunately this defense went the opposite way in Rex Ryan’s first year as Head Coach. The secondary showed improvement, the corner tandem of Darby and Gilmore and Rambo has been a great surprise. This star studded high wealth Dline has not been as good as it was last year and 2013 and could say the same about the linebackers. I truly think things would of been different if we were able to keep Schwartz on as DC or even HC. Doubt it would happen cause Rex wouldn’t fire his DC but should Pettine get fired as HC in Cleveland I would welcome him back as DC. I worry about the fact that Roman only made Kaepernick look good for 1 year but I like our offense and if we can cut back on the penalties we have one of the best offenses in the AFC. Defense and Special Teams are where improvement is needed. I could see Rex drafting a kicker very early.

  13. “…how in the world can you sell hope with this team?”

    Oh, my dear Leelee, you know better than that. As we speak, that Cheshire Cat (aka Russ Brandon) and his minions are burning the midnight oil at OBD just dreaming up the newest slogan for the 2016 season.

    And it will work. It always does. The enabling fans of this incompetent franchise will swallow it whole come July and August, when this disappointing season will be forgotten. The excuses and justifications will abound.

    You are right, and we agreed, that this team’s all-in approach was a huge roll of the dice. At the time, and ever since, I have criticized the big money signings that were basically worthless, in my opinion…

    McCoy, Clay, Harvin, Felton, etc. Even Hughes, too, but I admit that he had to paid – nothing the Bills could do. But, it does seem to have backfired. I like Jerry, but he will probably never be worth what they paid.

    Anyway, this was the flawed “plan”. It didn’t work, just as we both predicted. Now what?

    It’s very very hard for me to see any bright side. The one thing you mention, Tyrod, is really not that encouraging to me, at all. I like Tyrod. I wanted Tyrod to start. I’m glad he did, and has played most of the season.

    But I just don’t think he’s good enough, or ever will be, to lift this team past the mediocre level of wins. His game is flawed, in ways that I’ve mentioned numerous times here. But, he does present a problem this offseason.

    Should he be paid?

    I say – No. No way. I’d make him play his final year under his present contract. But, I’m a realist, and I know that he almost certainly WILL be paid. He’s earned a salary more commensurate with starting QB’s. I get it.

    And it’s not really about the money. As long as they structure his contract to be cap-friendly – one of those easy-to-get-out-of, year-to-year, type of deals with a big bonus upfront – fine. The bigger problem I would have with a Tyrod contract extension would be…

    The commitment.

    For, if the Bills pay Tyrod, they will CEASE even looking for another (possibly better) starting QB. He will be their “guy”, the unquestioned starter, the “man”, with no competition. They will simply bring in another scrubby veteran as his back-up, and some late-rounder or free agent to hold the clipboard, and that will be that.

    This would merely represent a continuation of this season’s failed 1972 vision of pro football: run-run-run, tough defense, Tyrod throws 20ish times a game (never over 30) and we try to win close ones (21-17) and maybe get 9 wins (pretty please) and maybe get other teams to lose, and…

    Sigh.

    THIS PLAN WILL NOT WORK.

    Unless Taylor takes a major step forward, and I remain highly dubious about that, then I think it’s all just a waste of time, and we will be looking at 20 years of playoff drought – when we eventually move on from Rex and Tyrod – realizing too late that neither were quite good enough.

    Me? I keep Tyrod next year, of course. And, whether I pay him or not, I keep looking for a truly great starting QB to bring in. And I do whatever I must to get him: A big-name vet (if available) or a straight trade or the draft (trade way up, if needs be).

    And everything would be on the table. I would trade ANY player on this team to get “that” guy. Hughes? or Gilmore? or Sammy? or Dareus?

    Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep.

    All of those players are good, or very good. But NONE are crucial to a championship caliber NFL football team, in this era. The contributions that they may make simply pale in comparison to those of a true franchise QB.

    If the Bills are ever to be great again, and actually compete in the modern 21st century NFL (and not 1937) they must find, by any means, that QB (way above your Dalton Line, hopefully) that can and will…

    Throw for 40+ times a game.
    Throw for 4000+ yards.
    Throw for 40+ TD’s.

    And I just don’t think that guy’s name is: Tyrod Taylor.

    • …But, wait, just maybe Doug Whaley does in fact agree with me about Tyrod Taylor?

      It’s no secret that I am not a Whaley fan, but his words in yesterday’s SI article (which I had not seen until today) are encouraging. It seems that maybe he is willing to wait and see, and not extend, regarding Taylor next year.

      If this is true, and if Doug actually has the final final say on this matter (I’m not convinced he does) then I will give him full credit for doing the right thing.

      The caveat: As long as this doesn’t mean that Doug is still intent on pushing his pet project (EJ Manuel) in our face again.

      Manuel should be cut. Period. And, as I said…

      No extension for Tyrod. And try to bring in even better players at that position. Draft, trade, free agency, whatever. This is nothing against Tyrod, who I like, but he should be the “default” option right now. He’s pretty good, but that’s all he may ever be.

      People can point to some of Taylor’s “nice” numbers and QB percentages, but when your team has won only 6 games, and when you have been unable to lead late comebacks, and when your team is ranked 28th in the league in passing, you should not be automatically given the “franchise” guy label.

      Keep Tyrod. But keep looking.

  14. Redskins game review…

    I hesitate to devote much time or energy to meaningless football games (as this basically was for the Bills) so this will be short and (not so) sweet.

    The Bills were thoroughly beaten by a better football team. And a better QB. Cousins is not great, but I’ve always kind of liked him, and today he was far superior to our own hoped-for “franchise” guy. And, again, our “great” defense got shredded.

    Tyrod Taylor was his usual self: Ineffective as a pocket passer, so its just scramble, scramble – get some yards with his legs – and then bombs away. That is his game – and it in no way personifies acceptable QB play in the modern NFL.

    The Bills pass coverage was weak, as I have been saying for THREE YEARS, when there is no QB pressure, and especially when your name is McKelvin. Or Rambo. Or Graham. Ugh.

    The Bills ran the ball fairly well, that is – without Shady McCoy, who got hurt, again. The others, Gillislee and Karlos, did their jobs quite well – neither being paid $16 million this year to do it either, like Shady. Ugh. When will the Bills learn that running backs in the modern NFL are a dime a dozen?

    Anyway, weak overrated defense, and bland, predictable offense results in a well-earned loss for Buffalo. All that’s left now is two truly meaningless games, Cowboys and Jets, which maybe the Bills can win and get to that magical 8-8 mark.

    Come on, boys, prove to me that you are truly mediocre like I said you were!

    As for Dallas – well, they play in that “bad” division, right? Those “bad” teams that have so far beaten the Bills in the three games they’ve played: Giants, Philly, and Washington. Can Dallas complete the sweep? Maybe.

    As for the Jets – all the Bills can hope for is to play spoiler in Week 17. The Jets may still be alive for a playoff spot by then, so maybe Rex can get some revenge on the team that (deservedly) fired him? Of course, all the Jets have done without Rex Ryan is improve by at least 5 games.

    And, personally, I wouldn’t mind if Fitz got to the playoffs. The Bearded Wonder will always remain one of my all-time favorite Bills. Go Fitzmagic! Off topic, but, as for another of my faves…

    Congrats to Fred Jackson in Seattle. Playoffs, finally. Go Freddy!

    Truth is, the REAL news today came before (and after) the game…

    Lots of buzz about unhappiness at OBD, and lots of sniping after the game by Rex, and Sammy and Mario. This is all music to my ears. This team, and its fans, need to stop all
    the “hype” and actually take a good hard look at what is wrong, and has been wrong for quite some time.

    And now, it seems that maybe Pegula is at least listening to other voices OUTSIDE his front office, and thus not just Russ Brandon – who has been the true architect of this disaster for the last decade. I wanted Pegula to Clean House last year. I wanted a “Czar” to be hired. I still want a competent football man to run this operation.

    And, maybe Whaley is in fact on the hot seat. Well, he should be: for mangling the QB position, for failing to build an adequate O-line for three years, and for paying far too much for insignificant free agents. I still think he will be back, but maybe at least Terry realizes that Doug is no “genius” and has made too many bad moves.

    Anyway, I hope the reports are true, and I hope that they follow the proper course moving forward: Fix the O-line (for real this time) and the pass coverage (LB’s and DB’s) and cut salary by dumping the overpaid. Get rid of EJ Manuel. Keep Tyrod, with NO extension, and bring in competition at the QB position – not just for a backup, but for a possible starter, too.

    Bottom line: Just like I (and a few others) predicted in August – this team was not very good. Unfortunately, we are stuck with Rex Ryan for at least another year. So, the only hope is for us to try to find a true franchise guy. Nothing else much matters…

    The Buffalo Bills still need a top QB.

  15. Hello, testing…1,2,3…testing. Is this thing still on?

    ;) Anyway…

    Given the “off-the-field” news regarding our beloved Bills, and especially Vic Carucci’s article about Bill Polian, it seems appropriate to offer a few remarks.

    It’s no secret that I have advocated since last year for the Bills hiring a football “czar”, a competent football man, to run this team. Whether or not that man is Bill Polian, as “czar” or “consultant” or whatever, is neither here nor there. Some may argue that Polian is out of touch. Too old.

    That may be.

    But, I have to say – I am in almost complete agreement with the points that Polian makes in Carucci’s article in the News today. These are things that I have been saying for some time, going back to last year, even.

    And, as some might fear, whether a Polian hire might represent a mistaken return to the “Glory Days” – and I have made clear my utter dislike for that kind of nostalgia – is beside the point.

    All that matters is this: Right now, is Bill Polian right or wrong in his assessment of this team? I think he is right in almost every opinion he has offered.

    The only exception is his view that the O-line is “aging”. Unless one considers Wood, Incognito, or Urbik (who did play some this year) as older (which they are, to a degree) the true problem is not age, but lack of talent.

    Which is Polian’s basic view. And he’s right. The O-line is still not good enough. Doug Whaley has swung and missed for THREE consecutive years in trying to build a truly worthy O-line. He has failed. They need to be better. Period.

    Polian’s other points…

    -the need for a better WR2 to compliment Sammy
    -the failure of Rex’s philosophy and “scheme” (echoed by many players now – Dareus, Mario, Bradham, Preston, etc.) and Rex’s game day failures in general
    -the overpayment of free agents – Shady and Clay (and others, I have argued)

    …are all salient and bespeak a man who seems to have at least some idea of what’s going on in the league, and with the Buffalo Bills, in particular. But, it’s his thoughts about the QB position that are the most interesting, and important and correct, in my view.

    EJ Manuel should be cut. Tyrod Taylor should stay, but only as the “default” next season. Taylor is a nice little player – but he’s not that next “great” one we are all hoping for. He’s not that guy now, and it’s improbable that he will ever be that guy.

    I like Tyrod. I wanted him to start. I wanted to see what Tyrod could bring. I saw it. And it was decent. But, it’s not what a true franchise guy needs to bring to the table.

    Scramble, scramble, and bombs away to Sammy – is not a sustainable offensive plan. It will get you a few wins here and there, but unless everything else is perfect, it won’t get you 11 or 12+ wins a season (and not just 9 and let’s pray we sneak-in every year).

    And we should want, and expect, double-digit wins, and playoffs, every season. Yes? We should want a GREAT team. And for that to happen in the modern NFL, you need a GREAT starting QB. A true “franchise” player. Presently, the Bills do not have that guy.

    Keep Tyrod, of course. He’s a decent starter. I like him. Good kid. But…

    KEEP LOOKING – for better. So, bring-in more QB’s, as Polian says.

    Bottom line: It’s hard to see how Polian could be “officially” hired with the present front office still in place at OBD – for it’s quite obvious that he is no fan of either Whaley or Rex. (Neither am I) However, it seems unlikely that Pegula would fire them both (or either) at this point. But, who knows?

    Personally, I don’t much care if they hire Bill Polian or not. But, if these are his thoughts about the past and present problems with their football team, then Terry and Kim Pegula would at least be very wise to…

    Listen to what this man (a Hall of Famer) is saying.

    • I didn’t watch the Eagles game, so I didn’t comment. Nor will I watch the next 2. I can’t watch meaningless NFL games anymore. The only thing I care about is important players avoiding injury.

      Team building is very interesting to me, though.

      Polian’s comment on the OL ‘aging’, I agree. Maybe he was just focused on Eric Wood? Because he should be cut. And the line does need work still, especially RT.

      WR2, sure, whatever. Harvin was better than I thought he’d be. Woods was serviceable there before this year, and this is his contract year. I wouldn’t hate giving him the shot since there isn’t much $$$ to spend.

      Free agent overpayment, I agree. I hated both the Shady and Clay signings.

      As for EJ, I hate to do this again, but financially it makes sense to keep him, even if it’s just as a 3rd stringer. He’s already fully paid for. I know, there will be fans that still believe in him for god knows why, but the real question is EJ Manuel better/similar to trash heap QBs? I think he is. The optimal solution would be trading EJ for anything, then the Bills actually can save some.

      Tyrod is the very interesting debate. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s getting big $$$$ this offseason. Possibly because they think he’s good, but more because he’s the only glimmer of hope for this pathetic franchise. Showing commitment to Tyrod (even if they really don’t with a virtual out within 2 years) will be a strong statement, and one that won’t be chuckled at around the league like Fitz was.

      I would do similarly. I’d give Tyrod 6 years/$90M, highly incentive and minimal dead money after 2017. But, we’re still desperately searching for QBs in the draft, almost irregardless of how well Tyrod performs.

      I know what the Bills would likely do in this situation… Tyrod unquestionably starts, sign some garbage veteran ‘mentor’ like Cassel, draft a project QB in the late rounds/UDFA. I will scream when that likely scenario occurs.

      What I found most interesting from Polian’s comments, and why I don’t think he’s joining the Bills, the points he made were clearly directed at Whaley’s philosophy. I don’t know about Rex, I think they could coexist, but Whaley would have to go.

  16. “I can’t watch meaningless NFL games anymore.”

    I wish I had your strength, kiddo.

    You are absolutely right: It’s really pointless to subject oneself to these games. But, I must. Watching Bills games is just something I have to do. I haven’t missed a single one in 30+ years. So, while I will watch these last two games, I will offer only the most minimal of commentary.

    I see (no surprise) that we are in basic agreement when it comes to most of the other stuff. Except, the quarterback situation, where we do disagree.

    As far EJ – while you hate to do this again – I hate even *more* that you are doing it again. Not that I hate you (never) but I hate that you make sense!

    You made this argument before this season about the logic of keeping EJ, and as much as I wanted to fight you, I could not. It DOES make sense. He’s cheap, and experienced, and the Bills could probably do much worse at backup QB. But, as you know, for me it’s what Manuel’s presence would represent that bothers me.

    A tease.

    Every second he remains on this team is another wasted second, and it perpetuates the mythical “potential” that he might (he just might!) really be good someday. Ugh. I want to move on from that horrendous mistake, and let the albatross hang permanently around Whaley’s neck, where it belongs.

    Your logic is correct. Still, I want him cut. Immediately.

    As for Tyrod – I just cannot get behind paying him (and extending him) next year. That glimmer of hope you reference is so small that it does not warrant any such commitment – at this time.

    Let him play. What’s the “worst” that can happen? He plays really well (very unlikely, in my opinion) and thus will have earned a huge payday? Fine. Then, you pay him. Or, if he wants to leave, you franchise him.

    Personally, I just think that the odds – of Tyrod suddenly becoming “great” and looking to bolt Buffalo because they didn’t “take care” of him earlier – are so long that they should not weigh heavily on the folks at OBD, and thus force them to make a rash decision, now.

    And, for me, it’s not really about the cash. Or a new deal, per se, as long as it’s structured properly, as you mention. I agree that Taylor has earned more money, but that doesn’t negate my strongest argument.

    An argument that you anticipate and argue yourself, very well, in your penultimate paragraph. For we both know that the Bills WILL do exactly what you describe. If they pay Tyrod this year – they will not even look for another QB. He will be their “guy” with no competition, except veteran scrubs and free agents.

    And you will scream! And so will I – even louder!

    So let’s not resign ourselves to screaming. Let’s NOT pay Tyrod now, but take the “risk” that he may be great. And we will just deal with that “problem” if and when it presents itself. Let’s sit tight, and let’s keep looking for an upgrade and real competition at the QB position.

    As you know, I always want you to be right. It makes me happy. But, when it comes to the QB situation (in regards to keeping Manuel and extending Taylor) I really do hope that the Bills thoughts do not mirror yours, my dear.

    As for Polian – Yes, it’s very obvious that Bill would not coexist with Whaley. But, I think it’s also true about Rex, as well. Maybe they could get along, as you say, but Polian took some significant shots at Rex’s competence in that article, so I just don’t know if they could (fake) smile and play nice-nice. Maybe.

    As I’ve said, I don’t much care if Polian actually comes here or not. (As long as he doesn’t try to bring his son along – no, thank you) But, if his “consultation” somehow hastened the departure of Whaley or Rex (or both) then I would consider his input valuable.

    I have little faith in this present regime.

    Finally, with no mention of the actual holiday, please allow me instead to use your own vernacular and most heartily wish you a…

    Happy 25 December.

    P.S. Oh, who am I kidding? Merry Christmas, Leelee! :)

  17. To all, on this holiday…

    One need not be religious (I am not) to appreciate the enduring beauty of a timeless composition. This recording is, in my rather amateur opinion, one of the finest live performances of Schubert’s song ever captured.

    In our daily lives it can be hard to forget that people everywhere are capable of unspeakably horrific deeds. But, for a brief moment in time, we can be reminded of the glorious heights that human concord can sometimes reach.

    In that spirit, I offer these five minutes…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d4xXvF2ukY

  18. Cowboys game review…

    The Buffalo Bills won an ugly meaningless football game.

    Quick thoughts:

    -They ran the ball (groundy-poundy!) quite well early (We really miss Shady, and his big contract, huh?)
    -Tyrod Taylor was once again not convincing as a potential “franchise” guy. The best plays came when he scrambled for yards, or, found a guy on a broken play. You love the kid’s creativity, but I’m still waiting (in vain) for him to impress me as a pocket passer. :(
    -Bills O-line is still not very good. And it’s not just at RT. They are very average (or worse) at basically every position. (Much thanks, Doug Whaley, for building this abject mediocrity over the last 3 years)
    -Bad interception by Tyrod to end the half. Bad decision, bad throw.
    -Injuries to Dareus (minor, hopefully) and Easley (severe, sadly). Ugh.
    -Carpenter misses *another* extra point. Sigh.

    A scintillating 6-6 game at the half.

    -Second half starts with turnovers. First, Tarpley finds an X-Mas gift interception right in his hands, and then Karlos gives it right back with a fumble on the ensuing drive.
    -Nothing much happened as a result and I dozed off for while these two mediocre teams continued to play some laughable semblance of NFL football.
    -Bills close out the game with a long clock-killing TD drive. Gillislee! (Shady who?)

    16-6. Yay.

    -fin-

    But, at least next week’s game is meaningful. Very. For the Jets, that is. It’s win-and-in for them. Rex facing the team that (wisely) fired him. Fitz facing the team that (unwisely) cut him. Oh, the storylines, oh, the drama! Let’s hope for a snowstorm to enhance the atmosphere.

    Can’t wait! (Well, actually, maybe I can) :/