Believe it or not, there’s room on the shelf for positivity after a hair fire like Sunday’s big loss to the Chargers.
There’s room for it, but the Bills bring us enough to fill the space. Gross.
— Last week I took umbrage with the notion that Ryan Fitzpatrick was “abysmal” or “cost the Bills the game.” This week, there is no defiance here. Fitz was miserable and made the Chargers pass rush look incredible. San Diego’s sixth-best passing defense does deserve some credit, but Fitz’s inaccuracy has hit a yearly-low. It isn’t simply statistical, either: No. 14 threw several incompletions between two eligible targets as if to say, “Maybe one of you can make an incredible grab.” Luckily for him, Tyler Thigpen came in and again couldn’t even muster any inspiration for distraught Bills fans to say, “Hey der, we gotta take a look at this der Thigpen guy for da last three weeks.”
Is it possible Fitz is putting more pressure on himself after the new contract? Maybe wealthy, not healthy, changes everything?
— The Bills were removed from any look at really running the ball by the time this thing was said and done, but it needs to be acknowledged that San Diego has not stopped the run all year and the Bills could do nearly nothing with it. CJ Spiller is an okay player to have on your team, but he is not an elite-skilled back. He’s capable of taking the edge if it’s given to him, but that tough running that worked well at Clemson is not translating. If Buddy Nix has any hesitation about pleasing Fred Jackson and his agent going into an offseason that could include a hold out, perhaps they should burn some money. If they were willing to do it with Fitz…
— To acknowledge that perhaps not all of Fitz’s apparent inaccuracies are real, this is from today, not the preseason:
You don’t need elite pass catches to win, but you definitely need better than:
— Two (2) undrafted players (Caussin and Nelson)
— Four (4) players who were cut this year (Choice, Caussin, Smith, Hagan)
— One (1) who was in a team’s Top Four wide-outs at the beginning of camp (Johnson)
— Three (3) actual wide receivers
— There’s certainly appears to be a lot of credence to the rumours that Philip Rivers was injured for the majority of this season when he looked like dog meat, but perhaps that has something to do with the Bills pass defense than anything else. I’m not sure the term “picking apart” is an appropriate one because the Bills defense has been ravaged by injury vultures all year and there isn’t much meat left on the bone.
— Wikipedia informs me that Lionel Dotson’s uncle, Vance Bedford, played for the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals in 1982. Why is this relevant? A guy named Lionel Dotson was on the field for the Bills today. Here’s hoping he develops into something good during these final four weeks.
— Arizona pulled ahead of the Bills in wins, Philadelphia drew even and Jacksonville pulled to within one.
— POSITIVES! Kelvin Sheppard had some trouble in pass coverage, which a lot of rookies will do against guys like Antonio Gates, but I think the kid is going to be a monster after another offseason or two in an NFL weight room. Marcel Dareus is also playing consistently strong football and it bears repeating that he’s doing it as a rookie NT without veteran Kyle Williams alongside him. Keep drafting LSU and ‘Bama studs, Buddy.
— In fact, if Williams is coming back 100 percent, I’m pretty okay with the Bills leaving the DL relatively alone in the offseason. I’m a pretty big Dwan Edwards supporter and there are places on my roster for guys like Spencer Johnson and Alex Carrington. Torell Troup is a question mark. I know he wants it more than John McCargo, but they are starting to blend into one for me.
— I’m of the mind to play Justin Rogers at No. 2 corner for the rest of the year. It’s not that I think he’s definitely legit, rather I’m absolutely certain what I have in Leodis McKelvin.
— I’m sure he’s a nice lad, but Johnny White (14 carries, 52 yards) was selected over the following players in this year’s draft: Jacquizz Rodgers (168 yds rush & 189 yards rec) and Denarius Moore (410 yards rec). Also selected almost right after White? TJ Yates and Ricky Stanzi. While I’m not sure either QB will be legit, they certainly could’ve saved us from Thigpen and, gulp, QUARTERBACK BRAD SMITH?!?!?
— Why does every color analyst love Chris Kelsay? I like Chris as a guy, but what am I missing?
Stat line I liked…
Stevie Johnson, 4 catches, 116 yards
— Not only that, but his inconsistency should save us some money on his new deal!
Stat line I didn’t like…
Ryan Mathews, 148 all-purpose yards
— Why is it I picture George Edwards being shown a highlight of Mathews and then using tongs to pull a shoe out of a big pot, pointing to Mathews and saying, “He’s good,” while smirking?
You know these 5-8 Bills are going to beat Miami by at least two scores next week at home, thereby clinching the Dolphins selection of either Robert Griffin III or Matt Barkley away from Buffalo, right? It’s an effing guarantee.