Tag Archives: ryan fitzpatrick

Immediate Reactions: New England 37, Buffalo 31

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Today may be the day you verified your suspicions about Chan Gailey as a head coach.

— First: Ryan Fitzpatrick. If you’re looking for me to barbecue the non-franchise quarterback after he nearly overcame the world of slop that was his defense and early offensive line play, look elsewhere. You have to hate the interception at the end of the game, but I cannot commit to blaming the quarterback on a throw to a project wide receiver who was seemingly blamed by the color analyst before taking the blame himself.

“They were playing Cover Two, deep half safety. I thought I’d be able to get TJ and wasn’t able to get him,” Fitz said.

Here’s what Graham said, “That was a rookie mistake. I was supposed to cross his face in the front. It was a good pass.”

I don’t expect Fitz to take the blame and even if it’s the fault of Graham, Fitz chose to throw it to the rookie. Still over the past three games — where the Bills have allowed 35, 21 and 37 points — he is 79-of-113 for 801 yds with 5 TD, 2 INT and two fumbles. Try telling me that shouldn’t have at least a ‘W’ on an NFL playoff team (team being the key word). Buffalo should be 4-5 at worst right now and I’m not putting it on No. 14. Not a chance. Four times this year the Bills have scored 28 points or more and lost. Weak sauce.

— Who am I putting it on? Well, despite a historically bad group of linebackers and some horrendous secondary play, I’m going with Chan Gailey. His personnel choices are flat-out mind-boggling. I appreciate Fred Jackson, but right now C.J. Spiller is one of the best, if not the best, non-quarterbacks in the NFL. His understanding of the game and what plays are designed to do has advanced to the status of star.

Yet Gailey consistently gives Fred Jackson the ball more often. Maybe Ralph Wilson has dictated that “restructuring that deal better be worth it”, but 16 carries to nine when the average per-attempt is 5.0 for Jackson and 7.8 for Spiller is just embarrassing. Jackson is not Marshall Faulk and Spiller is not Justin Watson. Jackson is not Willis McGahee to Ray Rice. This is Spiller as a bonafide No. 1 talent and Jackson as an unfortunate 1a. Sorry, but seven more carries is nuts.

Then you take into account how often they pass in “and-goal” situations. The NFL has made moves in that direction and yes, the Bills were 3-for-3 in “and-goal” spots, but why risk it? Well, maybe because Jackson fumbled twice (including the second being on a head shot). He’s fumbled four times and lost three of them this season. All of that brings you back to Jackson getting more carries than Spiller. It makes little sense.

— The Bills took five penalties early in the game, including two bogus — at least dubious — holds on Cordy Glenn & Eric Wood. Logically, the refs aren’t in the bag for New England, but I don’t blame a single Bills fans for saying so.
— I did not hate Stevie Johnson today by any means, but my dislike for his performance (despite the numbers) began with sloppy route running in front of a first-down marker on the game’s first drive. Buffalo also gave Johnson a chance to make a play one-on-one in the end zone in the fourth quarter but Johnson did not fight-through nor rise over the suspect Patriot corner covering him. Nine catches for 86 yards is nice, but it’s not superstar stuff.
— The Bills first six drive starts were at their own 20, 20, 20, 20, 20 and 13. The Pats had two inside Bills territory and lead by a single score at that point. They also had an almost unfathomable end zone PI called on Stephon Gilmore on a drive kept alive twice by suspect secondary calls. Like I said, I get the ‘ref-blamers’ even if I don’t completely run with it as an excuse.
— Another Gailey complaint: during Friday’s media scrum he mentioned that he can’t expect a specific defender — it doesn’t matter who he specified — to play 65 plays in place of Chris Kelsay before stuttering and changing the number to 85 because of his opponent. That sort of no-confidence in his defense was troubling and he backed it up by going for it on 4th & 4 with 4:12 to go in the third quarter. I liked the call, but not the lack of faith that his defense could fix anything during the week.

— Somebody page Mario Williams, mostly absent in another big spot. For the most part I cannot get behind a rip on the defensive line, especially Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams. The Buffalo Bills linebacking corps is one of the worst in the history of the franchise.

— Not much to say on the Pats, but looking forward to hearing Tom Brady called a fiery leader for yelling at Julian Edelman, as opposed to Jay Cutler being a horrible teammate for doing the same thing.

Stat line I liked…

Scott Chandler, 8 catches, 65 yards, TD

— He’s had his share of drops, but Scott forking Chandler (30 catches, 350 yards, 5 TDs) should probably be an All-Pro this year.

Stat line I didn’t like…

Bills, 14 penalties, 148 yards given away

– A couple of the offensive holding and defensive secondary penalties were borderline ridiculous, but when the calls amount to 14 and 148 yards you cannot ignore that the referees and the Bills produced more yards on the ground than the Patriots.

Game ball(s)…

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 27-of-40 for 337 yards, 2 TD, INT, fumble lost

– The Bills set a franchise record for first downs with 35.

Lastly…

– UB’s on a two-game winning streak and is 3-7 with games at lowly UMass and solid Bowling Green to go. The Bills are 3-6 and their next three are home Miami, at Indy, home Jacksonville. Honest question, who has the better record after both have played 12?

Next week…

– Miami at home in four days. Honestly, the Bills should throttle the Dolphins on a short week at home but who can count on this Buffalo defense to do anything?

Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

Immediate Reactions: Bills 35, Chiefs 17

Uploaded post-game audio/video with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus and Leodis McKelvin. It’s sideways, but I’ll do better next time. Follow me on Twitter. And how about Facebook? My prediction from last week’s column: “GREAT news: the Chiefs are still not very good at American football and they are traveling to the Ralph, which is a… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Jets 372, Bills 28

Follow me on Twitter. And how about Facebook? I believe it was the great philosopher William Madison, who after watching the Bills home opener, looked down to Old Man Clemens’ sidewalk and said, “Here’s a nice piece of ^&%&.” It’s super easy to be down on these Bills after such a horrendous — inauspicious at-best… Continue Reading

There Is No Spoon, er, QB Controversy (and almost no one thinks there is)

Former Buffalo News broadcasting critic Alan Pergament gained a reputation inside media circles as one who rarely liked anything that made its way through the sports journalism windmill. If he was talking about you, there was probably an 80 percent chance you were going through a thresher in front of the entire town’s readership. Part… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: New York Jets 27, Bills 11

Twitttttttttttttter. Faceboooooooooook. Fitzmagic. Aaaaaaaand sometimes, a team thinks its way right out of its strengths. The Buffalo Bills have succeeded in large part because their playcalling and offensive intelligence has been better than that of their opponents. With some exceptions, the Bills have played to their strengths rather than away from the opposition. In other words, our best… Continue Reading

Immediate Reactions: Bills 31, Eagles 24

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Immediate Reactions: Bengals 23, Bills 20

Twitter || Facebook For two consecutive weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick was indeed Fitzmagic in helping out or even bailing out the Buffalo Bills defense. On Sunday in Cincinnati, the quarterback was simply ordinary, the defense found itself gassed and even the most extraordinary unit may very well have been zebra-striped. Let’s dissect. — When Andy Dalton… Continue Reading