Alright, I'm going to start off negative, but I will give you some silver linings. So stay with me.
I think you are still kidding yourself if you believe in the playoffs. I know, I don't want to ruin your prism of fandom, but if the Colts/Steelers win this weekend, they are going to be three games up on the Bills in the wildcard. No matter how many times you see the "In the hunt" graphic on TV or play the "this or that team needs to lose" game, it isn't going to happen.
I know you are sick of hearing that – especially after 12 years– but the percentages are against them. But hey, how many people have been against Buffalo over the years? We love a good fight. We love to be able to stand up to anyone who tells us that our women are ugly or our hotels suck. It's petty to get upset, but we definitely have the Goonies' "Never say die" attitude. Give us a little wiggle room to believe and that's all we need.
However, there's still that 12 years of crap on our hands.
If you were to tell me the Bills have been 4-6 every year since 2000, I'd believe you. In other words, I've seen this movie before. I've seen the "In the hunt" graphic one too many times. I get their schedule is easy as cake, but three games out? Ehhhh. The Bills are average at best. Miami is terrible. They shouldn't have been in this game. Alas, we have Chan Gailey who needs to empty the backfield on 3rd and short while getting the Tashard Choice package into the ball game. He can be such a bozo sometimes.
I think the best part of tonight's game is that the Bills still have a lot of young guys on this team who seem to be coming into their own. Jairus Byrd may go down as the best safety in team history…and he's only 26. CJ Spiller is a stud. Stevie Johnson played well and he's only 26. These are three guys you want to be a part of your franchise's future.
Realistically speaking, you have to look toward the future if you want to survive another year without playoffs. Ah, the future (Emmet "Doc" Brown's voice). It has been the battle cry for years now in Buffalo sports. The glimmer of hope that will keep us returning. We've seen a lot of fool's gold, however, I'm seeing a lot of good plays out of these three guys on a consistent basis. Get some more talent around them (QB and LBs would be a nice start) and maybe the losing disease will be broken.
—-The defense won this game. Alright, they played against a terrible offense with a rookie QB and WRs straight out of Miami A&M. I thought the secondary played well and was really aggressive in making plays. Don't look now, but the Bills are 12th in sacks. Alright, so 24 other teams need to play this weekend. However, the Bills had 29 sacks last year and only need 7 more to pass that mark. It doesn't sound that great for the money they have spent. Whatever. I thought the DL played well. They shut Reggie Bush down and got tons of heat on Tannehill. At one point in the 3rd quarter, Spiller had more yards than Miami's offense. The only way the Bills are going to turn this year around is if the defense keeps playing like this.
- In their four wins: 17 sacks. In their six losses: 6 sacks.
- In their four wins: 23 PPG. In their 6 losses: 22 PPG.
You see what the difference is?
—-Leodis McKelvin looked good and not just on special teams. He actually held his own as a starting CB for the first time since..um..college? Seriously, I need to give him credit. He's been called a bust more times than Lt. Frank Drebin has stormed the wrong drug house yelling those same words. His career has been written off more than Mitt Romeny's taxes for Bain Capital. But the guy is a turd that will not flush completely down the toilet. He still walks around with the same swagger he had as a wide-eyed rookie and thinks he can still do it at the NFL level. If it wasn't for Byrd being a star tonight, McKelvin would probably be your MVP. Hell, with his special teams ability, you can probably place him in the top 8 players for this team.
–Jairus Byrd was awesome. I've totally come around on him this year. He's been around the ball all year, a part of 8 turnovers (4INTS, 3 FF and 1 FR). The guy supports the run well and he knows how to cover. Re-sign him, Buddy.
—Its funny, but when you look at the stats and see that CJ touched the ball 25 times, you should be happy, right? WRONG if you go by Twitter. I don't mind CJ taking a breather. All NFL backs do that, but when I see Tashard Choice taking wildcat snaps on 3rd and short? I wanna vomit. Anyway, CJ's 22 carries were the most a Bills running back has had in a year. He gained a lot of tough yards tonight and proved once again he can run between the tackles. I'd like to see the Bills use Spiller in more toss sweep situations. Give him more room to turn on the jets and get to the outside quicker.
—The Bills red zone offense has been a concern as of late. 4 times in the red zone tonight (4FGs), 2 times in New England (FG and INT), and four times in Houston (3FGs and a miss). That's 70 possible points and you only come away with 24 points. This is where they will miss Fred Jackson getting tough yards and not having a big red zone target. They could probably use David Nelson right about now.
—Mario Williams will eat rookie tackles alive. I still can't believe people are still not buying his wrist injury (See: Jerry Sullivan on WGR this morning). He's played well in two of his last three games after the procedure happened. Mind you, he had a rough rookie year cause he was battling a toe injury the entire season and came back the following season with vengeance because he was healthy. But hey, he's a millionaire, owns a fridge, and doesn't talk on Mondays to the media which makes him public enemy #1. I love petty shit.
—Memo to Chan: If you wanna throw on 3rd and short, do it off play action. Enough with the empty backfield on that down.
—Fitzpatrick played, um, well…error free? Game manager tonight is the best compliment I can think of. Hey, he still played his ass off in New England. I do think that more teams need to blitz him more than they normally do. He just doesn't look comfortable back there when people are in his face. He started off well; passing for 79 yards in the first quarter. But he seemed to hit the wall for the rest of the game; throwing for just 89 yards.
—Don't look now, but that offensive line we were drooling over at the start of the year has given up 11 sacks in the last three games. Keep in mind they gave up only 8 during the first 7 games.
Final word: You want me to get on the playoff "Yes, we can!" bandwagon, do it against the Colts. As I've said before, the AFC is one steaming pile of shit. A lot of mediocrity out there. If the Colts lose to the Pats and the Bills beat them the following week, then they are one game behind them. Of course, they still have a bunch of other teams to jump over. Anyways, I think this team can get more than a few wins down the stretch, but I just can't get into playoff chase mode at 4-6.
However, you can get into Byrdman or CJ the Thriller mode.