From The Back Row Of The Bison Dome– September 7, 2008
Well that certainly went better than any of us could have imagined. The only person disappointed with the outcome was Joe Schieve, as his prediction of 58-2, (the two points representing an intentional safety by the bills) fell a little short of the 34-10 final score. After the first three possessions I was having trouble eating my breakfast pizza. Especially after we failed to convert a third and one on the very first third down of the season. Running straight ahead into 8 Seattle defenders and falling short was not what I was hoping for out of the new offensive system. But, good things come to those who are patient, and for those of us who showed patients and didn’t start chanting for John Paul Losman (Dan), we were rewarded. Then there were those who didn’t watch the game at all. Apparently golfing in the rain was more appealing to Mr. James Lalayanis, than was watching his home town team. I suppose if someone breaks your heart for 40+ years, eventually you have to find another woman, and there are few better women then lady links.
Lynch and Edwards both got a touchdown on their stat line in the very first game. I think it’s important to see the youth of the team putting up numbers. It helps their confidence and keeps the press of their back. Evans was able to pile up over a 100 yards on just four catches, which should keep him from wandering over to JP’s lockeroom where they can sit and dream of miraculously caught deep balls thrown into triple coverage. He probably would have had closer to 130 yards if he caught everything that hit him in the numbers, but I’ll give him a break on account of the playing conditions.
Roscoe Parrish continues to be a weapon in the punt return game. He had me choking on my mimosa a couple times when he picked up punts that were rolling along the wet turf, but he’s the professional, not me. However, I’m not afraid of snow, and he is. I liked that they targeted him in the passing game, though he wasn’t able to break loose. The offensive line looked strong and will only get better when Peters comes back this week again Jacksonville. Though I will say, Chambers did a hell of a job at right tackle on Sunday. I think the absence of Peters was seen more in the running game. Beside the draw play, it looked like Marshawn had to create a lot of his own holes. He averaged 4.3 yards a carry, but space was hard to find. However, Seattle also has a pretty good defense that isn’t easy to score on.
The defensive line went from being the achilles heel of our defense, to maybe being the best part of it. Stroud and Spencer owned the backfield all day sunday. You would have thought there was a stack of pancakes back there on every play! (I could have chosen a different food, but I wanted to make sure I used something that would not suggest any sort of racial stereotyping) Schobel looked fast and effective, it was clear he is going to benefit from Stroud’s presence. Let’s just hope big Marcus stays healthy.
I hope Bobby April is the Bills special teams coach until his dying day. In the past few seasons, no unit on the field is as consistently well-prepared as his. Forget the fact that the fake FG was a success. That’s great, but the key is having it in the playbook and having the organization to have it ready and run it. If coach April ever needs a kidney, I’ll be the first in line.
Not much bad in this game. The offense started slow, but let’s not forget Edwards had not taken a live snap in over three weeks. All things considered, he still finished 19/30, with no turnovers. I was disappointed that James Hardy spent most of the game on the sideline. When he was in, it seemed like all the plays were hand-offs. I was excited to see him come in and get involved quickly, but judging from Jauron’s post-game press conference, they are going to work Hardy in very gradually.
There were too many dropped passes. I know the weather wasn’t good, but it rarely is in Orchard Park, get use to it boys.
Ryan Plackemeire, the Seahawks punter, had eleven balls leave his foot throughout the course of the game. While he averaged a respectable 40 yards a punt, at least half of his punts were shanked out of bounds, not to mention the low liner he booted that got returned for a touchdown. Now, when you’re already behind the eight-ball with a name like “Plackemeire” (plack-a-my-er), you can’t be whizzing off sidewinders in the first game of the season, especially in a game that very early on was being decided by field position. His punts looked less like that of a professional kicker, and more like Joe Schieve trying to hit a golf ball. It’s a tragedy that some families lost their true names when they came through the gates of Ellis Island. The Hannon family, formerly O’Hannon, was stripped of their “O” and apostrophe as they crawled threw the shadow of lady liberty. That wound gets reopened when you see a name like “Plackemeire” slip through the turnstiles and find its place on NFL roster sheets throughout the nation.
Let’s see how they handle a tough team on the road this Sunday…. preview to come soon.
Gameball(s): Special teams, they dominated.
Wins to go to prove Donte Whitner was right: 9 (assuming a 10 win season guarantee’s the Bills a playoff spot)