I’m woken out of sound sleep by the ear-piercing buzzer of my alarm clock. Six-thirty in the morning hurts much more on Mondays when the Bills lose, especially when they lose to the Dolphins. After showering and getting dressed, I spend fifteen minutes making sure my hair looks exactly right. The right combination of gel and spray is essential in achieving the desired appearance. As I head out the door, I zip up my Buffalo Bills “Starter” jacket, another painful reminder of what took place the prior afternoon. As I stroll up the doors of my high school, I pause and take a deep breath. I know there’s no way to prepare for the slaughter that is about to take place, but I try to put up whatever defenses I can. As I make my way down the main hallway of lockers the abuse begins. It all seems to happen in slow motion. One by one kids turn around and sling their best anti-Buffalo sentiment in my direction; “nice game Buff-a-lo!”,“hey Hannon, how’d the Bills do yesterday?”, “Buff-a-lo suuuuuuuucks”. With every step another blow is endured. It’s like going ten rounds with Tyson. As I hurry to my locker, the same thought pops into my head every time we lose to Miami, why are there so many damn dolphins fans in upstate New York? I get to my locker, it’s covered with notes about the Bills. When will the torture stop?? I can’t take it any more, why did Kelly throw that interception? Why does Pete Stoyonovich never miss a field goal! Why the hell … I wake up in a sweat, startled by the sound of my cell phone playing “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones. The 2008 alarm is much more enjoyable than the 1996 alarm. It was all a bad dream. Or was it? The Bills DID in fact, lose to the Dolphins yesterday, but, at least the cruel high school environment has been replaced by an office of adults who, because they live in LA, don’t even watch NFL football on Sundays. I can just wallow in my office, by myself, without the heckling of friends or the confusion of puberty, making the day harder.
Relax. Everyone just take it easy. I know the game didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but just try and calm down. The season is not lost, yes we like beating the dolphins, but after taking them out five out of the last six meetings (including four in a row) the “Fish” were bound to get one on their home turf. Especially considering they had lost two in a row and their backs were up against a wall. That has been a trend for most of the season as the Bills seem to get heartfelt efforts from teams who are fighting for survival. After dropping their first game, the Jaguars, who many picked to win the conference this year, did not want to start the year 0-2. The Raiders and Rams were fighting for respectability as they searched for their first win and were trying to keep their head coaches from getting the axe. Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins sat at 2-3, coming off two loses needing a win to stay competitive early in the season. With all of that considered, and looking back on how many big plays the Bills allowed and how many times they gave the ball away, they were still in the game until the very end.
Yes, the team played poorly, but at the start of the season how many of you would have sold a kidney if it meant the Bills started this season 5-2? Hopefully the team will learn from this loss and focus more on their opponent and less on how America isn’t respecting them as a team. There’s a lot of heart in this squad, as was evident by how they stayed in the game even though everything was going against them. The offense had three turnovers, a safety, and two field goals when they should have had touchdowns. The defense allowed three plays of over forty yards. It just wasn’t a good day for the Bills and that will happen from time to time. If you remember, even Jim Kelly and the gang were known to lose a few once in a while, especially to the Dolphins. The good thing is, the Bills will get another crack at the Dolphins when they have to come north in DECEMBER! You know how much that soft, warm weather team hates to travel to Western New York late in the season and not only face 70,000 Bills fans, but mother nature as well!… Oh wait, that’s right, the Bills decided it would be a good idea to play the Dolphins in a dome this year…
This is a tough one. Not many good things came out of this game. I suppose the one positive I can draw is that it served as a wake-up call to the team as they face two big games coming up. The “statement” the Bills made by beating the chargers is now a mute point. This sloppy performance should help the team gain some perspective and get them focused on what lies ahead. Also, Marshawn Lynch actually ran for 4.7 yards a carry this game. Coming into the game he was only rushing for 3.5 yards a touch. Unfortunately he only had thirteen carries in the game.
I’m not going to take up time by stating the obvious; if you watched the game then you know what happened out there. McGee got toasted more than the bagel I was eating at kick-off. Jason Peters whiffed on a block that led to a pivotal two points for the Dolphins. Apparently Aaron Schobel is the only defensive end on this team who stays at home and stops teams from going around the end. Kelsay and Denney fall for every fake and play-action and teams continue to go right around them. Trent Edwards had a back-breaking fumble on a QB sneak, apparently he thought he was on the goal line. While we’re on the topic, you know what else is bad? Running three QB sneaks in a game when your QB is just getting over a concussion! Give the ball to your “beast mode” running back and let him earn his game check! Bottom line, three turnovers and a safety gets you beat every time you’re playing an opponent that isn’t the Lions.
It was clear early on this might not be the Bills day. It always seems when you’re piling up field goals early on, you’re asking to get beat later in the game. The turnovers probably played the biggest role in the defeat, but certainly fourteen points instead of six would have made a big difference. But for me, the most hideous thing in this game didn’t even happen on the field. I harped on this after the Jacksonville game and I’m going to keep hammering it until the proper changes are made. Some how Miami avoided having the game blacked-out locally, yet there were a plethora of empty seats at the Stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie. The first place team comes into your house and you can’t even fill the stands? Once again, this provides evidence for my claim that THERE SHOULD BE NO PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. They don’t even know how to vote properly, how can we expect them to understand football? The state is full of elderly people who go to church on Sundays, nap from 1-4 in the afternoon, then go to dinner at four-thirty. There are dozens of cities that would show better support of these teams. The Miami Dolphins should become the “Boise Spuds”, or the “ Las Vegas Slots”. In a time when the future of the Bills in Buffalo is in doubt, how long will sports allow teams to stay in markets where no one cares about them? Bills fans sell-out every game, yet we’re in danger of losing our team? Yeah, that makes sense.
Wins needed to Prove Donte Whitner was correct: remains at 5
Newsflash Bills fans, we’re not sitting alone in first place anymore. Guess who we’re tied with, oh it’s the New England Patriots who weren’t suppose to be good once they lost Tom Brady! This week, the Bills have, what I’m calling, a must win game against the New York Jets. Not only is it a home game against a division opponent, but the Bills can not afford to go 0-2 in their division with a trip to Foxboro looming in the foreground. Looking at this stretch of division games, I was hoping the Bills would go at least 2-1. To achieve that they will now have to win back to back games. The Jets, like the Dolphins, are an improved team who have played inconsistently thus far. The Bills will need to eliminate the mistakes that plagues them this week if they’re to get back on track. If you ask me, 6-2 at the halfway point would feel quite good. I said last week we would know more about this team after the run of division play, after the first game my stomach feels uneasy. Hopefully the Bills provide me with some “Pepto” the next two weeks.
This team HAS to get healthy. I like the depth the Bills have and the confidence they show in throwing guys in the line-up, but eventually it’s going to cost them. Terrance McGee has to get back to full strength, Arron Schobel has to be on the field rushing the passer, the offensive line has to have all their starters playing to stay cohesive. After a promising start to the year in terms of injuries, the bug has snuck up and bit this team significantly. I know every team deals with injuries, but the past two seasons have been rough on the Bills. Now it looks like Josh Reed, the best possession receiver on the team, will be laid up for a while. Hopefully that means we can see more Parrish in the slot and Hardy contributing on the outside. If these guys don’t step up, the Bills offense will see production fall off, and that will lead to me falling off… the wagon.