The battle cry for the Nittany Lions in College Station goes “WE ARE – PENN STATE!” For the Bills it is now “I – R — BUFFALO!”
For the third year in a row, the Bills have lost a ridiculous amount of players to Injured Reserve. It decimated a team that started out with a glaring lack of depth. So many guys have gone down lately, that not only do The Bills lack depth, they lack width. There aren’t even enough players on the active roster or Practice Squad to step up. Buddy Nix has to get them off the street instead of the sidelines as The Bills signed 5 new players this week.
By the time the Jet game comes around Sunday, when the starting line-ups are introduced to the fans before the game, they may be introducing new Bills teammates to each other.
Unfortunately, I’ve been tasked with reviewing last week’s Dolphin debacle where the Bills were simply not up for the task. The lowly Fins completely dominated after the first drive of the game.
The Buffalo team has played WHOA-fully bad the last three weeks, bearing no semblance to the 3-0 and 4-1 squad that started the season and started a groundswell of excitement.
Lately the excitement has become excrement.
LG Andy Levitre, for the first 4-5 weeks, was one of the very best OGs in the league. For the last 4-5 he has been asked to play 4-5 positions, and by the 3rd quarter, couldn’t even snap the ball to battered and befuddled Ryan Fitzpatricide, who killed more drives than Kevin Kildrive used to. The OL is once again in shambles, if not the infirmary, a sad state after so much promise and production earlier when healthy.
The Bills Defense turned Matt Moore into Matt Marino. The pass rush couldn’t be called a rush at all since the DL and LBs hardly ever even crossed the line of scrimmage after the Miami passer. The LBs flat decided against covering Dolphin RBs and TEs as if in protest. Former 1st rounder Leodis McKelvin is so bad in coverage lately that rookie 7th round nobody Just-in Rodgers replaced him when Terrence McGee went down and out for the year with a leg injury.
What were the chances of that?
On offense, ever dependable Fred Jackson went nowhere after the first drive, and is now lost for the season with a broken leg that likely broke his heart, too. Jackson was leading the entire NFL is rushing and yards from scrimmage when he left the game, and now likely lost his big chance for big bucks for at least another year and maybe for good.
C.J. Spiller will now get his chance to show his stuff, speed, and whether or not he was worth being the #9 overall pick. Johnny White and newly signed Taster’s Choice, formerly of the Cowboys and Redskins, are now the Bills runningback-ups. What looked like a strength a few days ago now looks like a sinkhole.
Except it’s much better than at WR… Donald Jones, who replaced Lee Evans, never got going the entire year and is now jonesing for playing time, he too lost for the season to IR. Roscoe Parrish was lost. Marcus Easley was lost. Stevie Johnson now LOOKS lost.
The Bills had to sign WRs Derek Hagan and Kamar Aiken to the active roster this week. Hagan and Kamar probably should have stayed at White Castle. Now the Bills WR are not only no-names, they’re no-games.
Even Brian Moorman got into the horrible act, his first blocked punt in a decade, which was promptly returned for a Fin TD.
Luckily, few saw it as Sun Life Stadium just north of Miami could use Some Life. Somehow, formerly named Joe Robbie Stadium, formerly Pro Player Park, formerly Pro Player Stadium, formerly Dolphin Stadium, formerly Dolphins Stadium, formerly Land Shark Stadium looked half full and three quarters empty.
For the Bills, the team needs to turn it around soon. DC George Backwards has got to go. Chan Gailey needs to make a decision and admit he made a mistake with the likeable but over his head linebackers coach. With Dave Wannstedt waiting in the press box, the Bills defenders, at least the ones who are still standing, would benefit from a real coach calling signals.
The once promising and exciting 2011 season is now impending doomsday, even at 5-5. And the Bills go from being snakebit to the snakepit in New Jersey against the pissed off Jets, who were embarrassed by an embarrassing Tim Tebow last Thursday on national TV.
If there were one chance to salvage the season and pull off a colossal upset, it’s this week for The Bills. So send off your Turkey day weekend with some free chicken wings and a blowout party down at Busby’s back bar.