Luckily the NFL Season is 16 games, and most all teams must endure weeks where nothing goes right but enemy ballcarriers going right past you, and the entire team looks unprepared if not unprofessional.
Last week’s 27-11 ground and aerial assault by the Jets at The Ralph just plain hurt.
For the first time this season perhaps, “MegaMind” Gailey lost his head and was thoroughly outcoached by Train-Rex Ryan. The Jets put the hurt on the Bills in all three phases of the game and it hurt to watch, the most frustrating game of the season and reminiscent of bad Bills’ teams of recent yore and bore.
From my view, it was inexcusable for Gailey to not use the Wildcat on 3rd and 1 in an important 2nd quarter drive when Brad Smith had not been stopped one time this year on 3rd and short. It hurt my head to watch Ryan Fitzpatrick hand off to Fred Jackson on 4th and inches when a QB sneak is a no brainer — and almost impossible to stop with a big center like Eric Wood and good running QB like Fitz. FredEx failed to deliver as he was hit in the backfield and face-planted.
These two crucial bone-headed decisions let the players down as much as the Bills players let their coaches down.
Hurtin’ on defense without star DT Kyle Williams who is now IR’d and lost for the season, when push came to shove, the Bills young and old defenders got pushed around and shoved back off the LOS. The LBs were sluggish off their blocks and late to their lanes, often tackling Jet RBs already into the defensive backfield.
Dirty Sanchez, while wildly erratic, made just enough good throws to Plax-ex-con Burress, who physically dominated whichever undersized DB was (not) covering him. His parole officer was considering new child abuse charges.
It was the Bills who shot themselves in the leg, though, something Plax-ex-con was incarcerated for.
In fact, it was surprising the Jets only managed 27 points when they ballhogged for 74 minutes of a 60 minute game.
On offense, the Bills hurt themselves for extended periods of time for the first time this year. When Fitz was accurate, the WRs dropped the ball. When the WRs were open, Fitz failed to make a relatively easy throw. When the Jets disguised coverages, Fitz failed to see gangrene jerseys and helmets in the way and threw two deadly interceptions.
Fred Jackson, while having a decent statistical game, never got motoring. His fumble on a hard hit to the arm hurt the team and its chance to win more than the injury. It was not a careless play, and FJ hadn’t lost a fumble all year in an extraordinary season, so there isn’t a lot to blame him for. But the play completely turned the game around, and when the Jets capitalized on a lazy Bills defense, it was all but over.
And if that wasn’t painful enough, the special teams let a Jet midget KR open down the sidelines and needed venerable veteran kicker Rian Lindell to dive and make a TD saving tackle. Rian is now crian, and has been lost for 4-6 weeks to a shoulder injury.
It also hurt the team’s playoff chances.
With a golden opportunity to go two games up on the Jets, and in a week the Patsies also lost, the Bills now find themselves in a three way tie atop the AFC East. A tie is bad enough — a three way tie is like kissing your twin sisters.
And with three straight road games, injuries mounting, naysayers regaining their voices, bandwagoners on the brink of jumping ship, second guessers on their third and fourth guesses, the Bills must stop the pain.
It’s as simple as this: They should beat the Phins in Miami, although not as easy a win as it appeared a week ago. And they must beat either South America’s Team, The Cowboys, in Dallas, or The New Jersey Jets in Joisy, to finish 2-1 on a gut-wrenching road trip and right back into the thick of things at 7-4 with 5 games to play.
Otherwise, at 6-5, or 5-6, The Bills will be looking at another .500 season of lost hope.
At times, this Bills team seems very much like the 1979 or 1987 editions of the franchise on the rise – right before a huge jump to national prominence and dreams of Super Bowl parades.
MegaMind needs to pull his hurting players together and put them in a position to win against a tough but beatable opponent in Dallas. Chan needs a better plan and better decision making, from his own braintrust and from his players on the field.
Last week hurt.
This week, come on down to Busby’s to watch the 2011 Bills show who we are made of, and put the hurt on the Cowpokes.
The Hurt Locker will be Tony Romo’s.