Le’Veon Bell ran all over and through the Bills defenseless defense last Sunday at The Lid, where the Steelers snow plowed the Bills and all but dashed their playoff hopes. The most ever rushing yards by a Pittsburgh Steeler, a team which goes back about 580 years, as well as the most ever against the Bills, which is no small feat given the atrocity of some of this team’s predecessors.
The numbers for the Pittsburgh bellwether were as frightening as the weather outside. 236 yards rushing. 62 more receiving. He had 240 yards before the fourth quarter, then dominated that.
Ding dong, the witch is not dead.
National reports before the debacle swirled harder than the snow flurries during the game that Rex Ryan might be fired if the Bills lose to the Steelers. Unfortunately for some, those proved not to be true, and aside from a few outliers inside One Bills Drive, Rex seems safe.
At least for now. If they lose to the Browns, it’s hard to imagine Rex even showing his face.
His team was ill-prepared for the biggest game of the year. The Bills even got the help they needed by the Broncos losing and still got snow bowled over. It was intolerable.
Ding dong, the witch is not dead part deux.
Tyrod Taylor had another shaky outing in a big game, and got his bell rung a few times. The problem was he didn’t get up for the bell with the game on the line, and a great portion of Bills fans have given up on him for good because of it.
However, one look at the 2017 FA QB market, including trades, as well as the college QB class, should sound sirens off in your head. There is precious little out there and even if you believe that TMobile can’t answer the call, you need someone to replace him. Cardale Jones has only started nine college games. He’s simply not ready. Do you really want EGeno Smithmanuel?
Taylor is likely back for next season, depending on the last three games.
Bells are ringing in the Bills defensive players ears, too.
Loudly. They certainly got their collective Le’Veon Bell rung. They couldn’t tackle him even when he was bottled up. Somehow, they would lose track of a guy who touched the ball 42 times.
Ben Roethlisberger had as much trouble throwing as Tyrod. He alone kept the Bills in the game, throwing three terrible interceptions, and would have had four if two Bill defensive backs didn’t pass interfere with each other in the endzone trying to both catch a terrible Big Ben pass.
Injuries were again a factor but not the reason. Kyle Williams, perhaps the defense’s unsung MVP for 37 years in a row, did not play. New starting safety James Ihedigbo (try to spell that three times!”) played on a broken leg in the second half. Ihedigbo was placed on IR this week, becoming the sixth Bills safety to be IR’d this season. Six!
And even though he wasn’t really injured, Jerry Hughes only played 40% of the snaps. Rex stated after the game that if you look at it he probably played as much as anybody, and when you look at it, no, he didn’t, and it wasn’t even close.
It cannot be overstated, if Bills are not getting the Rex defense, with exotic blitzes and tremendous pressure on the QB, why have Rex Ryan?
Bills players this week, stuck up for their Bill-leagured coach, including stars Shady McCoy and Sammy Watkins. But players often do, especially publicly.
Ding! Ding! The offense is done.
The offense needed an alarm to go off in the biggest game of the year and they sleepwalked though most of it. The normally reliable run game was snowed in, even if the opposing team ran wild in it.
TT couldn’t get the passing game going until it was too late, an annoying trend. The team still refuses to force the ball to Watkins when it’s glaringly obvious they should like every other team with a top WR. Surprisingly, when they throw the ball to him he catches it. Who knew?
Jingle Bells. Jingle Bells.
It’s Christmas time and unfortunately, Bills fans are getting coal in their stockings. Unless of course, you want to go see Santa Claus coming to town gift-wrapped as the 0-83 Cleveland Browns.
What can Brown do for you? Get you a much needed win.
Marcel Dareus guaranteed not losing, which may be emblematic of this Bills team. Most guys would guarantee a win.
Game tickets on Stubhub are less than a single beer inside the stadium. A trivia question next year may be, “The smallest crowd ever to watch a Bills game was in 2016 against the Browns, can you name them?”
But as a new tee-shirt available in Buffalo proudly states, “Win or Lose, We Still Booze.”
So come on down to the madhouse on Santa Monica for some Christmas cheer, cold Blues, free wings at halftime, and a guaranteed Bills win.
And Rex Ryan and Tyrod Taylor, for better or worse, likely saved by the bell.
By Pete Rosen