With the season on the brink of disaster or do you believe in miracles, The Bills traveled a Mile High and split the difference. And left Denver seemingly dead in the race for the playoffs.
This was a statement game and the defense showed its mettle once again, this time against a Hall of Fame QB and a balanced offense that had rushed for 200 yards a game lately.
Peyton Manning had his worst outing as a Donkey. Lowest attempts and completions. Two awful picks on horrible throws. Ended a 51 game streak of at least one TD, three short of Drew Brees’ all-time NFL record. CJ Anderson scored three short TDs but was kept in check for the most part, too.
Jim Schwartz’s tenacious, terrifying defense kept the Bills in the game, and the timid, terrified offense kept trying to lose it, until they finally did.
Kyle Orton went from having the Midas Touch to having little touch at all. He often seems out of touch, particularly on the 3rd and half a foot “kitty slide” that lost two yards. Orton looks like Dead Man Walking when he tries to scramble, and although he did make one defender miss, why a QB sneak was not the call instead of a rollout was just as troubling and defeating.
The Bills refuse to get the ball to their playmakers. Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods voiced their displeasure in the game plan this week, which didn’t call for (m)any downfield looks, let alone throws. They have both proven to catch balls not right to them, and it’s tragic the offensive brain trust doesn’t trust the QB to do it more.
The Bills offense lacks an identity, let alone a calling card, and seems to employ a random, different, troubling strategy from week to week, often MIA.
When you are nearly dead, controversies and conspiracies pop up like Jerry Hughes pops off. Hughes was benched by position coach Pepper Johnson for 24 of the last 36 plays, and HC Marrone didn’t know about it or notice. One of them, his replacement Manny Lawsuit, got physically abused, and a backup RB went for 47 yards to set up a TD. That cannot happen in a do or die game.
The officials also drew the ire of many a Bills fan and player, although a couple of the more hotly debated ones turned out to be good calls. Still, the red flag here is the Bills get too many yellow flags, which has brought them to the brink of throwing up the white one.
And the play on the field has raised rumblings about discord at One Bills Drive. Hard to say if Doug Marrone and Doug Whaley are just head butting, or butt heads. The Caveman was clearly in the Doug House, and Mike Williams error, er, era, has come to a questionable end with no answers.
I personally think we blew it with him.
But with all this talk of death and discord, The Bills have one more good shot at resurrecting this season and perhaps coming back from the dead. A win this week against the Meat Packers – then we out-thug the Raiders in Oakland – and the season will come down to beating the Patsies. 10 wins should do it. You need to be there to witness the life and death game this Sunday at the madhouse on Santa Monica.
There is life in us yet.