The Buffalo Bills went down to Miami, Florida needing and expecting a win after a frustrating loss against the Chiefs and everything quickly went south, getting swamped by the upstart Dolphins, 22-9.
Nothing went right in a must win game against the Fish and now the Bills are floundering. The Fins looked like sharks, the Bills looked like chum, and soon tanked.
The offense refuses to put the ball in the endzone. The team only got 13 first downs and 237 total yards. Kyle Orton returned to being the backup and .500 quarterback he came here as. Under constant pressure, he looked rattled, and while he didn’t turn the ball over, he turned the game over to Miami. Marrone and Hackett had no answers and now only have second guessers.
The ground game was stuck in the everglades, gaining a paltry 54 yards and 2.8 average. Boobie and Bryce had no holes, yards or energy. Fred Jackson was sorely missed, especially as a pass blocker. Sammy Watkins is hurt and slowed, and it showed. When Chris Hogan is the only one making plays you know something is seriously afoot. The OL returned to being offensive against the pass rush. And the coaches’ insistence on 2-3 TEs when none of them are effective is mind-blowing if not cause for dismissal by itself.
Head Coach Doug Marrone is under siege and may not last the post season evaluation of the new ownership. His offense was sold as being innovative but it’s ineffective. Erratic in game decisions, personnel choices, and conservative style has backfired repeatedly. Many fans are asking for his head as for the first time this year, playoffs seem remote.
The defense stood up for most of the game and then went south when the game was on the line, too. Mario Williams had 3.5 sacks but Ryan Bennehill consistently made short accurate throws that moved the chains. The proud unit has performed remarkably the entire season only to be let down by the sputtering offense whose main weapon is their field goal kicker.
Bills fans were confounded and soon infuriated over several calls that went the wrong way, and for good reason, including intentional grounding on Kyle Orton in the endzone and a phantom interference call on Stephon Gilmore. It changed the complexion of the game but again the team beat themselves, not the zebras.
Bad teams get bad calls and the Bills played the part. Nobody may circle the wagons like the Buffalo Bills but nobody circles the drain like them either. The difference between 6-4 and 5-5 in the AFC this year is monumental. Since 1990, teams starting 6-4 made the playoffs 61% of the time, 5-5 teams only 28%.
Unfortunately, after going south all game down in Miami, the Bills went north.
There, the team was greeted with one of the worst blizzards in history. The team and its hometown of Orchard Park were in a state of emergency. The Ralph was literally snowed in and 220,000 tons had to be removed. The Bills couldn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday and the league mercifully cancelled Sunday’s game against New Jersey.
In a bizarro week, the Jets game moved west to the Motor City where the team hopes to hotwire their engines and season. The league finally announced the Monday Night Game, although not national, will be shown on NFL Sunday Ticket. So come on down to Busby’s to watch the Bills shoot down the sputtering Jets, secure Sexy Rexy’s fate, and keep their playoff hopes alive.