The (Good) Bye Week in the NFL could not have come at a better time for the beleaguered and battered Buffalo Bills after their British Implosion two Sunday Bloody Sundays ago, as they prepare for the stinking Fish coming to the Buff.
In London town, The Bills played like smelly, beer-battered cod wrapped in newspaper.
While normally this space is a review of the previous game, we’d all like to forget the rubbish that was the Jags game—especially the seven second meltdown of yahoo, E.J. Manuel, when he glad-handed Jax 14 points, and arguably 21 or even 25, counting the miss of a wide open Chris Gragg in the endzone.
The live streaming left us screaming for death.
E.J. then led an improbable furious Bills renaissance that only led to an even more confounding and infuriating defeat and depression. Bills fans on both sides of the pond started slapping themselves in the forehead and yelling, “You gotta be Comeback Kidding!”
The Bills even took the lead briefly in the fourth quarter before a phantom pass interference call against Nickel Robey, which should’ve turned Wembley Stadium into Scotland Yard, opened the door for the Jags win.
Most Bills faithful badmouthed E.J., and Rex, and then (insanely) Doug Whaley, as they were looking for blame more than answers with no game last week.
There is a lot of guilt to go around for disheartening 3-4 start. The thought-to-be elite defense seems to be pressing “delete.” Often not ready for the play, out of position, and thinking too much because of the new scheme (and Rex’s coaching errors), the formerly furious pass rush is passive. Turnovers are a rarity although a pick six by Corey Graham turned the Jax game around. Unfortunately, Corey hurt his hammy on the return, and reinjured it on the game losing TD pass by Blake Bortles (the reason he was so far behind, although not an excuse.)
That said, it needs to be repeated that no team in the NFL wins with their backup QB, missing the top two WR, and only one good leg between their top two RB. Not to mention their two leaders on defense in Kyle and Aaron Williams.
And ultimately, it’s time to say bye-bye to the first half of this cursed season and look ahead to the next beer-battered Fishkill.
With a week off, The Bills are finally on the mend. Tyrod Taylor is back and in better health than at any time this season. He’s sixth in the league in passing, people seem to forget, not to mention his miraculous footwork. Sammy may be back. Karlos will play and bash some heads after sitting out two games with a bad concussion. If Watkins suits up, look for the Bills explosive offense to return to form.
Luckily for the Bills, the AFC is wide open and the playoffs are still very much in play. After two weeks off, we need two straight wins in five days against the Fins and Jests, who both are reeling after chaotic weeks of their own. The Fins have a new hard-nosed coach in former TE Dan Campbell, but got dismantled by the Pats and lost star DE Cameron Wake and their starting RT. The Jests lost both QBs to injuries last week in an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, and although both will be available to play, neither seems able to.
The stars on the Buffalo roster have not come through yet for the Bills, and the stars in the sky have certainly not aligned for team or city. Its renaissance has been put on hold. The Rexorcist has reared its ugly head and left Bills fans with their own heads spinning.
But the bad taste in our mouths after the Jag-off game in Wembley that left us so wobbly is gone. The Dolphins are swimming upstream to Buffalo and ready to be harpooned at The Ralph. The next seven days will tell us a lot about the team and the 2015 Bills season.
Forget the dirty, smelly Fish and Chips in London. The Bills are back, healthy and hungry, and grilling for perfection. Come on down to Busby’s for the all you can eat feast.