Going into any random game against the Patriots**, especially in Fixborough, you know the fix is in.
The Pats** will be cheating to some degree and the league officials will be going out of their way to help them. I predicted before the game that the final score would be Bills 27 Pats 24 Refs 10, and while the Bills didn’t score as much as I thought or hoped, it was a fairly accurate guess.
The reffing was effing awful. There were two plays when the zebras made two mistakes on one play. Even the one time where they screwed the Pats on the inadvertent whistle, the Pats STILL gained 15 extra yards than they should have Darby was right there to make the stop on Amendola. I would have thought gaining 15 extra yards on a play you were screwed on was heretofore impossible, but everything is possible in Fixborough.
I’m unsure why the league seems to allow this to continually go on, other than the fact that Kraft, Belichick and Brady make a great evil triumvirate and it’s always good business to have a bad guy.
The Cheatriots are a great team, of course, even without the fix, and they always seem to make the plays that they need to make to win the game. Ten times out of ten this season.
Thankfully, on this Thanksgiving Weekend, the Bills defense seemed to be fixed. The Pats** game was the first time this season that Rex was Rex, who even admitted that he tried to fuse what the Bills did well last year with his own defense and it just didn’t work. So he finally scrapped that for the Rex Ryan defense and it smothered the Patriots most of the night.
Mr. Bunchen was clearly frustrated after throwing the ball into the turf in disgust and ended the game with a passer rating in the 70s. It may have been the 1970s since he looked this confused and flustered. The Bills took the Grrr out of Gronk the entire night. Their running game never got out of first gear. Danny Amendola did his very best Little Weasel White Guy impersonation of Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, but he really only hurt the Bills on a glaring mistake by Duke Williams, who missed not only the assignment but the tackle.
If this is the defense we get the rest of the season, it is going to be a fun ride to the playoffs.
Unfortunately, we don’t know if we need to fix the quarterback or not. Tyrod isn’t broke but he is wounded and had a bad day. Plays were there to be made all game and TT was PP. Taylor was hurting after being hurled OB but still threw his best pass of the night after the shoulder injury. Rex had already made the decision to go to EJ but TT convinced Ryan he could still play and stayed in the game. TT needs to shoulder a lot of blame for the loss, however, as just an average game from him could have put 7-14 more points on the board. The next two games will go a long way in finding out what kind of fix the Bills are in at the sport’s most important position.
One thing for sure is that the Bills two-minute offense needs to be fixed in the next two minutes if not sooner. Greg Roman must get the plays in quicker. Trust TT calling his own plays in the two minute drill. Be allowed to call two plays in the huddle. Stop with substitutions and packages in the hurry-up. The Bills are the only team in the league that takes more time in their hurry up offense than the normal one.
As usual, or at least for the last sixty five years or so in Bills history, the mental mistakes and bonehead plays at the worst time need to be fixed. Glaring miscues by Leodis on the punt return. Dukey Williams missing his assignment and the ensuing stop. Corey Graham couldn’t tackle something called James White who waltzed into the end zone. Dan Carpenter missed a 48 yarder. Chris Hogan, who otherwise had a good game, had the first down and decided to go backwards which set up the fateful third and six inches play. Luckily it led to the first down by QB sneak. Oh wait, we didn’t sneak it, we ran it outside and got a five yard loss and punted instead. Why we didn’t QB sneak will never get a sufficient answer.
But what this team really needs is a Sammy Watkins fix. We must get Sammy the ball even if we have to script the first ten plays of the game and they are all called “Throw the damn ball to 14!” The reason he is not getting targets can be explained away, but it is not a good enough explanation.
The way the offense was built was for Taylor to read the defense pre-snap and go to the one of the five solid skill players we have that is not being accounted for. That is rarely Sammy because teams always double team him. That is why you see TT staring guys down so much, he knows where he is going to go with it on a potential mismatch. But several times a game we need to just scrap that concept and throw him the damn ball. Greg Roman has to insist that TT does it and if he doesn’t, Rex has to insist that Roman insists.
But enough about the Pats** and the past, we get our new Bills fix in two days. It’s a short week for the biggest game of the year against the Chiefs in Arrowhead, all but a playoff game, and a must win. But after facing the very decent Alex Smith, we get Brian Hoyer, Dirty Sanchez, Kirk Cousins, Matt Cassel and Ryan Fixpatrick.
So come on down to Busby’s Sunday to see the Bills take care of business and the playoff push.
Winning fixes everything.