Before the season started, on a famous Bills message board, a thread was started to suggest a slogan for the team’s website, as in last year’s “LEAD THE CHARGE” campaign.
One prescient jokester suggested that play on Michael Buffer’s iconic opening to Championship boxing matches.
And how true that slogan became last Sunday.
The City of Good Neighbors showed their famous hospitality last Sunday in Toronto by glad-handing the game over to their Atlanta counterparts, not once but twice when they were about to win.
Buffalo is certainly are not The City of Good Football Players. In fact, the team is so bipolar that they should consider a name change like the Washington Redskins are.
No longer the Buffalo Bills, they should be called the Bipolar Bills.
E.J. Manual, in his follow up to his breakout performance against the Jests, was agonizingly poor and off target for most of the game, but when it was on the line, played well enough to win, not once but twice.
Mike Pettine’s defense got a ferocious pass rush and continually sacked Matt Cryin the entire game, and then couldn’t stop crying themselves, or stop the Falcons pass game in crunch time or overtime.
Which never should have existed.
Which brings us to Stevie Johnson.
There are very few times in any season across the league where one can say with almost all certainty that a specific play lost the game. It almost has to be the last play of the game.
Well, Stevie’s play lost the game. The last time I can remember that happening for The Bills, was Stevie, too. It’s inexcusable. I don’t have the answer for it. He wasn’t hotdogging. He had just got wide open on a crucial play. He was in the process of actually making the play that would win the game, and then he just dropped the ball, literally and figuratively.
It’s more than infuriating, it’s criminal, when you are a $40 million player.
The problem with those two fumbles, including Shot Chandler’s, was that they were completely avoidable. Neither was a big hit, big hurt or big surprise by the other player. The ball just popped out as if the Falcon defender asked Stevie or Chandler if he, by chance, wouldn’t mind fumbling, and our eager to please Bills receiver, just before we were going to win, said, “My pleasure! Here! How’s that?!”
There is an old saying that you are what your record says you are, and it’s hard to argue against that now, even though this team seems little like an 4-8 team. But they are. 4-8 teams blow games at the end just like the Bills did against the Failcons.
The Toronto Series has become a bad, bad joke. So much so that for the first time, Russ Brandon came out publicly and said the team is going to reevaluate the agreement. They won’t actually do anything about it, so it amounts to something slightly less than zero. But at least they are acknowledging it costs the team wins.
It’s hard for me to believe that the outdoor Ralph would not have held a significant advantage compared to what goes for a football stadium and football fans up north. Blame or bomb Canada because your country probably costs us the win.
That said, this is not a team that was going to win six straight games to make the playoffs. That was a pipe dream, the kind when you actually need to smack yourself in the forehead with a lead pipe just for imagining what if. The Bills can’t put six plays together in a row without screwing something up, let alone six quarters, or six games.
And to think that this was the week that we were finally healthy.
Marrone and Pettine had bad games and game plans, regardless of our ability to rush the passer and run the football. We should have embarrassed that team, like we were doing when up 14-0. But it was all a mirage and our Bipolar Bills.
This week, the BiPolars travel to Tampa Bay to entertain the equally hapless Bucs. Another winnable game that surely is as unpredictable as your bipolar relatives and friends. So come on down to Busby’s and witness the Bison Dome go off.
We’re just not sure if it’s going to be manic, or depressive.