Okay let’s get this straight. The Bills 24-10 loss last Sunday at RWS made us want to ralph. A Giant embarrassment. A Giant letdown of Herculean proportions.
And its immediate aftermath was a Giant overreaction.
The problem is not what you think, the team is not what we thought, and the solution is not what we fear.
Contrary to popular delusion, Eli Manning did not pick us apart, did not have all day to throw, did not have all the answers or recievers. He threw for 212 yards, 51 of which came on a busted play and tackle that Nigel Bradham makes 9 out of 10 times. If you take out that one outlier, Eli threw for 161 yards and they scored 17 points both of which are solid if not stellar defensive numbers.
The problem, of course, is that you can’t take it away. It happened. It’s in the books. Your record is what it says you are. The Bills and Bradham needed to make the play and they didn’t. And the Giants did.
But the hair-pulling and call for heads to roll is the overreaction the size of Odell Beckham Junior’s gall.
If the playoffs started today, the Bills would be the 6th seed in the AFC and playing in the wildcard game in NE against the Cheaters.
The Bills beat the Bills in the bi-annual 2015 version of the Buffalo Bills Aggravation Bowl last week, in a bizarro world of mindless penalties, lost heads, surreal calls, bitch slaps from bitches, missed assignments and opportunities, and dangerously higher blood pressure for Bills fans.
The Bills offense played like a boy band for the first half. Not N Sync, but more like One Direction, which was backwards. They couldn’t get out of their own way and couldn’t get into the Giant defender’s way, too often going three-and-out.
Greg Roman had his first downer as a Bills play-caller and game planner, although it’s still unclear as to whom the real culprits were on the endless short passes just shy of the first down marker and goal line. Receivers seemed to cut their patterns off quicker than Miley Cyrus’s skirt designer. Tyrod Taylor threw too early too short too often.
Charles Clay, who’d have a great stat day overall, let a Giant defender literally steal the ball from him on a sideline toss-up. Chris Hogan sits down quicker after he catches the ball that the reigning World Champion Musical Chairs Player. Karlos Williams was supposed to be the bell cow and ended up getting his bell rung too often, now a sitting member of the NFL concussion protocol. The Bills didn’t throw to the endzone when they were nine feet away from it.
But Tyrod can be lightning. He brought the Bills back into the game with a couple of tick-tack-toe scoring plays, only to be called back by ticky-tack calls on Kraig Urbik and Richie Incognito.
On ST, Danny Crossman seems to have regressed back to his 2013 ways which had Bills fans putting him in their crosshairs. It is inexcusable to have a DT cover a C on a kick attempt in clear violation of the rules. Marcus Thigpen never seemed to get going this year as a PR and Thigpen became the scapegoat, losing his job to Denarius Moore this week. Percy Harvin has yet to find room or lanes on KR. Jordan Gay has been outed. Dan Carpenter missed a gimme FG and nearly put a nail in his own coffin, but will be given some time to recuperate and re-strengthen his leg while Billy Cundiff takes over KO and (I assume) long FG duties.
On defense, our six billion dollar defensive line has put pressure on themselves as much as their opponents, although much of the criticism is unwarranted. The sacks are not there but the ball is coming out ASAP, which is the goal. Facing four quality QBs, they have played two great games, one poor one and last week could have been great with one more tackle. Darby and Gilmore are as good a dynamic duo at CB in the league. The banged up safeties are doing bang up jobs outside of some full blown coverages by Bacarri Rambo who seems to be punch drunk a few plays a game.
Ahhhh, but the penalties. The Bills racked up 826 penalties last week for 1272 yards, which can all be attributed to Rex Ryan.
Or that is how it is being portrayed.
There is no question it is a big problem. No argument it contributed greatly to the loss. No question it must be addressed. But the overreaction is just as real. There were several different kinds of penalties last week, all of which added up to the outrageous numbers. Jerry Hughes has been a great player and a hot head since he de-planed from Indy. This isn’t new or Rex or 2015 or the defense. It’s Jerry Hughes. And may be Mario Williams and Kyle Williams who need to take him aside and convince him, because the coach and refs and fans and NFL fines ain’t working. Preston Brown lost it but that seemed to be an aberration. The two killer penalties that brought back the two TDs that were the difference makers were just bad or questionable calls that had nothing to do with the other calls and I don’t believe for a second the refs were looking for stuff to call or payback, they were just bad calls. The ST penalties are insanely frustrating and that can be brought back to the coach IMO (although there are only so many times you can tell a guy not to block in the back).
Fans immediately blame Rex Ryan for penalties because his team is so undisciplined, well the Jets were 20th in the league in penalties last year, 12th in 2013, 29th in 2012, and 21st in 2011.
This just in, it’s the players more than the coaches.
So let’s forget about the Giant debacle, and Odell “Posh” Beckham’s girly man punch to the facemask of Duke Williams. OBJ’s game of 5 catches for 38 yards is easily forgotten because he did nothing against Darby and Gilmore.
On to Tennessee where the Bills can right the ship against the thoroughly beatable Titans, where Marcus Marriot Courtyard is going to try to get the ball out early like Brady and Eli before him, but is in for a Giant, if not Titanic disappointment.