No one knew what to expect after bizarro blizzard week in Buffalo, which forced the Bills home game to be played on the wrong end of Great Lake Erie. But we have learned to expect the unexpected with this 2014 version of the Buffalo Bills.
They seem to be either Madden or Maddening.
On Monday at Ford Field, The Bills were Madden again and blew the Jets out of the sky and water. The game may not have been as close as the 38-3 shellacking. It was highlighted by Madden-esque circus catches by Robert Woods, dredlock takedowns by Nigel Bradham, WWF slamdowns by Mario Williams, plus beautiful punt blocks and brutish runs to daylight and end zones by Boobie Dixon.
The Bills may not make the playoffs because their doppelgänger is Maddening, but there are long stretches, including two full games against the Jets, when the Bills look like they’re playing Madden.
This year against New Jersey’s second finest, the Bills are Jet Killers, QB Killers, and maybe Coach Killers. The Bills out maddened the Jets in two games this year 81-26, and may have cost Sexy Rexy his HC job. Geno Smith lost his starter title and career ambitions because of his performance against the Bills in the first game. Neither Mike Vick nor Geno wanted any part of the Bills snow job in the second.
The defense and special teams have been physically abusive the entire season. This team hustles, plays, and hits hard. Stephon Gilmore put the hurt locker on Jeremy Kerley. Chris Ivory, perhaps the toughest runner in the league, broke about six tackles and about six ribs on a tremendous two yard run. Forget Beast Mode, led by Beast Mario, the Bills had seven more sacks and now lead the league by more than ten, without even bothering to blitz.
The stats are getting lofty. This Bills defense ranks 4th in points against, 1st in sacks, 3rd in takeaways, 4th in yards, 1st in Third Down Percentage, 5th against the pass, 8th against the run, and right at the top of the league in bone-jarring and snot-knocking.
The Special Teams need special mention. Marcus Easley has become the best gunner since Mark Pike and perhaps second only to legendary Steve Tasker. Dan Carpenter hits the nail on the head almost every time. Gay Schmidt have been consistently outstanding the entire year.
Robert Woods was simply phenomenal as all 9 of his catches for 118 airborne yards looked tough to make, and some spectacular, including a diving TD, and a highlight reel one handed attached to the head special down the sideline. Watkins and Woods should be a formidable pairing for years to come.
Kyle Orton did what he had to do, and completed enough passes to keep the chains moving. Both his touchdown passes were darts and right on the money, even the one that Woods had to lunge for. He is what he is, which is sometimes Madden, and just as often Maddening.
Just like his team.
After this exhilarating, memorable performance in their home away from home Detroit, where two of their six wins have taken place, the Bills return home to play the upstart Browns and Mike Pettine. The game has ginormous playoff implications. So come on down to the madhouse on Santa Monica and see if the Bills will continue to play Madden, or Maddening. My bet, this thanksgiving week, is on the former.