Once is an outlier. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a fact. We just don’t like anyone named Rodgers muscling in on us.
First Rodgers Communications of Toronto stole one game a year from the Bills. That was a colossal disaster and ended with a wimper a few weeks ago. Then Rodgers Communications tried a hostile takeover of the Bills franchise. That ended in an embarrassing implosion, loss of record sales for Bon Jovi and an NFL record sale to Terry and Kim Pegula. Then Aaron Rodgers came to town on his high horse and immediately got shot down off it. In the worst game of his career, Rodgers’ lack of communication due to Bills disguised coverages and The Ralph’s rabid fans noise led to a crushing defeat of the Pack mentality.
For two weeks in a row, the defense dominated a surefire first ballot Hall of Fame QB. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers combined numbers are staggering. In two games, they were 31-62, for 358 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs, a fumble and a safety.
Mr. Rodgers neighborhood is not a safe place to play.
While dropped passes mattered, the defense had a hand in it. The Bills knock players out, proving once again how prophetic Santa is in this holiday season, as surely ‘tis better to give than receive.
Sure, sure-handed Jordy Nelson dropped a sure 94 yard TD. But if you watch the replay closely, he did it because he was scared of being slobberknockered by onrushing Aaron Williams. Nelson takes a quick peep show at AW right as the ball hits his hands, causing the drop. Even in the post game interview, Nelson said “I short-armed it.” Short-armed is synonymous with alligator. WRs do not short arm wide open passes in their hands, they short arm passes when they fear being smacked.
Jordy Nelson also broke up a surefire pick six, remarkably getting a hand in to tip the ball from Stephon “UnHappy” Gilmore. So Nelson’s drop of a TD was a wash. Most other drops by the Pack receivers were meaningless plays that did not change anything. Aaron Rodgers was cold and bothered all day by the Bills rush, game plan, and physical CBs (especially Gilmore, who had a great game and season). That is why Rodgers’ communication was off. He simply was not welcomed at the Ralph.
You know who was? Bacarri Rambo.
Rambo came in off the street, out of the NFL almost two months, and never came to a complete stop before intercepting two Rodgers passes. Something no one had done once since Rambo was put on the street.
Doug Whaley continues to be a Waiver Wire Wizard, which has directly led to W’s. Late season pickups Rambo and Marcus Thigpen, who returned a punt for the Bills only TD, were stars of the game. The kicking duo of Dan “Money” Carpenter and Colton Schmidt kick-started the ST resurgence and were both waiver acquisitions. MarQueise Gray made Frank Summers one of The Expendables, which made room for CJ Spiller’s return this week. Whaley continues to find ways to upgrade the roster, and has built a deep one, modeled after his tenure with the Steelers and designed to field a perennial contender.
Advanced stats say the Bills Defense is number one overall. Counting all metrics, it’s hard to argue with that, especially considering the way the offense puts them in constant peril. It’s become one of the best Bills defenses ever, perhaps a shade below the mid 60s AFL Champions and a dominant 1999 team. Super Mario’s strip sack safety was the icing on the Pack.
And yet the offense continues to be as awful as the defense is awesome. Kyle Orton can’t seem to complete a 5 yard pass, and didn’t when Robert Woods was wide open. Orton missed a 20 yard pass by 10 yards to a player, Bryce Brown, who was not even covered. That play was a TD with even a decent throw. Orton has regressed badly, which some think is crappy coaching as well as crappy QBing. The offense is firing on no cylinders, and fans are screaming for the firing of its architect, Nate Hackett, which ain’t gonna happen. Hackett and Marrone are attached at the hip, and seem to be shooting from it, but not hitting anything.
That said, Head Coach Doug Marrone very likely secured his job with the big win. Bill Polian this week said Marrone should get some Coach of the Year votes. Marrone has consistently got this team ready to play. The players like him and like playing for him. That cannot be underestimated. His in-game decisions have improved lately. He is only in his second year, but there are a lot of factors that go into the HC job, and Marrone has been a mixed bag of nutsy decisions in general.
Much will be determined in the last two weeks. An upset by the Raiders will negate the great win and goodwill toward Marrone. But a win on the West Coast will set up a Week 17 showdown with The Devil Wears Patsie. A win against New England, regardless of getting into the playoffs, would make this season special on the field as much as it has been special off it.
2014 has been truly amazing. I don’t usually link to other articles, but as Bills fans, especially during this Holiday Season, give yourself a gift and read this: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/12/a-magical-year-buffalo-bills
The playoff chase is still alive. It starts this Sunday when the Bills give the Oakland Raiders the Rodgers Communications treatment in the dark hole. Come on down and celebrate at the madhouse on Santa Monica with some Holiday Cheer and Beer where everyone is welcome.
Unless your name is Rodgers.