During the last decade plus of aggravating and aggravated assault that the Patriots have put on our Bills, including a gaudy 21-2 record, Bill Bellicheat has been especially patronizing about facing Buffalo during his weekly presser. The Devil Wears Hoodie invariably built the Buffalo team up to loftier status than we deserved, and then whenever the Pats really needed to turn it on and put a nail in our Bills coffin, they put the hammer down.
Last week, most of the Queen City built the team up to more regal status than deserved, and the result was similar. The Patriots beat the Bills when it really mattered, and made the crucial crunch time plays they needed to, and we didn’t.
So much so that we needed about four shots of Patron after the game to drown our Patriot sorrows.
The build up was bigger than the beat down, but now the Bills must regroup for the third time this season to see what kind of team they truly are in 2014. Lucky the Vikings are coming to town, who barely scare the Netherlands in football this year.
Against New England, there was hardly a position group that didn’t let us down at some point in the game, except the kickers. But for the first time this year, the coaching staff must take the brunt of the blame. Even much heralded Jim Schwartz had some brain-teasers for the first time, although his run defense is now ranked #1 in the league.
Doug Marrone made a massive blunder on and off the field, sitting Mike Williams and keeping three TEs, two of which don’t belong on the roster let alone the turf. The Power Running game has no power, run, or game. The two TE lineups clog the middle, truncate the run game, and keep playmakers off the field. Nate Hackett and Marrone are now clearly doing what is usually a Cardinal NFL sin, forcing your system on players whose talents are not best utilized.
Marrone and Hackett are more like Bonnie and Clyde, killing Mike Williams, CJ Spiller, Marquise Goodwin, and even Sammy Watkins, Fred Ex and Robert Woods.
Lee Smith is worth 15 yards less than zero on the field and simply should not be playing.
Marrone is also stubbornly losing the offensive line by forcing Eric Pears into a position he cannot play. The HC’s insistence of playing the five best regardless of position forgot that there are three separate positions. His old school approach is antiquated and failing. This team has a ton of speed and playmakers who are being bottled up in the game plan before they even take the snaps.
I refuse to ever say that the officials are the reason for any loss but there were a series of atrocious calls so egregious that Bill-hater Mike Rodak wrote a column about it. Jerry Hughes got flagged for being happy for a teammate.
But the plays were there to be made and the game was there to be had. Kyle Orton makes a lot of terrific throws but suffered a few severe bouts with RJitis. CJ Spiller has sputtered the entire season. The Bills sorely missed Aaron Williams at safety and his Flying Williams Brother, Duke, played like dukey the entire game.
And the result was all too familiar. Three hours after one of the most raucous and rousing ovations in The Ralph’s 41 year history, there was no joy in Pelugaville. The Mighty Case for AFC East supremacy had struck out. And Bellicheat was Pat-ronizing in the locker room after the game.
But the schedule is favorable and the team still has a legitimate shot for the playoffs if the front office, coaches and players can get in sync. Little tweaks can produce huge turnarounds and the talent is there. With a game at home against the ignoble savages, the Vikings, and their wet behind the ears, Terry Bathwater, and then next week against the lowly Jests and F.U. Smith, the Bills should be 5-3 by the bye.
So let’s see some patronage down at Busby’s this Sunday, down a few shots of Patrons, forget about the Patronizing Patsies until the final week of the season when the playoffs are on the line, and we will finally see if this year is different than the others.