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Howard Simon's Blog

Bills Made Me Feel Like Charlie Brown

Now I know how Charlie Brown felt.  Actually there were two Charlie Brown feelings I had while watching the Bills destruction at the hands of the New York Jets.
When he was out trick or treating on Halloween and all of the kids looked in their bags to see what they got after each visit to a house, Brown would sadly exclaim “I got a rock.” While some NFL fans were enjoying their treats on Sunday, “I got a rock.”
The other Charlie Brown feeling is actually related to football.  You know how Lucy always holds the football for Charlie to run up and kick?  Before every kick, Charlie asks Lucy if she’s going to pull the ball away and she promises she won’t. But mean old Lucy always yanks it away as Charlie zips by, going full speed. He goes up in the air and lands hard on his back.  On opening day, the Bills once again played the role of Lucy and I was poor old Charlie Brown, taken in once again.
If I asked you to put together your nightmare scenario for this game, it would have been pretty darn close to what played out at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Every unit and almost every player(except for C.J. Spiller and John Potter) was awful.
Amidst all the pre-season hype and hope for 2012, that game looked a lot like what I saw over the second half of the 2011 season. 
One of the big questions going into the season was whether or not the presence of new quarterbacks coach David Lee would help make Ryan Fitzpatrick more consistent and accurate?
Mark a big, red “F” in the grade book under test number one.  Fitzpatrick was horrible.
On the first interception(which came on the Bills first possession right after an INT by Bryan Scott) Fitzpatrick seemed to be too late on his throw to Stevie Johnson who ran an out route.  That gave Darrelle Revis time to close in and leap in front of Johnson for the pick.
On the second possession, Fitzpatrick had time and an open Scott Chandler down field but missed him with a high throw.  On the very next play, he had an open David Nelson but threw the ball behind him and into the arms of Jets nickel back Kyle Wilson.
On the third possession, Fitzpatrick went for the bomb but Antonio Cromartie had a better play on the ball than Donald Jones.  The ball sailed through Cromartie’s arms.
The third interception came on the opening possession of the third quarter in a 27-7 game.  Cromartie made a nice play in coverage dropping off the outside receiver to cover Nelson coming out of the slot and Fitzpatrick threw the ball right into Cromartie’s gut. He cruised into the end zone and for all intents and purposes, that was the ball game.
Blame can certainly be spread around.  One of the reasons why fans were excited about this team was a new and improved defense which would be good enough to give Fitzpatrick and the offense some wiggle room if they were struggling. 
Fitzpatrick started the fire but then the defense poured gas on it, creating an out of control blaze.
Some old problems were still evident like a lack of pass rush, the inability to get a stop on 3rd down and wide open targets waiting for passes to come their way.
Mario Williams was “The Invisible Man”. I noticed him on just one play where he got to Mark Sanchez but after the Jets qb had gotten rid of the ball.  Sanchez did a good job of getting the ball out quickly but it didn’t matter because the Bills four man rush came nowhere close to getting him on too many occasions.
Bills defensive backs played like they received an NFL memo right before kickoff that explained a new cover free zone for all Jets receivers and no defender was allowed to be within ten yards on any passes.
Leodis McKelvin was a revelation in the pre-season but he reverted to 2011 form, getting beaten on numerous throws.  Rookie  Stephon Gilmore had a rocky debut, getting beaten badly by fellow rookie Stephen Hill on one of his two TD catches. Aaron Williams was struggling so much, he was replaced by Terrence McGee at one point.
By the way, the Jets needed help at wide receiver so they drafted Hill in the 2nd round last April. He finished with 5 catches for 89 yards and 2 TD’s.  The Bills needed help at wide receiver and moved up in the 3rd round to select T.J. Graham last April. He was inactive yesterday. SWEET!!!
I know its only one game but it means the Bills REALLY need to win the next 2 games, at home against Kansas City and at Cleveland. If they only split, Buffalo is 1-2 going into a week 4 matchup with New England. A trip to San Francisco follows that so you could be looking at a 1-4 record.
Hopefully it was just a bad day at work. If not, I’ll have another Charlie Brown moment later this season when the Bills are playing out the string and my pathetic, tiny Christmas tree tips over under the weight of one ornament.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BuffaloClevelandKansas CityNew EnglandSan Francisco
People : Aaron WilliamsAntonio CromartieBryan ScottC.J. SpillerCharlie BrownDarrelle RevisDavid LeeDavid NelsonDonald JonesJohn PotterKyle WilsonLeodis McKelvinMario WilliamsMark SanchezRyan FitzpatrickScott ChandlerStephen HillStephon GilmoreStevie JohnsonTerrence McGee

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