, (WGR 550) -- Just because the Bills hung with the team that has the best record in the AFC doesn’t put me in the mood to praise them.
Was the defense better? Sure it was, but it still gave up 374 yards of offense, Arian Foster had 111 yards rushing and Andre Johnson had 118 yards receiving. Matt Schaub was 19-of-27 for 268 yards and two touchdowns.
Mario Williams was much better, but there were still plays he wasn’t going full bore on. He sacked Schaub once and hurried him a few times too. He stopped Foster for a loss once and scoped him out for a small gain another time. He still needs to be better.
Kyle Williams got good penetration at times, but to what end?
The biggest thing is why can’t this coaching staff see that Aaron Williams can not play corner? He can’t turn his hips and should either be a safety or cut, yet the second round pick was covering Johnson and looking like he never played the position before. After Williams got hurt, Stephon Gilmore followed Johnson around which is the way it should’ve been from the start. Those results weren’t great either, but it was a little better.
Dave Wannstedt blitzed a lot in this game with mixed results. When the defense did play well like the first two series of the game, the offense wasn’t up for it, at all.
Now to the offense, down 7-0, the Bills drove down the field, starting at the Buffalo 36. They got to the 10 and what happens, on second down false start on Andy Levitre. That crap has been happening for 12 years and it never stops, make big plays only to hurt yourself. The Bills get it to the two and it’s fourth down. On comes Rian Lindell to kick a 22 yard field goal. Why? You’re playing the best team in the AFC, you’re trying to pull a huge upset in their stadium and are moving the football and Chan Gailey doesn’t have the guts to try to tie the game at 7? If you miss, Houston has to start at its own two yard line.
The defense does well and gets a three and out and Buffalo gets the ball at its own 33 with 52-seconds left before the half. Fitzpatrick does a nice job. First pass is incomplete, then it’s one to C.J. Spiller for 12, followed by Donald Jones for 19, Spiller runs for 22 and Fitzpatrick is then sacked by J.J. Watt for only a loss of six. It’s second down form the Houston 16 and nine seconds left. There’s time for a fade pass to the end zone, but no, Gailey wants another field goal. There was still time for that, but no thought. If he could watch the film on Monday and think about it and go back to Sunday, he might be able to make the right decision. That’s how he coaches.
I want to stay with this theme so back to the defense. In the second half with the score 14-6, Houston had third and goal from the five. If somebody steps up and makes a play, it’s a field goal and you’re still only one score away. Instead, there was absolutely no pressure on Schaub, he stood back there forever and finally found Garrett Graham for his first NFL touchdown. The secondary can’t cover forever.
Next series for the Bills there’s still plenty of game left, 11:16. They have third and eight from their own 33 and Scott Chandler drops the ball for a sure first down. Fitzpatrick couldn’t have walked over and handed it to him any better.
Houston then throws together an 11 play drive that took quite a bit of time off the clock and now the comeback is almost impossible.
In typical Ryan Fitzpatrick form, he once again made the big mistake at the worst time. He hadn’t turned the ball over all day at the Houston 38, he scrambles. He gained four yards, but Whitney Mercilus popped the ball out and Quintin Demps recovered. Now the game is really over. (see photo)
After the game Fitzpatrick said they need to get the ball to Spiller more. He finished with 39 yards on six carries which is 6.5 yards per carry. He caught five balls for 63 yards. Fred Jackson had 21 yards on six carries and had five receptions for 14 yards. In the second half, those two combined for three carries and five receptions. Now Buddy Nix is so impressed by this crazy offense and quick decisions from the side line that he’s already said Chan Gailey will be back next year. In Buffalo, Chan Gailey will be coach for as long as Buddy Nix is general manager and Lindy Ruff will be coach for as long as Darcy Regier is general manager. How can your best two weapons run the ball three times in the second half of a close game? By this time Stevie is out with an injury. I have never, ever heard Fitzpatrick criticize Gailey in any way shape or form, but he questioned why they don’t use Spiller more and why they were in formations that allowed Houston to keep an extra linebacker on the field instead of defensive back. Gailey followed by saying passes were called to the end zone, but the ball never got there.
Nix said you can’t keep changing every year because you get nowhere. Agreed, but you have to change if it’s the wrong people and hopefully Ralph Wilson is still involved enough to realize he needs to make a change at GM. Doug Whaley would take over, but maybe that is the perspective they need. He’s 40 years old, he comes from the most stable organization in sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers. I would prefer he draft the quarterback of the future for the Bills, not the guy who just gave the position to a below average quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, drafted Levi Brown in the seventh round and signed Tyler Thigpen and Vince Young. Oh and lets not forget traded for Tarvaris Jackson only to find out he can’t learn the offense because there are no reps for him and never dresses.
I will say this, coming into the game I felt if the Bills win this week in Houston or next week in New England it would be a signature win and could vault their season. They didn't get it Sunday, but that still can happen next Sunday.