Orcahard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- I want to be very clear about this game in Toronto. IT IS NOT A HOME GAME! I don’t care that the NFL considers it a home game. It’s not in the stadium here in Orchard Park in front of over 90% Bills fans.
It really annoys me when folks were taking pot shots at the Bills for not winning on the road when they beat Washington in Toronto last year. Yes, it goes into the official stats as a home win, but it’s just not.
Until last season the atmosphere for that game was awful and there were always more fans for the Jets, Dolphins and Bears than the Bills. It’s a sterile environment in a baseball stadium. It’s inside, with no chance of the roof being open.
As far as the game itself, Seattle has been a bit of a surprise this season behind rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have had two good games in a row winning at Chicago and then blowing the Cardinals away by 58 points. They’ve also beaten New England, Green Bay and Dallas. Losses they’d like to have back include Arizona, Detroit and Miami.
Defensively, Seattle is third overall and fourth against the pass. They only give up 15.2 points per game which is second in the league.
Marshawn Lynch comes back to play his old team. Lynch is second in the NFL with 1266 yards. That puts him on a pace to get over 15-hundred yards. The one nice thing is the Bills have done much better against the run the past four games. The Bills have given up less than 90 yards on the ground in each of those four games. That after giving up staggering numbers against in the first nine games. Buffalo shut down a big back like Steven Jackson last week so Lynch will be a good test.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has a passer rating of 94.9. That puts him 8th in the NFL. He has 20 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions. Chan Gailey said he liked Wilson coming out of Wisconsin, but the Bills weren’t willing to spend a third round pick or better to get him. Gailey said his height of 5’11 turned many around the NFL off. Wilson is showing that maybe others should’ve had the conviction the Seahawks had.
Make no mistake, just because Fred Jackson is out for the season doesn’t mean C.J. Spiller is going to get a full work load. Last season and this season when Jackson was out, Tashard Choice got more than his share of plays. The thing we can count on is Spiller should get more touches than normal.
Spiller is 12th in the NFL with 944 yards, but his yards per carry of 6.6 yards per carry leads all runningbacks and only trails Robert Griffin III. By comparison, Lynch averages 4.9 yards per carry which is excellent.
If the Bills want to win this game they'll have to have more running plays than passes. Buffalo had 46 runs vs Jacksonville and won going away. Last week there were 38 pass plays to 16 carries for Spiller and Jackson. Chan Gailey has to stop calling plays like Tom Brady is his quarterback. Good coaches take an offensive philosophy and fits it to their personnel. Gailey has an offensive philosophy and force feeds it to his offense despite the fact they don’t have the right players to make it work.
Seattle has 32 sacks on the season and with injuries to the offensive line, Ryan Fitzpatrick took some big hits against the Rams. He has enough trouble with accuracy when he’s not rushed so Gailey is going to have to devise protections to keep his quarterback upright. That is something Gailey has always been good at.
I’m sorry folks, but I can’t get up for playoff scenarios or even the fact the Bills are still alive. Forget about the Steelers and Bengals, the chances of the Bills closing the season off with three straight wins are pretty slim. This game Sunday against Seattle is not an easy one. The Seahawks are better than the Rams.
I had a discussion with Sal on the postgame show after the St. Louis game. He was maintaining that the Bills are better than the Rams. I know Bills fans want that to be true. Bills fans want their team to be improving and on their way to the playoffs, but in my mind saying the Bills are better than the Rams is wishful thinking. St. Louis has a better record and beat the Bills. Honestly, I think if we look at it from an angle of not being a Bills fan, you’ll find out the Bills are not better than the Rams, they aren’t better than the Colts, they aren’t better than the Titans and they aren’t better than the Jets. The Bills are not a good football team. The Bills are not a team that is likely to go on a playoff run.