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Bulldog: WELP?!

I don't really know what to say here.  Welp seems to be the sort of thing fans go with on Twitter when there's just not much more to be said.  You can assume a somewhat exasperated yet accepting tone coupled with a shrug of the shoulders   That is what welp means. I know, it's not really a word.  Don't get too bogged down on the details, I say.  That's the kind of game this one was.  Consider that with 12:47 to go in the 4th quarter, the Buffalo Bills had out gained the Kansas City Chiefs 391 to 154.  Yet at that point in the game they were on the wrong side of 20-13 score.  The Chiefs had a pair of defensive touchdowns to thank for their lead.  A 100 yard interception return by Sean Smith in the 3rd quarter and then an 11 yard return of a T.J. Graham fumble by Tamba Hali in the 4th.

These are the kinds of mistakes these Bills are just not potent enough on offense to overcome.  The interception by Smith was just a killer.  Poised to take a 14 point lead from the Kansas City 1 yard line, Tuel threw it right to the defender who then had a relatively easy time cruising up the sideline for the tying score.  It is the kind of play in football that could just tie you up in knots if you let it.  The play call vultures will be out in force because the Bills had the audacity to call a pass play that didn't work.  They'll ignore the fact that the Bills tried to smash it into the end zone on first and second down.  These fans want the Bills to settle for the field goal.  I suspect they are some of the same fans that would kill the Bills for playing for the three if it turns out that they lose.  Have your fun, folks.  The thing that blows my mind about the play is that I'd guess that Smith blew his assignment on the play.  He let Stevie Johnson go uncovered into the middle of the end zone.  Maybe he knew the throw was going to be a slant to T.J. Graham from studying tendencies on film.  But is there really and film to study when Jeff Tuel is the quarterback?  Either way, he's standing in the spot where Tuel throws the ball.  Tuel never sees Johnson alone, his decision is made on the snap, really, and that is pretty much that.  Goodbye 14 point lead, hello tie game.

The trick now for the Bills will be to keep their season interesting.  They've battled hard to this point, having dug deeply into their depth chart at quarterback.  But they have a 3-6 record and any hopes of staying in the Wild Card race have taken a pretty serious hit in my view.  Eventually the Bills will get EJ Manuel on the field and we'll be able to get back to trying to figure out if he indeed is the quarterback of the future we've been hoping for. 

To this point in the season the Bills have received plenty of credit in this space and just about everywhere else for hanging tough.  Now doesn't seem like any kind of time to stop saying that.  I said after the Bengals loss that plenty of other Bills teams would have folded.  But I also thought it was right to point out that there was a long way to go in the season.  While their record makes it tough to keep selling how different these Bills are from previous editions, continuing to battle while the playoffs have become a real long shot will really drive the point home.

The schedule really does loosen up here after this.  As down as I am about the Bills staying in any kind of a playoff race at 3-6, they sure could win their fair share of games here.  But more than that, I'll be looking for two things.

Continued evidence that the Bills really are tougher and their coaches have them heading in the right direction, win or lose.  The other thing is what I expected to be using the entire season for.  How good does EJ Manuel look?  Can I count on him to be the guy moving forward?  His injuries make it hard to imagine a grade for the season other than incomplete.  Still, he'll get back here soon and play some games and start giving us an answer.

That's just about all we have left, which is why the word at the top of this column is there in the first place.


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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Kansas City
People : BulldogJeff TuelSean SmithStevie JohnsonTamba Hali
What was Bill Polian's most significant move as Bills GM?
  Signing Jim Kelly
  Hiring Marv Levy
  Drafting Thurman Thomas
  Trading for Cornelius Bennett
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