Ed. Note: Devang is a massive Bills fan, so as a form of self-cleansing I’ve asked him to cry into his keyboard every week.
Maybe this is a good thing.
No, I haven’t been huffing glue – though glue should be free of charge for all Bills fans, it’s the least the general population could do for us.
Last year the season began with a thunderous ass kicking at Arrowhead stadium. Shockingly it was the Bills on the delivering end. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked competent, Chan Gailey’s spread formation fooled the Chiefs D on numerous occasions and an opportunistic defense capitalized on a shaky performance from Matt Cassel.
History repeated itself in the Meadowlands today – though it was Buffalo on the receiving end this time.
The pregame talk centered on the Jets inept offense and the continuing sideshow that is the Tebow-Sanchez spectacle. A Sanchez interception – that was somehow upheld even though Bryan Scott didn’t get both feet in bounds, scab officials! – indicated the Bills would be just fine.
And then Ryan Fitzpatrick showed why I’m down on the Bills chances this year. After locking eyes with Stevie Johnson for what seemed an eternity, Fitz double clutched before throwing the ball into the waiting hands of Darrelle Revis - the best freakin’ cornerback in the NFL, at least make it hard for the guy. The shoddy mechanics that plagued the Bills Quarterback last season were once again on display. Hesitation, poor footwork and a weak throwing arm – which can’t be fixed with practice at this point.
From there the shit show began. The Bills vaunted defensive line failed to make any headway against a Jets offensive line that can accurately be defined as suspect. 10th overall pick Stephon Gilmore was exposed repeatedly by fellow rookie Stephen Hill. Buffalo’s DB’s received no help from Williams, Williams & Co. up front, but their lack of size will get pummeled by the more physical wide outs in the league – Stephen Hill is just the beginning.
Trailing early, Gailey all but abandoned the run game, forcing Fitzpatrick to do what he cannot – sling the ball. Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie took advantage of the Bills QB’s noodle arm to put the game out of reach halfway through the second quarter.
To add insult to the bludgeoning, Fred Jackson suffered an LCL sprain that initially looked much worse – talkin’ leg break bad. CJ Spiller had a career game in Jackson’s place – his 163 rushing yards were the most by a Bills RB on opening day since O.J Simpsons’ 173 yard performance in 1975. Yet his fumble after a wonderful reception with under two minutes to go in the first half capped an abysmal day for a team that was aiming high heading into the season.
I don’t believe the Bills are really this bad. The next two games – Kansas City and Cleveland – are winnable. Dave Wannstedt and his staff were simply out coached by Tony Sparano. The Jets unveiled wrinkles in their offense that the Bills weren’t ready for, much like the Chiefs D one year ago. CJ Spiller showed can he handle the load of a feature back. The offense made some headway in the second half and cut the deficit to just 13 with 6:00 minutes left in the fourth.
That was me attempting to be positive. Those second half scores came in garbage time. The game was long over, and by this point the Jets’ were dicking around with flea flickers. As I said in the leadup to the opening day, this team will go as far as Ryan Fitzpatrick will take them. Simply put, that’s not far. It’s nowhere.
My only complaint with the Bills 2012 draft class the was the lack of a Quarterback to groom for the future – ahem, Russ Wilson. Rather than acknowledge the contract given to Fitzpatrick after a quick start last season was a mistake, Buddy Nix and Gailey chose to stick to their guns. Thanks to this mismanagement the Bills remain at least two years away from relevancy.
It’s the type of stuff that makes you numb. In years past I would’ve yelled at the screen in disgust as the game slipped away. Today all I could muster was a laugh. These are the Bills – don’t expect nice things to happen because even if they do something terrible will come soon after.
This team isn’t 0-16 bad, they’ll win games. Unfortunately I’d take the humiliation of a winless season, another 6-10 campaign isn’t what this team needs.