If I have kids — based on my current relationship woes that’s an exceptionally large if — I’ll try to teach them some of the stuff I’ve learned. The biggest lesson: try new things.
There’s a Chinese restaurant near my house that always looked closed. Closed to the point where I assumed it was sold/under construction/shut down for major health code violation(s). Two nights ago my usual trek home from the cesspool that is the downtown core of Toronto led me past the place. It was open. I decided to grab a bite, who knows if it would be open again. At the time the food was fantastic. Two hours later my stomach violently rejected General Tao and his minions. Shouldn’t have ate there. There’s a reason it’s always closed. But hey, I tried something new.
The reason I believe so hardily in trying new things is because doing the same thing over and over again is fucking horrible. You’re giving up. Laundry detergent, ketchup, forks. Try something new. Chan Gailey has given up. Chan Gailey refuses to try new things. Chan Gailey is the Ketchup of NFL head coaches.
The ‘keys to the game’ — sponsored by Gambino Ford Lincoln Mercury Toyota Niagara Falls — were to run a lot, keep the ball out of Arian Foster’s hands and hope Matt Schaub would have one of his patented bad days. The Bills defense didn’t have to be great, only adequate.
Shockingly the first half was an excellent one for the visitors. The keys to the game — Gambino Ford! — were thrown away. Ryan Fitzpatrick was efficient, at one point sitting 14 for 17. He threw his best pass of the season, a 19 yard out to Donald Jones — yes a 19 yard out was his best throw of the season — that put the Bills in Field Goal range. The defense was exceptional. Mario Williams, all healed up after the Bills medical staff dabbled in malpractice for kicks, got consistent pressure on Schaub. Foster, aside from a couple big gains, was held in check. If not for a Rian Lindell FG miss, the Bills would’ve led 9-7 heading into half.
All good. Trailing by one point on the road against the Texans is the best we could’ve hoped for, right? No. For once they deserved more. Houston was awful. Six penalties and bye week malaise should’ve equaled Buffalo touchdowns. Once again Gailey used the Wildcat inside the 20 on numerous occasions. Somehow, it didn’t work! There was his go to play call — the four yard slant on a third and nine. For all the time the Bills spent in Houston territory they didn’t take one shot at the end zone. Gailey once again made clock management seem like splitting the atom. C.J Spiller had four carries in the first half. Four. And yet, the game was still winnable. Would 4Chan try new things in the second half? New things meaning not being terrible at his job.
Of course not.
The Bills opening sequence in the second half:
- (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short left to S.Chandler.
- (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete deep right to F.Jackson.
- (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete deep left to St.Johnson.
Chan Gailey’s anti Running Back agenda is comical at this point. The Bills ran the ball three times in the third quarter. You have a back that averages the most yards per carry in the league and you run three times. Amazing.
Trailing 14-9 late in the third, Gailey called back to back screen plays that amassed all of three yards. On third and seven Donald Jones ran a five yard route. Didn’t matter, it was incomplete anyway. The Texans scored early in the fourth quarter and that was it. Game over.
It’s a shame. Dave Wannstedt used the bye week to try new things – apparently pre scouting works, who would’ve known — and the defense played great. Aaron Williams’ injury forced Leodis McKelvin into coverage on Andre Johnson, the Texans sealed it thanks to this mismatch. This loss isn’t on the D. Well done.
This loss is on ketchup. That tired, old, played out condiment. When Chan Gailey’s time in Buffalo is rehashed by the national media we’ll know what really happened. Gailey was addicted. Clothes covered in Heinz. Caps, sucked dry. This was a low. It’ll get better.