Nine punts in I was ready to write a different column. Sam Bradford was playing terrible. That wasn’t exactly breaking news but as Bills fans continued to pray for a Quarterback that didn’t induce nausea it was worth noting where the Rams stood.
They have their guy. By default really. Faced with the prospect of cutting bait with Bradford and drafting RGIII to lead their franchise out of the abyss, Jeff Fisher traded the pick. Bradford or bust.
14 weeks into the 2012 season that decision looked disastrous. When he wasn’t being accosted by the Bills defence Bradford was missing throws in an homage to his counterpart on the Buffalo sideline. Fisher made the wrong call, a decision that would ultimately lead to his dismissal.
Luckily for the folks from St.Louis they were playing the Buffalo Bills. A team that manages to disappoint and confound like clockwork. Chan Gailey and clock management continued their disturbingly uncoordinated dance — they really should’ve hired a guy for that.
Heading to the half the Bills were up 6-0. The defence looked good, continuing to beat up on the shit bags of the league. C.J Spiller had five touches in the first half. After a 15 yard scamper he had no business pulling off, C.J found himself on the sidelines for three consecutive plays. Par for the course. In total he touched the ball eight times. Chan Gailey’s incompetence continued to impress.
Up 12-7 early in the fourth quarter Gailey invoked “play not to lose” — a go to strategy of his that is so typically Buffalo it should be inserted into the town charter. On fourth down at the St.Louis 34 Gailey pulled Rian Lindell off the field, opting to punt instead. If you have zero faith in your kicker WHY THE FUCK IS HE ON THE TEAM?!?! Sorry about that. Oh, Chan also burned a timeout in the process. Kill two birds and so forth.
Where were we. Right, Bradford.
I learned something on the Rams final drive. Young Quarterbacks –no matter how they turn out in the end — provide hope. Yes, that sounds like something Terry Bradshaw would say to Howie Long while chortling for far too long, but it’s true.
Bradford was fantastic. He’s been fantastic in these situations all year. In the fourth quarter the Sooner alum had a 119.7 QB rating in games within seven points. In comparison, Fitz recorded a sterling 58.5 in the same situations. George Wilson should’ve picked the ball off two times — somehow he continues to start — and Dave Wannstedt reverted to his patented rush four scheme that has never worked, but Bradford was still good. He led the Rams to a 14 play, 84 yard scoring drive capped by Brandon Gibson’s game winning TD.
Armed with two timeouts and the arm strength of a preteen, Fitz proceeded to throw the greatest interception I’d ever seen. Sam knelt at the game came to a merciful end.
Eventually Chan will get fired and C.J will be freed. Look forward to that. More so, however, I’m looking forward to having a reason to hope again. A reason to watch. A young Quarterback that doesn’t know how cursed this franchise really is will provide just that.
Is it April yet?