Monday, December 01, 2014

November Bills Update

Just realized I made it through November without a blog post. Maybe this had something to do with the end of the baseball season or just a general malaise regarding the Bills season. If you haven't been following offline, the Bills went 2-2 last month with two sloppy losses followed by two fairly impressive wins. We'll discount the Jets win, because we seem to have the Jets number (and they seem somewhat awful) but yesterday's 26-10 stomping of the Browns was somewhat impressive.

I read somewhere that the Bills allowed the Browns something like 8 yards on seven possessions during one stretch. The game really turned on two TDs scored by the Bills in the 3rd quarter. First, Kyle Orton hit Robert Woods with a long pas that set up our first score and made it 7-3 Bills. Then, on the next play from scrimmage, the irrepressible Jerry Hughes stripped a Browns running back of the ball, picked up the fumble and trotted into the end zone. With the way the Bills defense was playing that was basically all she wrote.

Bills finished with two sacks, two interceptions, and what should have been two fumble recoveries for TDs, if not for a bad call by Jermone Boger's crew on Johnny Manziel's second possession. But anyway.

As great as our D looked, it was somewhat disturbing that the Browns offense actually outgained our offense, and Kyle Orton threw two picks. I was not a huge fan of the change to Orton from E.J. Manuel, but that said, he's definitely been an upgrade. He brings a veteran presence to the field and he certainly seems more savvy that Manuel. That said, he's fairly immobile and really doesn't have the strongest arm. I don't think Manuel makes that throw to Woods that turns the game around yesterday - but it was still more of Woods' great catch than Orton's throw that made the play. That said (again), Orton at least attempted the throw and gave Woods a ball he could catch. I'm not sure Manuel could've/would've done that.

Of course, then again, how can you lose when you have this going on (picture from the Buffalo News)?

Next up, we are at the Broncos. It's really hard to see us winning that game, but if we get enough pressure on Manning with our front four, who knows? Basically, we need to go at least 3-1 coming home to make the playoffs and we are at Broncos and Patriots, at home vs. Green Bay, and at Oakland, so it's a tall order. Offense probably needs to come alive to make this happen. Not sure it is capable of that.

One final thought is that after the season the Bills should do what the early 80s  Bears did, when they fired their head coach but kept their defensive coordinator - Buddy Ryan (and then hired Mike Ditka as head coach). Now, I'm not so sure Jim Schwartz is Buddy Ryan, and the Bills defense was pretty good last year when Mike Pettine (current Browns head coach) was running it, but it certainly hasn't gotten any worse under Schwartz and we lost arguably our two best defensive players (Kiko Alonso [injury] and Jarius Byrd [free agency]).

I like head coach Doug Marrone's attitude, in that he knows that what the Bills are doing is not good enough, but really, the offense since he got here has pretty much been one misadventure after another. I won't get into details now, but suffice to day if he goes down it's going to be because of the offense, which we all thought was kinda supposed to be his specialty.

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