Monday, December 21, 2015

Requiem for Another Lost Bills Season

So, for all intents and purposes that Bills 2016 season is over, and sadly, it has ended mostly as we expected it to - with a disappointing mediocre record and not trip to the playoffs for the 16th straight year. There were definitely some ups and downs in the season, including a scintillating season-opening day win over the Colts that had us all talking Super  Bowl, because we didn't realize at the time that the Colts actually sucked. There were also a couple wins over Miami and a win over the Jets.

But, there were tons of disappointments as well. Going 0-3 so far against the not-to-mighty NFC East and two losses to the Patriots foremost in mind at the moment. Oh, then there was the London experience.

Curiously enough, the Bills biggest question mark coming into this season was quarterback, and Tyrod Taylor ended up playing very well. Our running game, anchored by the amazing LeSean McCoy, was also strong. Basically, the offense, under coordinator Greg Roman delivered what we asked for.

Our defense, on the other hand, has really let us down. This is a unit that ranked near the top of the league in several statistical categories last year, including sacks, which are supposed to be our new coach, Buddy Ryan's specialty. Well, this year, under Ryan's direction, we've gone from near first in the league in sacks to near las,t and our defense has been decidedly mediocre. Thus, a team that was built on being able to run the football and play good defense, was unable to achieve the second part of that equation, and viola, that result has been a 6-8 record so far and no playoff birth.

What happened? On a detailed level, that's for the analysts to debate. On a macro-level, I'll go back to what I said almost a year ago, when the Bills announced they'd hired Rex (and signed him to an expensive, long-term contract, meaning he's not going anywhere for awhile): Rex Snowed the Bills.

I wish it wasn't so, because by all accounts Rex seems like a great guy, but he really was not the right man for the job. I know he is promising a lot of changes for next year, but I'm not sure that's what we want. We were on the cusp of being a good team, and now it sounds like we're going back to the rebuilding stage. Not sure, now much more of this Bills fans can take, or what the solution is.

I don't think we have the personnel to play Rex's defense. However, somehow, with basically this same personnel, Rex's former assistant, Mike Pettine and last year's defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, were able to produce very strong seasons. So, Rex's comes in and now it looks like we have to rebuild.

If Rex is really all he's cracked himself up to be, he should give the Pegulas their money back, offer to coach next season for free, or offer to quit if the Bills don't make the playoffs next year - or something along those lines. Yes, Rex has won before in the NFL, but I'm not as confident as he is that he can do it again. Let's home I'm wrong, but as a Bills fan, I doubt that I am.

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