7-44 : Everything’s bigger in Texas

Photo property of AP / Tony Gutierrez

 

…even the ass whoopings.

With Sunday’s abomination, it’s safe to say that Buffalo’s playoff potential is quickly fading. Not because they are sitting at 5-4, and not because they lost to a mediocre (at their absolute best) Dallas team. Their hopes are fading because they got flat-out embarrassed in back-to-back weeks by teams that they should have been able to put up a fight against if nothing else. On top of all that, they’ve now got to deal with further injuries sustained and the window seems to be beginning to close on this team. Luckily for the Bills, the AFC is a weak conference overall this year so that window will stay propped for a little longer.

There were so many things wrong with this team’s showing in Texas that it’s hard to find a way to be positive. You can almost always look at a game and take something good away from it but really, what was there? I mean.. Brian Moorman averaged 52 yards per punt and Fred Jackson topped 100 yards again but do those stats mean a damn thing when you aren’t putting points on the board? I know that there’s been a popular argument lately about yards being ever-important and this game is one of the examples of that not being the case. If Jackson had run for 250 today and we still got blown out, would anyone care? You shouldn’t.

The defensive unit was horrendous, generating zero pass rush and giving Tony Romo all day long to throw en route to a 270 yard, 3 touchdown performance in which he only threw three incompletions. It’s hard to get a pass rush when you’re missing a few starters that are generally instrumental in bringing that noise (nose tackle Kyle Williams, outside linebackers Chris Kelsay and Shawne Merriman) and starting guys that just aren’t effective there (Troup at nose, Batten and Spencer Johnson at linebacker). Dallas was scoring at will and it took Buffalo the entire first half to be able to get a stop on third down. Romo took advantage of two more weak spots on the defense when he started picking on Drayton Florence and Leodis McKelvin, who were god awful through the entirety of the game.

This was easily the most pathetic performance from Fitzpatrick all year, as well, throwing for just 146 yards with three interceptions and a sole score. That’s not going to help your team win any games. Can’t totally fault Ryan on this one – he had no time to handle the ball and make his reads as Andy Levitre, getting the start at left tackle, was getting abused all game… and the situation didn’t improve when the team lost starting center Eric Wood to an injury later in the game. Interesting situation there – Levitre was in at left tackle because the top two at that position have been out. He’s the team’s normal starting left guard and Chad Rinehart has been filling in nicely there, but Levitre is also the backup center, which created a dilemma. With no other options at tackle, Levitre stayed put when Wood went down, pulling right guard Kraig Urbik further inside and bringing third string guard Colin Brown in to take his place. At that point, it probably would have been less heart wrenching to just punt the ball on first down every time. Another year, another blatantly obvious issue with depth. Go figure.

I truly cannot bring myself to watch this game over again to try to find some inkling of a topic to really pat these guys on the back for, so I’ll just keep this short. This Sunday, the road trip continues and these boys better be ready for some adversity as Miami has a bit of steam behind them after winning two in a row. It’s not much considering how they’ve played leading up to this, but if you were to just take a look at these teams over the past two weeks, could you honestly say that you expect Buffalo to easily win a game with the Fish, in Miami, at that?

It’ll be a long week with this one hanging over us, but I’ll be back with you once we find out the severity of the injuries to Wood, George Wilson, and others to update you and give some thoughts on the upcoming game. Until then, hold your head high, stretch your legs, and get comfortable. The bandwagon just lost a lot of passengers.

Stick it out, Bills fans. I’ve got a feeling that this ride’s far from over.

 

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