Another game, another disappointing write up. I’ll start with the few positives the Bills had Sunday. First is Marcel Dareus, after being invisible he had a nice game Sunday, I think he’ll be a fine player who was probably slowed by the lockout and may take a little longer to develop because of it. Another bright spot was the play of Kelvin Sheppard, he was a 3rd round pick and while he struggled early in the year he’s been playing better of late and they should be two main cogs in the middle of the defense for a long time.
Negatives were plentiful Sunday. Ryan Fitzpatrick was a huge negative he missed receivers all game and constantly made poor decisions. His interception returned for a touchdown in particular is inexcusable. I’m getting to the point that even if Fitz had the Ravens or Packers team around him that team would struggle to drag him into the playoffs. I’ll be watching these last three games closely. Of course he didn’t have much help. Some of the few passes he put on target were dropped and no one made a play on a poorly thrown ball all day for Fitz. Aside from that C.J. Spiller had a poor game running the ball which made the Bills one dimensional. The offensive line had trouble protecting Fitz all game.
Defensively the Bills also did not play well. It seemed the Chargers moved the ball at will on the Bills. Ryan Matthews became the latest 100 yard rusher against the Bills defense and a rejuvenated Phillip Rivers shredded the Bills in the passing game. The Bills defense did play well early in the third quarter, Bryon Scott returned a Philip Rivers fumble for a touchdown. On the next series the Bills forced a quick punt but on 4th down the Chargers converted a fake which was really the end of the Bills day. After that the Bills crumbled on both sides of the ball. As a side note I think Bruce DeHaven’s tenure as the Bills special teams coach needs to come to an end at the end of the season. Sure getting fooled on a fake punt can happen once to anyone but getting fooled on that fake punt was just the icing on the cake of a poor special teams season. The Bills constantly have been getting the short end of stick in terms of field position. It also took DeHaven 10 games to finally pull Brad Smith from kick return even though he was only bringing it out the 16 or 17 yard line each time he returned it. The Special Teams has been a source of great frustration to me and other Bills fans and we need new leadership in the area.
None of the players I previewed in before the game had good game. Chris Hairston played terrible and I’m anxious to see how he plays this week. Brad Smith was held off the stat sheet. Leodis McKelvin didn’t play well and Arthur Moats and Danny Batten did not play much.
Looking at our defense it’s really bad and its there’s no singular problem the coach’s in charge anyway need to be fired. They are holding the team back. Aside from that though there aren’t enough good players on this defense to make any coach look good. The defense needs to be rebuilt but there are some players on this defense that you can win with. They are Kyle Williams (the defense went downhill after he was lost), Marcel Dareus, Nick Barnett, Kelvin Sheppard (I think), Jairus Byrd, and George Wilson. Of course there’s no way the Bills can replace 17-20 players in one offseason so the next category of players are guy who you can’t win with now but it’s possible they can develop into good players. I’m going to be generous here but here are the guys with potential to be successful starters in the league Aaron Williams, Justin Rogers, Arthur Moats, Alex Carrington, Danny Batten, and Da’Norris Searcy. I was extremely generous with Moats, Carrington, and Batten because they either haven’t had the opportunity to play or have foolishly had their positions changed multiple times by the coaching staff. The third group is players who you really shouldn’t want to keep around long term but they will be an all right stopgap until you can find someone better. In a league that loves parity like the NFL all teams will have players like this the Bills problem may be that we don’t have enough of them, they are Chris Kelsay, Drayton Florence, Bryan Scott, Kirk Morrison, and Terrence McGee. The rest are guys you can’t win with period and we have a laundry list of players like that on our defense, many starting on our defense. Of course all the guys listed here won’t return to the Bills. Personally I’d be shocked if Terrence McGee comes back next season, he doesn’t have anymore guaranteed money coming to him and he’s too injury prone to depend on. Another one is Kirk Morrison who is on a one year deal and probably wants to go someplace he can start next season. That means to spite all the rebuilding the Bills have done on defense they need to replace 8-11 guys in the offseason