mario williams zona

Bills/Cardinals recap: 19-16

Well, that was ugly, but you have to enjoy it, right? RIGHT? Eh?

This game had so many twists and turns. I wanted to vomit about 10 times during the final 20 minutes. Seriously, if they had lost this game, I would have left them in the desert with one canister of water and made them walk back home. We can never make it look easy. Today was the National Football League in a nutshell: 3-4 great teams, 3-4 awful teams, and about 22 mediocre teams. The two teams we saw today were mediocrity at its finest.

As I've written a few times in the past, realistically, you have to hope for the Bills to be the Chiefs of 2010. A mediocre team that can beat other mediocre teams, finish 10-6, and get crushed in the playoffs. That's it. Yes, it is lowering expectations but beggars can't be choosers, especially after 12 years without the playoffs.

So in the grand scheme of things, if you are hoping for that kind of run, you'll be happy with today's game. If you are hoping this team can do real damage against real teams? Better luck next year. Honestly, I don't know exactly where I stand. I'm happy about the win, but I don't have much faith in this team. I'm hoping for teams to be worse than us rather than expecting us to be better than them. Just back your way into a win. Whatever. I'm not into chastising fans for saying, "We won! Shut up!" or "We have so many problems even after a win." You can feel both. I'm happy, but I know we kind of suck. So be it. Just…keep thinking Chiefs. We are beggars. Remember that.

—Loved the pass rush today. They mixed up the blitz and had their front four get pressure on Arizona's QBs. There's been a lot of talk about how the Bills shouldn't blitz but just rely on their front four. That's crap. You mix it up. You give the offense different looks. The Giants have a great front four, yet Perry Fewell blitzes. You can't keep it vanilla, people. At the start of the year, I thought they could, but you have to give teams different looks. The Bills gave a number of different looks with stunts and by moving their DL around. Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus looked like they did against the Browns and Chiefs. They collapsed the pocket and really got in Kolb's face.

—Mario Williams had his best day as a Bill. I know there were some people who talked about how it was against a chicken shit offensive line. I get all that. However, if you're going to slam Mario when he plays bad, or because he has a mini fridge, or because Texan fans are commenting on how they are happy he left, or when he talks about a wrist injury after his coach brought it up, you better somehow give him credit when he plays well. He was relentless all day and played well against the run. He was worth the money today and played with a lot of fire. He could have had 4 sacks today. So, give him his due without adding a stupid asterisk. You gave him crap before for stupid minor things like fridges and his wrist injury. Call it both ways.

—I try to present myself as a football expert. I think I know a lot about the game, but sometimes, I don't study enough when it comes to seeing what players do away from the ball. Sorry, I'm a fan blogger, not a journalist who has to study film. I also don't like stealing other people's opinions when it comes to how great a certain player is when I don't see it myself on Sundays. Jairus Byrd comes to mind when I think about guys away from the ball. He gets a lot of love for being this great safety, but I'd like to see it more when I'm watching the game instead of watching film. I'd like to see it myself rather than hear it from experts. Today, I don't have to watch the film or listen to anyone, because I saw it with my own eyes. He played awesome today. He made clutch INTs and was really aggressive in run support. He just looked great. He's on pace for 8 interceptions and has probably been our most consistent defensive player.

—The Jackson-Spiller duo ran for 141 yards on 28 carries. They also came up with 9 catches for 52 yards. It was the best day they have had together since they drafted Spiller. Those stats don't seem like a lot, but coming into this game, the Bills haven't been able to devise a decent running back by committee philosophy. Look, I know that Spiller should probably get more touches. He's more explosive than Jackson. But at the end of the day, these are your two best offensive weapons. You are paying them 10 million bucks this year. Yes, I would even entertain the thought of trading one of them, but we know that's not going to happen. In the end, the Bills need to hitch their wagon to both these guys and run them until the wheels fall off. Why? Because of my next point.

—Well, at least Fitzpatrick didn't throw a pick. Here is your terrible Fitzpatrick stat of the game: At the end of the first half, Fitzpatrick averaged 2.5 yards a completion. We have a new Captain Checkdown, I guess. You know? Maybe David Lee who was supposed to fix his mechanics, has made him regress. I'm serious. Fitz has never looked this awful. He's missing  more throws than any time last year or the year before. He's overthinking everything. He is looking like the old Atlanta Braves closer Mark Wohlers or former St. Louis pitcher Rick Ankiel. He can't make the simplest of throws. Keep in mind, if you go on You Tube, you can find Fitz connecting on a beautiful bomb to Terrell Owens in 2009. I don't know what has happened. He's terrible and the Bills need to stop throwing the ball. Which leads me to my next point…

—Is Chan Gailey trying to get fired? Does he have a college job waiting for him? Does Ryan Fitzpatrick have blackmail material that he's using to make Chan call passing plays? WTF was with the play calling in the last 5 minutes of the game? Brad Smith throwing the football? Are you kidding me!? If the Bills had lost this game, that play would go into the annals of Bills goofy moments. Put it up next to the Travis Henry halfback pass. The McKelvin fumble. The Andre Reed reverse option pass. The Stevie drop. It was that fricken terrible. Sorry, Chan. But I'm not buying the "If it works, you are a genius" argument. If you want to have Smith throw a bomb out of the crappy wildcat, do it in the 1st quarter. Don't do it when you are protecting a lead and you have been successfully running the ball down their throat. As for Chan's love of Fitz's arm, the first OT drive was just me screaming at the TV. You get CJ Spiller making a killer 17-yard run, yet you keep on passing it. You keep on emptying the backfield. WHY?! Fitz had a lousy day. When he's got it, you can keep going to him. When he doesn't, go to your 10-million dollar backs! WTF! That OT drive made me want to violently kill people. One run and seven pass plays? Just awful.

—Would you rather have the Cardinals or Bills squad?

—Remember how cute the friendship was between Fitz and Stevie? They were wearing each other's shirts and loved each other. Um, I think if the duo decided to switch t-shirts now, Stevie would spray paint "tragic" over "magic". Luckily, Stevie didn't have a bad game. He had his typical 6-catch for 82-yards performance. However, his body language is terrible when Fitz misses him. And no, I can't blame him.

—I'm a little concerned about our rush defense. It is one thing when New England and San Fran rush for a ton of yards against you because you have to worry about their passing offensive weapons, but not when you have to worry about Kevin Kolb. The Cards ran for 182 yards! The Cards and their crappy offensive line, subpar QB, and 3rd string back averaged 5 yards a carry. That's not good.

—The total QB rating for Fitz/Kolb today was 74.4. They also have 60-million dollar contracts. AMERICA!

—I loved the blue pants and if anyone says otherwise, they must shop at K-Mart.

—The Bills have 14 sacks in their three wins and one sack in their three losses.

—4-way tie for 1st place!!

—I didn't hate Chris Kelsay today. In fact, I liked him.

—Nick Barnett should never cover a WR. EVER!!

—I can't believe Jay Feely made a 61-yard kick.

—I can't believe Jay Feely missed a 38-yard kick.

—This was the Bills first OT win in almost three years. They were 0-3 in their last three OT games.

—The Bills have more wins on the road this year than last year.

—I thought the Bills did a decent job of defending Fitzgerald. Sure, he had 93 yards, but the way the secondary played coming into this game, that was a monumental achievement. Give the combo of Gilmore/Williams credit.

—If I hear someone tell me that Tarvaris Jackson can't play because he needs more practice reps, I'm going to vomit. That's all I keep hearing. Can we stop that? Talking about reps and training camp schedules is a complete waste of time. It is just a stupid excuse for coaches to use in order to make their players take training camp seriously and for reporters to pretend OTAs matter. You can't find reps for Jackson? Um, how about spending an extra hour at practice? How about the fact that Jackson played a lot last year and came from the west coast offense, which isn't a basic offense. How about when Fitzpatrick took over for Edwards after two games in 2010 and threw for 23 TDs? This happened when he was splitting time with Brian Brohm during training camp. Oh, and he was playing with the backups. Did we hear anything about reps with starters? Um, no. Just stop it. The reason he's not suiting up is because the Bills don't want to fracture Fitz's ego. If he's suiting up, people are going to be begging for a change. Saying he doesn't have enough reps, gives them an excuse to not make the change. And since Gailey is a god, he could never lie, right?  I'm not saying Jackson is the answer to our prayers, but stop pretending everything that comes out of Chan's mouth is the truth. Coaches lie.

Final word: Just keep beating the mediocre teams. I know the Titans beat the Bills last year  and are coming off a big win over Pittsburgh, but they are mediocre. However, so are we. Welcome to football in Buffalo. Aim to be okay and pray to God the other team will fuck up. Yup, sign me up!

Joe

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The Lord of Buffalo Wins

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