By Mary Pesarchick @HeyMom418
Said Chicken Little, “Oh, Henny Penny, the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”
“How do you know it?” asked Henny Penny.
“It hit me on the head, so I know it must be so,” said Chicken Little.
Most Bills fans feel they’ve been hit over the head after last Sunday’s infuriating 13-7 loss to Baltimore. When the Bills renamed their stadium New Era Field this summer, it was hoped to be a symbolic beginning of a “new era” for the team.
One where Tyrod Taylor would step up and take his place as an honest-to-goodness franchise quarterback. One where the offense would slash its way up the field behind LeSean McCoy and with long bombs to a healthy Sammy Watkins. One where the offensive line, bolstered by the re-signing of Ritchie Incognito and Cordy Glenn, would offer solid protection, at least on the left side.
One where kicker Dan Carpenter would exorcize last year’s psychological demons and continue his preseason perfection. Sure, we had our fingers crossed that the patched-together defense would do enough to keep the Bills in a game, but it would be ok because, throughout the preseason, the offense appeared to be picking up from where it left off last year when it was ranked #1 in rushing and #12 overall.
All last week, Coach Rex Ryan stood at the podium, looked us in the eye, and promised us that everything was ready. Then the game started and the sky fell. Clunk.
The vaunted offense, from the very first series, couldn’t get out of its own way. Taylor looked tentative throughout, opting for short dump-off passes and check-downs that went for little to no gain. The fact that the porous offensive line was letting the Ravens defenders into the Bills backfield, at will, may have given the quarterback no choice, but it is unclear whether OC Greg Roman’s game plan was calling for anything else.
They did not throw a downfield pass all day, NOT ONE, rendering Watkins useless. The poor effort from the O-line also doomed McCoy, who was unable to break through for any substantial gain. And, inexplicably, the Bills designed a few plays around Reggie Bush, who, when carrying the ball, looked every bit of his 31 years. Carpenter had one field goal attempt of 49 yards– and he missed (wide right, of course).
At the end of the day, the Bills managed only 160 yards of offense. Total.
The crushing nature of this loss has Bills Nation in such a full-blown panic that Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, and the whole gang would have fit right in. Everyone seems to be giving in to that old “here-we-go-again-ness” that is always bubbling just below the surface around here. The post-game injury reports only deepened the despair as Cordy Glenn and Sammy Watkins significantly re-aggravated old injuries and may miss playing time.
The surprisingly strong play of the defense did little to lift the pervading sense that this team is just cursed. After 16 years of losing, is it any wonder that battle-weary fans are looking heavenward, begging the football gods to pick on someone else for a change?
Many “experts” are quick to remind fans that you shouldn’t predict an entire season based on just one game. Luckily (or not), the Bills have a short week before they play their home opener against the New York Jets tonight. Let’s hope that being in the friendly confines of New Era Field will dispel the bad juju that is plaguing this team. If it doesn’t, then maybe the local chickens had better hide…
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