By Mary Pesarchick @HeyMom418
If you remember, Sports Fans, last week at this time, the Buffalo Bills were coming off a horrendous loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Over the following three days, before their Thursday home opener against the New York Jets, a few voices attempted to comfort the inconsolable Bills faithful.
“That wasn’t the real Bills offense.”
“At least the defense played well-enough to win.”
“It’s a nationally-televised game in our house. Surely, they won’t fail in front of the home crowd.”
“It’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, for heaven’s sake!!”
So the fans waited nervously for Thursday night to come, hoping to awake Friday morning with a win and the reassurance that Week One was just bad luck.
Except it wasn’t.
The Bills lost, 37-31, in front of a national TV AND internet audience (how lucky for us!), and managed to look worse than they had against the Ravens. Outside of two magnificent touchdown passes, one for 84 yards to Marquise Goodwin, and for 71 yards to Greg Salas, the crowd had little to cheer.
Again, the Bills had no running game, and went 3-and-out repeatedly. There was very unspectacular play calling made worse by spectacular mismanagement of the clock, all wrapped around another very mediocre performance by Tyrod Taylor, who could not complete a pass over the middle of the field to save his life (and the game).
The thing that hurt the most, though, was the defense. The unit upon whom was pinned the faint hopes of the fans was utterly destroyed by the Jets offense. The Bills defensive backs, especially Stephon Gilmore, were picked apart by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who looked more like Tom Brady than the interception-prone quarterback the Bills expected. Altogether, the Jets piled up 493 yards of offense with Fitz throwing for 374 yards, one touchdown, and NO interceptions. The Jets came close to having three 100-yard receivers. Matt Forte scored three touchdowns. They punted once.
It was a disaster of epic proportions on both sides of the ball.
Statistics show that teams who start 0-2 have only a 12% chance of making the playoffs. And for a team that hasn’t been there in 16 years, that grim prospect was enough to start heads rolling. Somewhat curiously, despite the defensive meltdown, the first coach on the chopping block was offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, who was fired last Friday and replaced by running backs coach, Anthony Lynn.
This surprise announcement set off all kinds of fireworks, with many questioning whether this was Rex Ryan’s decision or had ownership pressured him to make a change. Now fans are speculating how much more time Rex himself has before he’ll follow Roman out the door. With the next two opponents being the high-powered Arizona Cardinals and arch nemesis New England Patriots, it is very likely that the Bills will be 0-4 before the October leaves fall. And goodbye playoffs for a 17th year.
So, all in the span of one week, the Bills went from entertaining wildcard possibilities, to being hapless, winless, and nearly hopeless. They now have an offensive coordinator, who has never called plays in the NFL, trying to reconstruct the offense. The gaggle of defensive “geniuses,” Rex and brother Rob (Ryan), along with coordinator Dennis Thurman, must salvage their reputations after the worst defensive performance in recent memory or get ready to send out their resumes.
You have to wonder, after a beginning like that, what else will happen in the weeks to come?
Featured image of Anthony Lynn courtesy: @buffalobills
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