The Thursday night Miami Dolphins game will, in my opinion, be a crossroads contest for the Bills. Having spent the last two days out at the Ralph Wilson Field House doing interviews and interacting with players and management I have come to that conclusion.
Thursday night I will be co-hosting a two-hour Bills/Dolphins pregame show on WBBZ-TV, the broadcast home for the game. That had me doing interviews and mingling among the other beat reporters, something I rarely get to do any longer. Seeing the players up close and hearing their feelings on the primetime matchup against Miami I got the sense that another loss could blow the wheels off this team.
The loss to the Patriots was an especially bitter one because they had a real chance of beating the perenial contenders in their backyard. The replay of the interception thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick has been disecetd almost as much as the Zapruder film.(that’s one for history buffs) Many have pointed to CJ Spiller being wide-open at the twelve yard-line or Stevie Johnson about to break free from his man at that five. Then Tuesday Johnson stated that TJ Graham should not be blamed for running the wrong route because he had never practiced that route even once in practice. Both Coach Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick have taken blame for the play, trying to take the rookie Graham off the hook, but Johnson’s comments points a blame in their direction.
Fitzpatrick was not in a great mood on Tuesday and while he continued to be a gentlemen throughout the questioning, he was obviously good and tired of the probing. Like Stevie Johnson, Fitz was not exactly buying Chan Gailey’s statements that the team was turning the corner. Both Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson made comments which added up to “we need to win a game before anyone says we’re improving.”
I met with Kyle Williams, one of the players still making an impact on defense and he also felt that as long as this team continues to make mental mistakes they will never become what they had hoped they would be. Kyle would not take comfort in the fact the defense stepped up in the fourth quarter against the Patriots and kept them out of the endzone. the pourous play for the first three quarters still had him seething.
I interviewed Mario Williams and he said all the right things. Then I brought up hunting since he established that the herd of deer in Western New York was one of the reasons for him picking Buffalo. Williams quickly pointed to the fact he was too busy trying to win a football game and had no time for sitting out in the woods. Williams then did say that he has seen quite a few while driving and hopefully he wouldn’t end up getting one with his car before he ever picked up a rifle, but the point was taken; now is not the time to talk about hobbies.
A victory over Miami could propel this team into a remaining schedule with six beatable opponents. No longer will see the 49′ers, Texans or Patriots. Instead they have the Colts, Jaguars and Rams, plus another meeting with the Dolphins and Jets. A loss would put this team at 3-7 and any slight chance of making a run to the playoffs would effectivley be over.
The Buffalo Bills will have a national audience on Thursday night and a sold out stadium of fans just begging for something to cheer about. When I interviewed Russ Brandon Monday I used a quote from the movie “A Family Thing” in which Robert Duvall used the great line “Hapiness is nothing more than having something to look forward to.” I asked Brandon what Bills fans had to look forward to and he referred to the recent improved play, but he also agreed that until this team gets a win everything else is just talk.
Filed under: Koshinski's Korner