The Buffalo Bills opened their Thursday night prime-time game with the Miami Dolphins like it was going to be a good old fashioned butt whipping. Defense imposing, McKelvin takes a punt return to the house and CJ Spiller running wild. However, a sluggish second half allowed Miami to creep back in the game and only interceptions by Byrd and Scott kept them from stealing one at the Ralph.
The Bills are now 4-6 and actually is a three-way tie for second in the AFC east, but they are a long way from fixing what ails them. The offense has failed to score a touchdown two out of the last three weeks against the Texans and Thursday the Dolphins, both highly rated units. In both cases the Bills defense rose to the occassion, although the Texans still prevailed.
Chan Gailey has been called an offensive coach and admired by many on the opposite side of the field, but even he questioned his play calling against Miami. With CJ Spiller on the roster most expect the Bills to exploit his quickness and speed inside the red-zone. Yet, Spiller was on the sidelines once the Bills got inside the ten and Gailey sent in plays that designed for players with half his ability.
Gailey also admitted his play selection on third and short could be questioned, failing to run the ball in obvious run situations. The focus on those plays took the attention away from Fitzpatrick who failed to hit a receiver down field all night. Only a pair of tosses to the tight-end Scott Chandler extended the field. Fitz just cannot find the touch on anything over fifteen yards and only the numerous pass interfernce calls against the Dolphins moved the chains for long yardage.
It was also obvious that while CJ Spiller has the speed and flare, the Bills missed Fred Jackson’s strong running inside. When Spiller was out of the game it was Tashard Choice running inside the tackles, but he didn’t have the drive or power of a Fred Jackson. Jackson, who has his own Monday night show on WBBZ-TV,watched the game from home still recovering from a concussion.
The Bills defense on the other hand played dominant football for over three quarters and looked like the unit that was publicized all summer. Mario Williams had a sack by the goal-line and Kyle Williams made several run stuffs. The defensive backs again had issues getting called for several flags, but those key interceptions by Byrd and Scott won the day.
The Bills now have six games remaining against beatable opponents. They will also face several rookie quarterbacks including Andrew Luck next week. Should the defense continue to play inspired football they just may salvage the season. To do that the offense has to find a consistency that has eluded them thus far.
Filed under: Koshinski's Korner