GAILEY SAYS NO COACHING CHANGES ON “D” Should ownership take longer look at the head coach and his faulty calls in loss to Titans.
DON’T GET ME STARTED waited for the question to be asked of head coach Chan Gailey: “Do you plan a coaching change on defense.” The emphatic answer was NO.
The woes of the Bills defense have been a season long problem, one disaster after another. The question might also be posed to Bills ownership if they plan to get a new head coach considering the very poor record of Chan Gailey, considering the huge amounts of money paid to free agents, etc., etc., etc.
The Bills had a chance to tie for the division lead with New England (they beat the Jets) but the Bills suffered through a defensive lapse on the last drive by Tennessee that culminated with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Nate Washington. This came on a 4th down. Earlier, the Titans converted a 4th down. Lay that on the defense. One can say that rushing only 3 gave Matt the chance.
The fact remains that the defense once again gave up a ton of yards in this game. Naturally, the defense has to take a lot of the blame. It has been a disaster all year. But for winning the ball game, Chan Gailey also has to face the questions.
A little was mentioned of his decision NOT TO GO FOR TWO POINTS following touchdowns. Trailing by a point after scoring, the Bills did not go for two that would have tied the game. Later, after scoring a touchdown, they decided NOT to go for 2 that would have given them a 7-point lead instead of 6. THOSE TWO DECISIONS represented the difference in the game……..1 point as the Titans won 35-34.
Remember that Gailey had indicated that Ryan Fitzpatrick has to renew a confidence in games. Yo, Gailey, what kind of confidence did you place in the offense when you declined to tie the game……and making it a 7-point difference in the Bills favor. You disdained confidence in that offense, especially when you have two great running backs in Jackson and Spiller. You showed no confidence in them.
The loss definitely dropped the Bills out of a first place tie with the Jets and Patriots. A year ago at this time, the Bills were 5 and 2. Now they are 3 and 4 that won’t sit well with the fans.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a decent game as he matched the Titans point for point except going for extra points instead of going for two. But here comes his Achilles heel. For whatever reason he is prone to turnovers and his last one cost the game. A 3rd quarter fumble led to a Tennessee touchdown.
But with 3 minutes left in the game, from his 38, Fitzpatrick tried to squeeze a sideline pass to Donald Jones and it was an easy interception that allowed the Titans to march down the field for the winning touchdown.
For the remaining opponents of the Bills, if they have problems with the running game, they will take heart as once again the run defense played poorly lf allowing 21 points in the first half. If they could have made one final stop in the waning moments after the interception, they would have won.
As for the defense, they can’t stop the run. The Titans Chris Johnson has been struggling, averaging around 3 yards a try. In this game, he carried the ball 18 times for 195 yards that included an 83-yard burst. As for QB Matt Hasselbeck – he was outstanding completing 22 of 33 for 205 yards and the winning touchdown pass late in the game.
Fitzpatrick hit on 27 of 35 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns but his only interception proved very costly. The loss also took away from the great play of Freddy Jackson and C.J. Spiller. They combined for 141 yards. Jackson also led the receivers with 8 catches while Stevie Johnson had 5.
Buffalo outgained Tennessee 370 to 340 yards. Net yards passing favored Buffalo 298 to 167 but Buffalo gave up 173 yards rushing.
The first half was something else as both teams began exchanging touchdowns. At one point, three touchdowns were scored in 25 seconds. After the Titans took the opening drive and scored, Buffalo came back to tie. Then Johnson burst 83 yards for a score but Brad Smith answered running back the kickoff 89 yards. 3 Touchdowns in less than 30 seconds. In fact 2 touchdowns were scored in 12 seconds.
When it seemed as if Ryan Fitzpatrick might escape a game without a turnover, it didn’t happen. His fumble to open the second half helped Tennessee maintain a slim 21-20 lead.
Here’s how the scoring developed.
It didn’t take long to put the first score on the board and it was by Tennessee. Taking the opening kickoff, Matt Hasslebeck used up most of the 77 yard through the air, marching to the Bills 16. Then he handed off to Chris Johnson who swept around the right side into the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.
The Bills answered with a long drive of its own, despite 2 roughness penalties to tie the game at 7 when Fred Jackson caught a 3-yard pass from Fitzpatrick that completed a 13-play, 83-yard drive while eating up 7 and a half minutes.
Following the kickoff, the Titans began on its own 17-yard line. On the first play, Chris Johnson took the handoff and embarrassed the Bills defense by going the distance on an 83-yard jaunt to put Tennessee on top 14-7.
It took Buffalo only seconds to tie the game at 14 when Brad Smith fielded the kickoff at his 11 and ran 89 yards for the touchdown.
Back came Tennessee with a 14-play drive 80 yard drive to score the go-ahead touchdown by Jamie Harper from the one, thanks to Horseblock eating up the Bills secondary, hitting wide-open receivers putting Tennessee on top 21-14.
Buffalo couldn’t find the end zone on the ensuing drive but settled for a 31-yard field goal by Rain Liddell to make it 21-17.
Finally the first punt of the game at the 2-minute mark after a torrid offensive display. The Bills began a drive on its 13 and marched downfield where Lindell hit a 42-yard field goal to end the first half with Tennessee leading 21-20 in that first half. Buffalo will receiver to open the second half.
Fitzpatrick was 14 of 18 for 11 yards and a TD, no interceptions. Spiller carried 6 times for 46 yards while Fred Jackson had 42 on 5 carries. For Tennessee Hasselbeck was sharp hitting 10 of 14 for 116 yards. Chris Johnson carried 9 times for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. On 2 of those 9 carries, he gained 16, then 83 or 99 yards on 2 tugs.
McKelvin ran the kickoff back 46 yards and on the first play, Fitzpatrick fumbled the ball and the Titans took over at the Bills 32. Hasselbeck led his team to the Bills 1 where Harper took it in, giving the Titans a 28-20 lead.
Following the kickoff, Fitzpatrick led a good 7 play, 66-yard drive ending with a 15 yard touchdown pass to Donald Jones to move Buffalo back to a 28-27 deficit. Gailey did not go for the 2-point conversion that would probably tie the game at 28.
After forcing another Titan punt, Fitzpatrick led another great drive, going 80 yards in 9 plays and hooking up with Stevie Johnson on a 27-yard TD toss giving Buffalo a 34-28 lead.
Buffalo forced a punt and that’s when Fitzpatrick on a 3rd and 7 from his 39 tried to squeeze the pass to Jones that was intercepted by J. McCourty at the Titans 48.
7 plays later, Washington was in the end zone and the Bills heading to the next game with yet another bitter loss on Don’t Get Me Started.
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