DON’T GET ME STARTED watches the Buffalo Bills finish what they started early in the season – taking penalty after penalty. In Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bills took a season high 15 penalties. You can go back to the 2nd game of the season when they took 14 against the division leading Patriots.


Art Wander

The penalties wiped out big gain after big gain – first down yardage after first down yardage. McCoy ripped off a long gain – back it came due to holding. Taylor flipped a long first down pass – back it came due to hands in the face. That’s the way it went throughout a game the Bills needed desperately to win and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

That spot practically remains unreachable. The Bills find themselves 2 full games behind a pair of the wild card leaders with only 3 games left to play. Here’s the scenario:

The Bills need to win all 3 remaining games against Washington-Dallas-NY Jets to finish 9-7. They are now 6-7. The best they can do is finish 9-7.
-KC Chiefs need only 1 win to pull ahead of the Bills since they have head-to-head tiebreaker.
-NY Jets need only to beat Buffalo in the final game of the season. They are now 8-5.
-Pittsburgh Steelers need 2 wins if Buffalo sweeps – They are 8-5.
-The Colts face the same problem as the Bills. They are 6-7 and are practically out of it.

The penalties have been a season long problem with Rex Ryan not able to provide a solution to the woes of the Bills offensive line that saw them wipe out a lot of good things in the loss to the Eagles.

Many Bills fans will now be looking forward to the draft and to the off-season to see what moves the ownership plans to end the (now) 16 years without reaching the playoffs. What will happen to Doug Whaley; what will Ryan do to regain the great defense of 2014. Heavens forbid if he moves Newton (defensive coordinator) and hires his unemployed brother who was sacked by New Orleans.

Two cities, Philadelphia and Buffalo, were wondering how Lesean McCoy would do against Chip Kelly and the Eagles/. And whether Tyrod Taylor could stretch his passes-without-an-interruption streak. He had 222 passes thrown before he was picked off Sunday. Before that he hasn’t suffered a pick since the 4th game of the season. Here’s what they did in the game:

Tyrod Taylor was 19 of 36 for 268 yards – one touchdown and game ending interception.
McCoy carried 20 times for 74 yards but gained over 100 all purpose yards with his 35 yards receiving. At crunch time on Buffalo’s last possession, he was pulled down for about a 7 yard loss. Aside from one run of 24 yards, the Eagles defense did a decent job in holding McCoy to 74 yards. Sam Bradford threw for 247 yards highlighted by a 53-yard TD toss to Nelson Agholorr

As for the game, Caleb Sturgis booted a 30 yard field goal with 3 and a half minutes left in the game. The ball moved deep into Bills territory when Leodis McElvin missed a tackle allowing the receiver to stretch the gain into a long yardage grabber inside the Bills 20, leading to the winning points.

The Eagles also needed the win since they find themselves tied for the NFC East title with the Redskins at 6-7. For all intents and purposes, it seems that the 23-20 loss ends Buffalo’s slimmest of hope for post-season play. There are 3 games left – Washington – Dallas – Jets with the Jets game finishing the season. New York would love to reach the playoffs without Rex Ryan as coach after 6 years with the Jets before signing with Buffalo this year.

Well, at least Buffalo got a taste of a quarterback who seems to have found a place for himself in Buffalo. Rod Taylor has shown that he can stay in the pocket; has shown that he can scramble very well; and has shown that he can complete the deep balls to Sammy Watkins.

Fans will be watching to see what Pegula and Brandon will do with the GM position; the draft; chat with Ryan on the needs of the club; critique the performances of the coordinators and other coaches and……..look forward to next season on Don’t Get Me Started.

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