The air is out of the balloon a bit for the Buffalo Bills after the 22-10 loss to San Diego. The Chargers took it to the Bills early and often, but Buffalo was unable to raise the level of play to respond.

Last week Miami players felt the Bills were more intense than they were and fired up, but not the case Sunday against the Chargers. San Diego played more focused, with less penalties and mental errors than the home team and Phillip Rivers played a strong game. Defensively the Bills were unable to come up with key third down stops, especially on two long drives by the visitors.

Much will be written and said this week about the play of EJ Manuel, but we already knew he couldn’t go toe to toe with a veteran like Phillip Rivers. Manuel was hesitant to throw into coverage and was out of sync on numerous occasions with both Watkins and Woods.

Doug Marrone and Nate Hackett want to run the ball, that’s the key to their overall scheme. When the Bills fall behind by ten points or more in the second half they cannot afford to rely on the run game. Plus, when the offensive line is unable to protect it makes Manuel’s day that much longer.

The Bills have also struggled running the ball the past two games except for the one long run by Spiller against Miami. It’s becoming clear that the offensive live may be big, but they don’t play big.

The accuracy of EJ Manuel at times was erratic, but Doug Marrone would hear none of that in his post game press conference. In fact Marrone got testy with a reporter when questioned about Manuel’s errant throws. Yet it is obvious that Manuel has been schooled by his coaches to avoid throwing into tight spots to avoid turnovers.

On the safety in the fourth quarter Manuel had no one open to throw to. All the routes were down field except for the running back leaking out of the backfield and he was out of Manuel’s line of sight. It was an example of a young quarterback being unable to either audible out of a play or recognizing pressure before the snap.

So the Bills are 2-1 and go on the road against the Houston Texans, also now 2-1. The Texans game is key because the week after they face Detroit in Motown, a tougher challenge. If the Bills hope to have a season of change they must win winnable games and Houston is that. The band wagon will have less riders than last week, but it’s too early to think it’s deja vue all over again, as Yogi would say.


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