The Bills are the 7-year-old son of Western New York–Week 4 review

So, the Bills got pummeled again. They’re the worst they suck we need a quarterback we need a line we need receivers Gailey is a bum Modrak should be fired we can’t draft Maybin’s a bust and I thought the secondary was supposed to be the strong stop of this team. Phew. Glad we got that out of the way.  

Look, if you’re still rambling about these things all in one breath after games, take some advice from the educated fans in town: Save it. We know they are bad and we know they need help. We’ve known this for months. The Bills are the 7-year-old son of Western New York, and the fans need to be the first-time parents in the stands.

Parents don’t care what the score is, and neither should we. If the team happens to win, great; but most of all they just want to see improvement. They want to see their kid getting better, and they they get a lot of joy seeing Little Johnny be able to do things he couldn’t do last week. Parents look for anything positive they can take from the game to make conversation with on the ride home. That’s what Bills fans need to do. Find the positives (Hold all of the “The Bills are more interested in the snack after the game than the game itself” jokes, please.) Yes, the “kids” make you want to pull our hair out at times, but we love them and we wouldn’t trade our team for anything (right, Ralph?).  

I know losing sucks and it makes the games miserable to watch. But at this point it’s really not about the wins and losses. Forget that half-hearted rebuilding we’ve been doing. Going 7-9 doesn’t help turn a team around. It’s time we embrace the process and let it take its toll. True rebuilding isn’t about winning games, it’s about getting better so you can have a good core of guys to work with once you get the right players around them in the skill positions. I’ll redirect you here once again. 

Forget .500 and forget figuring out impossible scenarios Week 15 for how we can still make the playoffs. When that Wild Card graphic comes up on the screen at the end of games, I don’t want to see Buffalo in the ‘Still in the hunt’ column. 

So now, what to make of the Marshawn Lynch trade? For the second week in a row, the Bills have parted ways with a player who started for them just one week prior. The Bills received two undisclosed draft picks from the Seahawks in exchange for the back. The highest of the two is rumored to be a fourth rounder. 

We know it’s a great move for Seattle–they bolster their running game without causing any controversy. Justin Forsett was the backup to Lynch at Cal, and the two also roomed together. Lynch recently stood up in Forsett’s wedding. 

That's Lynch on the far left of the wedding party, playing with his hair / Janet Klinger Photography

Only time will tell if the move was ultimately a good one for Buffalo. Right now, overall it isn’t a bad move for the Bills. It makes room for Spiller and it is another step toward rebuilding. Gailey & Co. got rid of another player they didn’t draft to make way for one they did, and this time we actually got something in return. A fourth round pick may not yield anything productive, but for the current coaching staff it’s another opportunity for them to try to improve the team with someone they like (cue Herb Brooks: “We’re opening up options.”). 

A lot of fans seemed displeased with the move this afternoon, mostly due to the fact that they thought we didn’t get much in return. But once they accepted the fact that we got about market value for Lynch, fan support started to come around. If the Bills could’ve gotten more for Lynch (i.e. from Green Bay), they would’ve done it. I don’t care for our front office any more than the next guy, but I know that they wouldn’t pass up a better deal to take this one. If you still can’t get your head around it, look at it from a business standpoint. What did our running game really lose? We still have two backs that we approve of in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. But now we have two more draft picks. Gained something without losing much. It’s basic economics. 

I’m hoping the Bills will just let Spiller run wild this week against a weak Jacksonville run defense, although I think they’ll play it safe and balance carries between him and Jackson. Could be super exciting though. He’s the most explosive player on the field… get the ball in his hands 20 times a game. 

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Here’s last week’s picks. I struggled with them, but read my comments at the end. Picks in teal. 

Jets at Bills (+5) Bills. Jets 38-14. Loss
Denver (+6 1/2) at Tennessee Titans. Denver 26-20. Loss
Baltimore (+1) at Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore 17-14. Loss
Cincinnati at Cleveland (+3) Bengals. Browns 23-20. Loss.
Detroit (+14 1/2) at Green Bay Packers. Green Bay 28-26. Loss
Carolina (+13 1/2) at New Orleans Panthers. New Orleans 16-14. Win.
San Francisco (+7) at Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta 16-14. Loss
Seattle at St. Louis (+1) Rams. St. Louis 20-3. Win
Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+7 1/2) Best bet Colts. Jacksonville 31-28. Loss
Houston at Oakland (+3) Texans. Houston 31-24. Win
Arizona (+8) at San Diego Cardinals. San Diego 41-10. Loss
Washington (+6) at Philadelphia Eagles. Washington 17-12. Loss
Chicago (+4) at Giants Bears. NYG 17-3. Loss
New England at Miami (+1) Fish. New England 41-14. Loss

3-11. I am either really bad at this or really unlucky. I’m gonna go with a healthy dose of each. I’m not a quitter though. If something isn’t going your way you either aren’t working hard enough or aren’t working smart enough. I’ll be taking an in-depth look at every game this season so far later this week to see who wins games and who loses them. I care too much to be this bad. 

Wish that was Ralph saying that.

Week 3 review: Don’t hang your heads

Is "Beast Mode" coming out of hybernation?

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t expect that performance out of the Bills. I’m never happy with a loss, but satisfied? Perhaps.

You didn’t really expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat the Patriots, did you? As far as losses go, that game was about as good as they’ll get. Like I said before, I don’t care what the score is. I just want to see improvement. C.J. Spiller had a much better game, and Lee Evans was at least involved in the offense. I still wouldn’t say the offensive line played good, but even that unit was better. That being said, the defense looked bad. Tom Brady usually carves up a defense like a Thanksgiving turkey, but come on. That was too easy. Other teams at least pressure Brady while he picks them apart. Any quarterback can find an open receiver when he has all day to throw, let alone Brady (see also, Brian Brohm, Louisville).

Think of it this way–if the Bills are playing almost any other team, any other quarterback, odds are they win the football game. The offense moved the football. We scored 30 points! When was the last time the Bills scored 30 and lost? I just checked. It was Sunday, Oct. 6 of 2002 (Week 5), a 49-31 loss at home versus Oakland. Drew Bledsoe threw for 413 yards, but it wasn’t enough to stop Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice, who improved to 4-0 on the year.

Don’t hang your head on this loss. That was some of the best football we’ve played in quite some time. I can honestly say I’m excited for next week, and you should be too.

Picks:

NEW ENGLAND (-14) over Buffalo
Pats 38-30. Loss

NY GIANTS (-3) over Tennessee  
Titans 29-10. Loss 

Cleveland (+10 1/2) over BALTIMORE
Baltimore 24-17. Win 

Pittsburgh (-2 1/2)  over TAMPA BAY
Steelers 38-13. Win

Cincinnati (-3) over CAROLINA (best bet)
Bengals 20-7. Win 

NEW ORLEANS (-4) over Atlanta
Falcons 27-24 (OT). Loss

KANSAS CITY (+2 1/2) over San Francisco
Chiefs 21-10. Win 

Detroit (+11) over MINNESOTA
Vikings 24-10. Loss 

HOUSTON (-3) over Dallas
Cowboys 27-13. Loss 

Washington (-3 1/2) over ST. LOUIS
Rams 30-16. Loss

JACKSONVILLE (+3) over Philadelphia
What was I thinking. Eagles 28-3. Loss

Indianapolis (-5 1/2) over DENVER
Colts 27-13. Win

San Diego over SEATTLE (+5 1/2)
Seahawks 27-20. Loss

ARIZONA (-4) over Oakland 
Cards 24-23. Loss

Jets (+2 1/2) over MIAMI
Jets 31-23. Win

Green Bay (-3) over CHICAGO
Bears, 20-17. Loss

6-10 week. Much like the Bills, that still isn’t good, but its an improvement. Just going to regroup and try again next week.

Week 1 review

New coaching staff, same Buffalo Bills.

Yesterday’s game seemed all too familiar. For the most part it looked as if the Bills picked up right where they left off last year: incapable quarterback, anemic offense, defense that bends but doesn’t break, special teams that do the job, and coaching decisions where the logic just doesn’t add up. 

I think I can, I think I can

However, that’s not to say I’m ready to write off the entire season just yet. Everybody saw the game. We all know what happened. Is there a TON of work that needs to be done? Yes. Are we probably going to be clobbered by 20+ points the next two weeks? Yes. But forgive me for not denouncing Trent Edwards as the worst player in NFL history or the 2011 Bills team as the worst team in history of football. That’s just something I’m not willing to do.

I have a lot of respect for local radio hosts who have to listen to moron callers one after another all day long. Not lashing out at them takes a lot of patience and restraint. Hello Mr. Two Years of High School Football Experience: Writing off a team or calling for backups to start after one game is the worst idea ever. Check that–second worst. Number one was you picking up the phone and calling into the show.

I’m not trying to defend the Bills here. I’m just saying don’t overreact. We knew the Bills would struggle mightily coming into the season. We knew the picking up first downs would be no easy feat. I’ll be the first one to tell you the outlook for the season isn’t good. We could realistically go into November without a win. But that doesn’t mean we need to bench Trent at the first sign of defeat. You’re kidding yourself if you think we’d be better off with one of the other quarterbacks. The only thing they have over Trent is that they haven’t failed yet, but what good is hope when you’ve already written off the whole season?

The worst part is the idiots who want Trent benched right now are the same ones who will call in in April and say we should have left him in there and got a better draft pick. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but note the word is “opinion.” There’s no “s.” You get one opinion–do us all a favor and stick with it.

Telling stat of the week: First round running backs

  Carries Yards YPC TD Fantasy Points
Jahvid Best 14 20 1.4 2 15
Ryan Mathews 19 75 3.9 0 5
C.J. Spiller 7 6 0.9 0 0

Stat #2: Bills rushing
-Marshawn Lynch had three carries for 13 yards, with a long a 15. That means on the other two, he netted -2. 
-Trent Edwards has twice as many yards as Spiller.
-Minus Trent’s two rushes, the Bills ran only 15 times Sunday.

PICKS:

BUFFALO (+3) over Miami
Miami 15-10. Loss

NY GIANTS (-6.5) over Carolina
Giants 31-18. Win.

Atlanta (-2.5) over PITTSBURGH
Steelers 15-9 (OT). Loss

CHICAGO (-6.5) over Detroit
Bears 19-14. Loss

Cincinnati (+4.5) over NEW ENGLAND
Pats 38-24. Loss

TAMPA BAY (-3) over Cleveland
Bucs 17-14. Push

Denver (+2.5) over JACKSONVILLE
Jags 24-17. Loss

Indianapolis (-2.5) over HOUSTON
Texans 34-24. Loss

TENNESSEE (-6.5) over Oakland (Best Bet)
Titans 38-13. Win

Green Bay (-3) over PHILADELPHIA
Packers 27-20. Win

San Francisco (-3) over SEATTLE
Seahawks 31-6. Loss

Arizona (-4) over ST. LOUIS          
Cards 17-13. Push

Dallas (-3.5) over WASHINGTON
Redskins 13-7. Loss

Baltimore (+2.5) over NY JETS
Ravens 10-9. Win

KANSAS CITY (+4.5) over San Diego
KC 21-14. Win

Overall: 5-8-2
Best Bet: 1-0