Players, coaches searching for answers

Edwards, Van Pelt, Evans and co. disappointed over offense's problems against Saints...

The hot seat is warming again on the offensive side of the ball for the Bills, and there are a number of occupants squirming.

First and foremost is quarterback Trent Edwards who did not play well in the Bills 27-7 loss to the Saints. Edwards completed 20 of 35 passes for 156 yards with no TDs and one pick. His average gain per pass attempt was less than four yards. Edwards has shown a regular resistance to throwing the ball downfield and it was readily apparent in this game. He did not complete a pass to Terrell Owens, which ended Owens' consecutive games streak with at least one catch at 185. Lee Evans caught four balls for only 31 yards. Edwards' longest completion was 18 yards to Josh Reed, and the only two deep balls he attempted - both to Evans - were off the mark.

"Yeah, we obviously struggled," Edwards said. "We didn't do a good job of, I feel like both in the run game and the pass game, we didn't stay on the field in third-down situations and we didn't put points on the board. I felt like we didn't really hold up our end of the bargain, but you know you're going to have games like that."

The problem is Edwards and the Bills offense continues to have too many games like that. And the same issue that dogs Edwards keeps surfacing - he doesn't take shots down the field.

"I think that it's too early to assume that, but we did take some shots down field, but unfortunately we weren't able to hit them," he said.

Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt was officially welcomed to the world of postgame second-guessing, and he was willing to participate because he felt he let the team down.

"I didn't do a good job upstairs adjusting to what we were seeing," Van Pelt said. "That's probably the first place to start. I have to do a better job adjusting to what we were getting. It was one of those days where he (Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams) was going to pressure us almost every snap. I have to have better answers than I did."

The young and inexperienced offensive line certainly didn't make things easy for Edwards or Van Pelt. They committed five penalties, allowed four sacks, and were overmatched much of the day by the Saints front line and the zone blitzes Williams was using.

"Obviously there's going to be some growing pains there and they will just keep getting better, but they're going to struggle," coach Dick Jauron said. "They're going to struggle and they're going to learn every week, but they'll come back and fight you. It wasn't pretty. I was proud of the way they fought through kind of an ugly game but hung in there until the end."

And then there were the receivers, Owens and Evans. The arrival of Owens was supposed to be exactly what Evans needed to spring him loose, and vice versa for Owens. Instead, they have been mostly invisible through three games. They have combined for 13 catches for 186 yards and two TDs, much of that damage coming against the woeful Buccaneers in Buffalo's lone win.

Owens offered little insight into what's wrong, but Evans dug a little deeper.

"It's frustrating, very frustrating," said Evans. "We just didn't take chances when he had to or needed to or could have. That's the most frustrating part. We had opportunities and we didn't take them. Our defense played great and offensively we had no support for them."


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