I have to start out by apologizing to Buffalo Football Report readers because, even though I would like to bring complete in-game analysis after every Bills game, I must admit I could not stomach the final quarter of Buffalo's 38-10 drumming against the now 1-3 Miami Dolphins. The way the Bills played in the first three quarters was terrible. Pitiful. Intolerable. Absolutely horrid.
Unlike the first three games on the season, the Bills were completely out of this one. Like a sharp shooter in a thick forest, they simply never had a shot. The Bills are starting to get losing down to a science: either they blow a close one or they let the opposing team put on a show. Which begs the question: is it just me or are the Buffalo Bills becoming the Washington Generals of the National Football League?
If that answer is yes, then Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams looked like Curly Neale and Meadowlark Lemon on Sunday. The Dade County Duo rushed methodically and without forgiveness. The Wildcat offense got even wilder as the Dolphins ran the ball for 250 yards on 45 carries along with three touchdowns. In defense of the Bills defense — pun certainly intended — injuries played a huge factor in the loss. Missing four starters, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell did what he could to keep up with the potent Dolphin attack. Fewell circulated personnel to give Buffalo fresh legs.Hopefully this loss along will be the only times he needs fresh legs. Otherwise, it could be a long season for the defense. It has already been a painful one for the guys who sat out Sunday. While the defense was drowning in the Dolphins' pool, the offense did absolutely nothing to throw out a life preserver. Trent Edwards had a major dip in his progress toward becoming a prolific quarterback, throwing three interceptions including one that was moon-walked into the end zone for a touchdown. The Bills were down for much of the game, which forced Dick Jauron to call upon "Captain Checkdown" to save the day. Superhero tales always have anti-climatic parts of the story, but a 51.0 quarterback rating is well beyond anti-climatic. It's embarrassing.
Speaking of anti-climatic, the return of Pro-Bowler Marshawn Lynch was anything but positive on the day. The third-year man out of California was caged for four rushing yards on eight carries. Lynch, coming off a three-game suspension, showed major rust on all of Buffalo's offensive series. For the life of me I can't tell you why previous starter Fred Jackson did not get the bulk of the carries on the day. Although his game stats were modest (42 yards rushing, 26 yards receiving), his 4.7 yards per rush average could have been the catalyst to a comeback win at Land Shark Stadium. Just as Fred Jackson started cooking, Lynch came in and spoiled the recipe. It will be interesting to see what the coaching staff does logistically with the tandem.
As a result of the inability to run or pass the ball, the Bills offense stalled. For the second straight week, Alex Van Pelt made questionable calls all game.
As a side note, I would like to commend the Buffalo Bills for their support for breast cancer awareness and research. Throughout the month of October, many Bills players will don pink armbands, shoes, gloves, and captain patches to shed light on the illness. This is a very honorable act, but also a very fitting one for Buffalo as well. If the Bills do not start winning by the end of October, Coach Dick Jauron will have pink slips to match his other pink paraphernalia.
At 1-3, Buffalo is on the ropes and is just about ready to throw the playoff towel in. With the 0-4 Cleveland Browns coming into town next Sunday, the Bills must win and win convincingly if they want to have any glimmer of hope to be playing in January.
Otherwise, spring-cleaning could be in effect six months earlier on One Bills Drive.