Maybe Toronto won't want the Bills around next year. At this rate, they'll gladly stick with their Argonauts and lame pregame festivities.
In another yawner at the Rogers Centre, the Buffalo Bills were sorely underwhelming.
This one, a 19-13 beatdown against the New York Jets. Engrained problems doomed the Bills on both sides of the ball. Buffalo couldn't extend drives, offensively. And it couldn't stop the run, defensively. Despite a plethora of weapons, the Bills went 1-of-11 on third downs and totaled less than 100 yards passing. And after teasing improvement for a couple games, the Bills were gashed for 249 yards by the Jets Thursday night.
So the Toronto flop continues. With a shoddy, "official" tailgate party as symbolic value, it's safe to say the marketing up north is failing. Starting with the product on the field.
"We just kind of gave it up tonight," safety Bryan Scott said. "Whether it was guys missing their gaps or flowing too fast or over pursuing, whatever the case with the poor tackling. We just had to do such a better job with it. It's really disappointing."
After exchanging field goals, Buffalo took a 10-6 lead behind Marshawn Lynch. Buffalo's struggling running back busted loose up the right sideline for 35 yards and then scored from 15 yards out behind a bruising block by fullback Corey McIntyre. Lynch only received four other carries the whole game.
Buffalo's identity crisis on offense continued. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick forced the ball to Terrell Owens throughout the game, targeting the eccentric wideout nine times. With Jets' corneback Darelle Revis in lockdown mode, Owens only caught three passes for 31 yards. Nobody else stepped up. The Bills couldn't stay on the field.
"Again, it's been our Achilles heel, getting in those third and short or third and long situations and we're not converting," Owens said. "So that in itself would be enough to cause you to lose games."
New York wasn't flashy itself, missing out of several opportunities. Mark Sanchez overthrew Jerricho Cotchery in the end zone and then had a bomb to Braylon Edwards bounce off the receiver's facemask. But unlike Buffalo, the Jets pinpointed a weakness — the Bills' rush ‘D' — and attacked.
Thomas Jones ripped Buffalo for 109 yards and rookie Shonn Greene added 59. It didn't matter that Sanchez had left the game with a reported sprained PCL. The Bills can blame injuries. Arguably no defense in the NFL has been hit harder.
But several times, Buffalo was in the position to stuff runs and did not. On David Clowney's 13-yard reverse, rookie Aaron Maybin bit inside badly. Both Jones and Greene gained yards in chunks as the Bills' sloppy tackling compounded.
With only four games left, the unit has no answers.
"We're not happy with that," Posluszny said. "What it came down to was that we didn't get off the field a couple of times on third down. We had them in some good situations for us and they made some plays on third down really at the end of the first half, that was the main one, they were able to score and that really set the tone for them. That's the most disappointing part for us. We felt like we fought hard, didn't stop the run as well as we wanted too but the main thing was we gave up some big plays on third down."
If head coach Perry Fewell has any chance at sticking around beyond this season, he knows this needs to change in a hurry. Effort isn't enough anymore.
"I thought the guys played hard. I thought that they fought hard. I thought that we had some momentum going into the football game and we had a chance to win it in the fourth quarter. We just didn't get it done, bottom line."
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