Tyler Dunne: It was a year too late. But at least owner Ralph Wilson was willing to do it. Around here, it was a surprise considering Wilson gave Jauron a contract extension the year prior. Buffalo raced to a 4-0 start and Wilson prematurely re-upped Jauron's deal. So the thinking was that the always-cheap Wilson would at least ride this season out. Instead, he's willing to stomach the $6 million left on the extension. Buffalo never improved under Jauron. He was notorious for late-game collapses and questionable calls. His decision to throw the ball late against New York Jets last year cost Buffalo the game. And this season, the Bills were consistently dominated in the fourth quarter — to a point of embarrassment. In Jauron's final two games, the Bills were outscored 46-0 in the fourth. Wilson, after years of living on the cheap, is going after the big-name coaches. Bill Cowher took the high road, but Mike Shanahan met with the Bills for seven hours over a couple of days. We'll see what happens. Things can only go up after Jauron's three-plus years of painful mediocrity.
Q: The Bills seem to be in a free fall as they head for their 10th consecutive non-playoff season; are there concerns they will pack it in pretty soon?
TD: I don't think they'll pack it in. True, there are not many vocal, veteran leaders on this team. But if nothing else, the Bills have shown some grit. Last week, they played extremely hard for interim coach Perry Fewell. The front seven, battered by injuries, put forth an effort for the ages. Kyle Williams played through immense pain to anchor a "D" that stuffed Maurice Jones-Drew all game. Jobs are on the line here. Whoever comes in as the new coach and (maybe) new GM will clean house. Players across the board are fighting for their lives. No player is safe on this team. I think this urgency alone will keep this team fighting through December.
Q: Your prediction for Sunday's game, and why?
TD: This will be closer than people think. The Bills won't lie down against their bitter rival — especially the fan base. Last year, this game was pulled out from under them and sent to Toronto. Expect a rowdy atmosphere at The Ralph. Thousands of fans look forward to this matchup every season, regardless of the circumstances.
Ryan Fitzpatrick have revived the passing game somewhat and Fred Jackson should get a hefty workload. I'd expect the Bills to score some points. Problem is, the run defense won't be able to replicate what they did last week. There are simply too many injuries and not enough talent. Miami will overpower Buffalo with Ricky Williams and win, 28-14.