Struggling Bills see problems all over field
This was not the way the Bills were hoping to open
their three-game road trip. They took their 5-3 record down to Dallas
and got blown out of Cowboys Stadium, 44-7, their worst loss since a
56-10 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots in 2007.
Coach Chan Gailey was clearly disturbed by his
team's performance, especially because it came on the heels of a lousy
effort in a 27-9 loss a week earlier at home to the New York Jets.
"Right now, we are more of a pretender than a
contender," Gailey said. "Nobody played well, no phase played well, and
that's stating the obvious. We didn't start good, you turn it over, you
don't stop them, and you are going to get beat bad."
So now the Bills must head to Miami to take on
their officially awoken AFC East rivals, who have won two straight.
After that, it's back to New York for a rematch with the Jets. If the
Bills play the way they have the last two weeks in either of those
games, they're going to be staring at a 5-6 record entering December,
and their playoff hopes will be just about shattered for the 12th
The Bills have been failing on all fronts in
losing four of their last six after a 3-0 start, but the biggest change
has come on offense. They have struggled on defense all year, but now
the offense is in the tank.
In the first three games, victories over Kansas
City, Oakland and New England, the Bills averaged 37 points, 431 yards
and 27 first downs, and they committed only four turnovers. In the six
games since -- wins over Philadelphia and Washington and losses to
Cincinnati, the Giants, the Jets, and Dallas, the Bills averaged 19
points, 321 yards and 17 first downs, and they have given the ball away
"That was tough," said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for just 146 yards and had a passer rating of
46.6 against Dallas. "We wanted to rebound from last week when we
didn't think we performed. We put in some good practice time and really
thought we'd come down here and play well, but we fell behind, didn't
make enough plays, and it got ugly there at the end. The last two
weeks, it hasn't been there.
"We had a lot of mistakes today. I'm the
quarterback, and you usually see my mistakes the most, and I had a lot
of them today."
LINEUP WATCH: The Bills may have a serious problem
at center, as third-year pro Eric Wood, who moved to that position this
season and was playing at a Pro Bowl level, suffered a knee injury
against Dallas. Coach Chan Gailey expects him to be out at least this
week in Miami, and maybe beyond that. The Bills finished the game with
right guard Kraig Urbik at center and Colin Brown at right guard.
BY THE NUMBERS: 88.6 percent -- That was Tony
Romo's completion percentage in Dallas' 44-7 blowout over Buffalo,
which set a record for a Bills opponent. The old mark was 84.5 percent,
achieved by Drew Brees in 2005 when he was with San Diego.
--RB Fred Jackson carried 13 times for 114 very
quiet yards, and his four pass receptions totaled just 1 net yard.
--WR Stevie Johnson was battling illness, and he
looked it, as he caught just two passes for 8 yards, then left the game
late with a sore shoulder.
--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had a tough day, as he threw
for a season-low 146 yards and threw a season-high three interceptions
for a passer rating of 46.6.
--SS Jairus Byrd led the defense with eight
tackles and a forced fumble.
--TE Scott Chandler caught three passes for 34
yards against the team that cut him twice.
--WR Donald Jones led the Bills with six catches
for 51 yards.
More Bills news at: Buffalo
AFC East: Bills Struggles Continue
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