The Buffalo Bills are, right now, a .500 football team.
Yes, you read that right. The team that found ways to lose to Denver and Dallas at home despite leading at the exact moment the clock in the 4th quarter ticked to 00:00, and that got manhandled on the road by New England and Pittsburgh, is now at .500. All they have to do to meet my preseason prediction for a 5-11 season is go 1-7 the rest of the way out, and this team is frankly showing too much character to go 1-7 the rest of the way out. Wow.
So yeah, color me impressed. Of course, I’m one who thinks that they’re beating decent teams, while other, more pessimistic Bills fans might say that the fact that the Bills are beating these teams makes those teams bad teams. Well, to that I saw, Pshaw. That’s right. Pshaw. So onto the commentary!
:: JP Losman. He only had one really bad throw all day, he managed the game smartly, he spread the ball around to different receivers (it seemed like he was only throwing to Lee Evans, but eight different Bills caught passes in this game), and he did some decent running when there was nothing to gain by throwing. I don’t know if this game was enough to convince the Bills’ brass to keep him around, but I still think he’s got a decent NFL career inside him, even if it’s not here, so games like this can only enhance his trade value. I’ve always liked Losman, so even if he’s not the guy in Buffalo, I’m rooting for him to have success.
:: Marshawn Lynch. What a stud. He always keeps his feet moving, he always seems to grind out at least a yard or two after he takes the initial hit, and he finally broke the long run we’ve been waiting to see from him. When he ends up running behind the next great Bills O-line, he’s going to be an absolute force.
:: The Bills’ young players. Just think, folks: these guys will be coming of age when Darth Brady and the rest of his Sith apprentices in New England are on the physical decline of their careers. Heh!
:: Coaching. This game was, as far as I could see, very well coached. Nothing really stupid was done, with one exception (see below). The defense always seems to have guys right around the ball, wherever it is. Tackling has been improved immensely. The motivation continues to be amazing. I don’t know that this is a championship coaching staff, but they’ve got to get some mad props for getting this team back up off the mat after what had to be the most dispiriting start to a season ever.
:: The NFL’s flex schedule! The Bills’ resurgence has given the league cause to move their upcoming home game against New England to Sunday Night Football on NBC in two weeks. Huzzah! Now I really hope that this week at Miami doesn’t become a “trap” game. And how sweet would it be if Buffalo was the team that ended the talk of an undefeated season? (Not that I’d bet on that outcome, but it could happen!)
:: I guess I’ll file this under “Meh”, even though they had a pretty good game. I’d still like to see the offensive line improved over the offseason, preferably with a high draft pick. Ditto the D-line. Those guys play incredibly hard, and they’d only benefit from having a nice big body in the middle.
:: Ocho Cinqo. I like that guy, and I hated seeing him go down like that. I hope he’s OK.
:: No defensive pass rush. Oy.
:: Red zone efficiency. Gotta get better down there, guys. Had those four FGs been TDs, this game would have been a blowout.
:: And speaking of red zone efficiency: first-and-goal from the one yard line and you got cute with the playcalling? Aieee! I have a feeling that given four chances to run it up the middle, Marshawn Lynch would have picked up the yard and scored.
Other stuff from around the NFL:
:: Wow, this Peterson kid in Minnesota seems to have some potential, doesn’t he?
:: My preseason pick for the Super Bowl? Saints over Ravens? Yeah, it could happen — and, in the immortal words of Wayne Campbell, monkeys might fly out of my butt.
:: It’s OK, Indianapolis. In the James Bond movies, Blofeld always wins Round One.
Next up: the Bills travel to winless Miami, who are off this week after losing in London last week. Be careful, guys! This looks like a classic “trap” game! Be mindful, for past the Dolphins, Eeee-vil lurks!