Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bills Week Four Recap

Won't you take me to funkytown?

The Bills are already there, and they need a ride home.

Just like that, the NFL season is a quarter gone, and Buffalo is 1-3 after a loss to the Saints in week 4. Although technically one game better than last year at this point, the season is still a disappointment for a Bills team with playoff expectations.

Were expectations too high? I don't think so. This team was capable of a ten or eleven win season. Although the defense is statistically horrible, they're still keeping the team within a touchdown of taking the lead in the 3rd or 4th quarter of each game. That the Bills haven't been blown out is a testament to the defense's amazing ability to hang with anybody while the offense does squat. They need help from the other side of the ball, and that's where the Bills' problems in 2005 are festering.

The offense had another terrible game with J.P. Losman at the helm. At this point, J.P. would be more successful at runningback than quarterback. The QB-draw is the one play the Bills count on for positive yardage. Losman's complete inability to get first downs through the air consistently puts Willis McGahee and the OL under immense pressure.

Speaking of the OL, they are the one unit playing to expectations. Considering the line is comprised of a 1st-round bust, castoffs from the Bears and Ravens, a tackle playing center, and a bunch of no-name backups who see the field way too often, the line isn't doing so bad. Tom Donahoe has ignored the OL, and it shows.

Which brings us to Commander Tom. The Bills are 27-41 under his leadership. Throw out his initial season (when he had to purge starters to fix the inherited salary-cap mess) and the record is 24-28. Oh, and zero playoff appearances, one winning season. and an aging defense. He has undoubtedly made some shrewd moves (cutting Reed, Thomas, Smith, trading Price and Henry.) Unfortunately, he's made some boneheaded decisions too (all late-round picks except for McGee, Bledsoe.) At some point, Teflon Tom has to be held accountable.

Don't look for Ralph Wilson to make a change, however. Personally, if I was approaching 90 I wouldn't make any long-term decisions (like hiring a new GM, who wants to bring in his own coaches, players, etc.) Wilson's best hope is J.P. Losman, who needs to be a 65% passer for this team to be successful.

Won't happen this year. There's always next.


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