There was a time this season when it seemed absurd to think that a Week 14 match-up against the San Diego Changers would be meaningless. That time is not today. Nor really any day in the last five weeks.
We all know the situation. Chances are if you've followed DGWUS' coverage of the Bills season, the slide in performance has come with a slide in our already limited attention spans. But with the team's infirmary overrun with wounds (FOURTEEN players on the injured reserve list? Seriously?!) and the play on the field looking equally gruesome, it's hard to imagine anyone getting very excited for a game on the west coast against a 5-7 team getting ready to fire their head coach.
And so in keeping with the Scizz's Lebowski theme this season, the most relevant Dude moment to me was this classic scene from the Coen brothers' film...
The Bills are Donny. Scrawny. Kinda ugly. Easily ignored. But occasionally found to be SUPER obnoxious by his best friends.
His best friends, the Dude and Walter, are we fans. We know Donny's there, but we're busy discussing important issues in our lives. And oblivious Donny won't shut up about something that is totally irrelevant to their conversation.
It's the holiday season. The team has lost relevancy. Everyone's busy planning, be it traveling, gift buying, tree-cutting, etc., and as much as we love the Bills, we simply don't have time to waste on a game against the Chargers.
But we love them. They're persistent. They're our friend. So even though it pisses us off, we're going to acknowledge their presence, even if it is off-the-mark, meaningless and asinine.
(You might've found that to be a bit of a stretch, but hey... forget you. I love that movie. I could write about it for another ten paragraphs... don't make me do it.)
Still, as of today, the Colts maintain their stranglehold on their own throats, I mean, the first overall pick. But after that things get a lot murkier. The Rams & Vikings each only have 2 wins, followed by the Jaguars with 3. After that, Miami, Cleveland, Philly, D.C., Carolina, and Tampa all have just 4 wins a piece. Following that are the Bills and four other teams with 5 wins. That's 15 teams separated by 4 games with 4 left to play. Sooo basically we could have a great draft pick or a mediocre draft pick. Oversimplified? Yes. Pointless since we're awful at drafting? Most definitely.
But our draft position isn't (or at least, shouldn't be) the concern of the team out there on the field tomorrow. The team's goal is to go out there improve every week. To be honest, that's all there is left to do. From here, it's hard to see any game outside our division as truly meaningful. There are no statement games after you lose five in a row. So from here, let's just forget about the Chargers. I mean, really, without a winning record, who in Buffalo cares about playing San Diego?
As I've said before, the Bills biggest concern at this point should be figuring out a way, ANY way, to improve on their defense. I'm not gonna bother wasting the small amount of energy it would take to check a website for the stats on how bad we are. You don't need to see rankings to know our defensive unit is awful. And while injuries have obviously been a factor, everyone knows the problems run far deeper than that. But it's hard to imagine any grand schematic changes coming in the last four games. So perhaps the best we can hope for is to see continued improvement from the rookies.
Side note: Except you, Leodis. You calm the hell down. At best you're a serviceable cornerback who was drafted WAY too early. Stop showboating after doing what some would simply call, your job. When you start playing like Charles Woodson, you can dance all you want. Until then, knock it off.
Some of you might have noted that I didn't point out 3rd overall pick Marcell Dareus when I mentioned our most noticeable rookie. But of course, Mr. Dareus has only been noticeable by his absence as of late. Maybe it's unfair to judge a guy who draws a double-team most downs, but hey, life is unfair. Quarterbacks haven't felt threatened against a Bills front-seven in over a decade, so until that happens, everyone carries the blame as far as I'm concerned.
Then there's rookie defensive backs Da'Norris Searcy and Aaron Williams. If these two guys walked into my apartment right now and said, "Hi, we're Da'Norris Searcy and Aaron Willaims", I wouldn't know who they are, let alone recognize their skills in the secondary these days.
Look, the bottom line for me is this. We know what we have on offense. Like it or hate it, it's what we've got. But when we're healthy and it clicks, we can rack up points on anybody. However, until the defense pulls it's collective head out of it's ass, we'll never get above .500.