Yesterday, as the Yachtsman so eloquently put it to me, the Bills snatched a blowout from the jaws of a tight game and were defeated 27-7 in front of a hushed crowd at 1 Bills Drive.
Over the course of the 3 hours, the home crowd was treated to a classic Jauron dish ... "Back-Pedaling Quarterback A La Puss". Some of the names and faces look a little different, but make no mistake about it, this was a by-the-book Dick Jauron loss.
It had all the elements. Defense keeping the game closer for a little over three quarters of the game. Special teams giving the team great field position and a bonus touchdown that swung the momentum Buffalo's way early. And an offense struggling to make 1st downs over and over and over again.
But Mr. Apologist, the offense isn't Jauron's fault. He's a defensive-minded coach, he doesn't get involved in the offense.
Oh but he does my fine anonymous friend. You see, in the NFL, the proverbial 'buck' of the coaching staff stops at the head coach. If your offense is bad, and you don't fire your coordinator until the week before the offseason starts, and the new guy still can't get Trent to throw past the 1st-down marker, guess whose fault that is... not the new guy whose only been coaching for 2 years... it's the head coach's fault. Because it's his job to bring in the coaches that he believes will make the whole team run. He's the one responsible for the grand scheme and putting a plan in place to win football games. Do you think when numerous coordinators leave or Tom Brady goes down, it's anyone other than Bill Belichick whose responsible for getting the team to 11 wins?
I mean, who do you think decided who our starting quarterback would be going into this season? Who do you think is in Russ Brandon's ear when we decide whether to go after a Jeff Garcia or a Ryan Fitzpatrick in an offseason? Who decides to cut our left tackle, offensive coordinator and backup running back in the two weeks leading up to the start of the season?
Because let's face it folks, yesterday, Dick, Perry & Co. put together a brilliant defensive plan to stop the Saints dead in their tracks and get the ball into the hands of their weapon-loaded, fast-moving offense. And for a little over three quarters Drew Brees looked totally baffled and the running attack had picked up minimal gains. After averaging 46.5 pts through the first two games, they had only scored 10 points over 45 minutes. Fortunately for them, Edwards and the offense he lead scored none.
I have defended this guy ever since they brought him in, but yesterday he looked no better than anyone else who has played the position since Doug Flutie was benched. His feet rarely looked set. He never connected on a pass for more than 20 yards. He never even got within FIELD GOAL RANGE!
Oh yeah... and the Bills were 2-14 on third down. In the fourth quarter, they didn't get a single first down, including the arguable punt call on 4-and-1 with 7 minutes left, down by 10.
That's why we brought in T.O. for $6 million? For 0 catches in 60 minutes? Oh no, wait. We brought him in to open up the field for Lee Evans. Evans, and his second-string coverage, got 4 receptions for 31 yards.
Yes, I remember the drop T.O. had. I also remember the bomb that overshot him by 5 yards.
Yes, it is hard to get consistency with a offensive line giving up pressure and poorly time penalties. But I'm sorry, if after three years Trent Edwards is still THIS rattled by pressure and penalties, then I don't know that he ever won't be. And by the way, who is responsible for such a young, inexperienced line?
You following the pattern here?
Remember going into last season when people couldn't understand why Jeff Fisher and Ken Whisenhunt seemed so confident in their decisions to start Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner, respectively, over their highly touted (and highly drafted) counterparts? How'd that work out for those guys?
The jig is up, my friends. Pull back the veil. It's Dick Jauron. Once a below .500 coach, always a below .500 coach. He'll keep you in games and then try really hard not to lose.
Yes, we did have an opportunity to win. But guess what, aforementioned friends? Every game is an opportunity to win. And when you've been getting opportunities (and by you, I mean you, Dick) to win for four years, and so far you've capitalized 22 times out of 52 chances, that means you're not doing a good job of coaching.
It should also mean that you're out looking for a new job, but... I'm done waiting for that to happen.
Four Players Leave Game With Injury
In what's becoming a disturbing pattern, four Bills were on the post game injury report yesterday...
FS Donte Whitner - Whitner left the game late in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury and had surgery today. As of now, he is week-to-week.
Projected Replacement - Jairus Byrd
CB Leodis McKelvin - Jauron announced today that "Lockdown" Leodis suffered a cracked fibula in yesterday's game and he'll be out indefinitely.
Projected Replacement - Drayton Florence
SS Bryan Scott - Scott went down a few plays after Whitner with what was called an ankle sprain. Today he'll get an MRI to check the extent of the damage.
Projected Replacement - George Wilson or John Wendling
LT Demetrius Bell - Bell also left in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. No word yet as to the extent of the injury, but for a man who is 6-5, 307 ... that could be awfully painful.
Projected Replacement - Kirk Chambers
On the plus side, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was on the sideline without a cast yesterday, so hopefully we'll see him back on the field soon.
Owens was ripped on NBC's Sunday Night Football by newly-hired announcer, known steroid user and cheap-shot artist, Rodney Harrison for being a "clown". (Tony Dungy, who mentors Michael Vick and a host of others, called guys like T.O. "difficult to coach".) T.O. responded on his twitter page by saying...
"I could less about Rodney Harrison! Anybody tht using steroids, yes STEROIDS rodney, is a cheater & cheated the game! ... Is tht Y u used steroids b/c u were worried about ur stats or ws it b/c u were losing it? Lol! U're a loser & a cheater? Got any steroid ... Hey rodney! Send me sum steroids 2 the Bills facility next week!"
I'd rather he be working on next week's game plan with Trent and AVP, than worrying about what the crew at NBC thought of his performance at the podium today, but heck, at this point I'm just hoping he can get Jauron fired.
Today, T.O. was slightly more introspective when he tweeted...
"Sittin n locker rm thinking about wht cn ‘I’ do 2 help this team. A couple of 1sts 4 me, 1st time 1-2, 1st time w/no catches since ‘96"
Again, I'd rather he tweet, "Guess I couldve said tht yestrday insted of 'I just go w/the plays that r called'", but again ... let's let him lay the charges before we start begging him to fall face-first on the plunger. Matter of fact, if this streak hits 1-5, that should be our new chant at games...
"Blow-it-up, T-O, Blow-it-up" *clap clap*
"Blow-it-up, T-O, Blow-it-up" *clap clap*
I think I'm onto something here.