NFL – Bills’ Game Review

19 Dec

After the Miami Dolphins blew out the Buffalo Bills, 35-8, earlier in the season, some of the Miami players accused the Bills of “laying down”. The Bills got their chance to respond to those accusations this Sunday, but that response was to lay another egg, as they played an uninspired game marred by turnovers, penalties and blown assignments on defense. The mistake-filled effort led to the Bills’ seventh consecutive defeat in what has turned out to be an extremely disappointing season. The final score was a respectable 30-23, as the Bills made a late charge to make it look closer than it really was. Buffalo’s defense didn’t play a bad game, but gave up 3 touchdowns on big plays that appeared to include major breakdowns. The first was a Matt Moore to Anthony Fasano pass on a play that found the Dolphins’ big tight end wide open as Bills’ safeties George Wilson and Bryan Scott looked at each other bewildered. The second was a Moore to Brandon Marshall bomb that burned veteran Drayton Florence, who in recent weeks looks like he is playing his way out of the team’s 2012 plans. The final one was a 76 yard run by Reggie Bush, who had 200+ yards on the ground for the game. Still, the defense wasn’t the major culprit this time. Buffalo’s offense was terrible, ruining drives with costly penalties all day long and turning the ball over with 3 Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions. The special teams made their weekly negative contribution also, giving up long punt returns all day long and getting a missed chip shot field goal attempt by Dave Rayner.

Rather than dwell on the many negatives the Bills provided again in this game, it may be better to just list the few bright spots from the game. They include, on offense, the play of C.J. Spiller, who had the best game of his young career, and the play of both Stevie Johnson and David Nelson. They both are consistent in what they provide to the attack each week, and on a team that sorely lacks depth, it’s critical that the Bills sign Johnson to a long-term contract if they want to show their fan base that they’re serious about building a winning organization. On defense, the play of 3 rookies – Aaron Williams, Kelvin Sheppard and Marcel Dareus – was encouraging. Williams led the team with 6 tackles and had a forced fumble, while Dareus got a sack, which has been an extreme rarity with this defense this season. Another plus was the kickoff return effort by another rookie, Justin Rogers. He averaged 33 yards per return on 4 returns, with his best being a 54 yarder.

1 Comment

Posted in Football

  1. Louise

    December 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Offensive line had a bad game – specifically newly signed Eric Pears. Too many penalties that killed drives forcing Fitz to try to do too much. He had pressure on him all day as well causing some of those errant throws. Still think Fitz has it in him as a QB but needs Fred Jackson and Eric Woods back to shore up offense. Hope Chan Gailey can come up with some creative ways to use both Jackson and Spiler in the backfield next season. Could be a really dynamic duo if everyone stays healthy.