“Dick Slapped”

Posted on October 4, 2009 by Patrick Moran

Dick Jauron may have had the confidence of Ralph Wilson entering this critical divisional battle at Miami Sunday.   Upon the conclusion of this latest Buffalo divisional catastrophe, I don’t fathom how that’s still possible.

Even Wilson, who embraces change about as enthusiastically as Kanye West endorses Taylor Swift,  must be verging on seeing enough to make a change sooner than later.

If Jauron still has a job come Monday or Tuesday, the seat he occupies must be hotter than the resting place of Saddam Hussein.  A home loss next week to equally hapless Cleveland could be the final nail in the proverbial coffin of a coach who gives the appearance of a man already resting in one.

The Buffalo Bills put on a defining lifeless performance on the road against a divisional opponent in the previously winless Miami Dolphins. The 38-10 final tally should be far less disturbing than the effort put forth.  Both teams basically had their seasons on the line at just the quarter point of the year.  Miami showed up, Buffalo unmistakably did not.  In fact, one could reasonably argue the Bills quit in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive week.  If that doesn’t reflect on their nice-guy, little success head coach, I don’t know what does.

Win or lose, for a fan watching their favorite NFL football team, it should be fun.   Locking into your TV for three plus hours when the Bills are on however— is starting to feel like punnishment.  At this rate, Bills fans may not have to wait until January to start looking for things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

The Bills have been ravished with injuries, but that’s hardly an excuse.  Miami was anything but fully healthy themselves.  Joey Porter missed the game.  Jason Taylor missed large chucks of action (and still had two sacks).  Chad Henne made his NFL starting debut and by comparison made his Trent Edwards counterpart look like an Arena Leaguer.

Never was the listlessness of this team more prevalent than the opening drive of the second half.  Down 17-3 at the start of the third quarter, Buffalo’s defense came out and promptly gave up 12 play, 65-yard touchdown drive that ate up over six and a half minutes to put Miami up 24-3.

The game was over, and seemingly so is Buffalo’s realistic chance to end a nine-year playoff drought.

If there weren’t questions about Edwards’ viability to be a good starting quarterback in this league, there surely is now.  Edwards looked pathetic.  When he wasn’t holding the ball too long he was checking down and dumping it off.  When he chucked a pass more than seven yards he generally telegraphed his throws so badly , J.P. Losman was envious.

He wasn’t helped by porous offensive line play, particularly from the starting offensive tackles.  It doesn’t take a football mind equivalent to John Madden or Chuck Noll to conclude neither Jonathan Scott or Kirk Chambers belong on a NFL football field, let alone a starting lineup.  Edwards was dumped six times and pressured numerous others.

But still, Edwards has had enough time and starts that he should be far more progressed.  He isn’t. He looks like the exact same quarterback who made his debut in 2007 against the Patriots.  He’s starting to take on the personality and culture of his head coach; safe and uninspired.  When he does take gambles, more often than not the results are disastrous- at least when the game was still within reasonable doubt.  How much patience this staff can have in him when he’s throwing checkdown passes on third and six is bewildering— to say the least. His final numbers for the day (14-for-26, 192 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions) says it all.  He stunk.

Speaking of futile, the Bills defense was nothing to write home about.  When the unit does one thing right, they can’t do the other things properly.   Buffalo pressured Henne all day, forcing six sacks and a pair of fumbles.  But the accomplishment was washed away after getting shredded for 251 rushing yards.  Ronnie Brown ran for 115 of them on 20 carries to go with his two touchdowns.  Ricky Williams added 85 on 16 carries.  Hell, if Larry Csonka or Mercury Morris decided to un-retire they would’ve averaged five yards a touch.

At 1-3, the Bills are far from being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.  But make no mistake about it; their season is officially on life support.  Hopefully, so is Jauron’s current occupation.

Bullets & Bits:  ♦ This was the first game where linebacker Paul Posluszny was sorely missed.  He’s no Brian Urlacher, but if nothing else he’s stout against the run.  Marcus Buggs looked completely in over his head today.  Brown and Williams had their way running up the middle of the defense, especially in the first half.  Miami ran for 123 yards in the game’s first 30 minutes and 175 through three quarters. Large chunks of that came up the middle.  It’s an area of the field Posluszny is strong at stopping.  By no means is Buggs soley responsible  for this Miami outburst.  Nobody tackled well and holes were blown  wider than the Grand Canyon… But he’s overmatched right now.

♦ I’m not saying Marshawn Lynch is or isn’t the better running back, but you can’t ignore the statistics.  Fred Jackson outperformed him and the offense seems to move the ball better when Jackson, not Lynch is in the backfield. Jackson ran nine times for 42 yards.  Lynch managed four yards on eight carries…  Seriously.

♦ Exhibit No. 50,000 on how clueless Jauron is as an evaluator; The second Brad Butler went down for the season, the Bills should’ve brought in a veteran offensive tackle to take his place.  At worst, when Demetrius Bell began having groin issues it should’ve been handled.  But Jauron’s solution was to sign a practice squad player (Jamon Meredith) and insert Kirk Chambers into the starting lineup.  The result today was predictable.  Chambers made Cameron Wake, he of CFL fame and all of one career tackles entering the game, look like Bruce Smith.  Wake had 2.5 sacks. Chambers was also flagged for holding. It’s not his fault, it’s Jauron’s.

♦ One of the few—very few bright spots for the Bills was the play of George Wilson.  Filling in for the injured Bryan Scott, Wilson produced two sacks and forced a fumble on Henne.

♦ The Terrell Owens watch:  seven passes thrown to, three receptions for 60 yards, and a drop.

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