After six strong performances in a row, the Bills played like they did earlier in the season, and above all else, like a team that is 2-10.
The game started out great for the Bills, as Arthur Moats nailed Brett Favre from behind to pop the ball loose which was recovered by Drayton Florence for the INT. Next defensive possession, Florence again comes up big and has a pick six. But it was all downhill from there. Leodis McKelvin helped give the Vikings 14 points, by letting Sidney Rice reach over the top of him for the score (should have been offensive pass interference, nice hometown officiating job), but either way McKelvin should have swatted the ball away instead of trying to play the hero and go for the INT. Then on the ensuing kickoff, McKelvin again for the second week in a row runs into the back of another Bill and the ball pops loose (McKelvin should have switched the ball to his opposite hand). On the same drive, on 3rd down, McKelvin holds onto to the arm of the Vikings WR on an overthrown ball, and gets a pass interference penalty. So it goes from 4th down and a possible FG attempt to 1st and goal at the 2. Also, the Bills porous run defense could not stop Adrian Peterson, even with an injured ankle, as Peterson ran for over a 100 yards and had three rushing TD’s.
Offensively, the Bills could not get anything going. Fitzpatrick was getting bounced around like a pinball all day long. The O-line, especially the Tackles had their worst game of the season. Also, the Bills injury bug continues to haunt them as they lost starting center Geoff Hangartner, and his replacement Kraig Urbik for the season.
The only positives from this game, the defense made good halftime adjustments, as they allowed 7 points, which brings their three week 2nd half total to 13 points allowed (but it doesn’t help when they give up 31 first half points). The defense also had 4 INT’s for the day (Too bad the offense/special teams had 5 turnovers). And Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his touchdown streak and has 20 TD’s for the year.
Other than that, there’s nothing positive about the game. The Bills were beaten badly and were outcoached by a guy the Bills were trying to hire as their Head Coach this past offseason. Gailey admitted he didn’t have the team prepared and he learned a lot of his team (which he plans to keep to himself). In my opinion, I think Gailey realizes that even though Bell has been playing decent for most of the year, Bell cannot handle the elite pass rushers of the NFL. Maybe Gailey will shift Bell to Right Tackle next season and get a good Left Tackle in the draft, or maybe he makes Bell a backup. Whether that comes true or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, there will be some turnover on this team in the offseason as Nix & Gailey will weed out the players they feel can’t make a difference and get players that will improve this team. Guess we have to remember what Ralph Wilson said to us Bills fans: “Pain and Patience”.