It is a beautiful concept, this idea of consensus. I am all for it, when possible. The idea behind consensus is not to be timid and passive in the face of disagreement, and to allow the most vocal and persistent to win the debate. No, the idea behind consensus is about compromise, which is to say to find common ground. Once there is common ground, we can agree on something which matters to those who disagree on other issues which also matter.
While we moan and groan over the latest loss to the Jets, there seems to be an almost 100 percent consensus, even at the highly charged and divisive blog like Rumblings, where hundreds of passionate fans agree to disagree on everything and then some.
So what is the simple, undeniable consensus fact about the beloved Bills from Buffalo? I would like to say it is to remove Edwards as defensive coordinator. But I do not believe there is true unanimous consent on this issue.
No, the 100 percent unanimity among Bills fans, and reinforced by comments coming from Coach Gailey since the bye week, is the need for a pass rush.
Yes, the pass rush. Where is our Bruce Smith, our Aaron Maybin (joking)????
Clearly, Coach Edwards has not been able to dial it up via the blitz. He has not been able to get it from Merriman and Williams perhaps because they played hurt, and at best, were shadows of themselves even before they were shut down for the season for surgery.
He has not been able to get it, with a few exceptional moments (eagles, redskins), and as a consequence, the Bills defense, despite being much better against the run, has been ripped on the pass. And the term ripped might be generous. Atrocious might be more accurate.
Both games on the road in New Jersey against the Giants and the Jets revealed how weak our front four is when it comes to generating pressure. Both games represent bookends for the beginning and the end of the end of the Bills MO. These games showed how solid the offense is, despite its own shortcomings at this stage.
The Giants game was tragic because the offense played well, but a few mistakes cost them the game, because the defense could not stop Manning when it mattered. Ditto the Jets this past Sunday. There is never any shutdown in the 4th quarter, and you have to win the 4th quarter against good football teams. And the only way to win the 4th quarter against good teams is to generate a pass rush, since the pass offense is usually what wins close games in the 4th quarter, especially in the current version of the NFL.
So we have total consensus on the Bills situation: when it comes to assessing where we need to get better, at the end of the day, everyone knows until we get better at the pass rush, we will not be a serious contender going forward.
Given this unanimous consent, we should start our public campaign now to let Nix and Company know there will be no excuses going forward: do everything possible, via free agency and the draft, to turn this weakness into a strength ASAP.
We want Pass Rushers, and we want them NOW!