I was reading BuffaloBills.com and a new article that Chris Brown wrote called "Bills 1st half figures reveal identity". I figured it'd had some good information in it (which it certainly does) about what the Bills tried to do as opposed to what they were forced to do because of a sieve like defense or game circumstances.
Popular theory around here is that we threw the ball more because we were down in games and needed to in order to catch up. Also that our defense was the reason that we had to pass more because we were consistently behind and trying to catch up.
Well after reading that article I, as well I assume everyone else, now know the Bills true identity (sucking?) which is (and clearly has always been in the Chan era) a passing attack.
From the article here is a quote from our fearless leader:
"If you want to get the true measure of a football team go back and evaluate every first half of every game," said head coach Chan Gailey. "You’ll get a true idea of who they are which is what we will do as we continue with our breakdowns to see who we truly are. What kind of team we really are being able to break down the first halves of what we did."
Awesome, good thought! I was going to go do that for some "fun" but Chris Brown helped a lot. Consider the following:
1st half of games:
Pass: 61% pass, 39% run, 11 TD and 11 INT.
Run: 937 yards at 4.9 YPC
2nd half of games: 60% pass, 40% run, 13 TD and 14 INT
Run: 984 yards at 4.9 YPC
The Bills ran the ball 391 times this year and passed 578. The 187 difference in run to pass ratio (12 plays a game) wasn't because we were down in games, it's because that's what our offense is.
Here's another Chan quote:
"Today in this league I think you may have to lean a little bit more on the pass game," Gailey said. "The defensive players are so much bigger and stronger and faster than they were 15 years ago and the field has remained the same size. So for the offense the field has actually shrunk because those defensive players are so much bigger, faster and stronger. So the only way to gain an advantage is to spread people out a little bit and create more creases for running lanes, throwing lanes, things like that."
I'm sure Chan knows (does he?) that the top 3 rushing teams in attempts made the playoffs this year with 6 out of the top 12 going to the playoffs. But guess what? The top 4 passing teams in attempts made the playoffs with 6 out of the top 12 making the playoffs. Geez those numbers seem awfully similar don't they?
Know what that tells me? That tells me that teams that do something well and stick with it win. Chan goes against that grain and would rather pass the ball when we are a better running team. Now one can make the argument that our YPC is higher on rushes because of our pass to setup the run mentality. That maybe true but our 2 best offensive players are Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. You could make a case for Stevie Johnson but he's not a Buffalo Bill at this point in time and i'm not sure he's better than either of those two.
I think Chan is stuck in his philosophy because he is stubborn and that's what got him fired in Kansas City. The Bills seem better suited to rush because of our massive linemen and excellent running backs yet Chan will continue to pass to setup the run.
I see this as yet another failure of Chan Gailey. He was suppose to be a coach that worked with the players he's got and focus on our players strengths. Well we are a better run suited team yet he is too stubborn in his ways to make us a run first team.
Combine that with his odd personnel issues:
1. Moving Moats inside because he's not a prototypical OLB then flip flopping him
2. Moving S. Johnson to OLB when he cannot keep contain then refusing to take him out of that role
3. Moving A. Carrington to OLB when he cannot cover in space
4. Moving Levitre to C then only moving him after a disaster when he should have known that Urbik was a Center before and that Levitre had issues in practice that week with shotgun snaps
5. etc... etc... etc... (situations like Edwards/Fitz)
I see a coach that is destined to fail as a head coach. He's too stubborn in his ways and sees to many things in hindsight. As a coach he needs to have some foresight and use the information he has and not get caught up in his own arrogance. I'm not saying Chan's an arrogant man but his personnel decisions and unwillingness to change only after disaster strikes is not a commendable trait in a head coach. A commendable trait in a head coach is to know that disaster will strike and make a move before hand. This is something that we do not have as a coach and he clearly seems stuck in his ways.
To me this means 2 things currently:
1. Chan Gailey will fail as the Head Coach of the Bills
2. Us, the fans, are going to be hurt for longer than their tenure because they cannot identify that Fitzpatrick isn't a winning QB and they are too stubborn to go upgrade that position.