It has been an interesting ride. Supporters were many in the early days, but many of those supporters have been lost over the course of the past several weeks. This is surprising in the sense that the defense has actually started to play average to above average ball. And in the first part of the season the Bills suffered primarily from the absence of a defense which could be called better than bad.
Chan Gailey has always impressed me with his offensive creativity, especially in light of what preceded him at OBD. He seemed to understand the game pretty well, and showed the ability to move the ball even without anything approaching world class talent.
But then the talent got better, the offensive line seemed to jell, the two headed monster backfield seemed to be a lethal weapon, and even with the struggles of Fitz, it looked as if this offense would be able to score a fair number of points.
And so we thought, well, if ever there was a game which could define the offense, it would be this one, the Indy game, what with a few extra days of preparation, a healthy Freddie Jackson and CJ Spiller, a relatively healthy offensive line, and some positive signs that the defensive side of the ball had come back from the depths of football hell to begin to resemble something called decent....
But the game got away from Chan before the first half was even finished, and he never got it back.
We have seen this happen before, but after three years, it really was too much to accept again. There are no more excuses. The wisdom is just not there. Time and again, Chan has failed to be wise in the clutch.
And it was not as if the Colts ever dominated. No it was not that. It was that the Bills played below their talent level, and displayed a lack of offensive creativity, discipline, confidence, and ultimately, will power to dominate and win the game that was there for the taking.
And so, in the biggest game of his three year tenure as Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, Chan Gailey was only able to muster 13 pts in a dome stadium against a defense that was shredded one week before in New England by the Patriots and Tom Brady.
13 points, with two field goals from inside the 35 (red zone chip shots), a pass on another 51 yard attempt, and a pass on a 4th and 8 from midfield with the game on the line and a little more than 3 minutes remaining on the clock, and arguably, any chance the Bills had to tie the game, send it into overtime, and extend their season as a playoff contender.
Chan delivered the clunker I feared was possible, but denied despite my better judgment. Chan delivered an offensive but worse, a strategic clunker, in his most important test of his tenure as Bills Head Coach.
And he went down with a whimper, not a scream, not a bloody fight, but a whimper.
Lights Out indeed.
Goodnight and Goodbye Chan.
I really thought you had it in you, but I was wrong.
We need better, and we need to, we have to, move on.
Thanks for all your hard work, and best of luck to you.