Ok I know that I've started writing this before the game is over but there are a few things that I just have to say and need to get off my chest. Because what we are seeing right now is exactly why we haven't made the playoffs in 12 years.
Firstly, our D, especially our D-Line, needs to step it up against good QB's. We have plenty of talent on our D, and plenty of top notch, elite talent. Pretty much our entire D-Line is elite (or at least VERY good), and I consider both Gilmore and Byrd to be able to play at an elite level (although they may not be quite there yet). That said, good QB's seem to be able to tear up our D's at will. One glaring weakness is the LB squad though. While Barnett is very good, and Scott is showing to be an asset in the nickle package, this teams needs a true stud, every down LB to cpmplete the D. I honestly don't know what the true answer to our defensive problem is, but there is definitely a lack of consistency in our D game in and game out, and that needs to be fixed.
Although that's not our biggest issue. Our O is HORRIBLY inconsistent and I think that it comes down to two reason: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey. Now this may just be a knee jerk reaction on my part to today's game, as I am very much a supporter of both, but today we saw just about the worst of both.
On Fitzy. I love the guy, he's a great leader, a very smart QB and a very likeable player. But he's average at best and will not be the guy who leads this team to the promise land. I think that kaisertown and
Der Jeager Jason Pieri said it best in Kaiser's previous post this week, Fitzy isn't a good QB that's inconsistent, he's and average QB BECAUSE he's inconsistent. And if the Bills truly want to be able to not only reach the playoffs, but also make a championship run, with this excellent corps while they are all still in or near their prime, then the Bills NEED to draft a QB early in the 2013 draft.
I think that Fitzy would be a GREAT mentor and a superb backup QB for a young, especially if that QB sits for a season like Jake Locker has or Blaine Gabbert should have. There a re plenty of really/great QB's comming out of this year's draft, as JP points out in his CFB series, and I for one believe that the Bills NEED to draft one in the next draft.
On Gailey. Keep in mind that I truly do believe that Chan is the right coach for this team, and I think that Wanny is the right DC for this team, and I'm a fan of both. With that said, I think that Chan needs to hire a true OC that will work WITH him in order to develop a better offense (preferably one designed around the next QB). The reason i say this is that, while a great OC himself, and a very good play caller, I think that there are still a few weak spots in Gailey's game. Firstly I think that the great defensive coaches in this league have him figured out. And yes, that includes both Belicheck and Rex Ryan. For that reason i think that Chan needs help to even out his offense, and a true OC would help do that. I personally would look at guys like Norv Turner (if he gets fired this year) or a Todd Haley type running coach.
The reason I say this is because I HATE how Chan Gailey is running our running game. We have 2 ELITE running backs, including one that may very well be the NFL's next 2000 yard rusher, but Chan has yet to figure out a way to put them on the field at the same time. Which simply baffles me beyond belief. I mean sure the fact that both Spiller and Jackson didn't see the field at the same time this week against the Pats might have something to do wit the injury situations, but we didn't see anything during the Jets game, or all of last season, that indicates that Chan has figured out how to use both of our elite backs at the same time. And, i believe, that in figuring out how to use both our RB's at the same time lies the keys to a Bills playoff birth.
So all in all, no I am not pressing the panic button, after all games like this are sometimes expected when your facing then best QB in the game. But it's also games like this that truly bring out our weaknesses. And today they were brought out with glaring contrast when compared to the Patriots. So I think that the Bills need to take this game as a lesson as to how to handle the team in the future. After all, this Bills team has plenty of incredible talent and may just be 2-3 pieces away from making a real run at it. And if nothing else, this game has shown us exactly what those pieces are.