Words cannot begin to describe how poorly the Bills performed on the field today, losing 27-6 to the Tampa Bay Bucs. They simply showed no energy and little effort against a statistically puny team that featured the league’s 30th ranked offense and average defense. This was a huge setback for the Bills especially with QB E.J. Manuel who had his worst outing as a pro to date. This loss was not just bad, it was embarrassing and if the Bills have any hope of selling out their last home game, let alone next season, they will need to show a strong outing against a bad Jags team.
Rushing Offense: F
Hot and cold Spiller was icy despite the hot temperature with just 11 runs for 22 yards while Fred Jackson was not much better with touches for 12 yards. E.J. Manuel had 29 yards on 5 scrambles. The O-Line got ravaged by the Bucs.
Passing Offense: F-
Four picks, 3 definitely on E.J. with one of those popping out of Robert Woods hands as he got decked (seriously what is a hit on a defenseless receiver!!). The fourth was off a botched reception by Stevie Johnson who led the team with 5 catches for 67 yards. The O-Line gave up 7 sacks on the day although some were from a lack of awareness by E.J. Manuel.
Run Defense: F
The Bills continue to be brilliant one moment and then be abhorrent the next. A backup RB started the day running for an 80 yard TD almost untouched. The Bucs finished with 155 yards on the ground, well above their season average. The Bills need to fill gaps and make tackles.
Pass Defense: B-
Yes the Bills gave up 2 passing TDs to Glennon, but kept him to just 90 yards in the air, got 2 picks of their own and kept Glennon to a 40.4 QB rating. Gilmore actually had a decent game, the 38 yard TD to Vincent Jackson was due to poor coverage by Robey (seriously – 6’5" receiver v 5’6" corner – what did you think would happen!) The D-Line lacked any serious pressure although Dareus did get a sack on the day.
Special Teams: C-
McKelvin had two fumbles on punt returns and lost one deep in Bills territory. On the plus side, Carpenter was 2 for 2 while Brian Moorman finished with 7 punts with a 43.7 average and 3 inside the 20.
Marrone had another successful challenge, but that was his only high note. The Bills had 5 turnovers and 11 penalties for 114 yards. Worse, the players showed little efforts against a team that they should have beaten. Marrone needs to stop the lethargy now even though this season is loss, that’s what happened the turn of the century and look where that has gotten the Bills now. And yes I have a game ball below (as per tradition) but really it’s the best of the worst for whom it goes to…
Here’s a new section I may or may not continue. So with my First Round Possibles article (thanks for all the positive feedback guys!), I started to throw out some names Bills fans may want to keep an eye on although this list will be amended as time progresses. I am still not going to include a first round QB, they take time to development unless E.J. continues to play like today. The offensive line needs major help particularly at right tackle given Pears’ struggles. An OLB would go a long way to shore up the run-D and add another pass rush threat to fit Pettine’s defense. The Bills could also go with a tight end. Lastly, I am definitely warming up to a tall starting receiver… give E.J. as much help as you can.