I was asked to write up a season review of the bills on a site called reddit.com/r/nfl for a phenomenal football community. So I decided to re-write it up for you guys, its kinda really long but I hope you enjoy.
Team: The Buffalo Bills
Division: AFC East
Record: 6-10 (2-4 Division)
Statistics: I suck at formatting so I did pictures
2012 Season Analysis
• The major offseason move for the Bills was the major FA signings on d-line. We signed Mario Williams to a six-year, $96 million contract, the deal had $50 million guaranteed. Following Mario, we also picked up Mark Anderson from the Patriots following his 10 sack break out season. He signed a four-year, $19.5 million contract with $8 million guaranteed. When paired with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, the Bills were heading into the season with one of the most hyped up defensive lines of the entire league.
• In the draft the Bills were able to truly shore up some positions of need. The team, last year, had drafted AJ Williams as a CB hoping to hit 2nd round gold. The struck bronze and he did not play as well as expected. With Terence McGee on his last leg (literally) and Wild Card Leodis Mckelvin, the team was in dire need of some talent at the position. So they drafted Stephon Gilmore who took the starting #1 corner position coming out of training camp.
• Along with Gilmore, Cordy Glenn fell into the Bills lap during the 2nd round. Buddy Nix was quoted as saying, "Hell no he’s not a guard.. He started 50 games and the last 16 were at left tackle. We put it out there and tried to spread the rumour that he was a guard to hope somebody wouldn’t take him." It was phenomenal pick for the team that needed one more piece in the o-line to really come together as a good unit.
• Our third round pick was the project TJ Graham. Considered a deep threat with some extreme raw talent, TJ ran track in College and was supposed to stretch the field for the Bills to allow Stevie Johnson to work the middle where he is most effective.
• Following Graham was Nigel Bradahm. He was a middle linebacker at FSU who is hard and brutal hitter. Example A
• Finally in the 5th round the Bills took Ron Brooks, a kid who sat behind Morris Claiborne and Patrick Peterson for 3 years at LSU. Talk about a bad break, but he slid to the Bills here. The rest of the picks had no impact on the team except for our 7th round Kicker Josh Potter who was released after 6 games -_-
• We signed Vince Young but cut him after it was found out he owed lots of money and took out loans to throw $300,000 birthday parties for himself.
• The addition of the highly hyped Dave Wannstedt as our new Defensive Coordinator, along with Stephon Gilmore, Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Dareus, Kyle Williams, Nick Barnett, and Jarius Byrd the Bills defense finally looked like it was ready for a break out year. We could not have been more wrong (I place the blame on a miserable washed up coach whose scheme did nothing to maximize anything). On the offensive side of the ball, the Bills were looking to make the big step forward; Fitz had a full offseason under his belt as the starter. Stevie had help on the outside, Fred Jackson and CJ were supposed to dominate and Cordy Glen looked like he could be a 12 year starter at left tackle.
• We had hope.
The 2012 Season review
• The chiefs and browns wins were rather empty knowing we had to face the Patriots and 49ers. But CJ Spiller was our bright spot. He was the first player to average at least 10 per carry through the first two games since Jim Brown. Then against the Browns, in the 1st Quarter after having 58 total yards went down with a shoulder injury and was out for the rest of the game.
• I will pretend that I blacked out the next two weeks. We lost 28-52 to the Patriots and 45-3 to the 49ers.
• One note of importance- the Bills were up 7-21 during the 3rd quarter. The Pats proceeded to put up 45 points following that along with some vacuum pizzas when the score was tied.
• Who are the 49ers?
• On to the Arizona OT win, one major highlight of the season was Alex "Megahand" Carrington. He blocked 3 field goals and 1 extra point. Bruce Smith had 4 for the record in a season. We needed him to block the possible game winning field goal after allowing a 61 yarder to tie the game and then going 3 and out to allow a 39 yard attempt in the closings seconds. The Bills somehow scrape together for a win.
• In Arizona, Jairus Byrd showed how much we need to re-sign him; at this point he had 5 forced turnovers and is proving he is just a dominant Free Safety.
• Matt Hassleback contemplating retirement leads his team to victory in with a dominant drive to put the Titans up by 1 for the win. I hate life.
• Our defense decides that stopping the run is optional for these few weeks, allowing 247, 311, 182 and then 197 to the Pats, 49ers, Cardinals and Titans. My head explodes during bye week wondering if life is better as a Houston Oilers fan.
• We lose to the Texans and Patriots again. Over the past 4 games CJ has 12, 12, 6, 9 carries respectively. WOW this guy must suck right he must have a negative yards per average rush to be earning such little carries. Oh, he had a 7.33, 5.83, 6.50 and 7.78 Y/A. It was here that most people moved on from Chan as a head coach. He couldn't manage a game and insisted on Brad Smith at crucial points of the game. Brad would come in, throw a pick or lose yards. The amount of talent on both sides of the ball here is more than average but Dave Wanny and Chan wasted it with embarrassing game plans and an inability to be aggressive.
• The Bills are a 3-6 with a near impossible schedule to start the season. But starting with Miami the Bills had a supposed much easier schedule and were looking to run the table. They are facing Miami, Indy, the Jags, Rams, Seattle, Miami again, and finally the Jets, who following the offensive dysentery they had on us, opening day, seemed to have no offense left in the tank for the rest of the league. The most optimistic of us were looking at a 10-6 season. The sane ones were looking at 9-7 and realistically 8-8 with that schedule. The pessimists were scouting college QBs and hoping to lose out.
• We beat Miami on Thursday Night Football. I got blackout drunk at the stadium. It was a blast. Leodis McKelvin saved our butts with the only Bills touchdown, Rian Lindell Mr. Automatic under 50 yards hit 4 fields goals due to being Fitzpatrick unable to lead the team. Score 19-14. Things are looking up.
• We face Andrew Luck. It should be the CJ show. He had 25 touches in Miami with 125 total yards and it looks like Chan is finally recognizing the keys to winning. In Indy, CJ had 107 yards. Wow he must have had a solid game with like 25 or 30 touches. Nope. 14 rushing attempts with a 7.64 average. I want someone to rip my spinal cord out a la subzero. Fitz and Chan seal their own fate in this game IMO. Chan’s play calling was Fitz throw twice and CJ run once. It was so predictable I wanted to vomit. Fitz was having trouble hitting anything past 7 yards and down by 7 points, he throws a pick that gets intercepted. Our season is looks like it’s going down the drain, then Stevie comes up and strips the fella who picked off the ball and we get it back. The ball is on the 50 and things are looking great for us to tie it up, 4 minutes left. 1st down, Fitz gets 6 on a QB run. 2-4, Chan calls his 800th screen of the day we lose 4 yards. We throw it again on 3-8, incomplete; Fitz wouldn’t be able to hit water if he was skipping stones into Lake Erie. We punt on the 50 yard line and Luck runs out the clock. Game Lost.
• We beat the Jags ^whooooooooooo • If the Arizona game was Fitz and Chan’s downfall, the pitiful effort during the St. Louis game was the 8 feet of dirt being piled on the coffin. The defense was stout (just like the beer that I drink too much of) the whole game except for the final drive. Freddy had 14 touches along with one fumble; CJ had 7 touches with no fumbles. Chan went with the hot hand right? Wrong, Freddy had 30 yards while CJ had 52. That’s about 2 yards per touch vs. 7.5. I charted our play by play…its maddening. I color coded it so you guys know can enjoy what it’s like to watch the Bills offense this year. Blue is CJ touching the ball, puke yellow is Fitz touching the ball and puke green is Freddy touching the ball. Offensive Plays We lose 17-50 to the Seahawks our old defense shows up =) Beast Mode, his 24 karat gold and emerald grill, and the rest of the Seahawks run for 270 yards. Russell Wilson rushes for 3 TDs and tosses another.
• Why did I volunteer to do this?
• We lose to Miami in miserable fashion. Watching the offense is offensive. It looks nice with lots of CJ but checking the series ending downs you’ll see the true story. Let me lay it out: o 2 Incompletions, CJ 5 yards o Incompletion, Tashard choice -3 yards, 2 yard pass play o CJ 5 yards, 2 Incompletions o CJ twice, Completion, Halftime o CJ 4 yards, CJ -1 yard, Screen Play o Fitz Fumble o Incompletion, Brad Smith 1 yard, CJ 6 yards o Incompletion, End of game
• Here is another game log of the offense -_-
• Why when the Freddy hurt his leg during the end of the Rams game. So who would have guessed it, but CJ put up back to back 100 yard games, 103 vs. Seattle and 138 against the Miami with 17 and 22 carries respectively.
• Empty win vs. the Jets. Looking back, there was nothing better for the team going forward to lose those four games to the Colts, Rams, Seahawks and Dolphins. It allowed Buddy Nix and Russ Brandon to realize the team needed a change at both the head coaching and Quarterback positions.
Thus Ends the Season Review
• Well the high points of the season looking back were never very high except for CJ. I suppose I should apologize for this turning into a CJ circle jerk, but in reality, he was the best part of the whole season by a long shot. When we picked him at 9th overall it was considered a waste and such a dumb pick. Next year if Doug Marrone uses him correctly and he has 20 plus touches a game, he could lead the league in yards, no exaggeration. He started the season with 169 yards on 14 attempts against the Jets and 123 yards on 15 attempts against Cleveland. He has the ability to compete with Purple Jesus for best running back in the league if he could just get the touches AP gets.
• Fitz had a few high points, but perhaps his best game was against the Titians in which he went 27-35, threw 3 TDs and one pick. This game was a summation of him as the Bills QB. He had us in the lead 34-28 with his great performance and had gotten the defense off the hook several times. But with 3 minutes to go, he throws an embarrassing duck about 15 yards down the sidelines to S. Johnson even though he was being blanketed. It looked like a back shoulder throw but it was just an embarrassing read on his part. The Chris Johnson tore up the defense and took the lead.
• Alex "Megahand" Carrington 3 field goal blocks and 1 extra point. The man was single handedly….responsible for a win in Arizona. His other blocks were in week 9 against the Texans, an extra point by the Seahawks and the final of the season was against Miami.
• Stephon Gilmore without a doubt showed he was capable of being a #1 Corner back. In Saint Louis he had a pick 6 which was great play but was called back thanks to a hold. We got a field goal and lost by the difference.
• Cordy Glenn was a bright spot, starting 13 games at LT and really stepped into his role perfectly. • Nigel Bradham stepped up as a 4th rounder and won the starting Strong Side Linebacking job. • Mario Williams finally starting playing like the $96 million dollar man we were paying him to be instead of Susan Storm i.e. The Invisible Woman. • Chan Gailey said that he sometimes sat CJ because he thought CJ was getting winded. HAHA what a Hoot. • Buddy Nix admitted that Fitz wasn’t our QB of the future.
• The Run defense. You’d think with $115 million* being spent on the D line in the offseason our d line would be able to stop the run? Nope, The Pats put up 247, 49ners 311, Cardinals 182, Titans 197, Seahawks 270 and Dolphins 182. I’m hanging my head in shame for them.
• Our QB put us out of more games, than Jenna Jameson puts out, with crucial interceptions. I will not go back and count. I’m a masochist to a point.
• Losing to the 49ers and Alex Smith 45 to 3 was not so bad, most of us turned off the TV, I on the other hand enjoyed watching defense allowing 600 total yards allowed.
• Fred Jackson thinks he is as good as CJ, Chan believed him. He is good, I’ll give him that. A hard worker and great leader, but when he was out of the lineup, CJ had over 10 yards per carry the first two weeks. • I have less liver than I projected myself having when the season ended.
• Aaron Williams was rated one of the top 10 worst CB in the league. Hopefully he can make the move to SS.
Free Agency/Draft Concerns
ILB, OLB, MLB, SLB, QB, WR, CB, and TE
As you can see, I listed every possible line backing position. We have no true starter at any of the positions since Nick Barnett was released due to a failed physical. Anyone signed would be an upgrade but specifically I believe the Bills are looking at Bart Scott, due to his success in Pettine system, Paul Kruger because who isn’t, and possibly Manny Lawson. Our QB situation currently is Fitz and Travaris Jackson competing in spring training.
People are making strong correlations to Miami last year who had Matt Moore and David Garrard competing but then beat out by the 8th pick in the draft, Tannhill. In a perfect world Geno falls to us also at 8. But considering perfection doesn’t exist in the Buffalo Bills vernacular I hope we can get the right guy through the draft. Hopefully we are looking at every draft pick under the sun to find the right guy. Nassib who played under our new Head Coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse has been linked to us and hopefully his poor performance at the senior bowl leads to him dropping in the 2nd round.
Buddy Nix has come out and said that we need a big strong outside WR to "be open when he is not." That man is currently not on our roster. The men linked to us are Dwayne "The Bathtub Bowe, Ramses Barden and possibly Harvin even though he doesn’t fit the bill. Also, I would not be surprised if the Bills went QB in the second and took a Quinton Patton, Terrance Williams or Robert Woods. Finally a guy who is being hyped up a bit is Darrin Moore Jr. I would check him out if I were you, the kid is a freak.
Our cornerbacks after looking past Gilmore are more random than that copypasta Doom penguin. Ron Brooks shows talent but gets burned consistently, Leodis improved this year but is a FA, and Aaron Williams will hopefully move to SS. We need one legitimate player here, but no one knows where he will be coming from.
TE is a position of mystery; Scott Chandler will be coming off of Achilles heel surgery so the position is a toss-up. Personally I would love to snap up Dustin Keller, Martellus Bennett or even Jared cook. They all fit the requirements stated by Buddy Nix as being younger tight ends to play alongside Chandler. OG Andy Levitire has been a mainstay on our line since around 2009 when he was drafted. We could use this guy back for some continuity on the line, how could you not want this fella back. But for if he commands more than 7 million I could see the new analytics department leaving him on FA. A guard doesnt have the type of impact on winning the way other FA needs could be addressed fro 7 million plus.
Well that was painful but slightly entertaining to go through old film. I was able to get all excited and let down again all over. The Bills entering into the season were supposed to go 10-6 in many a sane man’s head due to their "weak schedule." Alas going 6-10 was not in the plans but the organization is no longer headed by Ralph Wilson and Russ Brandon has taken the team in a drastically new direction. Our head coach is has experience in the NFL under Sean Payton but has only been a head coach at Syracuse where he turned a miserable college team into a bowl contender. He brought along a young and inexperienced offensive coordinator who will be calling the plays. Mike Pettine also has come over to get out from underneath the monstrous shadow of Rex Ryan and hopefully will give this talent loaded defense a scheme in which they can succeed. This next season will be a roller coaster for sure, which hopefully more to look forward too than just the mystery that awaits us at this moment prior to the 2013 season. I’m sorry that my biased shows through a lot, I hope it was albeit a long read, also a good one.