Now that we've broken down the Buffalo Bills' Week 7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last season, we'll wrap that game up in a nice little bow by re-examining some of the post-game rhetoric following that devastating loss. We'll start with the immediate post-game discussion, then move on to breakdowns offered here by Der Jaeger and Ron From NM.
Post-game: Coming off a bye week, and having watched the Bills roll over and die in two (arguably three) of their first five games, a lot of the focus in this post-game was on the positives. We were desperate for some happy thoughts. Most of the focus was on the outstanding statistical production of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson. Fitzpatrick's 373 yards ended a 56-game streak of Bills quarterbacks that hadn't thrown for 300 yards in a game.
I did take the time to touch on some of Buffalo's mistakes - and mistakes were what killed Buffalo, as they simply out-played (and out-coached, by the way) a better team. In the post-game thread, however, I stated my belief that Shawn Nelson's forward progress had been stopped on the overtime fumble. I'll rescind that statement. I think the refs made the right call.
Der Jaeger's good and bad: DJ nailed the bad, citing the team's inability to set the edge against the run and their inability to cover tight ends as major problems. Once again, misdirection plays killed the Bills in this one; Buffalo's defenders tended to bite hard on any run action in the two games we've reviewed so far. DJ's third bad item, however, seems a bit of a reach in retrospect, particularly in relation to Roscoe Parrish, who was outstanding in this game. Regarding Spiller, however, his point is very valid.
On the positive side, DJ threw "sure, the Ravens' corners are weak" into his analysis almost as an aside, but it can be argued that they were largely responsible for Buffalo's outstanding passing attack. I can't undersell just how awful they were. Chan Gailey also earns praise for his offensive play-calling, which was well-deserved, but some questionable decisions - particularly a decision to pass up a tying field goal attempt for a bad fourth-and-one play that didn't convert - weren't mentioned. Coordinator Gailey was great, but head coach Gailey was somewhat questionable, in my opinion.
Ron's O-Line notes: The folks at Pro Football Focus were not impressed with Cordaro Howard, who started and played every snap at right tackle, in this game. Ron was slightly more impressed, if only because he was not a significant downgrade to the man he replaced, Cornell Green. In re-watching, I'm with PFF - Howard really struggled, particularly in the second half (though Gailey tried to excuse that somewhat to fatigue, apparently). I also didn't see what Ron saw in terms of Andy Levitre and Geoff Hangartner in pass protection. I thought Levitre was significantly better than Hangartner in that contest.