The Buffalo Bills (2-5) thoroughly embarrassed themselves Sunday, allowing the bottom-feeding Indianapolis Colts (2-5) to dominate the Bills in every possible facet of the game in a 37-5 throttling at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While Bills fans might just want to forget about this debacle, the eighth time in 23 games that a Sean McDermott-coached Bills team lost by 20 or more points, there are many disturbing trends that emerged from this setback.
What happened to Buffalo’s once resurgent defense? Where was the dominant pass rush, which just one week earlier harassed Deshaun Watson all game long, sacking him seven times? What about Buffalo’s promising linebacker tandem of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano, who looked outclassed and out of place against a potent Andrew Luck-directed offense?
In the latest edition of Billieve: A Buffalo Bills Fan podcast, host John Boccacino is joined by co-host Anthony Marino to analyze Buffalo’s embarrassing loss to the Colts.
The Buffalo Bills have now scored a grand total of 31 points (two touchdowns, five field goals, and a safety) over their last four games, and Sunday’s loss was another example of how behind the Bills are in terms of offensive creativity, talent at the skill positions, and talent at quarterback.
In the modern NFL, when teams routinely throw for 300 yards without breaking a sweat, Buffalo turned to journeyman QB Derek Anderson, who three weeks ago was retired and chasing his children around the family’s living room. On Sunday, Anderson was being chased around by the Colts defense.
It certainly wasn’t Anderson’s fault that Buffalo dropped its second straight game to an AFC South foe, although it didn’t help that Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy suffered a head injury on the Bills opening possession and had to leave the game.
Anderson started off 11 of 14 directing the offense, but after the defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs to start the game, Luck guided the Colts to a 13-play, 75-yard drive for a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.
That’s when the turning point came for Buffalo. Anderson, who until Sunday’s start had only three practice sessions under his belt with the Bills, directed a five-play, 62-yard drive and had Buffalo on the verge of scoring points. Anderson hit TE Charles Clay over the middle at the Indianapolis 13-yard line, but safety Mike Mitchell got his hand on the ball and punched it free, denying the Bills a golden scoring opportunity.
From there, the rout was on. It took Luck only 90 seconds to extend the lead to 14-0, when Milano and Edmunds were both fooled on a 29-yard TD pass to Marlon Mack, and following another Luck TD pass (one of four on the day), Anderson was picked off late in the opening half, as Buffalo went into the break trailing 24-0.
The first half was a total reversal of what Buffalo’s defense had established since halftime of Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers: the pass rush vanished as Luck had all day to dissect the defense, Milano and Edmunds were often out of position, and the unheralded trio of Colts running backs (Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins) combined for 219 rushing yards on 30 carries (an average of 7.3 yards per rush). UGH.
With the fifth-oldest opening day roster, the Bills face major questions moving forwards. How much blame for the lack of offensive talent falls on GM Brandon Beane? What can Bills fans look forward to the rest of the season?
Oh and in case you weren’t thoroughly disgusted with Buffalo’s lackluster performance in Week 7, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the high-flying New England Patriots come to New Era Field for a Monday Night Football clash on Oct. 29.
Hear answers to these questions and more in our latest Billieve: a Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast!
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