If you’ve been a regular reader of the Roost since our inception (a whopping four months ago), I’m sure that you’ve realized that I am the pessimistic one, Ryan is the eternal optomist, and Chris represents the middle ground (I don’t really know where Rich falls in there).
Today is no different.
I am not high on this Bills team. Today solidfied that. I’m fully convinced that it will be a football-less January down on One Bills Drive yet again. You can try all you want, but you won’t be able to sway me otherwise. I don’t think our quarterback is ready, I don’t think our defense is good enough, and I certainly don’t think the Bills will be able to overcome the plethora of injuries suffered earlier. Say what you will, but this Bills team is (still) in rebuilding mode, at least one year away from contending for even a wild-card spot.
Perhaps the least encouraging thing I took from the game is how awful the Broncos looked. Their offense in particular looked rather lost, with Jay Cutler showing his youth (i.e. passing backwards while under pressure.) The Broncos run defense certainly didn’t look stellar. If we can’t win a game in which the opposing team looked so sloppy and relinquished so many oppurtunities to take control of the game, how are we going to compete with contenders?
So, without further ado, I present your Week 1 positives and negatives.
– The beginning of the Bills opening drive. There was a great rhythm, with each play going for positive yardage (at least at first). Unfortunately, Marshawn Lynch missed a blitz pickup (rookie mistake, for sure), and the drive stalled. (Upon further review, maybe this should be under the negatives.)
-Marshawn Lynch had a very good first game, overall. After a rather quiet first quarter, Lynch picked up a huge first down at the end of the first half on a second-effort play after having his helmet dislodged at the line of scrimmage. To someone who was a bit skeptical of having a rookie as a starting RB, Lynch really proved himself to me. I can’t wait to see him play next week, and there may be one of those obnoxious “Money” shirts in my future. Lynch later scored on an impressive 23 yard run, where he showcased his blazing speed and his ability to run through people. Lynch may single-handedly make the Bills season watchable.
-Josh Reed. His numbers were pedestrian (a measly four catches for 37 yards.) What the numbers don’t show are the difficulty of said catches. Reed further proved that he isn’t afraid to go over the middle, and held onto the ball despite heavy traffic and big hits. Also added a halfway decent end around to boot.
-Return teams. Roscoe Parrish’s TD return was great, he had tons of room to run and hit holes at an alarmind speed. Terrence McGee would have returned a kick (which in hindsight, may have won the Bills the game), but for whatever reason, all-pro Champ Bailey was on the field to stop him (Ask Romeo Crennel and Kellen Williams what they think of having stars on special teams.) Mario Haggan also laid a monster block in the second half on a punt return, but Parrish wasn’t quite able to spring loose.
-Jim Leonhard. He filled in rather nicely for Ko Simpson, finishing with a part in 13 tackles and throwing in a pick.
-The refs. Very good job today, in my opinion. Got the right call on the Brandon Marshall TD grab as well as the Jay Cutler shovel pass late in the game.
– Special teams coverage units. Josh Scobey pulled a boneheaded move in making contact with Domenik Hixon in the second half, ruining a great punt by Brian Moorman. Another penalty also wiped out another Moorman gem, this time late in the game, leading to what proved to be the winning drive. Something tells me that Elam doesn’t drain that kick if he’s another fifteen yards back.
-The injuries. Webster, Wire, Simpson, and Everett all out, along with Ellison from a prior injury. My heart goes out to Everett and his family, as this serves as a chilling reminder that there is so much more to life than a stupid game. Get well soon, Kevin.
-Rian Lindell’s post-missed FG reaction. Never have I seen a professional athlete look so pathetic.
– Randy Cross’s color commentary. I hate that man. Get off of TV, you fool.
– The “C” on captain’s jerseys. They look ridiculous. Please, leave the “C” to hockey.
– Brad Butler’s false start penalty and JP’s ensuing interception. Butler’s penalty at the end of the first half put us out of range for a FG try (one that may have won us the game), and JP’s ill-advised throw almost resulted in a Bronco’s TD that would have sucked the life out of the Bills going into the half.
– JP Losman, in general. Looked pretty awful, but that may be a testament to the stellar Broncos pass D. We shall see in future weeks. Sorry JP, but 93 yards just isn’t going to cut it.
– The game. It was a pretty terrible game to watch. Very little flow, very little offense. Hope things improve, but I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath.
I am begging for the Bills to prove me wrong, don’t get me wrong. But as a proud fan of a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the new milleneum, I’m not going to hold my breath.