For the Bills, the bye week couldn’t come at a better time.
Sure we may have to listen and read the talking heads spew off about how the team is in trouble because they fell apart in one game but the signs of a letdown have been there all season. This team needs to play near-perfect football if they want a shot at the postseason.
The rolled over Seattle but they needed late fourth quarter rallies against the Jaguars and the Raiders, not exactly elite teams. St. Louis gave the Bills trouble early, but Buffalo handled them like a good team should.
Arizona presented a whole different set of problems that fans are going to be worrying about until the next game on Oct. 19.
Perhaps the Bills were going to start off the game with a bang. Completing three passes to players they want to be more involved in the offense was a good sign. Robert Royal, Fred Jackson and James Hardy all caught balls before the hit.
Then Trent Edwards went down, sustained a Tim Connol…err a concussion and all hell broke loose.
J.P. Losman entered the game and the team looked shaky. Three lost fumbles and interception for an offense supposedly on the rise doesn’t just happen.
Marshawn Lynch shouldn’t be limited to 13 carries and Jackson needs to touch the ball more that four times. Lee Evans scored a touchdown, but that one catch accounted for half of his receptions on the day (Evans only had two catches last week, too). Part of that is coaching and playcalling. Part of it is quarterback play.
Losman isn’t the quarterback for this team. He hangs onto the ball too long because he isn’t decisive enough. He lacks the instincts necessary to run an effective offense. He’s got a livewire arm and a good set of legs, but what good are those tools when you question the head he’s got on his shoulders?
Sad thing is, Losman is probably thinking more clearly than Edwards is on this Monday afternoon.
The Arizona Cardinals got slapped around against the Jets last week. They came home to send a message to the league against what looked like one of this year’s elite teams in the Bills.
Buffalo couldn’t answer the call.
Sure injuries are a part of it. Starting without Terrence McGee and Roscoe Parrish isn’t good news. Losing Edwards and Ko Simpson in the game certainly doesn’t help. But the Cardinals were without one of their big time threats in Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner still threw 42 times. And won.
Either way, it’s no time to panic. It’s the first real test of adversity the 2008 squad has had to face. Injuries are nothing new. Last season they were starting fourth-stringers and still held on to Wild Card aspirations. Football has a short season but there are plenty of games left to be played.
Six weeks ago, everyone would have been ecstatic to start 4-1 heading into a home match against San Diego after the bye. But the way the Bills lost this week has everyone scratching their heads.
The extra rest will give the team time to rest up and heal up, specifically Edwards and McGee.
The bye week will allow them to analyze the Arizona game and try and figure out what exactly went wrong. They can look at the first five games as a whole and find out what went right. Time is on their side.
The Bills are still in first place. For now.