I’ve had a few extra days to let the Bills lackluster prime time performance sink in and unfortunately it doesn’t make it any easier to write about. In just two weeks I’ve gone from casually optimistic about the Bills chances of ending the playoff drought to now wondering if Doug Marrone will get to keep his job for another season and looking ahead at who the team might target in the 2015 and even 2016 NFL drafts. I’m not completely abandoning all hope, but the way the offense looked Thursday, I don’t see things getting any better any time soon.
It should come as no surprise that I’ve ranked the offense as an F this week. The Dolphins defense is good, but it is the same unit that gave up 29 points to the Bills in September. I know a lot has changed on offense for us since then, but still a drop off of 20 points, with no TDs, in yet another game the Bills had a legitimate chance to win thanks to the defense, is just unacceptable. Red zone trouble and stalled drives have plagued this team all season and I have not seen enough adjustments in play calling to combat these issues. Good teams are able to correct issues like these as the season progresses and although the Bills have shown flashes of promise, they are not yet a good team. I know you can only do so much with the talent you have, but I feel as though there has to be a way to mimic, at least in part, what higher scoring offenses do. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but 54 total rushing yards and under 200 passing yards from Kyle Orton are stats that seldom, if ever, are good enough to win games. On a positive note, there were no turnovers so at least the conservative at times style of the Bills offense is protecting the ball. This is especially helpful when the Bills defense continues to go get the ball back at a high rate.
The defense forced two more turnovers in Thursday night’s game in Miami, recovering fumbles by Jarvis Landry and Ryan Tannehill. They also got five more sacks, 3.5 of which came from an especially intimidating Mario Williams. However, they were picked apart by Tannehill most of the night when they didn’t sack him and gashed for big runs by Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas whenever they committed more men to pass coverage to try and stop Tannehill. Despite these negatives, they only allowed two TDs and made enough plays that had the offense not been so abysmal, the Bills might have still won this game. With all that being said I’ll grade them at a C+ this week.
Samuelson Slant Grade: D+
Pretty straightforward Bills Mafia, they weren’t good and we all know it. Did I go too easy on the defense? Maybe a little overly critical on the O? Let me know in the comments