Defense, Special Teams Drag Buffalo Bills Offense to Victory

The Buffalo Bills offense looked as good as their jumpsuit uniforms.  No, it’s not a compliment.  Liking the jarringly monochromatic blue-on-blue look is the fashion equivalent of thinking Kyle Orton is a longterm solution.  Criminal taste in uniforms aside, it took the defense to create an eight-point lead in a perfect summary of the season.

Thank toucher of footballs Mario Williams for a five-point swing.  Throw in Marcus Thigpen’s bold special teams trip to the end zone, and the Bills showed how to win without much offensive production.  Now, ask Santa for a rushing or receiving touchdown.  If you’ve endured life as a Bills fan, you’ve proved you’re good.

The defense constrained a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback yet were held back by their side’s mediocre equivalent.  Again.  That’s quite a feat on consecutive Sundays.  Peyton Manning isn’t the only all-time great relieved he’s not in Buffalo’s division.

Aaron Rodgers entered the last game with a touchdown-to-interception ratio so absurdly good that it needed to be, as his irksome slogan notes, double-checked.  Brett Favre’s successor came in throwing an amazing 11.7 touchdowns per interception.  By comparison, Geno Smith has 15.2 completions per interception.  In one of pro football’s quirks, they technically both hold the same job title.

Leave it to these stifling Bills to throw off an amazing ratio.  Forty percent of Rodgers’s interceptions this season went to Bacarri Rambo in one half.  Stealing passes from someone so good at hitting his targets was as inspiring as a Sylvester Stallone franchise.  Rambo played like Rocky.  Oakland’s shaken rookie Derek Carr is hoping to be the passer who breaks the trend against Buffalo’s defenders.  Not to get cocky, but it shouldn’t help the Raiders much if you wish him luck.

Up until this week, Rodgers looked like he knew the timing for the long pass play your frustrated friends couldn’t defend in early Madden versions.  Instead of wasting his college career playing Sega Genesis, he had been on a virtually unstoppable real-world football tear.  Rodgers has thrown multiple touchdowns in 10 games this season and none only once.  Take a bow, Bills.

Orton completed just over half his attempts and was the outing’s most accurate passer.  Even a cold formula shows how atypically poorly Rodgers played.  His previous worst passer rating this season was 81.5, which means he had one prior game in 2014 with average numbers.  Holding him to a 34.3 is a remarkable statistical outlier.  Drops and poor routes don’t change how Buffalo’s defense helped inflict his career’s nadir.  Rodgers can point how he was inaccurate, just like the Bills can claim they forced him to miss.

Somebody has to excel if the Bills have any hope of squeaking into the tournament.  The offense either likes the kickers or hates the defense, as it’s tough to believe the group is this ineffective.  They can’t do any less with sweet field position.

Buffalo’s quarterback play again won’t inspire youngsters to dream of a career as an Orchard Park-based gunslinger.  Simultaneously, guards still struggle to protect him.  As for the line’s edge, we’ve seen Cordy Glenn play stronger football than this.  As a result of excessive field goals, the game’s margin remained under a touchdown when the Packers got their last possession.  Maybe the offense fears you’ll miss the tension if they conclude drives with extra points.

Even a half-complete contribution from the offense would help.  Really good play from the majority of the phases won’t get Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams the playoff appearance they deserve.  Everyone connected to the club should be motivated by unpleasant memories of searching for comfort after the playoffs are out of reach.  Someone fill in the rookies.

It won’t a moral victory for that gloomy date to be postponed until late December.  Winning and playing spoiler by knocking down New England a seed isn’t that fun.  If the quarterback wants to get on the same page as his receivers as he did earlier in his Bills career, I’d suggest Sunday would be a good time to start.

This team’s defenders should never be without steaks in their freezers again.  Dinner is on the offense.  Fans may wistfully cite the precedents of dominating defenses fielded by the Ravens and Buccaneers overcoming their respective offensive counterpart’s mediocrity.  For the Bills, limiting opponents’ points has only gotten the franchise to slightly above average.

Losing another game would mean losing the playoffs.  At least that part is simple for the Bills.  Whether through higher-percentage shorter passes or even more rushing attempts, moving the ball ought to occur with less of a hassle.  It shouldn’t take C.J. Spiller’s possible return to get the offense to be merely serviceable.  Getting to 21 with only one touchdown is a sort-of accomplishment, but scoring in multiples of seven through the more traditional manner would be a big help.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

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