Just Where We Want Them


Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)

Bills DE Aaron SchobelRelax. We (the Bills) have everything under control. Everything is going just as we planned. The rest of the league won’t know what hit them once we unleash our diabolical plan on those unsuspecting fools! Muhuhahahahaha!!!!

Perhaps that’s what’s going on at One Bills Drive? Maybe this 0-2 start, with the worst offense the NFL has seen in years, is all part of some grander scheme? Maybe JP is setting himself up to be “Comeback Player of the Year”?

OK, maybe not. But I do think it’s too early to hit the panic button.

Chris Brown, of BuffaloBills.com had an interesting article on his blog today. He presented the history of recent 0-2 teams who made the playoffs, even won the Super Bowl. Certainly that is not out of the realm of possibilities for this year’s Bills team, but is it likely?

In another article at BuffaloBills.com today, Aaron Schobel expressed his frustration at what he feels are very good Bills teams over the past seven years having very poor beginnings, and ultimately not making the playoffs. Obviously, the start to this season adds to that frustration. Here’s what he said:

“To play as bad as we have, I played bad, it’s irritating. It’s been seven years where I feel like we’re a good team and we haven’t gotten it done. It is a bit irritating but the only way to change it is to start winning games and we’ve got find a way to do that.”

It’s good to see the frustration. It does mean they still care. Certainly we know that already, but sometimes you do wonder. I mean, how does this happen every year? In the article, Schobel pointed out that the Bills have only won ONE time in the last TWELVE tries against the Patriots! And this week’s game might be tougher than any of the past 12! He’s right that winning can turn things around, it can build confidence that gains momentum. But how do you begin?

I mentioned on our show this week that I really think the play calling needs to be “opened up”. I agree with JP. We need to “let it rip”, as Dave so thoroughly reminded us. But I do not mean that we just need to start throwing the ball deep on every play. I mean we need a wider variety of plays out there. Mix it up a bit more. Let JP do some roll outs. Some bootlegs. Work in some play-action. Get a screen to Marshawn to actually work. Get Roscoe the ball on a quick slant where he can keep running. Do some more 5-yard quick outs. Stop doing those quick throws to the WR who is two yards behind the line of scrimmage. Run more of those end-arounds with Reed, or Parrish, or even Evans.

There are a lot of ways to spice up this offense, and I think that will help this team a lot. Everything I am hearing from the players and coaches says that they are a lot closer than most people think. Close doesn’t get it done, but it could mean we would see a very quick and complete change in the offensive output of the Bills.

JP Losman is very much under the gun once again, and I do think it’s deserved, but not entirely. In a conversation this week with a friend and fellow football fan, we discussed how it seems so obvious that JP is the problem. It looks to our eyes like he can’t hit the passes he is given. He throws high, low, behind, and just generally off target. He’s skittish, jumpy, indicisive, and really looks like a rookie back there.

But he’s no longer a rookie.

So, the simple solution – from our vantage point, and that of the media – is to replace the part that’s not working. Lynch is looking great, the offensive line seems to be protecting Losman fairly well… the only thing left is the QB, right?

Apparently, that’s not right. The coaches, and the other players are quick to defend JP. And I don’t think that they’re just taking care of their own. I really think they believe it. Lee Evans said when a QB struggles like that, it means the whole offense is not doing their job. JP also mentioned that the Bills would do well to open up the play calling a bit.

All of that leads me to believe that the Bills know something we don’t know. These guys are not bound by some strange loyalty pact. Sure, they are a solid team, who enjoy being together even beyond the football field, but they have a job to do. They also want to win. (And if they don’t win, they won’t have a job to do for long!) They also know a thing or two about football, I’d say a good deal more than your average fan, or sports journalist. So, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, and watch to see if what they think is there finally does materialize.

Only time will tell with that one. That being said, I’m pretty glad we have a very solid back-up plan in Edwards. 🙂

It’s very early in the season. We have played two very good teams (both of them are now 2-0) and one of those games we led for practically the entire game. We are about to play a third impossible team, in their own stadium. It is quite likely that the Bills will leave that field 0-3. Does that spell the end of the 2007 season? Perhaps. But perhaps not. Is it a sure thing that the Bills leave with a loss? Perhaps. But perhaps not.

The odds actually seem to be in our favor. Having won only 1 of the last 12, it would seem the Bills are due. (Although the Bills actually went 0-for-a-decade against the Dolphins in the 70s. Ouch.) Also, recent history includes two games in Foxboro that the Bills led until late in the game. Only to lose because they couldn’t finish the game.

Schobel said regarding the Patriots, “To me it seems like the difference between us over the years is they have been able to finish games and we find a way to lose ours.”

It’s not time to panic yet, especially if the Bills can somehow put together a game plan – and a 110% effort – for a victory against the Patriots. That would certainly bring them back to the Ralph feeling much better about themselves, and perhaps set them on the road to finishing more games.

It can’t happen until it happens. And it has to start somewhere. Why not this weekend in Foxboro? It’s so completely improbable. But not impossible.

Stranger things have happened.