First, I want to apologize for my absence last week – my grandpa unexpectedly passed away last Saturday. An avid St. Louis Rams’ fan, he would watch the Bills and cheer them on as well. When they inevitably would start losing, or playing badly, he’d turn the t.v. off and start grumbling. Here’s to Grandpa, I’ll grumble on his behalf today.
In a year when the AFC is mostly made up of teams with so-so records, and the AFC East in particular is a free-for-all in which it’s still anyone’s division, the Buffalo Bills failed to capitalize, again, and continued to rapidly diminish what looked like a fairly good chance at making the playoffs this year.
Coming into the game this week against the 6-1 Houston Texans, the Bills were underdogs and not many people, including their fans, believed they could win this one. Chalk this one as a loss and move on, many (including myself) said.
But the Bills’ defense actually showed up for some of this game, and were able to contain Arian Foster enough to go into halftime only down 7-6. They possibly could have been up 9-7 had Lindell not missed a 37-yard field goal.
In addition, Mario Williams recorded a sack and 7 tackles. After coming off the bye week having had a procedure on his wrist, he hopefully fixed whatever injury he was suffering from and will continue on improving his performance from here on out. Despite being happy about his improvement, it frustrates me because I wonder 1) why the Bills didn’t take care of his wrist issue earlier and 2) why he would continue to play that hurt if it affected him that much, even though it hurt the team.
However, in true Buffalo Bills’ fashion, the Bills just didn’t take advantage of their opportunity to get ahead of a slow-to-start Houston team who was not as sharp as they have looked all season. The Bills were held to only 78 total rushing yards. The Bills simply need their rushing game to win, with Stevie Johnson suffering an injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick continuing his decline into mediocrity.
Next week the Bills play the Patriots, and as we saw earlier this year, the Bills’ defense will have to play the full four quarters to have any chance at winning that game. Mario Williams, now healthy, can win back some Bills fans by sacking Tom Brady, or at least getting some pressure on him to throw Brady off his game. Even with a stellar defensive performance, the Bills’ offense has to get hot to try to match the Pat’s inevitable scoring. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller hopefully can get going again against the lackluster Pats’ defense. The Bills face a very good chance at going 3-6 after next week’s game, a harsh reality that will hopefully motivate this team to play like there’s no tomorrow.