Dec. 9, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Eugene Sims (92) hits Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) after a throw during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
What a joke. What a farce. What a miserable day at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The sad part is, the Buffalo Bills are still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but if they make it to 8-8 the chances are real slim. The Bills would have to hope the Bengals, Steelers and now the Jets all falter at some point down the stretch. This is all made possible because the caoching staff made curious decisions to set this team back.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had the game in his hands once again down the stretch and once again he threw a game ending interception. He’s 5 for 5 in that regard this season. 5 chances to win, 5 interceptions. In my Friday column I said the Bills key to winning was limiting Fitzpatrick, yet he still threw the ball 33 times while the Bills best player CJ Spiller only ran the ball 7 times. Spiller still picked up 37 yards for a 5.3 yards per carry average! Spiller is the type of player that can break a big one at any given moment, but it doesn’t happen when you limit his touches. He’ll hopefully get more of the carries in the final 3 games, because of the season ending injury to Fred Jackson, but is it a case of too little, too late?
Not only was not using Spiller part of the Bills equation, the coaching staff made some absolutely horrible decisions in play calling and clock management. Late in the first half, Gailey abused the clock and ended up kicking a field goal on 3rd down. 3rd down! Instead of running another play, taking a shot at the endzone, or even letting the clock wind to 3 seconds before calling a timeout, the Bills left time on the clock and kicked a field goal.
Then in the 4th quarter, the Bills in the Rams territory, Buffalo punted from the 34 yard line. You’re 5-7! Go for it or kick a field goal! 50 yard field goals have become routine in the NFL. If you cannot trust your kicker to kick a 50 yarder, you need to re-evaluate the position. The same thing happened in Arizona, yet we’re not talking about it because Jairus Byrd bailed Gailey out in Overtime.
After watching Sunday’s coaching debacle, it seems as though Gailey has run his course. He’s in over his head and it was summed up in one phrase in his press conference. “I was scared.” Maybe the Bills are scared because the leader guides the ship and this ship is scared.
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