A good start for the Buffalo Bills. Really optimistic we’ll do better than 7-9 this year, although Monday’s one-point loss in the final seconds to the Patriots proved the curse of Buffalo still exists and expecting a Super Bowl ring any time soon is ludicrous.
Congratulations to Freddy. Fred “Action” Jackson was packed full of his nickname last night, accounting for the vast majority of the Bills offense. He’s a great complement to Marshawn Lynch, who last night I hope really thought toting those guns around California was worth it.
Hitting the Rhode? If someone were to tell me the Bills front office last night regretted cutting Dominic Rhodes before the season, I wouldn’t be surprised. I wished we had him to complement Fred Jackson. I recognize Rhodes is a shitty pass blocker, which is bad news on a Bills team, but he could have relieved Jackson much better than Archibong Omon.
Don’t be too quick to judge Leodis. Leodis McKelvin returned a kick he could have downed. Fact. On the return, he fumbled and New England recovered, allowing Tom Brady to hit Ben Watson for the winning touchdown. Fact. But let’s think about this: was it really obvious McKelvin got the kick in the end zone? I didn’t think so – in fact, I wondered it instantly as I watched the kick come down right at the goal line. McKelvin even said after the game he didn’t know. Had he taken a knee, it would have been a safety and we’d all be talking about his decision-making. But the only real fault I can find in that play is McKelvin’s refusal to go down … and it’s tough to criticize someone for that.
I wish Tom Brady were my dad. As usual, according to the media, it’s not that the Bills played well last night, it’s that the Patriots played poorly – ideology the Patriots helped convey after the game. I think a lot of these writers put their articles together before the game is even played just to make deadline. As a journalist myself, though not in sports, I think the real story here was how the Bills showed everyone they’re a force to be reckoned with. But that wouldn’t support any of the sports writers’ preseason predictions now, would it?
Excellent job by Van Pelt. Firing former offensive coordinator Turk Schonert was not a mistake. Waiting so long to do it, as I wrote in 2007 (after a loss to the Patriots, ironically), was. Alex Van Pelt – one week on the job – did a great job Monday night. He’s only going to get better.
Crucial third down drops. T.O. Lee Evans. Fred Jackson. They were all guilty of them. Trent Edwards looked pretty conservative last night (I didn’t see any true shots down the field) because New England had both of the big wide-outs double-teamed most of the game. On top of that, I think Edwards was a little scared to test the waters downfield. Dropping perfectly-thrown passes (T.O., Evans) isn’t a good way to help that out.
More on Trent Edwards. This guy is a fast Kyle Orton with an arm. That’s not necessarily a good thing. I watched a drive stop on 3rd and three in the third quarter when the Bills were driving … that’s unacceptable when he’s got time to throw the ball and the choice of T.O., Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish, Josh Reed and a couple great tight ends as potential targets. Folks, this offense is an arsenal, but Trent Edwards needs to look beyond 15 yards.
A recipe for meltdown. I’m not predicting a classic T.O. meltdown of “throw me the ball” proportion, but I’m saying Monday night’s game fosters the environment for one. It promotes one. Sadly, I finally get to see why this happens: the media made it a point to report that T.O. had nothing to say after the game other than what was posted on his Twitter account. Look, everyone’s been looking forward to what Lee Evans is going to do this year, but he didn’t have a big night. Where are all the stories about him this morning? Bottom line is, should T.O. continue to not get catches – which we all hope equate to touchdowns – and the media keeps pestering him, he’s going to eventually blurt something stupid out in retaliation. Give T.O. props, though: while much of the Bills organization has listed just making the playoffs as their goal, Owens is the only one I’ve heard say he wants a championship. That should be reported.
Really? On a personal note, which I’m sure no one cares much about, I would have won my fantasy match-up if I’d started Trent Edwards vs. New England instead of Philip Rivers vs. Oakland. Who’d have thunk it?