I’m not surprised the Buffalo Bills fell at the hands of the New England Patriots and you’re digging for fool’s gold if you feel otherwise. Sure, the Bills defense played inspired in the first half against Tom Brady and high powered New England offense in holding them to three field goals. Buffalo went into the locker room trailing by just six in game that felt winnable at the half. However, far too much experience taught us to know what was coming in the second half. New England pulled away and won comfortably, 23-3 on an afternoon where the score was closer than it felt like it should be.
The Bills fell to 6-6 and got next to zero help around the AFC wild card chase. The Chiefs fell to the Jets but Baltimore, Jacksonville and Tennessee all won to stay ahead while San Diego and Oakland caught up. Even if Buffalo goes on to beat Indianapolis and Miami twice, suddenly nine wins isn’t looking like a lock to win a postseason berth. Hell, at this rate it may even be unlikely.
While I was heated at the Bills pathetic offense throughout parts of the game, hours later I found myself relieved — relieved because in my mind six questions were definitively answered Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor is done in Buffalo: Taylor got hurt on the first offensive play of the game and lasted until getting carted off in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. He started by completing four of his first five passes for 35 yards. With the Bills inside the 10 Taylor’s sixth pass was one of the worst of his career, tossing a gift interception to Eric Lee (more on him shortly) to thwart Buffalo’s threat. Following the pick Taylor completed 5-of-13 passes for just 30 yards the rest of the way before departing. He’s now thrown for 121 yards combined over his last two home games. He was visibly shook after the interception and reverted into everything we loathe about him — a overabundance of checkdowns far in front of first down markers, sometimes inaccurate and that’s when he bothered to throw the ball at all. Look, I’ve been a fan of Taylor more than most and always understood both the pro and anti-Tyrod camps along the way. After today, however, it has to be universally accepted that it’s permanently over for him in Buffalo. That means whether his knee is bad and physically can’t play or Sean McDermott shelves him regardless and gives more time to Nate Peterman. Taylor won’t quarterback the Buffalo Bills in 2018 and after today I think even his most ardent backers know that. Whether it’s a trade, free agent or far most likely the draft, this organization must find a clear upgrade.
Rick Dennison Will Not Be Offensive Coordinator In 2018: Seriously, do I really need to waste your time having to explain that shit?
Jordan Matthews Is Pretty Much Useless: Remember when the Bills traded Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles and we were excited because Darby fetched both Matthews and a third-round pick? Well, hopefully that third rounder pans out because it’ll save the trade from being a total disaster. Matthews had one catch for 14 yards against New England and has just four for 43 yards over his last three games. This comes at a time where he’s been needed more than ever with Kelvin Benjamin injured. In fairness to Matthews his pitiful numbers aren’t entirely his fault, as we all know Taylor has issues pulling the trigger delivering footballs to wide receivers. Still, I watch the All-22 every Tuesday and it feels like the dude rarely gets open. Matthews possesses hammered tailgater in the parking lot separation ability. He’ll likely want far more as a free agent this offseason than he’s worth, at least to Buffalo and I’ll be floored if he’s back.
A Rookie is Buffalo’s Best Defensive Player: He suffered a concussion on a douchebag level filthy hit by Rob Gronkowski after picking off Tom Brady in the second half and hopefully it doesn’t keep him long. Before departing the kid played his ass off. He’s been far from perfect his rookie season but has already proven to be a game-changing playmaker. If the Bills don’t land a very good quarterback in next year’s draft, 2017 will always be known as the year Buffalo passed on Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. It’s a shame, because White has been everything the Bills could’ve realistically hoped for this season and deserves to be a pick fans should brag about.
The Bills Gambled And Lost Out On An Extra Third Round Pick: The Bills had a Week 10 deadline decision to make that could’ve netted them a third-round compensatory draft pick next year. Getting the pick entailed cutting three players from the roster that were signed as free agents this year, with Vlad Ducasse, Ryan Davis and Andre Holmes being the likely candidates. However, the Bills were 5-3 at the time and releasing three active players for a future pick wouldn’t have been a good look, not to mention a blow to their depth. It was certainly understandable then but in hindsight a decision they’ll regret considering that while Davis is decent depth Holmes is inept and Ducasse is perhaps the worst starting guard in the NFL. It’s realistic none of the three will be on the roster next year and the Bills will miss that draft pick.
The Honeymoon’s Over With McDermott’s Roster Decisions: I won’t bother rehash the Peterman/San Diego fiasco. What I really want to know is how Eric Lee can go from the Bills practice squad to the active roster, cut four days later, get re-signed to the practice squad and toil there for six weeks before New England plucked him. Naturally he came back Sunday to kill the Bills with an interception, a pass deflection and 1.5 sacks. How on God’s green earth did McDermott not see enough in Lee to give him a real look? PS- don’t give me that 30 other teams didn’t see anything in him either bullshit — this is about Buffalo. Also, what’s it going to take for McDermott, Leslie Frazier and whoever’s responsible for putting 11 defenders on the field to replace Ramon Humber with Matt Milano? The honeymoon’s over when it comes to McDermott’s roster personnel choices.