Sunday’s outcome for the Bills was ugly. To say the least. An invisible pass rush, ineffective secondary and poor quarterbacking set the Bills back early in a 48-28 defeat at the hands of the Jets.
An offseason of hope and promise became two quarters of anger and frustration. Ryan Fitzpatrick, at times, seemed more in-sync with the Jets defensive backs than his receivers in the first half and the Buffalo defense looked lost when trying to defend the pass. Even the special teams units were ineffective, allowing a punt return touchdown to widen the New York lead.
Fitzpatrick’s performance was easily the most visible and alarming result from the game, he was inaccurate and could even be described as overmatched throughout most of the game. Aside from garbage time, when the Jets starters were watching from the bench, did he manage to sync up with his wideouts.
Defensively, the pass rush stayed in Buffalo, the linebackers failed to support in coverage in any way, shape or form and the secondary looked lost for the entire game.
It wasn’t all bad, just mostly bad. Bryan Scott injected a little promise with an interception on the first series and it seemed like the defense might have started to build some momentum. Of course, Fitzpatrick was picked shortly after the Scott INT and things went downhill quickly. Buffalo’s run defense was quite stout and didn’t allow any gashing runs until the result was well within reason and near the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
C.J. Spiller continued to build on his second-half surge from 2011 and looks to have rounded into a sterling NFL running back. His game breaking ability will soften the blow that is the loss of Fred Jackson. As for the loss of David Nelson, the Bills could be up the creek on that one. For a team that was injury riddled late last year, two knee injuries wasn’t the way to roll into 2012.
The loss was quite bad and has brought about a lot of criticism for the entire organization. Most fans are already to throw in the towel after the first 60 minutes and most of them are already calling for the head of anyone who works or plays football at One Bills Drive. You really can’t blame some of these fans. It has been 12 years without a playoff berth, the team finally invested in talent and then laid an absolute egg in their first game. Positions of question were exploited and fans are left thinking that these are indeed the “same old Bills” yet again.
Truthfully, there needs to be a bit more patience exercised by everyone. The Bills probably aren’t as bad as they showed on Sunday. They also aren’t as good as they will show in their most impressive victory. If they can rise to the median here, win the games they’re expected to win and build some positive momentum, they will still flirt with the playoffs. There is plenty of work to be done and there are some obvious issues at hand that need to be addressed immediately. But put your air raid helmets away. The sky isn’t falling just yet.