Bills Season Seems Over Less Than A Week In

16 Sep

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Dismantled and perplexed. That’s not exactly how Rex Ryan portrayed his defense after organized workouts in June. But that’s how they looked last night.

Former Bills QB cast-off Ryan Fitzpatrick lit them up for something above 300 and less than 1000 yards last night. Matt Forte seemed to run through the Bills like a bullet through goose down. It was one of the most inept defensive performances Bills fans have seen in a decade or more. It was just frustrating.

This kind of defensive degradation was going to happen eventually. You weren’t going to have Mario Williams around forever. The same can be said for Kyle Williams, who may be showing some signs of his great career waning.

But this defense has guys who should have performed, but didn’t.

First off, Marcell Dareus should outright own this 0-2 start himself. Sure, Week 1 wasn’t the defense’s fault. But the Bills defense was already operating behind the 8-ball going into the season because of his uncontrolled behavior. It’s tough to blame Dareus’s escapades on the Bills, but the lack of recent success must certainly play into the notion that they are a team that’s willing to tolerate anything in order to be good again. Plus, if you know your chances of being successful are low, your approach to off-the-field activities may lean towards the undisciplined.

But he’s only half the story after the Jets game. Stephon Gilmore has spent the last two offseasons chirping about a new contract. Yes, he may be underpaid for his value, but the reports out there indicate the Bills were willing to put him in the top 10 cornerback contracts. Well after last night, one would have to conclude he’s on his way out. Whatever the reason, he has shown little ability to cover over-the-top, getting burned at least twice by big receivers. Sure, the throws were perfect, but good corners understand their need to be physical at the front end in order to disrupt the pass play. Instead, the chuck at the line is almost non-existent, giving QB and WR an easy feel for that throw which he can’t reach due to his lack of size.

In last night’s game, once Rex saw that Gilmore (and Darby, he’s not without fault either) couldn’t blanket the Jet receivers, he abandoned complex rush schemes. The pressure on Fitzpatrick dried up, and the game was in jeopardy.

And we didn’t even get to the two draft picks missing. Shaq Lawson was damaged goods upon being drafted with their 1st round pick. And Reggie Ragland was lost to an ACL tear in training camp. Rex’s “fully pregnant” defense might have been a false positive on the EPT.

So what to do now? Wait for Dareus to return? That will help, but with Arizona and New England next, 1-3 might be ambitious after their displays in weeks 1 & 2. It’s tough sledding for awhile, and you can bet that the Cardinals and Patriots are licking their chops to pick on two CB’s whose weaknesses have been exposed in consecutive weeks.

This could be a long season.

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