By BBD Editor Mike Watkins
As week 9 came to end we saw the remaining AFC East teams take a bye while the Bills took on the best team in the AFC in Houston and Miami tried to give rookie QB Andrew Luck a rude welcoming. In the end the rookie phenom bested a Dolphins defense that has been very good this year and the Patriots despite being off still got better.
-First things first, I would like to give the defense some credit for their effort in this game. Its still not where it should be but when you hold what is arguably the best team in the AFC to 21 points on the road that should be good enough to be in the game and or possibly win it. Don’t get me wrong they still need to improve a lot but at least they are heading in the right direction
-3…that is the number of running plays in the second half of this game. That is completely and utterly unacceptable. This is why Chan to me is not fit to be a head coach in this league. I think he knows offense and can design plays and game plans to put up points on a regular basis. However he has become addicted to a passing game that is below average at best. He has a great ground game and he still refuses to use it even when the QB is clearly struggling. Gailey needs to be under a HC that can reel him in and force him to play to this offenses strength, which is the ground game.
-Mario Williams looked a lot better than he had over the course of the first half of the season. The wrist was apparently more of an issue than the Bills led on which begs the questions, why was he out there in the first place with it and why didn’t this surgery take place far sooner?
-Congrats to K.Moore on notching his first sack of the year. It’s much deserved and the Bills have really stumbled upon something here with him
-Andre Johnson had a field day with A.Williams and while Gilmore faired a little better Johnson had a very good day against an overmatched CB duo
-Can the Bills please just stop with the Wildcat?
-I hope these final games of the year are the last time I have to watch Fitzpatrick as a starting QB in the NFL. Nix finally admitted, in a backdoor kind of way, that he is not a franchise QB and they will look to get one this offseason…THANK GOD!
-Barnett is starting to show his age lately and that’s not a good thing considering how below avg the LB core for the Bills has been
-Bills fans finally got a glimpse of why they let Moorman go for Powell. He’ll have his mistakes but the kid has a powerful leg on him that will eventually pay dividends
-I think Kyle Williams is the only player in the front 7 that can be counted on to show up every game for every snap
-WR D.Jones showed up for the game, which was nice for a change. It was also needed considering it looked like S.Johnson played nearly the entire game injured after an early shot to the leg
-It was good to see C.Glenn back in the game. He looked a little rusty at times but overall played well
-If there is a team wasting an offense weapon as dangerous as Spiller in the NFL I don’t know who they are. It’s insulting how little the Bills use one of the most explosive players in the NFL
-K.Sheppard had a better game than he had in awhile Sunday. He is still by no means good but at least he didn’t look completely lost against the Texans
-2-11 on third downs for this offense is awful and a lot of it has to do with them being put in unfavorable down and distance due to the fact that they would not run the ball
-When the Bills find something that works a couple times they go to the well far to often with it. Screens where working in the first half of the game using the Texans aggression against them. The Texans then started sniffing them out yet this did not deter the Bills from continuing to call them. Chan has to build off the screens not just keep going to the well until it becomes unusable. Like I said before, Chan needs to be under a HC that can stop these habits
-I mentioned in my bye week review that George Wilsons play at SS had really dropped off this year and don’t be surprised if you begin to see more of Searcy. Sunday it happened to the affect of Searcy nearly taking half of Wilsons snaps. I expect the trend to keep moving this way through the rest of the season until Searcy takes the job outright
-Remember in my 5 points how I said the Bills needed to slow down JJ Watt to have a chance in this game….yea, that didn’t happen
-If I were Buddy Nix right now I would be pretty upset because after a very strong vote of confidence Chan Gailey goes out and makes Nix look like a fool by being thoroughly out coached in this game.
-The game may have ended 23-20 but the score doesn’t really illustrate what took place in the game and the Dolphins are lucky they only fell by 3
-The Dolphins biggest problem, and arguably the reason they lost the game, was their third down defense. That aspect of their defense had been very good all year but against the Colts they could not find a way to get off the field. The Colts converted 13 of 19 and any time you allow that to happen you are going to have a tough time pulling out a win
-The pass rush outside of C.Wake was nearly non-existent. Wake notched a sack in the game and had a pressure here or there but overall Luck and the Colts did what they wanted in the passing game
-Tannehill had a nice day with 290 yards and a TD pass but couldn’t keep it going on the final drive to put the Dolphins in a position to tie or win. Still he was far from the reason the Dolphins lost
-When and if Jake Long hits free agency or starts negotiating with the Dolphins, this is not the game tape he wants playing in the back round. He was having issues all day with the Colts speed off the edge.
-CB S.Smith for the Dolphins had a really rough day. Luck and the Colts went after him all day
-Not to say Smith was the only player having a bad day in the secondary, the entire Dolphins secondary was exposed Sunday and will have to be shored up before the next game. There were miscues and dropped INT’s all day
-The run defense however continued to be steady holding the Colts under 100 yards
-Honestly I don’t know what the Dolphins could have done to win this game because A.Luck was on fire for the entire day. He showed why he was the no brainer number 1 pick in the draft and the Dolphins happened to be on the other side of that performance.
-The Patriots had a bye this week but they still made a move in acquiring CB A.Talib from Tampa Bay. This is a critical move moving forward for the Patriots even with him on suspension. Talib instantly becomes their best player in the secondary and a perfect fit for what they do scheme wise. The off the field issues are a risk with him but it’s a risk the Patriots have to take at this point to try and shore up the secondary. He is a talented player that if he can get his head on straight will be an excellent pick up for the Patriots moving forward