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Bills appear clueless looking forward

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Recent posts by Eli Kaberon

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Posted Oct. 04, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

The Bills were outclassed in every aspect of the game in Week Four by the Jets, being embarrassed in front of their home crowd in a 38-14 loss. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team's passing game showed promise in Week Three vs. the Patriots, but regressed in a poor performance on Sunday. Being down three defensive starters didn't help, but no team has much of a chance of winning when allowing 273 rushing yards, especially one without the firepower on offense to match points.

Head coach Chan Gailey summed up the day in his postgame press conference with a 111-word introductory statement that covered all that went wrong for his team:

"Maybe I can answer some of your questions before you ask them. We were a bad football team today. When we protected, we couldn't catch it. We couldn't protect. We had people going to the wrong spots, getting to the wrong people. We couldn't get off the field on third down. We couldn't convert a third down. We were not good on special teams. We turned the ball over twice. We didn't get any turnovers. We got sacked three times. We didn't get any sacks. If you play that way, you're not going to win. You're not even going to look decent in this league. Now, do you have any questions?"

The PFW Spin

The only question is — What is the plan for the Bills the rest of this season and beyond?

Trent Edwards was the team's starting QB all through the summer, in training camp and preseason, and in the first two games of the regular season. Gailey then benched him for Week Three and the team released him a day later. Could the Bills not have gotten something for their QB? A draft pick, a player, an extra Jugs machine, anything would have been better than an outright release.

The coaching staff investing eight months into a player who it gave two weeks to prove himself shows a clear lack of self-scouting; the Bills obviously thought they had a legit QB and then were shocked to find that Captain Checkdown is exactly what his nickname describes.

Then there are the running backs. The team's deepest position heading into the offseason with a pair of 1,000-yard runners, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, was bolstered even more when C.J. Spiller was taken with the No. 9 pick in the draft. Now the team has too many backs and not enough opportunities for any of them. Spiller was the opening-day starter, but has found little room to run behind a poor offensive line. Lynch is now the de facto No. 1 back, but that may just be because the team is showcasing him in an attempt to make a trade.

On defense, the team has a few solid pieces (NT Kyle Williams, LB Paul Posluszny, FS Jairus Byrd) but no All-Pro-caliber players. Against the Jets, Buffalo's defense was often out of position and missed several tackles, resulting in extra yardage. Jets TE Dustin Keller's second TD catch of the day was a prime example, as all 11 Bills defenders fell for Mark Sanchez's play-action fake, leaving three wide-open Jets standing in the endzone, including Keller.

If QB is the No. 1 priority next offseason, then upgrading the offensive line (11 sacks allowed in four games) and wide receiver corps are close behind. That doesn't leave much time for addressing the defense, meaning this rebuilding job might take a long time for Gailey and GM Buddy Nix. The Bills still have time in 2010 to salvage the season and build some momentum, but nothing they showed vs. the Jets has it appearing they'll head in that direction anytime soon.

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