Week 5 – Primetime Failure

Per usual, any Bills prime time game (no matter how big or how small) needs to be met with a level of disappointment that makes falling asleep after the loss difficult. This was a mini Cowboys MNF game. That was the game where I knew the Bills would most likely never be relevant again. The following six years is just confirming data. Associated to that, I also conclusively proved there would be no God. How could the team to which we lost 2 Super Bowls come to our first Monday night game home game in 10 years, turn the ball over 5 times still manage to win with a last second field goal? To boot the broadcast ended with Jerry Jones laughing at us. How can you possibly believe a God could be so mean spirited? As Ralph Wiggam says, unpossible!

So Thursday night I prepared for the worst, and received it courtesy of Time Warner Cable. They had only one non-working channel in their system. Literally every channel worked, but the NFL Network. It’s only the most popular sport in the most populated city in America. Sure, the one channel that doesn’t work, for the one weekend, is the NFL Network Bill- Browns week. You see how I got to this no God conclusion.

I did get a version of the game which I watched on my iPad mini. It was pretty awesome. I’m clinically blind now, but let’s talk about the game. My razor thin patience was pretty much shattered Thursday. I genuinely think they are possibly on the right path if they can get one more draft as productive as this one. However, sitting through 11 more games where we aren’t really relevant now is, for a lack of a better world, brutal.

With EJ leaving the game and then subsequently being out for a while, it’s hard to have any optimism. And most of that is because the power structure of the Bills remain the same consistent losers they’ve always been. It’s like watching Dick Fuld get two to three more chances to get Lehman right. Then every three years after he declares bankruptcy again, he throws his hands up and says, “no, wait, I am going to assemble a better team again.”

I thank Russ Brandon and crew for continuously never seeing injuries coming. “hey we’ve never had any depth, and we have $20MM in excess cap room. We aren’t even paying our best players as we let one walk and the other one watch from the sidelines until his foot sprouts wings and flies him from play to play.  What the hell, let’s just go into a season with two rookie QBS.  In fact, lets have the back up be an undrafted QB who was rated #7 in the Pac 12. I wonder why no team has ever done this in the modern era of football?”

For those of you curious about that #7 in the Pac 12 stat, that’s right. Not #7 in college. Number 7 in  a division of 12 teams. As in, not even the top 50% in a weak college division. You know all those other moron GM’s and team presidents who’ve been to the playoffs at least once since 1999. They won’t do it that way, but they are morons. Stick with Russ, kids, he’s the golden ticket. I kind of wish he drinks the fizzy lifting drink and just floats away.

As for Tuel, he didn’t make anything better, but he was thrown into a prime time game on the road. I know he looked awesome in pre-season….against 3rd string players who now currently are the bouncer to that awesome club you never go to. Remember how the last time you went to the club, you told the bouncer that he was built like a football player. And then he cried, because he formerly was. The point is that Tuel looked good in dress rehearsal, but had never been on the big stage with the critics watching.  You know what also looked good in dress rehearsal that had everyone excited? Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s. I’m pretty sure the executives were like, “that’s awesome, you look like a cracked out wild child grinding on Beetlejuice. That’s edgy!” But  show casing Miley was beyond idiotic. You don’t start Miley in a regular season game.

Most of me is willing to have some patience with Tuel. The old Bill Joe Hobert “I didn’t study the play book because I wasn’t playing” comes to mind. I feel like that’s how all backups are. Hobert was the only idiot to tell it like it was. Frank Reich never came in for Kelly and did much in that game. Please see Super Bowl 3!. But with one week of practice, he was very servicable.

Also, if you thought the game was moving fast for EJ (and the reason behind why he never sets his feet), the game moved way too fast for Tuel on Thursday. Like a turtle on a highway fast. But that isn’t his fault. No other team is rolling into a season with two rookies. What is more confusing is that Tuel was supposed to be the best option for the season opener with one week of practice. Now he’s not good enough with 10 days practice.  It kind of seems like the coach has no idea what he’s doing. I know as a Bills fan, it’s hard to imagine that a team could have a coach that is just thoroughly lost.

First, does he know what a challenge is? The Bills are buzzing, Cleveland clearly fumbles on a kick, and nothing. No challenge. Then he challenges a penalty. The Bills are only in games because of Pettine. I think if the guy wants the Head Coaching job, you should give it to him. Don’t lose that him. Marrone is slowly confirming the long trend of Bills Coaches who have last names that rhyme with or sound like derogatory terms. Mularkey sounded like malarkey. Jauron rhymed with moron. Chan Gailey was an out of syntax Can Fail He (think He hate me). And now Marrone just brings us back full circle to moron again. I’m not advocating to hire a nobody from a college where he had a .500 record because his name is Tom Winnable. But a guy who knows how to challenge a play, realizes before the Cleveland player returns a punt for a TD  that punting to him is terrible, and possibly doesn’t look exactly like Cleveland’s coach.

I knew the game was over once Hoyer went down. No matter how many times it happens every time a team’s starter goes down, I think, “ok, now it should be easier.” And then the scrub comes in, has the game of his life and returns to the worst player ever the following week. Enter Brandon Weedon. He was easily flustered, terrible in the pocket and… Brandon Weedon. But the Bills let him throw the ball, and he made plays.

The result when the Bills don’t get 5 turnovers in one game was that game. I am aware the Bills were a handful of plays being either 5-0 or 0-5. Without EJ, i think the Bills are now staring at another losing season. I am disappointed EJ doesn’t get to play the full season. I really think that was key to know if he really is going to get it and be accurate. Now we have to just assume that he gets it and keep planning. With 13 years of failure and a 14th on the way, these next four games may be a bloodbath.


DVD Extras:

death on field –  two qbs, two wrs, a de hospitalized for being fat! I just assumed someone was going to die.


Prime Time owner laughter – Like JerryJones, we got to see the Browns owner laughing maniacally at the end of the game. I thought he was arrested for laundering money from the Flying J truck stops. I guess he got one last laugh at our expense.


Ravens excuse –Last week, I was in minneapolis for a family emergency. My flight was cancelled, and the Bills almost blew the game as I received constant text updates from Kabir and Sid. I actually said, to a non existent God, “you can cancel this flight. Just let them win.” And he did. He cancelled the flight and let the Bills hold on to the win. Now if this all powerful being that doesn’t exist can let me watch the Bills win one game this year, I’d be ever so grateful.

5 year plan based on the Browns game  – Sid, Kabir and I were back on text during the Browns game and got into the interest conversation of how much this game meant to the BIlls. Sid said, “this is the most important game of the century. If we lose this game, we will still be the old Bills. If we win, new era.” I kind of agree with him. You have a 10 point lead on the road, the crowd is out of it, the Bills had everything they needed to show that they were for real. I know other people will say, “but we are playing them close.” We kind of always have. Even in the miserable Jauron years, the losses were never that bad consistently. It was just obvious that we would lose. And watching the cut away to Kyle Williams, the latest Bill to know no professional life better than the Bills just looked stunned after the pick 6. And then they panned to a variety of guys and they all carried themselves the same way, “I can’t believe this.” There was no moral victory for being in this game. Beating the Pats at home was a huge lost opportunity and this just cemented it.

Even with Pettine – Since 1991, the Bills have a skill at giving up 3rd and longs and the 3rd and 18 was particularly painful. i cringe at 3rd and long. Anything under 3rd and 6, i feel pretty good. Longer than that, i just assume the conversion is coming.

Punter – I predicted just two weeks ago that the BIlls are awesome at finding punters. Well, we aren’t. Powell got canned about 24 hours after having the worst game of his life. A friend, Abe, wrote me after the punter comment. He told me that “Cold war-era Russian Fighter planes were renowned for having the best ejector seats to counter the effect of their crappy aircraft assembly standards.” This pretty much sums up the Bills view on special teams. “Our team sucks, but our punting standards need to be excellent”

Poop- If you were at the Ravens Bills game, you probably smelled poop because of a pipe break. The Bills are giving $20 of Bills bucks for having to sit through smelling shit for 3 hours. However, they wanted to make clear, that you still have to pay $77 to SEE shit for 3 hours.

– Pats tracker – Erik gave me a little stat on the Pats this weekend. In a close road game where they were losing in the rain, not a single Pats player attempted to do an illegal thing the entire game. For the first time in 5 years, a team was not penalized in a game. Where the other 24 teams playing had, on average, 6 penalties for 53 yards, the Patriots had none.  Of course, they aren’t favored with their fickle, lackluster fanbase. A coach who was a proven cheater found Jesus and told his team to not take a single penalty.


Kevin Shenoy can be reached at onefansview@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @KevinShenoy