Buffalo Bills Lose To The Steelers And Eliminate Themselves From The Playoffs
Via NFL.com: “On Friday’s “Around the League Podcast,” we affectionately labeled Sunday’s Bills–Steelers tilt the “Forkoff Bowl.” Week after week, our gang of scribes have “stuck a fork” in teams we don’t think can make the playoffs. After Sunday’s 23-10 stomping by Pittsburgh, we’re adding Buffalo to the list of teams treading into the abyss. The Bills have been a gritty outfit this season, but if you can’t beat a two-win Steelers team with your so-called franchise passer back in the mix, the writing is on the wall.”
Can these guys lead this team to success?
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. This season has been a frustrating one as the team transitions through yet another rebuild of the franchise. My hopes weren’t that high to start the season, but there was promise on a team that had true talent. Injuries and some pretty poor decision making by a rookie coaching staff has ultimately led this team to another season without the playoffs and another season with a high draft pick. I’m not mad so much as I’m nervous about the future. While there are some glimmers of hope on this team, there are some serious questions going forward. Here are three I have right now.
1. Why the hell didn’t the team re-sign Jairus Byrd this off-season? The guy is one of, if not our best, player on the defensive side of the ball. He’s so versatile in that he can hit with the best safeties in the league, but also has great range to make plays all over the field. Franchising him and then having a somewhat public feud with him probably didn’t help our cause.
2. Can CJ Spiller stay healthy enough to carry the load in the future? Fred Jackson is 32 years old and often injured himself. CJ Spiller needs to show he’s healthy enough to carry the ball 20+ times a game or the Bills will need to begin to find a replacement back for when it’s time for Jackson to hang ’em up.
3. Will this coaching staff make the necessary improvements from now until the start of the 2014 season to be effective coaches in the NFL. This is a big one for me. Marrone has been solid at times, but decision making has been poor. He hasn’t won a challenge, his time management and play calling has been called into question at multiple times throughout the season, and there’s no way he should have started EJ Manuel last week. Let’s be honest for a minute. They guy has done nothing but heal over the last four weeks and the minute he’s cleared, Marrone’s got him starting. Never mind that Thad Lewis seemed perfectly capable of handling the offense and even Jeff Tuel found success against the “vaunted” Chiefs defense. Yet, after one or two days of practice, Marrone went with Manuel. The results spoke for themselves and if anyone watched that game, you could tell Manuel was rusty as hell. I don’t just want to see a maturation in the coaching staff, I need to see it to believe that this team can win.
A high draft pick, probably in the top 10, will help, but talent will only take you so far. You need good coaching and your players to stay healthy for a season to take shape and the 2013 Buffalo Bills are devoid of both if you ask me.