Buffalo Bills Week 11: Another One Bites The Dust

Jamal Charles rushes for what would be the game winning touchdown. - Photo via www.foxnews.com

Jamal Charles rushes for what would be the game winning touchdown. – Photo via http://www.foxnews.com

The Bills had the chance to move to 6-3 for the first time since Flutie-mania in 1999 and lock up sole possession of a wild card spot. Unfortunately 2 costly turnovers and the usual Marrone conservatism spelled disaster. The Bills had a chance to be relevant for the first time in 15 years and their coach blew it. Even though we lost the game there were a lot of positives to take away. The Bills came out aggressive (between the 20’s and in every situation, but 4th and 1 or less) in both the passing and running game. You could tell they worked on some things in the bye and those things worked!

The Bills looked great on their opening drive scoring a touchdown for the 2nd consecutive week. Orton threw a laser over the middle to Chris Hogan, who took it 25 yards for the score. The defense was dominating; constantly getting pressure and sacks on the seldom harassed Chiefs QB. Jamaal Charles wasn’t doing anything early on and even left the game for a bit with a shoulder injury. The Bills found their running game finally against the 15th ranked run defense of the Chiefs. The Chiefs also boasted the league’s top ranked pass defense. The Bills offense looked aggressive and came out gun blazing to the tune of 48 pass attempts. They were airing it out to the end zone when inside the 20. It looked like the Bills offense fans have been hoping for. The game appeared to be a lock to win, however that feeling would soon fade on two turnovers.

Bryce Brown's turnover before on the one was very costly. - Photo via Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Brown’s turnover before on the one was very costly. – Photo via Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Brown looked like the player we were expecting. He was quick, powerful and productive. They came up with some nifty routes out of the backfield in place of traditional screen passes. The Bills struggle to get out and block for screens so they had Brown just run full speed out of the backfield and Orton would throw it to him right at the line of scrimmage. With Browns speed the LB couldn’t get over in time to cover him leaving Brown with a lot real estate in front of him. The result led to some nice gains and over 100 total yards from scrimmage. However, that was all marred by one crucial fumble

The Bills came out in the 2nd half running the ball. Dixon opened the series with 20 yards on two plays. Orton took over from there getting the Bills down to the Chiefs 30 yard line. Brown caught a pass in the backfield and moved the Bills to the 17 yard line. Browns number was called again on an inside counter run and broke loose. It looked like we was going to score but the Chiefs safety chopped the ball out of his arms.The ball took a Bills bounce right into the back of the end zone and right into the hands of Scott Chandler but he couldn’t hold on to it. The ball bounced out-of-bounds resulting in a touch-back and Chiefs ball at the 20 yard line. The Bills would force a punt but that missed opportunity for points would haunt the Bills.

McKelvin then fumbled away a crucial punt return. - Photo via wyrk.com

McKelvin then fumbled away a crucial punt return. – Photo via wyrk.com

On the next Bills possession they went right back to Brown, who opened the series with a nice 14 yard run. He also closed out the series with a catch and run from out of the backfield for 14 yards and another 8 yard carrying getting the Bills to the Chiefs 3 yard line. This was the first of Marrone’s cowardly decisions resulting in the loss. The Bills had a 2nd-2 at the Chiefs three yard line. 2 yards got them a first. The Bills decided to pass instead and then kick a field goal! Instead the Bills should have gone for it with the running game we finally got going and was averaging 5 yards a carry. Even if they failed to get the first down or touchdown the Chiefs would have been pinned back at the two and the defense was dominating. The Bills also had a 7 point lead at that point. The 3 points turned out to be a waste. Even though the overall game plan was aggressive, when it came to tough 4th down calls, it was the same old cowardly Marrone we’ve come to expect. On the next series, Chiefs Coach Andy Reid was faced with a 4th and 1 from the Bills 39. Marrone often punts from that spot or kick a field goal. Reid remains aggressive and calls a great running play, a toss to Charles, who ends up taking it 39 yards for a touchdown. As the saying goes, if you don’t go on 4th down when you want to, you’re going to have to go for it when you don’t. That proved to be true as the Bills increased the number in the loss column.

The 4th quarter presented numerous opportunity for Marrone to grow a pair and win this game. On a 4th and 1 at the Bills 46, Marrone decided to try and draw the Chiefs off-sides instead of lining up and running a play to get the first down. The serious after this, the Chiefs punted and Mckelvin fumble at the Bills 25. The Chiefs score and put the game away. On the very next Bills series on a 4th and inches on their own 41 now down 17-13 Marrone decides to punt with 7 minutes left. Again, Marrone doesn’t have faith his team can get 1 yard or less in order to keep the ball and try to score. Again the defense forces a punt and Mckelvin atones for his fumble returning the ball to the Cheifs 25. The Bills have a first and 10 from the 15 yard line and take 4 shots to the end zone instead of just trying to pick up a first down to the 5 yard line.The Chiefs were rushing three defenders and dropping 8 in coverage. That’s tough to complete any passes with that many people within 20 yards of the ball.There were other bonehead plays like the botched 2 minute drive at the half, but its just another one to add to the list of poor decisions by Marrone.

Instead of going for it on 4th and 1 inside the 5 yard line, Marrone relied on Carpenter for another field goal. - Photo via www.buffalobills.com

Instead of going for it on 4th and 1 inside the 5 yard line, Marrone relied on Carpenter for another field goal. – Photo via http://www.buffalobills.com

At 5-4 the Bills have a tough road if they want to make the playoffs. To have a shot they need 10 wins. They now have to win every game left this month and pick up a win at Denver, New England or home against the Packers. It’s tough to imagine this team beating of those teams mainly because our coaching staff beats themselves in big games. Marrone has now let us down in two huge games this year, New England being the other, finding ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sure Orton missed some throws and we turned the ball over twice, but Marrone had 4 chances to let his guys go win the game and he had no faith they could gain less than 1 yard..

Well, there you have it Bills nation, what do you think? Am I right with blaming the coaching decisions on those key plays? What’s your take on the loss? Are the Bills making the playoffs? As angry as I am now about the loss, I still hope they win these next three games and somehow pull off an upset or two in December. It’s a short week Bills nation as we travel to Florida to face the Dolphins for some Thursday Night Football? Who’s ready? I know I am. Let’s GO BUFFALO!

Now every game is basically a must win, if the Bills are to make it to the playoffs.

Now every game is basically a must win, if the Bills are to make it to the playoffs.

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