By Sal Maiorana - Rochester D&C
ORCHARD PARK - You have to give the Buffalo Bills credit for this: There isn't a team in the NFL that has perfected the art of the horrifying loss better than these guys.
Wow, just when you think they've sunk to the lowest of lows like losing to the dreadful Tennessee Titans the way they did back in October, they one-up themselves with Sunday's skull-numbing 15-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
There are so many words I could use to describe this result, and this Buffalo team, but I'd get fired. So, I'll keep that to myself and just give you my PG-rated thoughts. You can scream and swear as you read along:
• Winners win, and losers lose. We all know where the Bills fall on this spectrum. Chan Gailey is a good man, but he doesn't coach like a winner, and there are too many players who don't play like winners. There are too many ongoing examples to think otherwise. Harsh, I know, but can anyone really offer a counter-argument here?
• Rian Lindell was clearly irritated that Gailey didn't let him attempt that 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. As he should have been. He had kicked one from 55 yards going that direction in pre-game, and the wind was with him. Just another terrible game-day decision.
• George Wilson has to catch that ball in the fourth quarter for the interception that would have saved the game. Sam Bradford threw it right to him, and rather than catch it, he elected to bat it down with his right hand. He knew a split-second later what an egregious mistake it was. Again, bad teams find ways to lose.
• My advice to C.J. Spiller would be to find a treadmill and start running like Forrest Gump. Every time we ask Chan Gailey why Spiller isn't on the field, he says he gets winded and needs a break. If that's really true, then Spiller needs to get in shape. If it's not true - as I suspect because the guy's a physical specimen - then Gailey should stop lying to us all.
• Giving Spiller eight touches the entire game, a close game mind you, is a fireable offense. This insanity has to end. Maybe it will now that Fred Jackson sustained yet another injury. Oh wait, no, now we'll probably get a steady diet of the immortal Tashard Choice. My head is swollen from banging it against the wall.
• Punter Shawn Powell, a Georgia native who played at Florida State, better start getting used to Buffalo weather. If he can't catch a wet ball on a cold day while holding for placekicks, let alone punt it effectively, then he needs to be cut. Again, why was Brian Moorman dumped for no apparent reason?
• The officials made an awful call that cost the Bills a touchdown. Stephon Gilmore's pick-six was nullified when Kyle Moore was flagged for a phantom hold on which the Rams lineman took a magnificent (and obviously effective) dive. That was terrible, not to mention crucial as it turned out.
• Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't terrible in this game, especially given the offensive line he had to play behind. Still, he's not just not good enough to win the games the Bills should win, let alone the games they probably shouldn't win.
• And now it's on to Toronto. As Bart Scott of the Jets once famously said, "Can't wait!"