After the Buffalo Bills/New England Patriots game, I received a text from Christen Cole, Giants fan. And, the following exchange occurred:
I appreciated the encouragement, but I did the responsible thing, and stayed off the Internet for the time being. Instead I went to run some comebacks with Mark Murray, the unknowing buddhist. Upon return from my Moss Park Sojourn, I felt I was ready to write something that didn’t resemble the ranting and ravings of a madman. What came out was a perfectly rational and reasonable recap of the week 1 showdown between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
The Bills solid defensive performance was overshadowed by EJ Manuel’s rookie debut.
Manuel’s first game included two touchdowns while committing no turnovers. As solid as Manuel was, if one person should take credit for the 23-21 moral victory against the Patriots, it’s first-year Bills defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine.
Pettine’s crew proved the old adage that “you can’t cover, if you can’t rush.” Without burgeoning star Stephon Gilmore at cornerback, the Bills were able to contain the Patriots receiving core by blitzing early and often. Pettine’s aggressive pass-rush may have only sacked Tom Brady twice, but managed to hit Brady 7 times. Most notably, Marcell Dareus slapped Brady across the mouth instead of sacking him. Mistaking Dareus for Bundchen, Brady fell to the ground and begged for mercy.
The physical toll from all those hits certainly affected Brady—the ball was coming out of his hand real funny. As a result, his passes were landing in his receivers arms a split second later, leaving Danny Amendola and crew to get rocked over the middle. Brady’s lack of arm strength didn’t hurt the Patriots this week, but if his receivers continue to take hits like that, the Patriots may be forced to bring Ochocinco out of retirement.
Of course–and there is always an of course when it comes to the Buffallo Bills–the aggressive pass-rush was wasted by a timid offense that did not move the ball effectively for long stretches of the game. When it came down to a fourth quarter drive that could have put the game away the offense was unprepared to grab the bull by its horns.
With 5 minutes left in the game, the BIlls went 3 and out. The drive included a 3rd and 10 checkdown to Scott Chandler for four yards. Using basic math skills, that was approximately 6-yards short of the first down–and about 50 yards away from field goal range. Time on clock+no points on the board=nothing accomplished.
Immediately thereafter, the Patriots took over and proceeded to march up the field, just close enough to the endzone so that a kicker could win a game for Tom Brady, because that never happens. And, speaking of never happens: the Buffallo Bills lost in dramatic fashion.
After the Giants game, I again received a text from Christen. This time the exchange went a little differently:
I also should have mentioned that at least we aren’t Jaguars fans:
 Which was definitely a good idea. First line of my post would have been something like Doug Marrone is the worst coach of all time, ever. I think its fair to say I should give him a few games before I can honestly form an opinion. At this point I feel like I’m clearly not over my ex-girlfriend (Chan Gailey). I need some time to work on my trust issues.
 Mein Kampf has 2.9 stars out of 5 on Google Books. Wasn’t the internet supposed to bring us all together?
I feel like if I don’t acknowledge this, some smart ass will. The wobbly balls that Peyton Manning throws are usually towards the sideline, i.e. away from a safety looking to take someone’s head off.
 Much of the discussion post-game was surrounding the no-huddle offense. I will have a more detailed analysis of said post-game hubbub tomorrow.