Cool your jets.
It was a cheesy phrase my dad used to say when I got a little too worked up about something as kid. All week I hoped and hoped the phrase would apply today; I was waiting to yell it at the end of the game like a bad pun in a James Bond movie.
The way I envisioned it going was as follows; the final seconds were to tick down, sealing the victory for Buffalo and I was to stand up and say, “Looks like we cooled your jets” (not that any of the Jets would hear me from my living room, but still). But the final minute came, and the sky in Orchard Park opened up and the rain came down on my trash talking parade and washed away Buffalo’s victory like the wicked in the days of Noah (Side note: not many people know this but Noah was a HUGE Bills fan… or maybe it was Job, which one had the high tolerance for pain and disappointment?).
To be fair, there were a lot of really great things today. First was JP “320 yards and 2 TD’s (one rushing)” Losman, as they’re calling him in the locker room. Another was Willis “150 yards and no TDs, but that’s ok you’ll get ‘em next week” McGahee. Also, I’ve got to mention that Peerless “Remember me?” Price is looking really good as he had some stellar catches scattered throughout the game.
A side story about Price, a friend of mine came over for the game today sporting a Price jersey. He was so excited when he found out we signed him during the off-season and I couldn’t figure out why. Well it turns out, he bought the jersey about a month before he was traded to Atlanta (making it a $75 obsolete investment) and now he can wear it again and be considered relevant, making him really glad he didn’t sell it on ebay (plus the sauce stain from the pizza sandwiches we used to make during football games in college would have decreased it’s value). Bottom line: regardless of your reason, it’s nice to have Price back.
Now on to the negatives (Steve Fairchild I’m looking at you): Last week we had really poor offensive stats and were still able to pull off a big win. What enabled us to win (besides Culpepper being planted in the ground like the mighty oak) was our ability to play smart and manage our offense. How can we pull down the monster stats we pulled down today and come away with a loss? Oh I know, trying to be tricky when you have no business doing so. I feel like everything I said last week about how to handle a young QB went right out the window. Be smart not clever.
I almost wonder if the coaches sat down this week and said, “Wow our team is having a lot of success keeping things simple, let’s do the exact opposite of that.” McGahee was almost unstoppable today and on 4th and 1 on the goal line we try some fancy trick play. Here’s an equation for you: fancy trick plays + crucial 4th and 1s + maturing, inexperienced QB + young team that has already proven to be susceptible to momentum shifts = disastrous.
As far as fake field goals go… I’ve got nothing. It was simply stunning. However, Bobby “Giving Buffalo something to be proud of” April made up for it with the genius that is “stacking the middle during an onside kick.” As many of you know the league changed the rules this year for onside kicks. Teams can no longer stack one side completely, so Bobby April stacked the middle, and it worked. Sadly, Buffalo is a miracle team for whomever they are playing (see “Music City Miracle” and “Super Bowl XXV” for more reading) and not for themselves. Instead of a miracle we got rain. It was almost as if God said, “Woah Buffalo’s coming back, better make it rain. Sorry Job, you got your win last week, it’s Joshua’s turn (I guess Joshua is a big Jets fan, who knew? I always thought he liked the Raiders).”
Bottom line: although we are showing signs of life (or basic competence) we still have a long ways to go. Oh and it’s still a problem the only Spikes jerseys worn in Orchard Park today were in the stands. So Takeo, “Hey guys I’m still on the team right?” Spikes, we could really use that comeback you promised us.
This is starting to run long, so I’m going to cool my jets and cut this short before the guys tell me I’m not allowed to write anymore. Do yourselves a favor though and check back here in the middle of the week because I’m going to write something on a subject not enough people are talking about: Throwbacks.