The John Review – Week 11

Three words: Win Streak

“Hey wait, that’s two words,” you’re thinking. Well it’s so big for Bills fans two words can’t contain it. The significance of this is huge for the franchise. Granted, I’m not saying we should be buying Super Bowl tickets, but there are a few things to take away from this game.

We’re on the fringe of the AFC wildcard race. The chance of the Bills making the playoffs is real slim and really not worth getting your hopes up. However, keep the following in perspective: We had a huge regime change. A brand new GM, a new head coach, most of the assistant coaches are new, the entire offensive and defensive philosophies are new and a lot of our starters are either rookies or this is their first year starting. You don’t expect to go to the Super Bowl the year that happens, you only need to prove the scheme is promising.

I’ve talked to a few people this week that continue to say the season is over, and the Bills should be playing for a draft pick. That’s a really bad idea. As great as a high draft pick can be, the positives don’t outweigh the negatives.

The Sabres have shown that a team can be profitable in Buffalo if the team is worth watching. Losing the rest of the season could win us a potentially decent draft pick, but winning the rest of the season could win back the fans and the community and to a small market team facing long time rumors of packing up and leaving due to lack of profitability, that’s worth a lot more than Reggie Bush or Brady Qinn.

There are five more games left in the regular season, if the Bills win one of them the team will have a better record than last year. If some of those close losses went the other way, the team would be well in the playoff hunt.

As mentioned on the show this week, I was at the game against the Jags. In fact, I was in the corner of the end zone that saw Parrish’s amazing punt return and where the Jags were aiming on their final drive. On that drive I remember thinking, “Buffalo’s up by seven, all they have to do is stop the Jags here and the game is theirs.” My voice was already gone, my throat was sore, but I’m a big Bills fan and the play was happening right in front of me and if the Jags scored it wasn’t going to be because I wasn’t yelling loud enough. Evidently everyone around me was thinking the same thing and the crowd roared at a deafening, rock-concert like level and the noise marched the Jags back on two consecutive false start penalties.

Duke Preston said it was the loudest he had ever heard the crowd at a home game. What does that tell you? It means the fans still care. The team has little playoff hopes, the rest of the home games might be blacked out, the stadium wasn’t sold out and the smaller than normal crowd was still breaking noise records.

So the number on every Bills fan’s mind this week is two. Two is the current number of consecutive wins the team has had making it an official win streak (for the first time in over a year). However, the number I’m most excited about has a one in front of that two: 12, as in the 12th man. The 12th man is alive and well in Buffalo and that’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

As for some of the finer points of the game, JP Losman is not a great QB. I think it’s fair to say that those not in his fan club weren’t expecting him to be great this year, all they wanted was a sign that he has what it take to become great. Up until the last two weeks we really haven’t seen that and now we’re starting to. A lot of the last minute successes we’ve seen the last two weeks have really been because of him. Like I said he’s still not great, he’s still going to make a ton of mistakes, and he still looks like Adam Sandler, but the potential is starting to show. Remember, people didn’t think Jim Kelly had what it takes to be a good NFL QB either. I’m excited to see what JP can do next year when we have an outstanding O-line (and I say WHEN and not IF, because if you don’t fix that you should sell the team now and stop wasting everybody’s time).

It was nice to see the Defense make some adjustments during half time. In the second half, the team only allowed 75 rushing yards, which is still really bad considering giving up 75 yards a half still totals 150 yards. Jacksonville is not really known for their passing game so that makes me really nervous that giving up 5.8 yards a carry is adjusting to a run oriented team (LT seems to be the obvious choice for starting on everybody’s fantasy team this coming week).

Perhaps the most disturbing was allowing a first down on a 4th and 14 QB sneak. QB’s shouldn’t be gettin’ no 14 yards on 4th down. That should even be a stretch for Michael Vick. Int light of that, I’m going to go ahead and give the defensive play of the game to me for yelling so loud (I’ve now won two game balls in two weeks, I’m awesome). Then I guess second place goes to Robert Royal for causing that fumble on the interception. It feels strange to watch the offense produce and the defense collapse. It’s almost as if the Defense is saying, “Yeah, see how you like doing all the work.”

All right I’m running kind of long this week, but I guess I have a lot of making up to do since the last few have been short and I didn’t even get one out after the Indy game. I doubt I’ll get to see the Chargers this week, but I’ll be listening and cheering from home in the hopes we can avenge last year’s game in San Diego. Go Bills!

-The John


The O-Line

One thing I did not get to mention on the show this week was how great the offensive line played! No sacks of JP, and not even much pressure on him. Sometimes he had TONS of time back there. And, there was a play in the second half where the offensive line as a unit pushed the #3 defense back FIVE YARDS on a running play. The whole line. It was amazing. So far from what we were seeing earlier this year.

I guess the shifting guys around worked?

Whatever it is, great job O-line!

Show Schedule

Show Coming Tomorrow

Hey BBR Listeners!
Just got in from the 500 mile drive from visiting family in Ohio. Got to watch the game… WOW. We’ve got a WINNING STREAK!!! Yes! Check out the link I posted in the articles section. The full video of today’s game posted by a generous Bills fan blogger on the web. We’ll be doing the show tomorrow night. So will post by Tuesday morning. Get your comments in early.

Go Bills!


The Bills on TV?

I found this article tonight, and just thought I would pass it along. Shows just how many tickets are remaining for the final four home games of the season. Crazy. No way the Tennessee game is selling out. Not likely that WNY will get to see LT scorch the Bills D on their TV either. The really sad thing is that while there are 7000 tickets left for the game Sunday, that means that there are 66000 that ARE sold. That’s more than most stadiums hold total!!!!!!! Grrr. That makes me quite angry.

So, if you want to see the Bills…. time to plop down $40/ticket.

WGR 550 : Sunday’s Bills Game Blacked Out


The John Review – Week 10

Houston, we have a problem.

Sorry I didn’t get one out last week, I’ve had some difficulties (and been MIA). If you want I’ll still post my thoughts on the one point blowout, but on to this past week’s “grass truly is greener on the last minute comeback win side of the fence” game against the Texans.

What I meant by that last statement is what I’ve been saying all along, that Buffalo is truly a special team, perhaps a miracle team. A miracle team for whomever they are playing (Music city miracle, Super Bowl XXV, the last 5 years, the list goes on). Finally this week, we managed to inflict pain and suffering on somebody else for a change.

Whenever we talk about a win it is important to give credit where credit is due, and today’s “The John Review Game Ball” goes to me, for not giving up. Sure you could say JP Losman and his offense didn’t give up either and won the game in the last two minutes, but I’m not getting paid for it.

So I was the big highlight for today and then the runners up I guess are Nate “guys, I’m seriously worth the money, trust me” Clements. He was all over Houston’s receivers in the first quarter like the Dog on a sex offender, and Lee “who’s Eric Moulds?” Evans, who had a record-breaking day. My guess is Fairchild took him aside and said, “I’m going to level with you Lee, could you try to get open, JP’s obviously going to throw to you even if all 11 defensemen are covering you at once.”

I have to give JP some credit too. I have been one of the few that believes in the kid and think if you put him behind a line that was actually capable of stopping a blitzing NFL linebacker (our line couldn’t stop Steven Hawking), he might play closer to basic competence. Look how excited Bills fans get when he completes a pass.

Sadly, other than the beginning and end of the game, the rest of the defense really wasn’t that great, considering Carr set an NFL completion record, and our ability to stop the run is… haha sorry I can’t even talk about our run defense with a straight face. I know Levy said it was important to have a smaller line that was fast and able to get to the ball, but he seemed to forget that especially on the run they don’t have to get to the ball, the ball comes to them, they just have to stop it.

Lastly, I need to mention Rob Royal. Rob Royal is the tight end we picked up in free agency this year to replace Mark Campbell. Royal was supposed to have good hands so he could be used as more of a receiving tight end rather than just a blocking tight end. The problem is, Venus DeMillo has better hands (and she’s a girl). Oh well I met him; he’s still a nice guy.

This coming week we take on Jacksonville as we try to put together the longest winning streak of the season (two games). I don’t know much about them, but I hear it’ll be close. Go Bills!

-The John


The John Review – Week 8

Sent them packing.

Let me start off with my usual setting of the scene: I was there. Packers fans infiltrated Ralph Wilson stadium, sparking comments by passing Bills fans like, “I’ve never seen so many of the other team’s jerseys.” It was reminiscent of a Sabres/Leafs game in HSBC where so many Toronto fans have seemed to move right in and make themselves at home. I was worried there would be confusion as to who the home team really was.

My friend Dave and I had really kickin’ seats in the lower level just off the 35-yard line. The stadium filled up and it was time for kickoff.

First play of the game Terence Mcgee made quite an impression. However it was the Bills offensive line to save the day for Green Bay’s defense as they incurred a false start penalty and the first (of many) sacks on Man-tan Losman.

The Bills continued to embody the philosophy that it’s better to be lucky than good, as the offense played the first three quarters. During that time I found myself happy to see the defense take the field (despite the capabilities of the dangerous Brett Farve) because they were so much more fun to watch. Don’t get me wrong I still believe Losman could be the guy, but I was the one that started the stadium sweeping “Nall Ball” chant just because I was so bored with the current offensive setup. In hindsight I’m glad Dick didn’t listen to me, but man the O-line better start preparing their resumes.

I also have to mention I like the A-train. He has that old fashion, “tackle me and I’ll make you pay for it” run-through style that is quite the opposite of future “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Willis McGahee (as far as I know he won’t really be on the show, but he does do a lot of dancing). I know the BBR guys pointed out A-train has more TDs than McGahee, and that really shouldn’t be a surprise (actually, London Fletcher-Baker has more TDs than McGahee), since the plow-through style is more productive than the run-around style on the goal line.

Bottom line: Bills finally got the job done, but they need an unholy amount of improvement if we’re even going to make it a game against the monster Colts next week. I know BBR_Greg called for an upset and I would love to have that kind of faith, but Payton Manning is in every commercial ever for a reason, and that reason is he’s amazing. If we keep the ball on the ground and out of Manning’s hands, we have a shot of making it a game. If Miami can do it to Chicago then we have a shot. Besides, I’d like to think anything Miami can do we can do better. Go Bills.

-The John

SIDE NOTE: as mentioned on the show this week (thanks Greg), I was at the game and recorded some audio highlights from myself, my friend Dave and the much intoxicated people around me. I made a short montage and will post that hopefully before Tuesday. Hope you enjoy it.


Steve Tasker Interview :: Link

In case you have not stopped by the home page, please do! We just posted the BBR interview with Steve Tasker, and it was great! I wanted to post another link here to an article the Bills did on Steve a while back. It’s posted on the Buffalo Bills website.

Good stuff there that we were not able to capture in a short 15 minute interview.

But the podcast version is always fun, so check out the latest Bills Review, an inteview with Bills all-time great special teamer, Steve Tasker!


An Idea For Professional Sports

I was really bothered by baseball getting WAY too much attention from the TV sports segments well into the football season this year, and was talking with Jen recently about how all the sports should get out of each other’s way. We know it won’t happen (thanks to the commercialization of all the pro sports) but wouldn’t it be grand if hockey didn’t go till JUNE, and baseball was actually played in THE SUMMER?


Well, here’s what I think we should see from the pro sports…

Being a summer sport, shouldn’t it be played in the summer time???? Right now, baseball is actually played during ALL FOUR SEASONS of the year. That’s just wrong. The schedule should be more like May-August… with playoffs ending in September. Maybe you even start the divisional rounds in August, and have the World Series around Labor Day weekend. More people could watch/attend, because they’re off work! And then, it’s actually a SUMMER sport!!!

The Super Bowl should not be played in February. Shorten the pre-season. Football should begin no sooner than August, and the regular season should be September through December. Playoffs are in January, with the Super Bowl being the last weekend of January.

Hockey is a winter sport. (Notice the surface is ICE.) So let’s actually start it in THE WINTER. The season could start in mid to late November… and playoffs could be in March, because it’s still cold in most hockey towns in March. Hockey has no business continuing into April, May and especially JUNE.

Basketball: (and everything else)
This one is weird because it is all played indoors. Could be played any time of the year… and… is. Let’s just shorten the season like everything else. I don’t even know when the official season is, but it’s at least Oct to June. WAY TO LONG.

So… the calendar would look like:

Month Football Hockey Basketball Baseball
January: Football playoffs Hockey Basketball
February: Hockey Basketball
March: NHL Playoffs Basketball
March Madness
April: Basketball Baseball SPRING training
May: NBA playoffs Baseball
June: Baseball
July: Baseball
August: Football pre-season Baseball playoffs
September: Football World Series
October: Football
November: Football Hockey
December: Football Hockey Basketball

Well, that’s how my ideal sports calendar would look at least. 🙂 Throw in the Olympics every couple of years and you’re set. Nothing clashes… nothing drags on. It’s perfect.

Now… who do I talk to to get this plan underway?