The John Review – Week 11

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)

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