Inside the Blue Zone


This is the first installment of Inside the Blue Zone which will feature our thoughts on the previous Bills game. We will post the Blue Zone on Monday night after all the dust has settled from the previous game. Hope you enjoy!

After a long holiday weekend that was capped off at the Bills game, I’m finally able to give my thoughts on the heartbreaking loss. There are so many different things that transpired during Buffalo’s 19-16 loss to Pittsburgh it’s hard to pinpoint where to start.

Well here are some quick thoughts to start things off: Stevie Johnson is human, Kyle Williams is quickly emerging as an elite defensive tackle, Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to thrive in Chan Gailey’s offense, anyone seen Lee Evans?, who knew we have defensive line depth and the Bills once again found another way to lose.

“The drop heard around the world” as I refer to it, has been talked about all over national media today, but not so much for the actual play. After the game an emotional Johnson put a message up on Twitter that many people perceived as him questioning his religious beliefs because of the drop. Everyone has seen what he wrote and heard it being discussed all day so I’m not really going to get into it. I believe the real matter here is how Johnson’s going to bounce back. Every player in the NFL has at one point made a mistake and what separates the great from the good players is their ability to bounce back. This should also serve as a wakeup for Johnson, who was coming off a three touchdown performance against the Bengals. Johnson needs to take a step back, soak everything in and probably change his tune and become “more serious”. Hopefully this can humble him because the sky’s the limit for the former seventh round pick.

Wow! I think that pretty much sums up the way Williams played against the Steelers. 10 tackles, 2 sacks and 4 holding penalties were a direct result of his non-stop motor on Sunday. Williams and his blue collar mentality are a great story on a team that is desperate for some stars.

In his toughest test of the season, Fitzpatrick proved to be up to the challenge as he nearly led the Bills to the win. Although his numbers weren’t as flashy, the Havard grad managed the game and stood tall against the vaunted Pittsburgh defense. With the Bills chances of pulling out  a few more victories this season looking pretty good, Fitzpatrick is in line to be the signal caller next year.

Lee Evans is the Bills No. 2 receiver, end of the discussion. The only time I noticed Lee Evans on Sunday is when he had a crucial fumble on the Steelers’ 19-yard line in the third quarter. Johnson is having a great season, but if it wasn’t for Evans I don’t think he would have the same numbers. That being said, Evans needs to earn his nine million dollars and make some more plays.

Whether you look at the dropped pass by Johnson, or the fact Leodis McKelvin couldn’t “cross” the Moats on the kickoff, the Bills found another way to lose. Yes there were other reasons the team lost the game, but to me these two plays stood out the most. Johnson’s catch would’ve ended the game and the same goes for McKelvin, who looked destined for pay dirt on the kickoff return.

Kudos to the defensive lineman for stepping up with the injury to Dwan Edwards (not counting Maybin). Alex Carrington and Torrell Troup actually made a difference.

Lastly, just how bad is the Buffalo’s run defense? This stat tells it all: Donte Whitner leads the Bills with 104 tackles on the season and he led the way on Sunday with 18. I’d say we could use a few linebackers.

One Response to “Inside the Blue Zone”

  1. Russellmania Says:

    Overall great article. The only thing missing is Chan Gailey. Good teams always to seem to resemble their coaches in some way or another. The media always refers to how the New England Patriots mimic the nuisances of Bill Belichick including his slow methodical game plan as well as his calm demeanor. The Jets now truly, as much as I hate to say it, are a mirror image of Rex Ryan’s persona. I finally believe that the Bills have started to believe in Gailey and it shows in how much they resemble the guy. As you said, Fitzy is Gailey’s guy. Not just that he fits Gailey’s offense, also that he is a lot like the coach. And when you have a coach and your play caller on the same page, the rest of the team usually follows suit. The last thing that I want to point out is how well the Bills have played in the second half of games. Under Dicky Jauron once the Bills went into half down on the scoreboard you could already put that game in the loss column. Gailey and his coaching staff go into the locker room and change their game plans. Seems like an easy concept, but fans of the Bills aren’t use to that. Putting up 35 unanswered points on Cinci to win, coming back to tie KC with 10 points in the second half to force OT and then putting up 16 points on one of the best Ds in the league to force OT just proves this guy is a solid NFL head coach.

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