When asked why his team hasn't won a game on the road in more than a year, Chan Gailey said "I don't know. If I knew, I would have fixed it". I think Chan knows what has been wrong with this team. When they are at the Ralph nothing seems to bother them. Down three touchdowns to the Raiders and Patriots? No problem. Tim Tebow and the Broncos in town? A Christmas gift. This year an early must win against the Chiefs? A romp at the Ralph. But put this group on a plane anywhere in the USA and they shrink instead of shine. That can't happen if they want to compete in the AFC East.
This Sunday the Bills take the short trip to Cleveland to play a Browns team that should be angry. They have done enough in the first two weeks to actually believe they should be 1-1 at least if not 2-0. With virtually no offense they took the Eagles to the wire. This past Sunday they went toe to toe with the rival Bengals. What do you think they are saying coming into this one? They know that the Bills haven't won a road game since the opener at Kansas City 371 days ago. In the Browns locker room they believe this is their chance to win.
By no means am I saying that the Browns are a good football team. They have a rookie quarterback (albeit one that is actually older than Aaron Rogers) in Brandon Weeden that has plenty of work to do. They have a defense that is missing it's best player in cornerback Joe Hayden who is out for a suspension. But they do have a rookie running back in Trent Richardson who has shown the ability to punish defenders and break tackles. If Cleveland avoids the turnovers that have killed them, they have the defense and run game to make this an ugly, ball control game that could come down to a field goal.
Against Kansas City the Bills showed a formula that they believe can win on a regular basis and I believe translates better on the road. Instead of being Air Chan and relying on Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw it around the field, they put the ball in the hands of their best player (CJ Spiller) on offense and controlled the clock. With a lead they were able to turn loose the defensive line and make life miserable for a quarterback. It sounds simple but the game is much easier to play with a lead and without turning the ball over. This is how you play to Fitz's strength of managing a game than to his weakness of trying to do more than he is capable. Defensively the big money D line needs to show that they can create pressure and dominate a game without the the advantage of the crowd noise at One Bills Drive to help.
Mike's Season Record 1-1
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