Coming into this week I wrote that Chan Gailey should be considered a choice for NFL Coach of the Year and I still believe that to be the case. I am not changing a full season's worth of decisions and results based on one sunny afternoon in Orchard Park. But one of the reasons I have like Galley's coaching so much this seasons is that he has been in tune with his players, knowing just which buttons to push, when to be aggressive, when to be patient and how to get the most out of his talent. Sunday against the Jets Chan and his team were as out of tune as a bad garage band.
Offensively I believe Gailey gave the Jets too much credit coming into the game and did some of Rex Ryan's job for him. Darelle Revis is the best defensive football player in the NFL, but by not challenging him at all until the one long pass to Steve Johnson in the second half, they allowed Ryan to take away a weapon without a lot of effort. I think a better option would have been to take a few shots, early on, and let the Jets know that the Bills were going to be aggressive and not allow the Jets to dictate the game plan. That did not happen.
Another strength of the Bills offense has been Fred Jackson in the screen game. Plays to number 22 in the middle of the field have been lethal all season long. I believe that Gailey, knowing that the Jets had two weeks to prepare, assumed Ryan would take away the screen and tried one too many chess moves to stay ahead of him. What we ended up seeing was the Bills trying to make plays on the outside against the Jets corners and Fitzpatrick forcing the ball across the middle with the Jets dropping linebackers into coverage. That resulted in two interceptions and a disruption in any flow they might have had.
The Bills defense made enough plays in the first half to keep them in the game despite the ineptitude of the offense. But eventually they wore down and the Jets capitalized. Some want to consistently rip Mark Sanchez and the jets quarterback gives them ammunition when he makes some bonehead plays. But when he is on he can be devastating to the defense and Sanchez was sharp and accurate and slants and got the ball downfield, forcing costly pass interference penalties, putting the game away.
Gailey needed to give his entire team a jolt, a spark, a nudge from somewhere. Maybe it would have been a trick play or throwing deep on the 4th and inches. Instead he went by a plan that was flawed from the start. Gailey is a man's man. He steps up and takes the blame when it goes like it did and you know he will come out swinging in Dallas. But so far in his Bills career the Jets big guy with the big mouth has had his number and that will have to change if the Bills want to get over the hump in the AFC East