I love the fire and the passion that George Wilson brings to the game. When he says his team did not "quit" in the humiliating loss to the 49ers on Sunday you believe that he believes it, all evidence to the contrary. But even if we give George and his teammates the benefit of the doubt against the most damning criticism that can be leveled against any pro athlete, it does beg one question. Just how badly would the results have been Sunday if the Bills had actually quit in the game?
There is not a single respected NFL talent evaluator or observer who thought the Bills had not improved on defense coming into this season. So when you look at the body of work nearly a third of the way into this year, there are simple possible reasons to conclude that the defense in particular has been an abysmal failure. It is either the coaching, the player's effort or a combination of the two. I'll take the combination platter.
You know the way it works in the NFL. Dave Wannstedt is going to take the fall for this mess. The old line is that you can't fire all the players but when you keep having games that send reporters to the all-time record books for futility, someone is going under the team bus, Believe me Wannstedt deserves his share of the blame because the Bills look totally unprepared to change or adapt to what opponents are doing, especially in the second half of games. But there is a point on the field where the other team just lines up and tests your NFL manhood with power running plays. The Patriots and Niners did that time after time for the last 83 minutes of football and the result has been 13 touchdowns allowed.
Remember the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman"? Richard Gere gets beaten by Louis Gosset and he's told to get out of the military. Gere cries and says he can't because "I got nowhere else to go" That is what Chan Gailey must be saying when he looks at the quarterback position . Ryan Fitzpatrick was really ,really bad on Sunday. The interception he threw in the 3rd quarter gets most struggling quarterbacks in the NFL a seat on the bench. But what is Chan going to do, put Tyler Thigpen in the game? Activate Tarvaris Jackson who can't seem to figure out the playbook? It's a blatant failure of this organization to not have a competent or even unproven young quarterback on the roster behind Fitzpatrick
I have spent a lot of time here telling fans to not overreact to a bad week in the NFL. But this isn't a bad week for the Bills. This has been the worst two game stretch of play in the history of a franchise that has seen some pretty awful football. Is the season over? Of course not. It's October and if somehow they could win in Arizona they would be 3-3. But to beat the Cardinals or any other NFL team you have to play with talent, smarts and passion. Over the last two games the only reason to think the Bills have any of those qualities is because of what they said after the game, not what they have done during it. Show us on the field and maybe we will actually believe that they did not quit and won't give up on the season.