Let me start off this post by saying "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!" Pretty much that's how I'm dealing with the Bills QB situation. After reading the headline for this piece, I'm even at the point of pulling an Adrian from Rocky IV and yelling down the stairs to Rocky "YOU CANT WIN!!"
At this point, there is no point about arguing about who should be the backup QB because Frank Reich isn't walking through those doors anytime soon. Dennis Dixon, Pat White, Matt Flynn, Tim Tebow…it doesn't matter. They are the same players regardless of how much you want to believe that you can put lipstick on a pig.
This is your Bills QB situation and even if Thad Lewis falls on his face, whoever replaces him is going to be the same. A shitty QB that maybe you could sell as an unknown.
As I alluded to during my backup QB piece, I'm pretty close to writing off this season if EJ is out at least 4 weeks. However, there have been crazier things to happen when a new QB comes to town.
Hey! Kurt Warrner was an unknown and he guided the Rams to a SB his first year. Tony Romo was an undrafted QB. Oh, what the fuck am I thinking?! It is Thad Lewis!?
So… How about Ray Lucas? No, I don't want to sign him, but you remember him from the Jets back in 1999? After Testeverde went down with a season ending injury, he came in and actually did a decent job, going 6-3. Now, Lucas didn't do it by himself. He was your classic game manger and the Jets won with solid defense and an even more sold running game (Curtis Martin).
Why can't the Bills do that?
Just make a couple of throws and keep the defense a little honest. Hey, Mike Pettine knows what it is like to have a crappy QB playing in front of him. Albeit, I'd probably take Sanchez over Lewis.
Sadly, the Bills upcoming schedule doesn't exactly have D.O.A. teams. The Bengals, @Dolphins, @Saints, and the Chiefs. However, where there is a will, there is a way..or something. Here are my ways for the Bills to beat some of these teams or at least keep it competitive so I don't throw myself out a window.
Defense needs to be top 5- The defense is obviously much better than last year. You can't even compare and if Chan Gailey wasn't trying to hook his boy up with a DC job, he may still be here. However, they are ranked 20th in points given up and 22nd overall. That needs to improve. Now, the Bills have been able to get after the QB as they are tied for 3rd in sacks and have been able to force turnovers (1st in the NFL with 9 picks). However, I've come to the point that if you aren't stopping teams when it comes to points and total yards, the turnovers tend to stop (See: the defense in 2011). I think they need to be a bit more consistent. I think it starts in the beginning of games, the Bills have allowed 17 points or more three times (Pats, Jets, Browns) during the 1st half of games. Hopefully, if Byrd and Gilmore return, the Bills secondary, which has been a weakness, should be able to improve. Just overall, they just need to play above their heads.
Paging Special Teams- While the Bills have been awful for the last 13 years, if there's one element of their arsenal they have always overachieved in is their return game. Terrence McGee, Roscoe Parrish, Leodis McKelvin, CJ Spiller his rookie year, Marquise Goodwin in the preseason..They are always finding kickass returners. However, because of injuries to McKelvin and Goodwin, their return game has been nonexistent. The Bills currently rank 31st in yards per kickoff return at 18.5 yards. Last year, that number was at 27.0 yards, ranking 4th. The punt return game has been OK, ranking 9th in YPR, but it is a far cry from their #1 ranking from last year. Oh, and don't even get me started on coverage. The Bills have allowed the 2nd and 8th most punt and kickoff return yards in the league. I'm happy Moorman is back, but he's not gonna flip the switch if he doesn't get help from his gunners. The Bills need to get the whole unit going if their offense is going to be hindered.
Smash mouth football- You wanted the Bills to run the football more this year? Well, you got it! After 5 games in 2012: 130 Rushing attempts for 670 yards. After 5 games in 2013: 178 Rushing attempts for 763 yards. They are 1st in rushing attempts and 3rd in rushing yards this year. This is exactly what fans begged for last year. So, when folks get on Hackett to not call as many running plays, you need to check your Twitter status from last year when Chan was running the offense and passing 40 times a game. With that being said, the Bills need to just keep on running because it is really the only thing they can probably do well on offense. Pretty much just copy what the Vikings did last year and call it a day.
Final word: Yeah, a lot of this was cliche football 101 with a dash of stats. You guys aren't stupid. You know what the Bills have to do. The Bengals have a solid defense, but their offense has sputtered at times this year. I'm still not sure about Miami and don't even ask me about the Saints, because I plan on doing lethal injection when the score becomes 31-0 at halftime. Same goes for the Chiefs. Yeah, it is looking very dicey.
However, keep in mind it isn't like the Bills have been asking EJ to air it out. Besides the Carolina game, he's been pretty much a game manger. His numbers rank near the bottom in every QB category in the league. If it sounds like I'm trashing him, I'm not, I just think that's the growing pains of having a rookie QB. If anything, him going down is all about the poor psyche of Bills fans.
Just, the Bills need to play solid defense, get Spiller/Jackson going and get something out of their special teams. Cliche or not, that's the truth.