Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

Oct 5 - Oct 19, 2005
Issue #85

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
Bursting the Bennett Bubble
Count me out on this one
Allan Uthman

Post-Katrina, Pre-kaboom?
The Nukes are Loose
Russ Wellen

Tenet & the Bare Necessities
Touch the CIA Director
A Monkey
Fristing America
In Search of the Senator's Rolex
Ian Murphy
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Gasoline
Kit Smith
Bush Declares War on Hurricanes
"It's time to fight back"
Luke Allein
Ask a Janjaweed Militiaman
Genocidal social advice
How to Wipe Your Ass With Buffalo Current
New paper finds its niche

Visitor's Gude to  Buffalo--Cheektowaga
Tom Maccio

Buffalo in Briefs
Wide Right
Bills Football
Ronnie Roscoe
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Last Issue: (84)

A Bunch of Mularkey
Play-Calling to Blame for Bills’ Total Suckage
Ronnie Roscoe

Hello again my faithful followers, Roscoe is here again to give you the best sports information in the free world. The Bills dropped their third game in a row this past Sunday, and now wear the look of a team in complete disarray. The quarterback situation is a disaster, the defense is missing their best player, and to top it all off the coaching staff appears to be in way over its head. That is the bad news. The good news is the Bills are part of the AFC East, where nine wins may be enough to win the division.

After four weeks, the Bills have one win and the top team in the division has two. The Bills play first place Miami this week and will be favored to win. The Patriots will be an underdog against Atlanta, and the Jets are the only team in the NFL with a quarterback situation worse than the Bills. This is one ugly division. So the Bills are still in the mix and, with a few adjustments, they actually could contend for the division title.

In order to become a factor in the AFC East, the biggest concern the Bills face is not who will quarterback the offense, or who will replace Takeo Spikes. The problem with the Bills at this point is a confused coaching staff. The Bills have shown through four games to be prepared at opening kickoff, and they also have the ability to run a two minute offense, but they are unable to make adjustments or handle the flow of a game. The play calling has been curious and has left both players and fans remarking about missed opportunities.

In Buffalo’s previous game versus Atlanta, the Bills threw not one, but two consecutive long passes to open the game. This was not a bad strategy. There was no question what the Bills were doing: Atlanta was missing their second, third and fourth cornerbacks, so the Bills decided to attack. This paid immediate dividends when an overmatched defensive back had to grab Lee Evans as he ran right by on the second bomb. The Bills moved down the field and kicked a field goal to take an early lead.

As the game progressed, the Bills went with the run. They knew that Atlanta was going to have to drop linebackers into the secondary to help their depleted defense, thereby opening up the running game. The Bills had some success running but made it a short game, basically allowing Atlanta to survive despite their inability to cover anyone. Buffalo should have continued to attack, get into a shootout and let Losman gain confidence making plays. Instead, they took the easy route by running the ball, and they lost. After the game, wide receiver Eric Moulds commented on how the Bills missed a golden opportunity to score against the Falcons. He was dead on.

This past week, the Bills once again drove down the field on their first series and scored. The Bills have scored on their opening drive in three of their four games. That is pretty remarkable considering how pathetically the offense has performed overall. The Bills are always well-prepared at kickoff time; this shows the strength of their staff to game-plan effectively against their opponents.

Unfortunately, after dominating New Orleans in that first series, the Bills failed to score again. They did drive down the field at the end of the half, only to have kicker Ryan Lindell miss a field goal. It should also be noted this was the only time in four games that the Bills did not score at the end of the first half. Losman has shown the ability to run a “hurry up,” or two-minute offense. Even against Tampa, Lindell hit a late first half kick. The miss on Sunday was the first for Lindell this season after hitting on 11 consecutive attempts. It was also the first kick that really meant anything all season. Lindell is the A-Rod of kickers: outstanding numbers, but when did he do anything in the clutch?

Despite Lindell’s miss, the Bills were down only 6 points late in the game when they faced a crucial fourth-and-inches situation near the 50 yard line. Losman was on the bench; back up Kelly Holcombe was now handling the quarterback duties. This was the second time this season the Bills pulled Losman for Holcombe. The staff said they were looking for a spark the first time Losman was benched. This time, the reason for the change was that the coaches felt Holcombe gave the Bills the best chance to win the game.

The stage was set: one big play and the Bills could take the lead. Last season, the Bills ran a fake QB sneak where Bledsoe threw to McGahee, who ran 50 yards for a touchdown. The situation begged for one of the many gadget plays the Bills are know for. Unfortunately, they went conservative and chose a simple run on the fourth down play.

If they were successful in negotiating the one yard, they still would have needed to go 50 yards to win the game. Considering that they had scored only three touchdowns in four games, this seemed pretty unlikely. New Orleans’ entire defense was waiting for a run. The Bills coaching staff had a new quarterback in the game ready to make the play, give them the “spark” they wanted. The situation begged for a play-action pass with Holcombe throwing a bomb. Why not see if Moulds or Evans could make a big play against single coverage? Instead, McGahee was dumped two yards behind the line of scrimmage and the Bills dropped to 1-3.

One win in four games would suggest that the season is over. But if Coach Malarkey and his staff get their act together, the Bills could be 3-3 in two weeks and battling for a division title. That’s the good news. The bad news is there’s really no reason to expect the coaching to improve.

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