I have no answers.
Is it the scheme? The players? Switching to a 4-3? The curse of Flutie? The losing disease? #Becauseitsbuffalo?
I'm so over trying to figure out why this defense is a fricken tire fire of doom. I just read five different pieces about how bad this defense has become. I think at this point analysts are trying to play the game of "Can you top that?" with these deplorable stats. Howard Simon wrote that the Bills have given up an average of 228 yards on the ground over the last four weeks. Joe B. wrote that at one point, the Titans were 7-9 on 3rd downs.
Make it stop!! AHHHHH!!
If you had told me before the season started that after 7 games the Bills would have lost three games in which they scored 28 points or more, I'd say you were nuts. Has this ever happened before in franchise history?
They are last against the run. Again. It has become a yearly tradition with this team. It is going on year four of being at the bottom of the league in rush defense. It is a passing league, right? Not when you are playing the Bills. The Bills have let a running back - who everyone has said is a has-been - rush for 10 yards a carry. They made two guys I never heard of in New England look like Curtis Martin. Some guy named Hunter for the 49ers rushed for almost 100 yards.
In their last 15 games, the Bills have given up 30 or more points nine times. They have given up almost 2,000 yards in offense over the last four weeks to Tom Brady (no shame in that), Alex Smith (the guy with the small hands), Kevin Kolb (he's worse than Fitz), and Matt Hasselbeck (he still fucken plays?!). They are on pace to allow more yards than last year's squad which was led by Spencer Johnson and Danny Batten on the outside.
The Titans had the perfect game plan. They let their passing game set up the run. On the first drive, Hasselbeck was 5-5 for 53 yards and relied on quick strikes and the Bills inability to get to him. After the Titans made the Bills respect the passing game, they gave us a heavy dose of Chris Johnson. That's coaching. That has happened one too many times this season to the defense.
So let the blame game begin:
Dave Wannstedt. The only reason I can come up with as to why Wannstedt went from a coach whose defenses were ranked in the top 12 eleven times to this crap fire, is because he's dated. He's a fossil. His successes all came before 2003. Offenses and defenses are much different now. In 2004, the league started implementing more illegal contact penalties down field. It all came after the Titans/Pats playoff game, when the Pats were mugging WRs. The league wanted more passing and pretty much did what the NHL did after the lockout and stopped the clutching and grabbing. If you watched what Wannstedt had in Miami, they were all about press coverage and having their corners play on islands and relying on their 4-man front. It doesn't work now cause these corners aren't good enough yet and you just can't be as aggressive as you could during the '90s. So that's what you get. A dated coach who isn't up with the times. I watch other teams that disguise their blitzes. Sometimes they look like they are going to blitz, but then they drop back or there is movement. Why can't we do that? Not blitzing can actually be creative.
Linebackers. You want to know how Chris Johnson scored that 83-yard TD? Watch Nick Barnett. He took the wrong angle when trying to hit the gap and once he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was getting planted by a fullback. The linebackers as a group have terrible instincts when it comes to defending the pass or stopping the run. They are either too young, too raw, too old, or too crappy. I think we all underestimated the importance of LBs coming into this season. We knew they sucked, but we thought the DL would help hide their deficiencies. We were wrong. The thing is, if you look at the LBs for the top 10 teams against the run, you have mixed results. The Cowboys inside guys aren't exactly stellar. Same with the Steelers guys. Can you name Seattle's LBs? How about the Cards? How about the Vikings? All of these teams are ranked in the top 10, yet their ILB linebackers aren't household names. I don't get it. Have another drink and maybe we will figure it out.
Defensive line. This was supposed to be the backbone of this football team. Even if Fitzpatrick looked like a grease fire, the defensive line would swallow up the opposing offense. The defensive line looks like the old Fitzpatrick. One week, they look good (Chiefs, Cards and Browns). The next week, they look like a disaster. They only have 3 sacks in their four losses. They can't stop the run or the pass. Mario Williams isn't earning his pay and is making average offensive linemen look like All-Pros. Dareus and Williams have been invisible. We are giving Shawne Merriman as many chances as Darryl Strawberry. This unit has been average to bust-worthy this year. If they don't start playing to their potential, we will be lucky to win 5 games.
Secondary. Too young, too soon. Maybe this whole baptism by fire will help us next year, but for this year, they have been a disappointmet, Jairus Byrd being the exception, of course. I still see the same problems we saw during week 1. They are giving too much cushion to the WRs and there is too much space between the secondary and LBs. Seriously, when the Titans faced a 4th and 9, did you really think the secondary would hold their own if the Bills didn't get to Hasselbeck? Of course not.
Final word: Yes, we can blame one entity, but I'm all about blaming everyone. Alright, I pick the coaching as first on the firing line. The defense needs something during the bye week. Hire a consultant or two if you aren't going to fire Wannstedt. Honestly, they should fire him. I know you can't just find a coach out there and rarely do in-season changes help, but It can't get any worse for the defense, can it?