Orchard Park (WKBW.com) I was standing in almost the same spot on the sideline. I must have been crazy to think that this time it was going to end differently. Swap out Matt Hasselbeck and Nate Washington for Sam Bradford and Brandon Gibson and you have the Tennessee loss all over again.
4th quarter lead. Chance to finish. Late touchdown. Disappointment.
5-and-8. Bring on the draft.
Giving up the Bradford to Gibson 13 yard touchdown was a tough way to finish for a Bills defense that otherwise played very well. But you have to make plays with the game on the line. George Wilson had a chance or two on the final drive. Wilson had an interception in his hands that could have ended the game. He had a chance against Tennessee as well.
Head Coach Chan Gailey called the loss a "tough pill to swallow". Unfortunately it was a a familiar one as well.
I've said it before I'm tired of this team starting over, but Gailey is becoming more difficult to defend each and every week. Personally I think he's one of the good guys, but he had another tough day on the coaching front against the Rams.
8 touches for C.J. Spiller??? On a day the offense struggled to find a rhythm that's inexcusable. Gailey was able to find a flow and solid production in using both Fred Jackson and Spiller against the Jaguars, but it wasn't working against the Rams. Spiller was again professional in his post game comments but admitted he's frustrated. As a competitor he believes he can help the offense be more productive. He's obviously proven it. He's right. In my mind Fred Jackson still adds plenty to the offense, but in a game you needed a spark Spiller needs more touches.
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his team needs to develop a killer instinct.
The lack of that in this game falls on Gailey as well. Questionable decisions in terms of time management and situations hurt the head coach again.
The Bills had a great opportunity to be aggressive late in the first half. Stephon Gilmore's interception gave the offense the ball back with 1:15 to play. The offense had moved down to the Rams 23 with :32 to play, but failed to take a shot at the endzone. Gailey then called a time out with :11 seconds remaining before kicking a 40 yard FG leaving time on the clock for St. Louis. The gaffe didn't hurt the Bills, but it could have.
Gailey's conservative approach became even more difficult to figure out in the fourth quarter. The Bills faced a 4th and 7 from Rams 34 Rian Lindell would trot out to attempt a 52 yard FG before Gailey called a time out. Gailey then sent the punt unit out. If you are going to punt why not take a delay of game and save the time out?? A time out the Bills could have used on their final drive.
"I was trying to get that to them to take a delay of game and Scott Chandler saw me tell them to take the delay of game, but I did not know he got the word", said Gailey. "So I was scared they were going to snap it. That is why I called the timeout"
So why not kick a 52 yard FG??
"When they first told me it was a 50-yard field goal instead of a 52, 53 yard field goal. We had just dropped the snap on the extra point, so that is why I pulled them back out of there", said Gailey.
Rian Lindell was clearly upset on the sideline when Gailey pulled him off to punt. "I want to kick them all, you know what I mean??" said Lindell after the game.
So why not be aggressive and go for it?? You were on the Rams 34!!
"We were not going to go for it there. The defense was playing good. We were going to try to pin them back", said Gailey.
The punt ended up working out. Ruvell Martin helped pin the Rams on the 3, but 3 points would have put the Bills up 8. A touchdown there would have put the Bills up 12 with 11:52 left.
It's that lack of killer instinct that killed the Bills again.
It's the lack of killer instinct that has the Bills at 5-8.