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Post Game Gab Between Columnists Kevin Lissow and Tim Hiller

This is the first edition of post game conversations between Bills Gab writers Tim Hiller and Kevin Lissow.  In this segment the two Bills Gab writers will share their thoughts on the game and the overall status of the team.

Kevin Lissow:

Hey Tim, if I told you before the season started that the Bills would be 2-0 after playing the Jaguars and oh by the way, Tom Brady is out for the season, you’d probably be a pretty happy Bills fan.   Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Bills might finally be coming to the games with all three phases of their team, and it could very well lead to a division title.  Are you as impressed as I am thus far?

Tim Hiller:

I’m very impressed with the team thus far.  The offense has looked good, as has the defense, and we all know (one onside kick recovery aside) that the special teams unit is fantastic.  I am however a Bills fan with a memory.  Five years ago the Bills looked great in their first two games and ended up 6-10.  That being said I think this time will be different.  The Bills showed that they can beat a good team on the road, something we haven’t seen from them in years.  As for division title, I don’t know, did you see the Pats?  They seemed to be in a class of their own against the Jets even without Brady.  With a young QB who has the opportunity to get better as the season progresses, they still managed to dominate the game from beginning to end against a team many thought could unseat them.  Being realistic, how do you think the Bills will stack up against the Pats this year?

Kevin Lissow:

I definitely remember the last time the Bills were 2-0, as I was a season ticket holder at the time.  And if you recall the 2nd game of that season was a 38-17 win over Jacksonville in Jacksonville (their first win was a 31-0 home win over the Pats).  With all that in mind there is a sense of irony here and a little bit of skepticism, as they started out much stronger in that 6-10 season.

In regards to the Patriots, it does seem like an insurmountable task to wrestle the division away from them.  Having said that their dominance has to come to an end eventually, and it seems a season in which Brady is injured seems like the most likely time for it to happen.

Their defense is older and they no longer have Asante Samuel, one of their top defenders from previous seasons.  Cassel was ok against the Jets but I like the Bills defense better than the Jets.  I also like the Bills offense more than the Jets, even with Favre.   I think with Lynch the Bills are more balanced, and Schonert seems to be doing much better than Fairchild at keeping defenses guessing.  In addition Trent Edwards is growing up every week, as that throw to Evans to set up the game winning TD was a big time throw in a pressure packed scenario.  The Special Teams are living up to their “special” title, as they are one of the few special teams units in the league that make a difference each and every week in some way.

The Patriots have the mystique, and Belichick with his ego lives to prove the pundits wrong in these situations, but I think they can be beaten.  And I think Edwards might be smart enough to deal with at least some of the things that Belichick will throw at him.


Only time will tell, so we’ll continue the Patriots discussion at a later date.

How about this defense, are you sold or have they just taken on two offenses that are dealing with a ton of injuries?

Tim Hiller:

I’m sold that the defense will not be what loses us games this year.  Whether the defense keeps up its dominant play when the offensive competition gets a bit tougher remains to be seen.  But the defense will keep us in games at the bare minimum.  Dick Jauron and company know how to dial up the right play to stop a drive before an opponent gets in the end zone.  I’m confident that the defense will do everything it needs to let Trent Edwards and the offense win games for us.

Do you think, given our hot start that Dick Jauron is in a make or break year?  With his contract up at the end of the season, and the talent level up on the team, do you think the Bills will let him walk if we don’t make the playoffs?

Kevin Lissow:

It’s interesting you bring that up.  Prior to the season I did a story on Bills Gab regarding the fact this is probably a make or break year for him.  Last year he got a free pass due to the injuries, but the fact is he has made questionable decisions.  In that story I brought up the Monday night game against Dallas last year in which a rookie QB in Edwards was allowed to keep throwing in a game that was almost over until he threw an interception that eventually cost the Bills the game.

Having said all that, there is news out of Buffalo just today that they are working on an extension for him, so obviously the Bills are comfortable with him.  I think he may be getting too much credit for the hot start, although you could also argue he took too much of the blame in the past.  That’s the way it goes in that position.

As long as we’re talking about the coach let’s talk about a recent front office decision.  What did you think about the team putting Angelo Crowell on season ending IR.  I understand he put them in a spot announcing he may have surgery three days before the season, but the fact is he may have been ready to return before mid-season and he is a solid starter.  I hope the Bills did not make a knee jerk reaction that they will regret, especially if there are any injuries to the linebackers.  I think they could have used him later in the season.  In addition he was a free agent this coming off-season and they essentially ruined that for him.  If he has friends in the locker room I cannot believe that sits well.  What do you think about the situation?

Tim Hiller:

I think the Bills were put in a tough spot, and made the wrong decision.  Remember last year, Paul Posluszny was put on IR even though he would have been able to come back at the end of the year and potentially help the team.  I’m not an expert on front office management, but it’s my understanding (and I invite any readers to correct me) that you can put a player like that on the PUP list, and then you have a choice of activating him when he’s healthy or putting him on waivers.  I think that would have been a better move.

Moving on, I got the Bills 27-10 this week at home against the Raiders.  I don’t see any excuses this week, this is a team I think we are better than.  Who you got, and by how much?

Kevin Lissow:

I agree, they made the decision last year as well with a rookie linebacker that could have used the playing time once healthy.  As far as the game, Bills win 24-13.  We’ll talk about it next week!


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