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Gabbin’ About The Bills – A Weekly Team Overview

Kevin Lissow – Well Tim, the Bills are 4-0 after beating the Rams. The final score doesn’t reflect how close this game really was, as the Rams put a scare into the Bills in the first half. Is this Bills team really this good, or are they the beneficiaries of a very easy early schedule?

Tim Hiller – I was at the game, and I took a lot of grief in my Lee Evans jersey for the first three quarters. That being said, when you look at the game as a tale of two halves, you see that the Bills totally dominated. The Rams came out fired up, they had new guys in the line up and some were playing hard to keep coach Linehan’s job. But ultimately, after all that energy faded, the Bills beat the Rams 25-0 in the second half. Nobody wins four games in a row without playing good football no matter whom they play.

I had the Bills at 7-9 this year; they have the potential now to be much better than that. Last week we wondered whether McKelvin would end up being a bust, did he make us the fool with his bone-jarring hit on Looker Sunday?

Kevin Lissow – That was certainly a great hit. We talked about his increased role in the return game with the Parrish injury, but with McGee now injured he suddenly becomes a key part of the defense as well. We also talked about Youbouty, who played very well in the nickel role and now must continue his progress as a temporary starter.

Not to be a drag, but I do have one concern and that’s the offensive line. Two less than stellar defenses have really gotten to Edwards in the past two weeks, and Lynch while effective has yet to break 100 yards. Do you see this as a potential problem?

Tim Hiller – Yes I do. Teams, who may have impressive records, often lose big games when they struggle to protect their quarterback (See Patriots, Cowboys from last year). However, it seems as if the offensive line is able to turn it on when it needs to, providing running lanes, and time for Edwards late in the game. The key for the Bills moving forward is consistency on offense. The Defense has played consistently well for the first four games against so-so competition, the offense hasn’t. Still, hard to complain when they average 28 points a game. With consistency, I can see this being one of the best offenses in the league come week 10-11. The key will be finding their consistency, and making sure they keep it when it counts.

Next week is a big game at Arizona. The Bills have not faced a team all year with an offense this good. How do you think the defense will react?

Kevin Lissow – Honestly I’m not sure. They have not seen an offense this good yet, and again they’ll do it without McGee. McKelvin and Youbouty will be tested early and often, and I think it will present problems for the Bills. With Arizona being very motivated after a blowout loss to the Jets (who by the way looked great) this could be a trap game for the Bills.

In regards to the offense, it’s easy to forget that they are getting used to a new offensive coordinator in Schonert, so as you say they should improve. Do you agree that they are vastly improved in regards to adjustments? They used to get pummeled in the first half, and then do more of the same in the second. It seems that this year they are making adjustments and running away with games in the second half. Does Schonert deserve the credit for that, or is it more Edwards?

Tim Hiller – Schonert deserves a lot of credit. However, from an armchair perspective I think his conservative play calling is holding the Bills back. Evans should have scored three touchdowns against the Rams. Why we only threw over the top to him twice all game is beyond me. It seems like Schonert, and Jauron for that matter, feel as if this team is good enough that if they just keep things in hand early, they’ll be able to make the run when they need to. That’s an OK strategy; you don’t want to take yourself out of games early because of mistakes and turnovers caused by risky play calling. However, more over the top passes to Evans seems like a no-brainer that we should be doing more like 5-6 times a game rather than 2-3 times a game.

Well, it’s that time again. I’m a pessimist this week. The Bills are traveling across the country to play a team that got killed last week, but has one of the best offenses in the NFL. I don’t think the Bills style of keeping it close and pulling away at the right time will work this week. A lot of whether or not the Bills win will depend on if Kurt Warner decides to throw 3 INT’s or not, but if he plays within himself, I like the Cardinals 33-24. Look for the Bills to fall behind again, but dig themselves too deep of a hole to come back from on the road. How about you?

Kevin Lissow – I see your point but compared to Steve Fairchild Schonert looks like an offensive genius.

This week is a tough pick, but I think you’re right. The Bills could come out flat in anticipation of the bye week and maybe a little too high on themselves, while the Cardinals come out very motivated after that Jets game. I hate to say this, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think the Cards could win this 23-17. Let’s hope we’re both wrong!

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