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Bills Misery Knows No Boundaries

Every time I ask myself, ‘how much worse can it get?’ the Bills line up on Sunday afternoon and show us all. At this point I’m inclined to believe that they actually try and one-up themselves. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, if you thought what happened last week was bad, just wait and see what we’ve got in store for you this week.” Only Buffalo could turn a hopeful 1-1 start into a 1-4 rapid downward spiral. That’s not a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s an oncoming train in case nobody’s figured it out yet.

In their latest installment of the debacle of the week, the Bills welcomed in a woeful Cleveland Browns team and for the second week in a row, the Bills became a winless teams’ first victory of the season, losing to the Browns 6-3 in pathetic fashion. And pathetic is probably too nice of a description.

Leave it to the Bills to invent new and improved ways to lose a football game. Browns quarterback Derek Anderson went 2-of-17 for 23 yards, while the offense totaled just 193 yards. Two passes the opposing quarterback completed. TWO! Browns punter Dave Zastudil had more punts, nine, that Anderson had completions. I’ll go one further; Zastudil had more punts downed inside the Bills’ 20-yard line (seven) that Anderson had completed passes. A professional NFL starting quarterback completes only two passes, his completion percentage for the day wasn’t even 12 % and you lose the game. I don’t think I’ll ever get past that.

For the second time this season, the Bills special teams were anything but, giving away the game. This time around it was Roscoe Parrish who muffed a punt late in the fourth quarter with less than three minutes to play, allowing the Browns take over at the Buffalo 16. Sure, it may have took the Browns 7 plays to get 15 yards, but kicker Billy Cundiff connected on an 18-yard field goal with 23 seconds left to give the Browns their first victory of the season. The win snapped the Browns’ 10-game losing streak and in another cruel ironic twist, this was Cleveland’s first win since beating the Bills in Buffalo on Monday Night last season.

As for the Bills, they were again done in by themselves. They continue to be the most undisciplined team in the NFL committing 13 penalties, nine of which were false starts. Nine false start penalties. And the game was at home! There’s a lot quarterback Trent Edwards can control, but poor offensive line play he can’t. Speaking of Edwards, he had another anemic day, completing 16-of-31 passes for 152 yards, one interception and no touchdowns. The lone bright spot on offense was running back Marshawn Lynch, who racked up 125 total yards. The Bills rushing defense continues to get shredded. This time it was Jamal Lewis, who had 117 yards on 31 carries. Despite taking a week off, the injury bug came back and bit with a vengeance. Both middle linebackers, starter Kawika Mitchell and back up Marcus Buggs, were lost for the remainder of the season with knee injuries.

On Sunday, the crowd turned miserable very quickly. Instead of optimism, Ralph Wilson Stadium was filled with paper bag masks and constant boos, directed heavily at Trent Edwards and Bills head coach Dick Jauron. As for Jauron, to the disappointment of Buffalo fans worldwide, Jauron will remain the head coach. Bills owner Ralph Wilson has stated that making a coaching change in the middle of the season isn’t the right thing to do right now.

It’s hard to remain positive with this team. Extremely hard. The offense flat out stinks. The line is poor. The quarterback looks more and more like a third-string emergency back-up with each passing week. The defense has had their flashes of brilliance, but continues to get hammered against the run. The injuries continue to mount, becoming more devastating with each new injured player. The Bills are now 1-4 and have lost 12 of the past 15 games. They’ve scored 13 points in two weeks and dating back to the New Orleans game, the Bills have scored 20 points combined in their past three games. To makes matters worse, Buffalo is one of three remaining teams to not have a rushing touchdown this season.

Simply put, this might very well be the lowest moment of the franchise since Gregg Williams’ first year as head coach in 2001 when the Bills went 3-13, or even in 2005 when they went 5-11. Buffalo will attempt to right the ship next week in the Meadowlands when they square off against the New York Jets. We all know how that one ended last year.

If you’re thinking to yourself or wondering out loud how much worse this can get, unfortunately there are 11 games to go. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

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