The Bills lost an ugly game to the Buccaneers 27-6 where they just did not look like they wanted to win the game. This game dropped them to 4-9 and are now the same record as the Jacksonville Jaguars who they play next week. It was a sloppy game as they had 10 penalties for 109 yards and while the officiating was highly questionable, the dumb mistakes that were constantly being made ended up stalling every good drive and extending the Bucs’ drives.
The first unit to be talked about is the defense which outside of a few bad plays, shut down the Bucs offense. Mike Glennon was 9/25 for 90 yards and threw 2 TDs and 2 picks. He was helped by some bad calls including a roughing the passer on Jairus Byrd that wasn’t really one which led to the game being 24-3. The Bills completely shut down the passing game and pretty much made the Bucs go 3 and out for the majority of the game. In the running game, it looked ugly at first as on the 2nd play of the game, Bobby Rainey scored an 80-yard TD run. Other than that, the Bucs were held to 85 yards on 35 carries which is a 2.42 ypc average. The Bills defense did enough to put the team in a position to win but sadly the offense did not do their part.
The offense however was a complete mess. First let’s start with the running game. The Bills ran for 67 yards on carries with 29 yards coming from EJ running for his life. The oline has trouble opening up any holes and it pretty much made the Bills one dimensional, which they wished to avoid. The running game is starting to be a major concern because 3 of the last 4 games it has been pretty much shut down, forcing the game on the passing game which is not what the Bills were planning for.
EJ Manuel had what was perhaps his worst game of his rookie career and hopefully his worst game ever. He threw 4 interceptions with one caused by Stevie Johnson bobbling it to the other team and another when Robert Woods got drilled by Darrelle Revis that really should have been a fumble instead of an interception. EJ had accuracy concerns as he only completed 55% of his passes for 184 yards. He threw a couple of costly picks in which he stared at his receiver and made a bad throw. Those are the type of throws he will need to get better on or else he will end up out of the NFL in a few years. Not helping him was an oline that gave up 7 sacks and made him get hit many more times. He was running for his life a few times and if it wasn’t for his athleticism than the offense would have been worse than it actually was. He was under constant pressure and did not have the time to stretch the field like he needed to make up for the non-existent running game. This was a regression game for EJ and more than likely will cause fans to call for his head and to draft a QB early in next year’s draft. But he is a rookie and rookies have these type of games, even Luck and Wilson had these type of bad games (Luck still does) and patience needs to be given as he develops since he is still not a finished product. The end of the year should be looking to develop him as he is what will decide where the Bills go in the future.
Overall this was an awful game and some players need to be held accountable for their actions. Stevie Johnson needs to be benched due to him constantly making bad plays and let the young guys play more. The oline needs to play some of the younger guys as the veterans make the same critical mistakes over and over that ruin any momentum. The rest of the year should be focused on developing the young guys and giving them some playing time for next year and phase out the veterans who will not be an important part of the future of the team. It will also be an evaluation time as the team determines what positions need to be addressed. In conclusion, this team quit out there and people must be held accountable.