Buffalo Bills Football – Ryan Fitzpatrick reeled off a few of those Buffalo Bills-centric terms that all fans have come to know and loathe during the first 12 years of this football-challenged millennium.
“Shocked and disappointed, all those words,” the quarterback said Sunday when trying to describe the feeling of a season-killing losing streak that reached five thanks to a 23-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“The way that we’ve played lately hasn’t been good enough,” said Fitzpatrick, who played before an announced home crowd of 56,463 on Sunday. “I guess it’s a growing process for this team.”
Buffalo Bills fans have heard that one before. This team always seems to be in a growing process, and it never seems to grow, and here the Bills are, 5-7 with playoff hopes as realistic as The Twilight Saga.
This latest loss was to a team that really had no business coming into Buffalo and beating the them on their home field where they were appearing for the first time in nearly a month. The Titans, with a roster filled with nondescript players, aren’t any better than the Bills, not on paper, and certainly not on the field if Sunday’s game was any indication.
However, Tennessee was able to come away with a victory that kept them right in the thick of the AFC playoff race because it made just enough positive plays, unlike the Bills who made just enough negative plays to lose.
“The reason we lost is fundamentals,” said coach Chan Gailey, “You’ve got to block, you’ve got to tackle and you’ve got to take care of the football. Those are the things that happened to us in this game today that we didn’t get the job done to win.”
The mistakes were broad-based. Fitzpatrick completed 29 passes to 10 different receivers, and he would have had a few more completions had there not been some inexplicable drops, including one by C.J. Spiller in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. On the flip side, Fitzpatrick threw a few terrible balls, one that probably would have gone for a TD to Brad Smith in the first half if not for being way overthrown.
In other words, it was a Buffalo Bills performance reminiscent of so many others from Decembers past.
“They all believe, and I do, too, that we can be a decent football team when we put it all together,” said Gailey. “But we play a quarter and a half, we play two quarters. We have to learn to play four quarters, week in and week out. You can’t do it sporadically.”