Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

Sept 21 - Oct 5, 2005
Issue #84

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
Poopaganda
Why is it OK for the press to lie?
Allan Uthman

Banana Republicans
3rd World, US-style
Shawn Ewald

Drowning Reality
Truth not a Major Factor in New Orleans
Kit Smith
Of Pandas & Morons
Truth vs. Myth in PA
Jeff Dean
Star Wars
The Sequel & the Reality
Bob Fitrakis

APOCALYPTIC FUNPAGE!
Play the Blame Game!
Match the Stupid Quote!
Roberts Confirmation Maze

The BEAST BLOG
Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Matt Taibbi
Wide Right
Bills Football
Ronnie Roscoe
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Meltdown in Tampa Bay
“Lack of Points” Blamed for Bills Loss
Ronnie Roscoe

Hello again my faithful followers, it is I the one and only, The Master Roscoe here again to give you the best sports information in the free world. Two weeks ago in this column, I advised on how the Bills would experience growing pains, especially against teams with good defenses. As I predicted, the Bills opened the season with an easy victory over Houston and subsequent loss in Tampa. The Bills just might be the easiest team in the NFL to predict: If they score 20 points they win; if they don’t they lose. Sounds simplistic, but it is true—of the 18 games that Mike Mularkey has been head coach, the Bills have lost every game in which they scored less than 20, and won every game but one (last season’s finale versus Pittsburgh 29-24) when the score exceeded 20. The Bills don’t win games 13-10; they only lose them by that score. This past weekend they played a difficult defense in Tampa, could not score, got creamed and came home losers.

Against Tampa, Buffalo needed to show the same aggressive start that they did against Houston. They need to attack from the beginning. This does not mean McGahee up the middle or short passes in the flat. After a Tampa penalty on the opening kickoff, the Bills began the game at midfield. The Bills need to establish that good field position means points—they need an aggressive mentality that puts fear into their opponents.

Evans, Moulds and McGahee are among the most talented position players in the league. The Bills need to take advantage of this early and often. McGahee has proven that his first half-dozen carries go for little yardage, and similarly Losman needs to hit a few passes early to get into the game. I don’t care if the opponent knows this—just do it. Wade Boggs never swung at the first pitch—everyone knew—but he collected 3,000 hits and went to the Hall of Fame. Throw a quick screen to Molds, air one deep to Evans, maybe run a pattern to McGahee down the sidelines, whatever; just be aggressive. The Bills need to dictate the tempo of each game. Three and out is okay if we are aggressive; there will be plenty of chances to run McGahee. After a few games of establishing this the Bills can change things up, but for now they need fast paced, up-tempo, offensive football.

Despite the meltdown in Tampa, all is not lost. A quick check of the schedule shows several teams that the Bills can put 20 points on the board against, even with young Losman at quarterback. This week, Atlanta and Michael Vick visit “The Ralph.” Although I don’t expect a shootout, Atlanta’s defense can be had if the Bills come out firing.

The Bills need to be aggressive like they were against the Texans. In Houston, the Bills came out in a shotgun formation with four receivers. Although this was a little over the top, the idea was sound. Atlanta has a very solid front line and they will put pressure on and get to Losman. They led the league in sacks last season and in week one put a hurting on Philly’s Donovan Mcnabb, but their secondary is the weakest part of the defense (yes, that is former Bill Keion Carpenter starting at strong safety). My fear here is that Buffalo will come out in an offensive shell and just “try to stay in the game.” The Bills will likely “max protect,” putting extra blockers in to keep the defense off Losman, and play conservatively. This is a recipe for disaster.

It is a loosely used cliché, but Losman is a gunslinger; he works better in a “hurry up” style offense than in the huddle. So long as the weather is good, the Bills should use this to their advantage. Despite popular belief, the Bills need to let Losman run around and make plays, not keep him in wraps so he can’t lose the game. The kid needs to go out and play. If he proves unable to handle the challenge, then we’re screwed either way, and a change at the position will be needed. If one lesson can be learned from the loss in Tampa it is that the offense has to make plays. This team cannot rely on the defense to win; the offense has to share the load. If they change their attitude from conservative to relentless they will reach 20 points more often than not, and as The Master already told you, that means victory.

After Atlanta, the Bills face New Orleans in San Antonio. This will be the Saints first “home game.” They may have America pulling for them, but their defense is only slightly better than FEMA’s disaster response and the Bills should be able to handle them wherever they play. The next two games are division home games with Miami and the Jets followed by a road game against Oakland—the Raiders have the worst defense in the league. Last year the Bills scored 20 against both Miami and New York at home, and they should again. I am certain they will score 20 versus the Raiders; hell, I could score three touchdowns against the Raiders. The Bills will not win them all, but to go 4-1 or at least 3-2 is realistic—anything less should be considered a disappointment.

Anything less and Kelly Holcombe should be the starting quarterback. Or me, if they lose to the Raiders.

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