Buffalo Bills Week 15 Report Card: An embarrassing loss north of the border

2012-12-16T19:56:00Z 2012-12-16T22:26:58Z Buffalo Bills Week 15 Report Card: An embarrassing loss north of the borderRobert Harding Auburn Citizen
December 16, 2012 7:56 pm  • 

The annual Toronto "home game" was a stinker for the Buffalo Bills and Bills fans. 

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Bills 50-17 in front of 40,000 fans at Rogers Centre. The loss drops the Bills to 5-9 on the season and eliminates them from the playoff hunt (officially). 

The Bills, who trailed 31-17 at the half, couldn't move the ball in the second half. Seattle outscored Buffalo 19-0 in the second half of the blowout victory. 

Here is this week's Buffalo Bills report card:

GRADING THE UNITS

OFFENSE - C-

Stevie Johnson had a great game. C.J. Spiller touched the ball 20 times. But when your quarterback is inconsistent and your other receivers are dropping the ball, the offense couldn't move the ball down the field. The Bills scored 17 points Sunday -- all in the first half. 

The Bills have some good weapons on offense. Spiller, Johnson and Scott Chander, to name a few. But their receiving corps is limited. They need to keep their offensive line healthy. And most of all, they need a franchise quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the answer. The Bills overpaid him and invested in him way too soon. 

Buffalo did win the time of possession battle. The Bills had the ball for more than 31 minutes, which is usually a good thing against a team like Seattle. But with ineffective play calling, dropped passes and three turnovers, the Bills failed to score on nine of their 12 possessions.

DEFENSE - F

This was a really, really bad game for the Bills defense. It was reminiscent of the games against New England and San Francisco, when the Bills gave up 97 points (52 to the Patriots and 45 to the 49ers) and allowed 1,201 total yards (580 to New England, 621 to San Francisco). 

The Bills have many problems on defense. Their run defense is weak. They couldn't stop Marshawn Lynch or Russell Wilson. But the pass defense is the biggest issue. They don't have a pass rush and their secondary isn't good enough to defend against an opponent's top receivers. 

On Sunday, the defense allowed 50 points and gave up 466 yards. While the Seahawks only had 196 yards passing, the team had 270 yards on the ground. 

If you give up 270 yards rushing, you are going to have a tough time winning football games. 

SPECIAL TEAMS - C

The worst game for this unit in 2012, but it wasn't terrible. Leodis McKelvin was missed. Justin Rogers doesn't cut it as a kick or punt returner. He fumbled one return, but he was bailed out because his knee was down. Brad Smith had a 39-yard return and a total of 91 kick return yards. 

But the Bills allowed the Seahawks to convert a fake punt and Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka booted three field goals. Seattle was better on offense and defense, but their special teams unit was also a much better unit. 

COACHING - F

A bad performance by the defense will put the focus back on Dave Wannstedt and the bad year (overall) the unit has had. The Bills invested a lot in their defense and they could set a franchise record for most points allowed in a season. Not exactly what you want to see after investing so much money (Mario Williams, Mark Anderson) in the defense.

Chan Gailey was outcoached Sunday. Pete Carroll has done a great job in Seattle and his team is playing at a high level. The Seahawks' offense was spectacular. The defense was effective. The special teams made plays. 

When the Bills enter the offseason, this is one of the games people will remember when discussing whether or not Gailey should stick around. I believe he should be fired. Others may agree or disagree. But this is one of the low points in a long season for Buffalo. They have a lot of work to do and many improvements to make. They need more players, they need a better front office and they need a strong leader on the sidelines. 

Right now, the Bills don't have that. They need a great football coach, not a mediocre offensive coordinator. 

Game Ball

Stevie Johnson. Johnson had a great game. He caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He made an amazing one-handed catch at one point, and his touchdown grab was an example of great route running. 

Johnson now has 891 receiving yards this season. He has a great shot at eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in his career. 

Needs Improvement

Roster depth. This has been a problem for several years and the Bills have done nothing to address it. When a player gets hurt, whether it's a receiver or defensive back, the Bills don't have the personnel to step in. That was evident Sunday. The receiving corps (outside of Stevie Johnson) did nothing. The Bills need a couple of receivers. Getting David Nelson back next year will help, but they need some more.

Also, the defensive back situation is bad. The Bills are solid at safety, but they are weak at cornerback. Gilmore might get better, but they need some veterans on the outside. Ron Brooks isn't going to cut it. Aaron Williams can't stay healthy. Leodis McKelvin isn't the answer. 

You can have the best defensive line in the world, but without a good secondary, the line means nothing. 

Up Next

At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Bills travel to Miami for their final road game of the season. 

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