Yeesh. No sooner do I get done dissing Tom Brady over on Sean's blog than do the Buffalo Bills run right out and make the guy look like the second coming of Johnny Unitas and Roger Staubach and just about everybody else who ever played quarterback well. Ach, the Fates are strange mistresses indeed.
Anyhow, there's absolutely no sugar-coating this defeat. The Bills simply did not show up, and they failed to show up before a sold-out, hometown crowd and with the defending Super Bowl Champions in town. They rolled over and cried, "Don't hurt me", which is, in my mind, about as unforgiveable a football sin as anything Terrell Owens has ever done. Dammit, you make an effort when the Stupid Patriots are in town. Getting beat is no shame. Conceding defeat before you've even taken the field is.
I'm not going to bother noting all the ways in which the Bills managed to suck in this game, aside from noting that J.P. Losman was absolutely dismal; his offensive line is getting worse; Willis McGahee is somehow looking more and more like Travis Henry than Thurman Thomas; and the defense is an overrated bunch of poorly covering, bad tackling, and blitz-happy has-been's. This franchise is a total mess.
Which brings me to Tom Donahoe and the coaching staff.
Since my original prediction of a 6-10 season would now require that the Bills win two of their last three, with two of those games being against current division leaders (home against Denver, on the road against Cincinnati), I suspect that 5-11 is more likely, with even 4-12 being possible. (They're 4-9 right now.) Some factoids, then, about the Bills under the stewardship of Tom Donahoe:
:: The Bills have already clinched their fourth non-winning season, and their third outright losing season, under Tom Donahoe. (They broke even at 8-8 in 2002.)
:: With one more loss -- and that's almost certain to happen -- the Bills will post ten or more losses for the third time in Donahoe's tenure.
:: This is a team that has had offensive line troubles pretty much consistently ever since the end of the Super Bowl run back in 1993. The line is disastrously bad now, however, which led me to so a little digging. In supervising five college drafts for the Buffalo Bills, Tom Donahoe has picked 42 players. Only six of those were offensive linemen, and only one of those -- Mike Williams, who is this close to being labeled the Bills' worst draft bust of all time -- is still with the team.
:: In yesterday's game, with Mike Williams out of play, the Bills did not start a single offensive lineman who'd been drafted by the Bills.
:: Under Donahoe, Bills quarterbacks have posted a passer rating of 76.2.
:: Under Donahoe, the Bills defenses have yielded an average of 314 yards per game.
Some of that is average, and some of it is quite simply poor. Now, a bit of that might be unfair, since Donahoe inherited a team in salary cap trouble, which made 2001's 3-13 record unavoidable to a certain degree. But four years later, the team is again an overpaid and underachieving mess. Just look at the debacle surrounding the suspension last week of receiver Eric Moulds, and the way the Bills played it. When the T.O. thing erupted in Philadelphia, Andy Reid and the Eagles were clear: he was suspended, and that was that. However, with Moulds we had numerous meetings with the coach, and Mike Mularkey insisting that he hadn't suspended Moulds until the team owner came in and did the dirty work, and the general manager was nowhere in sight (well, he was in sight, going on the radio to call Bills fans "jerks").
It's not the fact that the team sucks that bothers me as a Bills fan. I can handle sucking now, as long as I can believe that the sucking is leading somewhere. But it's the franchise that sucks, which means that if the current leadership sticks around, the sucking is going to continue.
And that, as Messrs. Beavis and Butthead would note, sucks.
(By the way, I have a sneaking suspicion that if the Bills get rolled this Saturday night in their nationally televised home game against Denver, the scene at Ralph Wilson Stadium might get a tad ugly. Make some popcorn, folks -- we might have ourselves a show.)
(Oh, and a brief side rant here: I know that the Bills were busy doing their best Arizona Cardinals impersonation, but watching this game on TV was painful, with Randy Cross going out of his way to anoint Tom Brady and the rest of the StuPats' heads with oil. It seemed as if every flag that was thrown against the StuPats was questionable, and every positive play was the result of staggering genius by the StuPats, and so on. Frankly, the ability to beat up on the Bills doesn't make Brady look like Joe Montana -- not when some guy named Sage did the same thing last week.)