The Bills open in predictably uninspiring fashion
Here's the downright astonishing part: the Bills actually kinda, sorta put themselves in position to win Sunday's thoroughly uninspiring 15-10 loss to the Dolphins.
The offense—remember, this is the same group of jokers who limped through a dreadful season in 2009—went three-and-out on all but two possessions. It amassed 166 yards and nine first downs as its sleepwalked through an overcast September afternoon in Orchard Park. It couldn't run. Couldn't throw. Couldn't get out of its own way.
For its part, the Dolphins tried their hardest to give this one away, dropping no fewer than three sure touchdowns, including two gift-wrapped from Trent Edwards.
Yet there the Bills were, with the ball, two timeouts and two minutes to tinker with. It's the closest they'll come to winning in the first four weeks of the season.
It says bad, bad things about Miami's chances of competing in the AFC East. They're about as mediocre as advertised, with a quarterback who is marginally better than Edwards and a single wing offense, which, to break the bad news to Fins fans, defensive coordinators have all but figured out.
And don't be fooled: the Buffalo defense is bad. It's susceptible on the ground and through the air; over, under, sideways, down ... you name it. Miami coaches, players and fans have to be worried that their offense couldn't do much against it in the second half. What happens when they have to play the league's varsity-level teams?
We'll see where this team is in the rematch of Week One's Boredom Bowl, in Dolphin Stadium on December 19. I'd say 7-7 and playing out the string.
As for the Bills? This was about what any reasonable fan should've expected. Sucks, doesn't it? Save for one inspired possession late in the game, it was the Bills of the last two seasons all over again, and that seemed about right. After all, was a new offensive scheme and a new coach going to magically turn this rotten pumpkin into a golden Lexus?
Sure, first-round pick C. J. Spiller might add some surprise venom to this defanged snake of an attack. We're hopeful he can someday be that sliding pistol contraption Travis Bickle hid in his sleeve. But it was obvious in his first pro game he was overwhelmed and undermanned against an NFL-caliber defense. Spiller's got a long ways to go, kids, so don't expect him to save the season.
True to form, fans will huff and puff and swear off this team for the umpteenth time. But they need to accept, difficult as it may be, that it's a lost season. It was a lost season before it began. You can hope for signs of progress here and there and look for which players to keep and which to cut loose to other organizations' practice squads.
The same fans who had unrealistic expectations this weekend will be verging on nostalgic of a three-point deficit in the next three weeks. What's going to happen to this assembly of gridiron ineptitude when they visit Lambeau and Foxboro? How about when the Jets visit October 3?
Depressing as Sunday's result might've been, it was predictable. But it's going to get worse. If you were in denial over that on Sunday morning, you no longer had anywhere to hide by 4:30, having watched a below-average Dolphins team lay a relative egg ... and still take care of business with relative ease.