Trent Edwards is only part of the problem for Buffalo
I'm not here to sing Trent Edwards' praises. I'm a lousy singer anyway, unless you have a thing for Bavarian yodeling.
So go ahead, blame Edwards all you want for Buffalo's latest embarrassing failure, which on Sunday took the form of a 34-7 thumping by the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. But doing so is the easy way out, piling on to a guy who's equal parts embattled and befuddled; kicking the teeth of a dead horse's corpse.
The Pack used a pair of interceptions to run away with this one in the second half, outscoring the Bills 21-0 in the final thirty minutes (it couldn't have ended soon enough). The first went directly through Steve Johnson's hands. The second was fumbled away by Roscoe Parrish. And yes, Edwards took sacks in bundles, as he did last week and will do in the weeks ahead, but I'm not sure the NFL's elite could take care of business behind such a dismal offensive line.
We knew what we were getting, or at least we ought to have known, from Edwards: a frail, confidence-stripped, medium talent who either can't see downfield or is unwilling to toss the pigskin that way. At this rate, defenses can simply stack eight defenders in the box and dare the Bills to send C. J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch—if he doesn't soon gleefully dance off the plank of this rapidly sinking scooner—into a brick wall.
They won't have to worry about Edwards chucking it deep, or even in the seam or into the flats for that matter. Simply release the hounds and watch the siege of Fort Buffalo rapidly transpire.
So stop saying "Edwards has to go." Yeah, no duh, fella. It's like proclaiming parachute-less skydiving is hazardous. Thanks for the insight. Now shut it.
For the Edwards haters out there, relief may be in sight. What are the odds he'll make it through next week's meat-grinder in New England, with a rabid Pats defense trying to make amends for Sunday's loss to the Jets? I'm setting the line at three-to-one. Sorry to give you such grim odds, Trent, but one must judge these things using a historical perspective.
Yup, Buffalo's quarterback is bad, but we knew that. It's obviously the biggest need on the team, so I might have to actually start watching the college game again to start scouting Buffalo's future guy. (Or perhaps they'll draft another running back or cornerback—anything's possible with the jokers who run the show at One Bills Drive.)
But what these first two weeks have shown is this team's soberingly bottomless dearth of talent at so many key positions. Start with offensive tackles at both ends. Cornell Green's an absolute pylon, carrying on the tradition of free agent busts on the O-line, and for all the praise heaped on Demetrius Bell, he doesn't appear to be the answer on the left side. I've said Jason Peters is overrated and wasn't worth the scratch the Eagles gave him, and I still believe that. That being said, there's a gaping talent chasm between Peters and his dreadful successors on the left bookend.
It's also sparkling clear the Bills need a second wide receiver to complement Lee Evans. How long before Evans, who was thrown to exactly once on Sunday, becomes despondent and begins to resemble Marlon Brando's character from Apocalypse Now? ("The horror ... the horror..."). Johnson and David Nelson are nice stories, but it's doubtful they'll develop into the big, physical, surehanded pass-catcher the franchise has needed since Eric Moulds left town.
And the defense? The unit everyone was so stoked about after last week's valiant effort against Miami got bruised, gashed and gouged by one of football's best offenses for three quarters. It will get even worse next week, as Tom Brady peels off the scab and rubs in his own salt. I'm not sure there is one linebacker on this team (and yes, this includes Paul Poszlusny and Chris Kelsay) who is capable of flourishing within the 3-4 set. Same goes for the front three, which couldn't even come close to generating a pass rush on Aaron Rodgers. Did John McCargo, Marcus Stroud, and megabust Aaron Maybin even suit up? I know Kyle Williams did, but only because he jumped offside every other play.
It really is a horrific reality to face, that these 2010 Bills are in fact likely the NFL's worst team. One needn't look far for causality: of the 22 starters, more than half need to be replaced with NFL-level players. It's the kind of predicament that takes more than one draft and free-agent frenzy to cure.
Good thing Bills fans have always been in this thing for the long haul. Only problem is, it's now eleven years and counting, with no end in sight. Indeed, "the horror."