Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
BUFFALO — United States forward Emerson Etem has retreated on his “tweet” blasting world junior hockey host Buffalo.
The 18-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., who plays for the Western Hockey League’s Medicine Hat Tigers, posted this on his Twitter account Monday: “buffalo is a ghost town!! the worst city ever, it makes medicine hat look like paradise, never thought ide (sic) say that.”
I don't give a shit what his excuse or back tracking was after the tweet, this blog will be booing the shit out of him for every team USA game we attend which is at least tonight and Thursday. He should probably go back to ass hat or where ever he's from.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I'll be brief. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not good. He will not win playoff games. The Buffalo Bills are not good. They will not get to the playoffs. The only way to win, get to the playoffs, and have a sniff at (dare I say) a Superbowl championship is to.... TRADE ANYTHING YOU CAN TO GET ANDREW LUCK.
The guy will be a stud. I hated Sam Bradford last year coming out of the draft and I was wrong. The St Louis Rams will probably make the playoffs with a rookie QB. True it is an aberration because the division is so weak and the the schedule so easy, but the QB is the key.
No matter the cost, the Buffalo Bills needs to trade up to get Andrew Luck. You watched the dismantling yet again of the Bills by the Patriots. It isn't luck, it isn't all coaching, it is a superior quarterback. Luck is that quarterback. Trade to get him Ralph.
Friday, December 24, 2010
The Bills are 4-10. They are playing for nothing except pride and their careers in the National Football League. The Bills are being led by a bunch of low draft picks playing their hearts out in Steve Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson. On Sunday, the Bills have a chance to salvage their 2010 season by beating the Patriots who are 12-2 and will clinch the AFC East and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win in Orchard Park.
Do the Bills have a chance to win this game? No, probably not. The chances are less than 1%. The Patriots have beaten the Bills 19 out of the last 20 and have won 14 consecutive. This is one of the most one sided rivalries, if you can even call it a rivalry, in sports right now.
The 2nd game against New England has been even more troubling for the Bills since this streak began. Since the 2000 season, the Patriots are 10-0 in the 2nd meeting of the year. They have outscored the Bills 261-75 in those games for an average margin of victory of 18.6 points. The Patriots have been able to figure the Bills out in the first meeting and then demolish the Bills in the 2nd meeting while the Bills coaches and players apparently figured out nothing.
The major different between these two teams is obviously coaching. Bill Belichick vs. Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron and Chan Gailey. The 2nd major difference is quarterback play. Tom Brady vs. Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, JP Losman, Kelly Holcombe, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and probably Alex Van Pelt back in 2001.
The front office led by owner Robert Kraft, has actually drafted good players in the first round. Since the 2000 draft, the New England patriots have had 10 first round picks. 6 of those picks currently start for their team: McCourtey, Meyo, Meriweather, Mankins, Wilfork and Warren. The other 4, Maroney, Watson, Graham and Seymour, all were starters have left via trade or free agency. Seymour was traded for another first round draft pick.
The Bills are a different story. Their first round picks since 2000 have been Spiller, Maybin, Wood, McKelvin, Lynch, McCargo, Whitner, Losman, Evans, McGahee, Mike Williams, Clements and Erik Flowers. Of these picks, Flowers, Williams, Losman, McCargo and Maybin are 100% complete busts. The Bills have given up draft picks to draft players like JP Losman and John McCargo. They have completely given away players like Marshawn Lynch and have overpaid average players like Lee Evans. My point is, these two franchises may be the two most polar opposite franchises in sports. It is completely embarrassing.
What about the 2010 teams? The Patriots are led by a 6th round pick in Tom Brady. The Bills are led by a 7th round pick in Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Patriots running game is led by an undrafted rookie free agent in Benjarvus Green Ellis. The Bills running game is led by an undrafted rookie free agent in Fred Jackson. That is where the similarities end. The Patriots average 31.9 points per game, 1st in the league. The Bills allow 25.2, 25th in the NFL. In the last 6 games, New England has embarrassed two division leaders at the time in the Jets and Bears and defeated playoff contenders Green Bay, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. The Bills have beaten 4 playoff teams since 2003.
What the Bills must do, somehow, to win this game is run the football and run it often. If this game turns into a shootout, the Bills stand no chance. The Bills need to keep New England’s offense off the field and they may be able to do just that. New England ranks in the middle of the pack in running defense. Peyton Hillis shredded the Patriots defense in New England’s last loss against the Browns. The Bills need to feed Fred Jackson as much as possible. Yeah, I would like them to just feed CJ Spiller but we all know that isn’t going to happen. Each week that draft pick looks worse and worse. The Bills also need to blitz Brady often. Brady normally isn’t touched by Bills defenders which allow him to pick the Bills apart. Too bad the Bills don’t have the personnel to actually pressure Brady because of the lack of real NFL players at linebacker.
This season has been brutal, 11th straight season without the playoffs. The only thing that can make this season worthwhile is beating New England at home when they can clinch the division and home field advantage. 37-29 Bills, you heard it here first.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thirty-four games into the 2010-11 NHL season and the Buffalo Sabres find themselves 6 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Is this a surprise? No. Do they have what it takes to make the show? Probably not.
The blue and gold found themselves in an unusual October slump. I say unusual because the Sabres have something like a .700 win percentage in October since the lockout. They have been struggling ever since. Their offense is a joke, their defense has been slightly above average at best, and the goaltending has, at times, been nothing more than average. We have an average team, playing below-average hockey.
The Hockey News had the Sab-rez finishing 6th. I on the other hand didn't know what to expect. "We have the best goalie in the league" people said. "Myers was the rookie of the year and is a potential Norris trophy candidate" they gleamed. "Vanek will earn his money this year" another fan told me. Yet, as has been the case since 2005-2006, something didn't feel right. It was hard to like this team.
The signing of Jordan Leopold, Shay-on-ee Morrison, and Rob Niedermayer were anything but sexy. Again we were force fed the idea that our "core" was enough to succeed. "Number 1 centers are not available" we were told. Why are things that seem so simple to even the casual fan, made seemingly impossible by Darc and crew? Why are we constantly fed the idea that "there is no one else besides Lindy." Shit, I hope T-Pegs gets this organization and cleans house. If we were to re-sign no UFA's or RFA's our salary cap would be at roughly $36 million. The following are guys in each category with their salary in parentheses:
Tim Connolly ($4.5mil)
Craig Rivet ($3.5mil)
Steve Montador ($1.55mil)
Mike Grier ($1.5mil)
Rob Niedermayer ($1.15mil)
Patrick LaLemon ($600k)
Drew Stafford ($1.9mil),
Andrej Sekera ($1 mil)
Chris But(plug)ler ($850k)
The only guys warranting their current salary or still have some upside/value are Grier and Stafford. Stafford won't need much of a raise and if he goes to arbitration wont get more than $2-3 mil. His production is worth that. Grier, will resign for a low amount and brings intangibles that are hard to come by.
The moral of the story? The Sabres need to clean house to succeed. This team will not win a cup with the current squad and will be lucky to make the top 8 in the Eastern Conference. There aren't a whole lot of free agents worth signing out there so Darc/Quinny need to do this damn thing through the draft and trades. Drop Connolly and others at the deadline or say goodbye to some picks.
Use the cap space to sign a backup goalie that actuall belongs in the league and perhaps is better than 0-4. Get a big name like Semin to build around. Get some 1 or 2 guys that are worth more than their salary. I.E Matt Moulson, Andrew Brunette, Erik Cole, or Justin Williams. GET ZDENO CHARA! Any of these things would be an upgrade. Granted it most likely won't happen overnight, why not? Shitty franchises, have experienced success quickly. See Chicago Blackhawks 07-08 to 09-10. It can happen.
Until we clean house, we will be stuck wondering what would've happened if we had Briere and Drury and got 4 first round picks for Vanek.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
- Washington Wizards, John Wall, PG- The only top ten pick of this draft class that is actually contributing and succeeding. He is averaging 38 minutes a game with 17 points and 9 assists. He has been hurt a few times, but his play has been good enough to shine when compared to the rest of his class. Grade: A
- Philadelphia 76ers, Evan Turner, SG- So far a disappointment in Philly. Averaging 24 minutes and 7 points a game. He is shooting an abysmal .167 from beyond the arc. I’m sure the Wiz are happy they didn’t stick with Agent 0 and bring in Turner. Grade: C-
- New Jersey Nets, Derrick Favors, PF- What happened to playing Lopez and Favors together to form a formidable front line? He plays behind Kris Humphries. Who? Exactly. He is averaging 7 points and 6 rebounds a game, but only playing about 19 minutes a game. Grade: C
- Minnesota Timberwolves, Wesley Johnson, SF- Averaging 9 points and 3 rebounds a game but has been very inconsistent. He is starting, something the two picks before him can’t say, and so I guess you can say Kahn made a steal here at number 4. Grade: B-
- Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins, PF- Only thing he has going for him is his Rookie Camp Dougie Dance Off on YouTube. But seriously, he is actually playing well. He is bringing in 12 points and 7 rebounds a night. His minutes per game average are low, but that will increase as his conditioning and the season go along. Grade: B
- Golden State Warriors, Ekpe Udoh, PF- Hard to judge and grade because he did have wrist surgery and has only played in 4 games. His scoring will never be very high, but his defensive presence will be. Grade: TBD
- Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe, PF- Just recently moved in the starting lineup. He is averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of work. Not a bad stat line, but on a struggling team, he should be doing more. Grade: C
- Los Angeles Clippers, Al-Farouq Aminu, SF- Would think he is a better option that Ryan Gomes, especially for this team trying to find a W every now and then, but in his coaches’ eyes, he isn’t. Averaging 7 points and 3 rebounds in 17 minutes of play, shows this guy can score, but like many others in his class, just need to be more consistent. Grade: C+
- Utah Jazz, Gordon Hayward, SG- Some had this kid projected as high as a top 5 pick; boy were they wrong. He is bringing home a minuscule 2 points and 1 rebound in 8 minutes of work. True he is behind AK47, who is out there to play D, so it will be hard for Hayward to find minutes there, but for a number 9 overall pick, these numbers are atrocious. Grade: D
- Indiana Pacers, Paul George, SF- Trying to find minutes behind the Pacers best player and leading scorer just isn’t going to happen. George has only played in 8 games and is averaging 5 points and 3 rebounds. Hard to tell his impact on the team, but in his last 5 games he hasn’t seen the floor. Grade: D
I know the NBA Draft is usually full of more busts than super stars, but the 2010 draft has been brutal. Besides Wall and Cousins, the rest of the top 10 players are just stealing money from their team’s pay roll department. If I were these teams next year, which I assume more of them besides the Jazz will be in the lottery, I would trade down. There is a connection between teams like the Spurs and the Lakers always picking low and always being in the hunt come playoff time.
Monday, December 20, 2010
They did it again. No, I'm not talking about the Buffalo Bills winning another game. They've now won 4 of their last 6, Stevie Johnson is a stud yadda yadda yadda .I'm referring to the Bills effing up and losing ground on the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Go look at the box scores folks. Carolina won, Cinci won, Detroit won and the Buffalo Bills defeated hated "rival" the Miami Dolphins. Yippie we'll pick 7th!
True, before the game I wanted the Bills to win. The Dolphins are still much hated and winning a division game was better than going 0-6 against the three teams we hate the most. Butttt that was before I could have imagined three teams ahead of us in the draft poll position winning and allowing us to slip further down (or up?) the poll.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is still just a nice player. He isn't uber talented, he has a talent ceiling. Every time he throws a pass it seems like his arm might fall off because he is over throwing. Does he have to ice down his shoulder after each game like Pedro in 2005? But at this point I am resigned to the fact that he will be the Bills' starter in 2011.
Build the defense, build the defense mix in a tight end and a tackle and build the defense. The fall after Andrew Luck in QB talent in the draft seems prohibitive in taking a Locker or Mallet in the top 5. So build the defense and ugh build the team around Ryan Fitzpatrick. See you at the Ralph for the season finale agains the Pats Sunday (i'm going to go throw up now)
Friday, December 17, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Not to be too hyperbolic but that was one of the worst games of the decade. If not because of the awful teams playing then because of the wretched weather. True it wasn't a blizzard, probably didn't look great to the 30,000 people that may have watched this game on tv and there was zero snow but the weather was abysmal. Sitting in 35 degrees and soaking wet clothing is not fun and either is watching the Buffalo Bills.
Were there even 40,000 people at the game? This may have been the lightest attended game I have ever been to. The Tennessee game in '06 was a light crowd but yesterday was just about the worst I can remember.
As for the game itself, who really cares. The Bills hurt their draft position yet again defeating an also ran and one of the worst QBs in the National Football League. What was Holmgren thinking bringing Delhomme into the fold as a possible answer? The only logical explanation is that he wanted to tank the season but Jake D. is not even a decent back up at this point.
- CJ Spiller was an awful draft pick
- Arthur Moats may have a future in the NFL
- It is a virtual lock Donte Whitner will get resigned
- Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't look horrible and will be the starter come Sept 2011
- It would have been interesting to see Colt McCoy try to handle the elements in the north after playing nearly all of his college career in idea weather.
- How the hell did the Browns beat the Patriots and Saints?
- These games give very little insight into whether Chan Gailey is a serviceable head coach. He seems to be extremely conservative and too old school to be successful. Then again we haven't been in a situation that matters since week 1.
- For all the talk about our offense improving we still don't score very many points. The Bills scoring totals the last seven games: 10, 19, 14, 49, 16, 14, 13.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The battle of Lake Erie has been decidedly one sided of late. The Bills are on a 3 game losing streak against the Cleveland Browns and haven't beaten the Browns since 2004. The Browns actually had a 21 game stretch between 2008 and 2009 in which they won 2 football games total...both against the Bills and both in Orchard Park. All of these games were memorable for how ugly they were, or how ugly the play was by the quarterback.
The last important December football game the Bills played was December 16, 2007 in Cleveland. They lost 8-0 in a white out. The Bills ran a screen pass in a blizzard on 4th and goal with their season on the line. The Bills actually threw the ball more than they ran it in this game. Just add this game to the list of head scratchers under Jauron.
The next season, the Bills started red hot and then fell apart. The collapse was given an exclamation point on Monday Night Football with a 29-27 home loss to the Browns. Trent Edwards played the worst game in the history of the league, I still stand by that. Trent was 16-26 148 yards 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. These numbers are bad but if you watched the game, the numbers don't do it justice. 10 of Edwards' 16 completions were to Marshawn Lynch. Lee Evans had 0 receptions. This game not only put the finishing touches on the 2008 season collapse but was the game that ended Trent Edwards hopes of being an NFL quarterback.
In 2009, the Bills and Browns reached a new all time low...the Browns beat the Bills 6-3. This was one of the worst games ever played in NFL history. Derek Anderson was 2-17 with 23 yards and an interception...and won the football game. The Bills had 9 false starts. Roscoe fumbled a punt. Trent played like Trent. The Bills lost 10,000 season ticket holders from last year and it probably has something to do with them having to waste 4 hours of their life watching this game.
So can the Bills stop this embarrassing streak this afternoon? Well, the Bills do have one thing going for them, Trent Edwards isn't playing quarterback. He was the one constant through the 3 game embarrassment. This Cleveland team may be better than any of these other Browns teams. I know, the 2007 Browns went 10-6, but this year's team beat the defending champions on the road 30-17 and trounced the Patriots at home 34-14. The Bills haven't had a win of this magnitude since 2003 and that was a fluke. The Browns have a running back that has been running through every defense he has faced in Peyton Hillis. It is supposed to be horrible weather, wind, freezing rain...the Browns probably won't even attempt to pass with Jake Delhomme and that isn't good news for an all time horrible Bills front 7. That said, I like the Bills in a laugher, 20-3.
Monday, December 6, 2010
The Buffalo Bills got embarrassed by the Minnesota Vikings yesterday 38-14. They got outplayed in every single phase of the game and it wasn't even close. All of the weaknesses we all knew the Bills had came to fruition. The offensive and defensive lines were horrible, the linebackers were horrible, the quarterback played like backup, the running game didn't exist and the special teams was horrible.
The Bills offensive line played as bad of a game as I have ever seen in the league. I know, they were hurt by injuries but their starting left tackle played and I hope that this team doesn't think they are adequate at the position going forward with Demetrius Bell manning the position. Jared Allen was in Fitzpatrick's face all game. Allen is a top echelon defensive end and I want my starting left tackle to at least look like he belongs in the same league as him. Bell failed his biggest test of the season yesterday miserably.
The Bills rush defense was as horrible as it has been the entire season. Adrian Peterson and his bum ankle led the way to a team 210 rushing yard performance. The Vikings averaged 5.3 yards per carry. The Bills allow 170.9 yards per game. That is 25 yards worse than the 31st ranked defense in the league. 170.9 yards per game is better than only 2 teams since 2002, the 2008 Lions and the 2007 Colts. The Bills have an all time horrible rush defense and there has been little to no improvement during the season. The most troubling part about it is that much of the front 7 will look the same next year.
The Bills will bring back FA Paul Posluszny. Chris Kelsay isn't going anywhere. Kyle Williams is etched in and the Bills aren't getting rid of Dwan Edwards anytime soon. I have no problem with bringing back Poz and I like Edwards and Williams, but other than those three guys ugh? Kelsay needs to be cut. Torbor, Ayodele, Coleman...I mean, who are these guys? Stroud should get cut this offseason too. The Bills need 4 new starters in the front 7 and that isn't going to happen.
Fitzpatrick didn't have a good day. Yes, he was sacked only once, but Jared Allen and company were in his face all game. I have been a huge proponent of Fitzpatrick. I think he has done a good job this year and I think the argument that he is horrible has no merit. That said, he looked like a back up QB in the league yesterday and maybe that is what he is.
Leodis McKelvin had the worst 5 minutes of football I have ever seen. He got burned on a 50 yard bomb by Sydney Rice, fumbled the ensuing kickoff and then got called for pass interference in the end zone on the next drive on 3rd and goal. To make things even more embarrassing for McKelvin, he actually celebrated on an incomplete pass thrown his way later in the game. McKelvin had an interception later in the game off a deflection and he celebrated that play too. How dumb is this person? The Bills were losing by 31 points and McKelvin had the worst game a cornerback has played in a while and he is celebrating plays in the 2nd half? Give me a break. What a freaking embarrassment, holy crap.
So where is this team going to go the rest of the season? The Bills play the Browns next weekend. The Browns beat the Patriots and Saints this year, two better wins than the Bills have had in the past 7 years. The Bills go on the road to play Miami the week after that before they finish the season with New England and the Jets. Based on how things look right now, these two teams will be playing for the division. The Bills are looking at 4-12 at best, 2-14 at worst but most likely 3-13.
Will this be enough to get the first pick? Carolina finishes the season with the Falcons and Cardinals at home and then travel to Pittsburgh and to Atlanta. If they can somehow beat a terrible Cardinals team and get the Falcons backups in week 17, they could get to 3 wins, but that is the most they will get. I don't think that the Bungals or Lions will draft a QB so it depends on what happens with Carolina.
The Bills have a few things working against them. Carolina will have an easier strength of schedule than the Bills which is the first tiebreaker . Also, it is likely that the Panthers will have a new coach who will probably want his QB. The Bills only chance is to lose the rest of their games.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
- Stevie Johnson still sucks
- Lee Evans had a good game by his standers, not a $7 mil per guy though.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick taught us all we need a real QB
- The offensive line troubles I blame on injuries. I would still take a tackle like 3rd round next draft.
- Don't cross the Moats Brent Fever
- Aaron Maybin AND John McCargo sightings, sorta
- This team needs a tight end
- This team needs to learn how to cover a tight end
- I would resign Donte Whitner
- This L was embarrassing but it got us closer to a better draft pick
- We'll fuck up our 1st round draft pick if we don't trade up for Luck (meaning 3 first round picks)
- Clifford Spiller needs more touches and we don't know how to use him
- Chris Kelsay didn't make me say I hate you at all today
- Why was that play blown dead when Kleinsasser fumbled and we recovered it and would have scored a touchdown? That play will not show up on the score sheet.
- We would have been better off with Farve staying healthy today. The defense was so scared of Tarvaris running the ball and the LBs are too slow to catch him.
- Ayodele you god damn suck.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Since Cleveland has never been to a Superbowl, tonight's return of Bron Bron to the city that made him is Cleveland's Superbowl. Let's face it, their sports city is at least as pathetic as Buffalo so this game is extremely important to them and interesting to me. It is like Jim Kelly leaving the Bills after the loss to Cinci after the '88 AFC Championship loss or the Ronnie Harmon drop the next year. Something just unimaginable, unthinkable.
Cleveland needs to win this game. Miami is a mediocrity right now, they aren't playing as a team and have yet to gel. Who knows, maybe things will click after 20 or 30 games and they won't lose again. Now is the time to stomp on them while they haven't found their groove. What would be worse, bron bron with a last second dagger at the buzzer or a complete blowout embarrassment? I could see either happening and the suicide rate on the oppo side of Lake Erie jumping exponentially. Then again it's also possible the usual choke job in a big moment for James occurs and he doesn't show up and win a 'big' game.
I wouldn't be shocked if someone literally died at this game tonight. The fans are livid, furious, filled with blind rage. I can't blame them at all. I do blame their owner Dan Gilbert and whoever the GM was but not the fans. LeBron James doesn't deserve physical harm (I guess) but he deserves just about anything else. He is a true piece of shit.
If this place isn't a complete war zone in lock down mode something bad probably will happen. Maybe a D cell or a burning quarter. Perhaps worse, a soccer esque blood and urine bag. Who knows, maybe an assassination attempt.
"We're not trying to create a police state for this game," Carper said, according to the Plain Dealer. "We've gone through a very comprehensive process with the league security folks, the local authorities, the Cleveland Police Department, and we feel like we have a great plan in place to make sure we have a safe, law-abiding environment."
Either way, get ready for Cleveland's only Superbowl tonight at the Q and hopefully some metaphorical blood shed.