TORONTO — Would the Bills’ fans who blindly make excuses for coach Chan Gailey and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick please end their crusades?
After Sunday’s embarrassing 50-17 loss to the Seahawks at the Rogers Centre, there are no defenses, it’s clear that neither should have his job after season’s end.
No, Gailey doesn’t run the defense but he is in charge of everything involving the onfield stuff
And, on this day, it was hard to imagine a defensive unit being any more poorly prepared than Buffalo was.
The Seahawks scored the first five times they had the ball and Buffalo’s ‘D’ showed no inclination to stop Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who rushed six times for 72 yards and three touchdowns (14, 25 and 13 yards) and threw a touch sown to his tight end ... IN THE FIRST HALF.
The only time he failed to convert a third down (7-of-8) was with 52 seconds left in the first half.
Never in NFL history, before Sunday, has a quarterback rushed for three TDs and thrown one in a half.
THEN, OF COURSE, there was the backstory.
The Seahawks, now 9-5 behind their rookie QB, picked him in the third round, six choices AFTER Buffalo took wide receiver T.J. Graham.
And during the game, as Wilson’s performance continued (9 carries for 92 yards, 14-of-23 passing with that TD and a 104.4 passer rating) the Bills seemingly tried — even subconsciously — to prove Graham was a valid choice by targeting him five times in the first half, completing only one with three drops. He was thrown to eight times during the game, catching three.
Hardly heady stuff.
By any measure it was a pathetic performance, the Bills’ showing no emotion and appearing to be woefully unprepared.
It got so bad, even the apathetic fans in Toronto booed the Bills after a failed fourth-quarter drive.
FOLLOWING THE game, even Gailey couldn’t put a positive spin on this debacle.
“We played extremely poor offensively and defensively tonight ... the quarterback rushing for that many yards ... normally you do not win,” he said.
“The big thing was we couldn’t stop the run (former Bill Marshawn Lynch had 113 yards on 19 carries with a 13-yard touchdown run), the scramble and the quarterback read stuff.”
Gailey added, “We couldn’t hit the deep ball ... and we had some opportunities.
“We played bad ... we played poorly. If you play poorly against a good football team you’re going to look extremely bad ... and we did.”
At this point in the Bills’ dreary 5-9 season, should the players be playing for ... his job ... themselves?
“I want them to play for themselves ... for the fans ... for professionalism ... for pride,” Gailey said.
“If you start going out there and have too many things that go into your mind about why you’re playing the game, you’ll be able to give it up too easily. You need to go out there playing for yourself and the fans ... those are the most important things.”
And how much does that reflect on Gailey?
When asked if he felt anger at the performance, he admitted, “You are angry, you’re angry at yourself because you did not get the team ready to play at the level they needed to win the ball game.
“When they do not play well, the buck stops with me. I understand that.”
That’s what we’re thinking too, Chan.
(Chuck Pollock, the Times Herald sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)