Bills' Resurgence: Myth or Reality?

Bodzilla29

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Saw this on sports-central.org and had a nice chuckle......

NFL - Bills' Resurgence: Myth or Reality?

By Brad Oremland
Thursday, June 27th, 2002

Buffalo's much-ballyhooed acquisitions this offseason are mostly band-aids, not upgrades. Middle linebacker London Fletcher merely takes over for Sam Cowart. Offensive tackle Trey Teague is an overrated but necessary addition. He and first-round draft choice Mike Williams are overdue anchors to a terrible offensive line; they make the Bills respectable, not remarkable.
And kicker Mike Hollis is a nice addition, but he won't get the chance to decide games for the Bills unless the rest of the team can keep them close. Hollis is also coming off a weak season in which he went 8-11 from under 40 yards and hit nothing from further than 48.

Of course, I'm ignoring the offseason move that really has everyone talking -- the trade for Drew Bledsoe. I don't know when the myth got so much larger than the man, but Bledsoe is not John Unitas coming to save the franchise.

Did you know that Bledsoe's career passer rating (75.9) is actually ten points lower than that of the man he replaces, Rob Johnson (85.7)? He's never had a passer rating over 90.0 in a season or been an Associated Press All-Pro. And he's getting worse.

Over the last three years, Bledsoe's quarterback rating is 76.4, lower than those of Jeff Blake, Chris Chandler, and Steve Beuerlein -- three guys who will be backups next season. His yards-per-attempt (6.8) and touchdown percentage (3.3) over the same period are atrocious, and his interception percentage (3.2) is worse than that of Kerry Collins.

And unlike Doug Flutie (who tops Bledsoe in yards per attempt, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, and quarterback rating since the end of the 1998 season), Bledsoe isn't quick on his feet -- he's one of only three quarterbacks to be sacked more than 100 times in the last three seasons, despite missing most of last year.

Doesn't anyone remember that Bledsoe wasn't even the starter for his own team last year? The Patriots didn't trade him because they think he's better than Tom Brady. Even in Bledsoe's celebrated playoff performance last season, he did only what was necessary: 10-for-21 passing, 102 yards, 1 touchdown. The touchdown is what's important, of course, but a 47.6 completion percentage and under 5-yards per attempt are not numbers to get excited about. Because Bledsoe's touchdown pass helped win the game, many of us forgot that he didn't really play all that well.

You can't even make the argument that Bledsoe saves his best stuff for the really big games. In Super Bowl XXXI, Bledsoe became one of only four quarterbacks to throw four interceptions in a Super Bowl game, putting up a ghastly 46.6 passer rating. All this isn't to say that Bledsoe is a bad quarterback, but he's certainly overrated.

For career statistics, he trails Jeff George in completion percentage, yards-per-attempt, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, and passer rating. This isn't Steve Young we're talking about here - it's Jeff George, for goodness' sake. Bledsoe also trails Rob Johnson in each of those categories.

Furthermore, all the hype surrounding Bledsoe seems to have made people forget that Buffalo is still relying on Travis Henry and Shawn Bryson to carry the ball. Last year, they combined for 1070 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3.65 yards per carry. These two are not the second coming of Thurman Thomas; they aren't even the one-two punch of Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne in New York (combined 1555 yards, 4.5 avg, 16 TD).

The Bills also need to shore up an ugly defense that ranked 29th in the league last year in points allowed, en route to Buffalo's 3-13 finish. The Bills have signed three defensive players this offseason, but they lost five to retirement and free agency, including team leaders Phil Hansen, an 11-year starter, and previously-mentioned Cowart.

Buffalo has several young players who could boost the defense, but it's a long way up from 29th, and an offense relying on Bledsoe and Henry will need all the help it can get. The Bills will win more than three games this season, but I don't think they'll be a factor in the playoff race.
 

Cranx

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I love that article. Especially the part about Bledsoe since that's what I've been saying all along. He is not now, nor was he ever, the "save the day" type QB that the great ones- or even the really good ones for that matter- are. Heck, a man by the name of Jay Fiedler has better numbers all the way around and is more mobile. Makes you wonder what they're putting in the water up there in Buffalo.
 

Dajesus

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I think everyone outside of Bufflao has been saying that. In Buffalo's defense the main thing they got with Bledsoe is a QB that the whole team beleaves in, and a leader. They haven't had that since Kelly. On the flip side they got a slow underacheiver that is passed his prime, who also never lived up to his potential. M.Williams will be good, but every rookie O-lineman is good for at least 5 huge mistakes durring a season that gets their QB smacked. Can Bledsoe make it thru those 5 mistakes? The other big question in Buffalo will be, can they stop anyone? Besides Pat Williams they are way below average on the D-line, Fletcher will help their LBs, but unless they have major improvements from the other very young LBs they will struggle to be average, their secondary is their brightspot they have a lot of potential, but have yet to show they have met it. They do have a team that could upset someone now and again, but wont hit .500 by season end.
 

BillsMan80

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The guy is a total moron...London Fletcher is not a band-aid. London Fletcher is an All-Pro/Pro Bowl type player. Fletcher signed a 5 year deal for big money, and I'll take him over Sam Cowart anyday. At least Fletcher can stay on the field. And besides, while yes, Rob Johnson has a better rating than Drew, think about it. Rob Johnson only plays in around 8 games a year, and Bledsoe's weapons deteriorated by the week in New England. Before last year, the only reason that the Pats would win a game was because of Bledsoe. Besides, Bledsoe is the best QB in the AFC East so I'll take him over Brady, Big Ears, or Testaverde anyday.
 

Billsfan

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Please. For the last time. London Fletcher is NOT taking over for Sam Cowart. Cowart has not played 20 straight games. 20!!!! That's almost a season and a half. Fletcher is taking over for Brandon Spoon.

That is an Upgrade!
 

jaxdolfan

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The Bills suck. 3-13 last season. Says it all. They will get to play the last place teams of every other division outside of ours, so they do have a good chance of winning games.

They still suck. They cry when they hear the names Chambers or Armstrong.
 

dolfan87

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Originally posted by BillsMan80
The guy is a total moron...London Fletcher is not a band-aid. London Fletcher is an All-Pro/Pro Bowl type player. Fletcher signed a 5 year deal for big money, and I'll take him over Sam Cowart anyday. At least Fletcher can stay on the field. And besides, while yes, Rob Johnson has a better rating than Drew, think about it. Rob Johnson only plays in around 8 games a year, and Bledsoe's weapons deteriorated by the week in New England. Before last year, the only reason that the Pats would win a game was because of Bledsoe. Besides, Bledsoe is the best QB in the AFC East so I'll take him over Brady, Big Ears, or Testaverde anyday.

He isn't a total moron. I know you would think that because you feel that Bledsoe is some huge pick-up, but the guy is right.

Your team is not any better than the New England squad that Drew lead to a 0-2 start. Brady takes over and they win a Super Bowl.

Until Henry proves he is the stud you hope he can be, and he cuts the fumbles out, you still have no running game.

I think Buffalo will be improved, but Bledsoe isn't the answer.
 

Dajesus

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Besides, Bledsoe is the best QB in the AFC East so I'll take him over Brady, Big Ears, or Testaverde anyday. [/B][/QUOTE]

Would you rahter have a good QB on a bad team, or a so-so QB on a good team?
 

BillsMan80

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Umm, I don't see how we are a bad team. The only real questions are at our 2nd DT spot and our FS position. We have quality talent everywhere else.
 

Justasportsfan

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Originally posted by Bobby Humphrey
Great read. I am now in love with a man by the name of Brad Oremland.
You are probably from South Beach or the keys. lol.j/k.

"Based on the past few years" I will have to say that like The rams or Pats having a bad year and then the SB the next, who's to say it can't happen to the bills.

Based on the last few years the fins have been blown away come playoofs, who's to say it won't happen again. lol.
 
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