The Bills Letdown
It was quite strange when I turned to the Taxwife not 10 minutes after the Bills lost last night and said "well, they deserved to lose that game - if you can't win getting six turnovers, you deserve to lose". In other words, serenity now.
This morning, before even going on the blogs to check out others' reactions to the games (links below), I thought a little more critically about the game...
-- The Bills gave up an easy 3 at the end of the first half by attempting a 53 yard field goal on a 4th and 3. Not to go all Gregg Easterbrook or anything, but going for it on 4th and 3 has a higher positive outcome than attempting a 53 yarder. Punting may have been the best move there.
-- They sent Roscoe Parrish on an end around (it may have been a reverse) on 3rd and 2 in Dallas territory. It was predictably blown up and the Bills needed to punt. A simple run up the middle or toss over the middle to Lynch or Royal (who was a great weapon in the game (would have obviously been much more productive).
-- Jauron misused times out in the second half, resulting in a bad onside kick defense formation.
-- Defensive playcalling down the stretch was atrocious, giving up easy yards over the middle and then the inexcusable 8 yard sideline route with 7 seconds left. Again, they could have called a time out if they had the wrong personnel on the field, or to make sure the young defense was on the right page.
-- The decision to pass on third and medium deep in Dallas territory in the 4th quarter is inexcusable. That should have been a fireable offense.
I realize that most of the above decisions were not made directly by Jauron, they were made by his coordinators, Brian Fairchild and Perry Fewell (Dr. Z really tears Fewell a new one in particular). Still, Jauron is the HEAD coach and has to ultimately take responsibility for the overall schemes and the decisions to try trick plays on third and short. Most importantly, it is clear that the Bills young players are trying extremely hard and giving it all they have, but they are young. They need a solid gameplan that will not let them down and a coaching staff that knows when to take a breather, settle the troops down and focus that energy. That is sorely lacking this year and it is clear to me that Jauron is not the right man for the job.
Others' more precise takes on last night:
Bflo Blog (special thanks to BfloBlog for linking to the Taxman, by the way)
The Goose's Roost
I guess the silver lining I was looking for is that Jauron can't screw up the Bills this Sunday.
In happier news....
The Baseball Update
The ALCS and NLCS are set. Word from Boston is that Schilling will start Game 2 for the Sox, with Dice-K going in game 3. This makes sense insofar as Dice-K has been about 3/4 of a run better on the road than at home this year; however, the way the series lines up, that would have Dice-K going in game 7. I'm not sure how I feel about that, except that the Cubs-D-Backs series showed the fallacy of planning too far ahead in the tournament (although fundamentally, I think Lou was in the right pulling Z).
I'm sticking by my previous prediction of Sox in 6 over the Indians. I only got half of the NLCS teams correct, but I'll stick with the team I did get right - Rockies in 7.
The Taxes Update
Senator Reid announced today that no carried interest legislation would make it through the Senate in 2008. No surprise. Makes for an interesting election year issue. Romney has already pledged no new taxes if he is elected.
The Death Update
A rather obscure one today. Nolan Herndon passed away Sunday at the age of 88 from pneumonia. He was a member of the famed Doolittle Raiders who engaged in one of the most daring aerial missions of World War II. The mission, a bombing raid over Tokyo in the Spring of '42 was memorialized in the book and film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, with a screenplay by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (ironic that a writer of a film known as borderline propaganda was later blacklisted for refusing to name names).
Anyway, back to Mr. Herndon, he retired from the military shortly after the war ended and passed away apparently at his home in South Carolina. The obit is here.