Thursday, October 4, 2012
Quarter-mark report card: Bills
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills are 2-2 at the quarter mark of the season.
Here are some grades of where Buffalo currently stands:
Buffalo’s offense is 11th in the NFL and has been productive. The running game is top-notch when healthy. Tailback C.J. Spiller has emerged as a dynamic talent but needs to get back to 100 percent with his shoulder injury. This also is a big year for Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and he continues to be inconsistent. Buffalo still doesn't know what it will get week to week from “Fitz.” The offensive line is versatile and talented.
This was expected to be the strength of the team. But Buffalo’s defense has been a major disappointment through four games. The Bills are ranked 27th in the NFL. Buffalo allowed 100 points in two games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets. Bills defensive end Mario Williams has just 1.5 sacks in four games.
Special teams: B
Backup corner Leodis McKelvin continues to add a spark to the return game. Kicker Rian Lindell is just 1-for-1 on field goals but is reliable. The switch from longtime punter Brian Moorman to Shawn Powell was a risky move that may or may not work out in the long run.
The Bills take you on a roller-coaster ride. They can look great and awful week to week. The biggest concern I have is Buffalo's inability to win in the AFC East. The Bills are 2-12 against division foes since 2010. It's gut-check time for Buffalo. These next five games, four of which are on the road, will provide a better indication of the 2012 Bills.