Buffalo Bills Season End Review

By PFC Bills Blogger Chris Brown

The Buffalo Bills 2012-13 season started off with high hopes of ending the longest playoff drought in the NFL.  The free agent signing of Mario Williams during the offseason sparked an excitement in Buffalo that had vanished over past years.  Signing the team’s number one receiver Stevie Johnson also added to that excitement in early March.  You could see during training camp that the team was fully prepared to compete during the NFL season.  New defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was supposed to help a defense that has been less than spectacular during the past few years.  Coach Chan Gailey was figured to show off his superior play calling abilities and get the Bills back to the promise land.

The Bills started off the season on the wrong foot, they were beat down in New Jersey by the Jets 48-28.  During this game the defense looked like they were lost at all times. They made Mark Sanchez look like a pro bowler right off from the beginning.  The Bills were unfortunate to lose their number two receiver in David Nelson to a torn ACL.  Nelson had been a crucial part of the passing game the previous season and was looked to be a big part this year but that was cut short due to injury.

Buffalo won their next two games against Kansas City and Cleveland, 35-17 and 24-14 respectively.  The following week was a game that the fans of Buffalo had been looking forward to all year, the game at home against the New England Patriots.  The game had started off great for the Bills as they took 21-7 lead into the middle of the 3rd quarter.  The Bills were flying high and seemed to have a hold of the game, and then all of a sudden the Patriots went on a tear.  The Patriots scored six second half touchdowns to win the game 52-28.  After the devastation the Bills had to travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers.  This was another bad showing by the offense and defense as a whole.  The offense didn’t manage to score a touchdown and the 49ers managed to set multiple single game records against the Bills defense.

The following week was where some fans believe that Coach Gailey sealed his fate as the Buffalo Bills head coach.  The Bills were in Arizona to play the Cardinals.  During the game there were times when Coach Gailey elected to punt the ball while on the opponent’s 35 yard line.  Not electing to kick a field goal not only baffled the fans but the players as well.  It took a blocked field goal to send the game into overtime and also a miraculous interception during the overtime period by Jarius Byrd for the Bills to sneak out this victory.  From that point forward the Bills finished the season going 3-7 in their next ten games and finishing a disappointing 6-10.  More importantly missing the playoffs for the 13th straight season.

There were a few bright spots that came out of the season.  Star wide receiver Stevie Johnson logged his third consecutive 1,000 yard season, which extends his Bills record.  Johnson was able to eclipse this stat during the last game of the season against the Jets.  Kyle Williams, Jarius Byrd and CJ Spiller were named alternates to the Pro Bowl and participated in the event a few weeks ago.  CJ Spiller’s emergence through the season will propel him to the starting running back position over injury prone Fred Jackson.  The Bills still have one of the best duos in the backfield with Spiller and Jackson.

As a result of the disappointing season, Chan Gailey was relived of the head coaching position.  His staff was relived of their duties as well.  The Bills went on a mission to find their next head coach that could end their playoff drought.  After an extensive search the Bills found their coach in Doug Marrone.  Marrone had been the head coach at Syracuse University.  Marrone has equipped himself with a great staff over the past few weeks and has begun to start the process of evaluating the team roster, preparing for the draft and familiarizing himself with the players.

Overall, the Buffalo Bills 2012-13 season has been one of major disappointment, but we all know things take some time to develop.  One thing to watch for this upcoming year is how Coach Marrone will influence this Bills team.  Will he spark the fire that will lead them to the playoffs and end the longest playoff drought or will it be another discontent season in Buffalo.