|Stevie Johnson Benched After Displaying His message|
Early in the game it looked like the Bills were going to walk away with this game. 21 points in the first quarter. The Patriots didn't seem like they could stop Fitz and Spiller. They were throwing it and running it at will. Then came the moment that Stevie Johnson wished everyone a happy new year. He had it written on his undershirt. This drew a excessive demonstration penalty and Chan Gailey benched him the rest of the game. (Was this the right move?).
After that first quarter the Patriots went on to score 49 unanswered points. The Bills did not have anything to say or do about it. It appeared to some that they just laid down and took it. What I seen was that the Patriots changed up a bit on defense and put a stop the Bills play making. On offense Brady started the no huddle and picked up the pace. This gave him confidence and he was playing a bit more efficient. (Brady is still a baby when it comes to getting touched)
After the game Johnson owned up to the penalty and stated that he was sorry and it wont happen again. The issue is this, he did the same thing last year (why so serious). He was not flagged for it. How was he supposed to know that this year (these refs) would think its wrong? Chan said that if anyone player hurt the team with a demonstration penalty they were out for the remainder of the game. He stood by his word. Not sure if Johsnon and the rest of the players agree with him on this.
In order to win this game the Bills needed to change things up a bit. They failed to do so (again not giving the ball to Spiller 20 times a game). Stop saying that we don't know if he is a 20 carries a game back. Give him the ball and find out. Don't bench your best receiver because he wrote on his shirt. Get out and give the ref an ear full. Let them know how you feel about the penalty. Show your players that you are behind them and get emotional.
Before the Bills fell behind Fitz played an okay game. He is not a Jim Kelly by any means. But, I think with a little work in the off season he will be okay. Ryan Fitzpatrick has the ability to take this team to the playoffs. This game and season were not entirely his fault. Yes he played quite badly after his big signing. But, he is no the one that allows the defense to score (except those dreaded pick six interceptions).
In closing the 2011 NFL season is all lost. Yes the Bills missed the playoffs again. But, the Miami Dolphins finally shut up Rex Ryan and the Jets. I am so glad that they are not in the post season. So, for the rest of the season, my pick for the Superbowl was Pittsburgh Steelers and GreenBay Packers. After watching both teams play. I might go with Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints. Check back for more posts during the off season. They will not come as quick. Maybe every other week or so.