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Live Chat With Sully

Let's go.Thanks for chatting. Next week.

Chat at 1:30 (or so)

A quick reminder that my chat is likely to be moved back today. I have to stop by One Bills Drive and ask George Edwards why they can't cover tight ends. I'm not sure when the coaches will be made available, so it's unlikely I'll be able to start at 1. Anyway, keep checking and I'll do the usual two hours plus.

Fitz Isn't Done Yet

So you thought Ryan Fitzpatrick had a great day in Baltimore Sunday. As it turns out, it was even better than you thought. Fitz actually got 8 more yards passing on Tuesday when the NFL determined that a 17-yard loss was actually a minus-9.

So his revised yardage for the game is 382 yards, not 374. Either way, the best passing day by a Bill since J.P. Losman in Houston in 2006.

Here's another miscalcuation: I said that Fitz's stats were bound to start dropping when he played in Baltimore, normally a house of horrors for opposing offenses. His numbers went up, obviously. His quarterback rating, which was 99.9 coming in, rose to 102.0 after Sunday's game (it probably went up a slight amount after the scoring change).

So in this week's NFL statistics, Fitzpatrick is the second-rated quarterback in the NFL, after Peyton Manning. Manning has a 103.4 rating, Fitz is at 102.0 and Vince Young is third at 98.8. Young has even fewer attempts than Fitz, who has thrown only 128 passes. San Diego's Philip Rivers is fourth at 97.8 and Tom Brady is fifth at 97.8.

Fitzpatrick had 11 touchdown passes on his 128 attempts, an average of 8.6 TDs per 100 passes. That's tops in the league. By comparison, Denver's Kyle Orton has 11 TD passes in 276 passes.  

Here's an interesting statistical comparison by Joe Buscaglia on the WGR website, comparing Fitzpatrick to other NFL quarterbacks at a similar point in their careers:

 

Bills at Ravens Chat

Just a reminder that we'll be launching our weekly Game Day chat on the BillBoard site at noon. Jay Skurski will be moderating again. Mike Harrington is en route after watching the Sabres win at the Devils last night. Jay will provide the usual stunning array of stats, polls, photos and various comic interludes. I will participate in the pre-game and until press box technology knocks me off.

It doesn't look good for the winless Bills today at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are a 13-point favorite. They're third in the NFL in defense and first in third-down defense. The Bills are 30th in offense and 31st in third-down offense. Baltimore gets Ed Reed back today. The Ravens will honor their 2000 Super Bowl team in a pre-game ceremony. Ray Lewis, who played for that team and is still anchoring the Ravens' defense, will be the last player introduced. Good luck to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Co. today.

Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 8-0 as double digits favorites. They are 13-1 against teams with a losing record. They haven't lost to a team that failed to make the playoffs that season. It sounds like the anti-Dick Jauron to me.

 

Live Chat With Sully

Let's go.Thanks for the chat. Talk to you next week.

Chan On Big Hits

Chan Gailey said Wednesday that while he understands the motive for the NFL's crackdown on violent hits, he's afraid it will make life more difficult for coaches and players who will become increasingly uncertain about what constitutes a dangerous hit.

"I don't think there's an answer to it," Gailey said during media day at One Bills Drive. "I understand what the league is trying to do, but it's hard on defensive players. I don't want us to become a two-hand touch league, that's for sure.

"It's not going to become easier, it's going to become harder as time goes on. Because we're telling these guys to hit guys and separate the ball and stop them short of the first down, and it gets harder and harder to tell a guy (how far to go). You've just got to be smart about how you play the game. The bigger and faster the people become, the harder it's going to get."

 

A Productive Bye Week

The Bills had a bye on Sunday, but they moved a tiny bit closer to getting the first overall pick in next April's draft when San Francisco won the Battle of the Bay against the Raiders. That leaves the Bills and Panthers as the only winless teams in the NFL.

It's a long road, but I think the Bills are in the driver's seat. For one thing, they're the worst team in the NFL. They have the worst talent in the sport, which will happen when you consistently blow first-round draft picks and don't bring in any quality free agents. If the injuries continue to mount, and their opponents have something to play for late in the year, the Bills could win this going away.

Carolina is 0-5, but the Panthers are better than their record. They're weak at quarterback, but they're second in the league in pass defense and sixth overall on D. They also have a fairly easy schedule. The Panthers  host the 1-5 Niners on Sunday. They also have games remaining against St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Arizona and Seattle. I see them with three wins at least.

San Francisco is a decent 1-5 team. They were picked to win the NFC West and their owner says they're still going to win the division. With Arizona, Seattle and St. Louis in the division, I wouldn't rule it out. No team with Patrick Willis is going to go 1-15. I figure them for at least four wins.

Detroit is not a bad team. In fact, the 1-5 Lions have outscored their opponents this season, 146-140. I wouldn't be surprised to see them favored when they come to Buffalo on Nov. 14. Even if the Bills win that game, I see the Lions finishing with a better record.

Dallas is 1-4. They're the top-rated defense in the NFL. I wouldn't include them, but it gives me a chance to get a dig in against Wade Phillips, who is lucky to still be employed as an NFL head coach. Some Bills fans think of him as the last good Buffalo coach, but he had exceptional talent and didn't wina playoff game. Wade is a poor detail man, as Colin Cowherd said on his radio show today. Phillips will probably coach the Cowboys up to an 8-8 record.

Cleveland. The Browns (1-5) are probably the biggest threat to the No. 1 pick. They play in a tough division. They have games left with New England, New Orleans, the Jets, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. If they lose to the Bills here on Dec. 12, they could get the first pick in the draft. But they host Carolina on Nov. 28 and could be two games up on the Bills by then.

What do you think? Who has the best shot at No. 1 overall?  

 

 

 

Live Chat With Sully

Time for a bye week chat. Anyone panicking about the Sabres yet?Thanks for chatting. Talk to you next week.

Another Draft Pick Gone

Another week, another recent Bills draft pick out the door. Two weeks ago, they cut Trent Edwards, their third-round pick in 2007. Last week, they traded Marshawn Lynch, the No. 1 pick in the '07 draft. Today, they released outside linebacker Chris Ellis, the third-round selection in 2008, to make room for Shawn Nelson on the roster.

The departures of Edwards and Lynch left the Bills with only one draft choice from '07 -- Paul Posluszny, who was taken in the second round that year. The '08 draft has also taken a big hit: James Hardy, the second-round pick that year, was cut at the end of camp.

But four players from the '08 draft remain. Leodis McKelvin went 11th overall. Cornerback Reggie Corner was a fourth-rounder that year. The Bills got two players in the seventh round that year who are now starting: Left tackle Demetrius Bell and wide receiver Stevie Johnson.

It was a little surprising that Ellis, who was drafted as a defensive end, was the odd man out when Nelson came back from suspension. John McCargo has been inactive for all five games this season and was considered the most likely player to go. McCargo, of course, was the 26th overall pick in the 2006 draft. How much longer before the Bills part ways with that dubious draft pick?

Live Chat

Just a quick reminder that we'll be chatting from Ralph Wilson Stadium at noon today on the Billboard blog. Jay Skurski will moderate and provide all the usual stats, polls and miscellaneous fodder. Mike Harrington, of course,  is busy following around the hockey team that managed to give up six goals at home in the home opener on Saturday night.

There are about 10,000 unsold seats for this game. I suspect there will be thousands of no-shows, too.  I can't recall as easier ride in to the game at 10:30. There was no line of cars getting off the first Milestrip exit. Last week, it was backed onto the 219.  Very little trouble going down 20A, either. No buzz in the parking lot. It's eerily quiet out there, as if the fans who came are a little embarrassed to be rooting for this winless Bills team. I wonder if there will be much of a home advantage today.  The diehards will be into, though, if the Bills make some plays early and get a lead.

The Jaguars are used to playing before non-sellout crowds in a less-than-electric atmosphere. So they might feel right at home today.

Stop by the chat if you're not doing something better.  No local TV today, so keep in mind that the chat continues throughout the game and until at least 6 p.m.

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