Bills add to the drama of the NFL in ’13 - The Buffalo News
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Bills add to the drama of the NFL in ’13

Kyle Williams was one of the last Bills to leave the locker room after Sunday’s game. He was moving slowly, a happy but weary soul. I shook my head and smiled. He gave me a nod of silent recognition.

“I’m with you,” he said. “I’m ready not to be … I’d rather … never mind, I can’t say it.”

The point was, could we get a break from the heart stoppers at some point? It makes for great drama, yes, but it would be nice to have a routine game that doesn’t leave the fans and players emotionally exhausted. Who could have thought that all seven games would go right down to the wire?

It’s been one wild, wacky and unpredictable NFL season, hasn’t it? Really, who would have thought:

• That despite their issues at running back and quarterback, the Bills have scored more points than the Patriots, Texans or Ravens? Or that they’re one of only two teams in the NFL to score at least 20 in every game this season? Yes, the other team is the Broncos.

• That after the Miami win, the Bills would be just one game out of an AFC wild-card spot in the loss column (sixth place)? Just think – if they had stopped Brady on the final drive in the opener, there would be a virtual four-way tie for first place in the division today.

• That C.J. Spiller would have fewer than half as many yards on his first 104 touches (398) than he did after the same number of touches a year ago (808)? Spiller is doing no one anyone good playing on a bad ankle. They should sit him down for a week or two and let him heal.

• That after throwing a touchdown pass in 52 consecutive games, Tom Brady would go without one twice in a three-game span against the Bengals and the Jets?

• Or that Brady and Eli Manning, who locked up twice in Super Bowls, would be 26th and 32nd, respectively, in NFL passer rating, trailing the likes of Mike Glennon, Jake Locker, Terrelle Pryor and Matt Schaub?

• That Mario Williams would actually play like a $100 million man? Williams went through the motions and got 10½ sacks a year ago. He has 10 in seven games, and they’ve been meaningful sacks. Having found peace in his life, Mario has been the difference in two wins this season.

• That one year after going 2-14 (0-12 in the AFC), the Chiefs would be the lone remaining unbeaten in the conference and are leading the league in fewest points allowed? Maybe Alex Smith is just a game manager, but in his last 31 starts, his teams are 26-4-1.

• That the Boston Red Sox, picked to finish last in the American League East by a certain News columnist, would be hosting Game One of the World Series on Wednesday? Oops, sorry, wrong sport.

• That the Jets, another team universally picked to finish at the bottom of the heap, would be 4-3 and a game behind New England in the AFC East after beating the Pats on Sunday? Don’t tell me Rex Ryan has lost his swagger. He won’t be pushed aside so easily!

• That an undrafted free agent named Thad Lewis would be the quarterback in Doug Marrone’s first road win as an NFL head coach? Or that another undrafted guy, defensive back Nickell Robey, would set the tone with a pick six? Take a bow, Doug Whaley, for having faith in those two.

• That one year after starting the season 11-1, the Texans would be 2-5 and on a five-game losing streak? And to think, Houston is fifth in the NFL in offense and third in defense. Shows you how statistics can lie, especially when your quarterback is throwing all those pick sixes.

• That Aaron Williams, dismissed as a bust after being drafted just ahead of Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick in the 2011 draft, would become perhaps the most indispensable member of the Bills’ secondary this season?

• That Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs would become the second player to have at least 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in the first seven games of a season, tying a record set by O.J. Simpson in 1975? As if the Buffalo defense needed any more motivation for Kansas City’s trip to the Ralph in two weeks.

• That Leodis McKelvin, who led the NFL in punt returns a year ago, would not be among the leaders this season? Actually, McKelvin doesn’t have enough returns to qualify. But his 8.7 yards per return is exactly 10 yards below his league-leading average of 2012. He’s due to pop one.

• That Pats coach Bill Belichick would lose a game to Geno Smith, a rookie quarterback? Well, it shouldn’t be a shock. Belichick has lost five times to rookie quarterbacks as New England’s coach. He has a lower winning percentage against rookies than all other QBs.

• That the Falcons could beat the winless Buccaneers, 31-23, despite rushing for only 18 yards on 18 carries? Marv Levy must have been aghast.

• That 14 of the 16 teams in the AFC would be one game out of the wild card in the loss column or better after seven weeks? Talk about parity. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a logjam at 9-7 for the final playoff berth.


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