LANDOVER, Md. --- So is this what rock bottom looks like? What a miserable half of football for the Buffalo Bills, easily their worst of the season.
In just about every way, the Bills have resembled a team ready for the off-season. Offense. Defense. Special teams. They're getting worked over by the 6-7 Washington Redskins.
Checking out. Through Buffalo's 6-7 start, through all of the ups and downs, you could at least say the Bills showed fight. They've lost a slew of one-score games, never getting completely ran off the field. This day, they've resembled a team that's checked out on the 2015 season. The players haven't been a fit in Rex Ryan's scheme, but they haven't looked this lifeless, this disinterested all season. Quarterback Kirk Cousins pranced through at least five defenders with ease for a 15-yard touchdown. Receivers have been wide open, wasting the Bills' cornerbacks in the secondary. And up front, the Bills have generated little to no pressure at all. Washington has 21 points, 14 first downs and 257 total yards. Buffalo made Cousins look like Mark Rypien in Super Bowl XXVI. He's completing 13 of 16 passes for 174 yards with two touchdowns, following the lights-out games by opposing quarterbacks past against Rex Ryan's defense.
O-Line caves. Washington already has three sacks of Taylor, who's been on the run often in this one. Rex Ryan said he'd like to see his quarterback run more often, and he's probably right. But he's been under pressure a ton and taken a lot of big hits. And in the run game? Well...
Goal-line disaster. Right when the the Bills seemed to have a pulse... they didn't. After recovering a muffed punt and driving to the Redskins' half-yard line, the offense completely shut down. LeSean McCoy was repeatedly stuffed at the goal line and then, on fourth and goal, Tyrod Taylor aired a ball out of the end zone intended to Sammy Watkins. It's been just as ugly on offense as it's been on defense for the Bills. And just as ugly for the coaches (with this odd play-calling) and it's been for the players on the field. Remember the ground and pound promises? A pathetic performance at the doorstep here.
Where are the leaders? We've spent a lot of time and copy here on the blog trying to figure out who the leaders on this team are. Nobody seems to know. And nobody is taking a stand. The Bills are getting embarrassed.
So much for progress in the passing game. One thing this Bills offense did have working for itself was the Taylor-Watkins connection. Through the first half, Taylor sure did not look like a long-term answer with only 27 yards on 3-of-8 passing. He's missed Watkins open down the field and didn't even give him a shot at the ball on the fourth and goal. CBS reported that G.M. Doug Whaley hasn't been happy with Watkins' role in the offense. If that's true, he'd certainly have a point in this game. Greg Roman even inserted EJ Manuel deep in Redskins territory on a QB run. Buffalo has gotten far too cute of late offensively.
OK, on to the second half...