1. A fresh voice. Something must be done to fix the Bills. Everyone can agree on that. But who stays? Who goes? As we discussed on this week's podcast, one solution is bringing in an outside voice --- a "czar" --- who can evaluate the Bills' current plight with an unbiased eye. Bringing someone in with a proven track record who will shave the fat where needed would certainly help. It's hard to pin the team's 6-8 start on one particular person in house. Rex Ryan is in his first season as the head coach. General manager Doug Whaley, while not perfect, did hand Ryan a 9-7 team with more weapons on offense. But the team's attempt to win now with a flurry of off-season moves didn't work out. They need to build from within, with a string of drafts. Something organizationally keeps the Bills' tires spinning. While Bill Polian might not be the best "czar" candidate, as mentioned on the pod, the Bills could find someone to shake things up.
- Rex has Mario on his mind. Column by Jerry Sullivan
- With meaningless games left, Bills' focus turns to offseason moves by Tyler Dunne
- Notebook: Ryan defends Mario, but calls change inevitable by Jay Skurski
- Bills go from contenders to czartenders. Dunne with Graham podcast (video & audio)
2. Motivation meter. This keeps getting tougher, this finding motivation on Sundays. If the Bills do have absolute clunkers against the Kellen Moore-led Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets, at The Ralph, maybe Buffalo would examine Ryan's job a bit more critically (even with his five-year contract). The honeymoon period ended very soon for these fans, who even booed this team as early as losses to the Cincinnati and New York. Can you imagine the reception if the woeful Cowboys take it to the Bills? Ryan will need to, somehow, get his team mentally ready for these two meaningless games. This season has been a wild, emotional roller-coaster. Does Ryan have anything left to say internally? And will players listen? For the first time all season, the team seemed to quit at Washington -- in the first half.
3. The quarterback's finish. Tyrod Taylor's numbers were sparkling again after Sunday's loss, but Buffalo's offense was dreadful when it mattered most --- through a 21-0 first half when Taylor completed only three passes with a passer rating less than 50. Again, Ryan doubled down his support for the starter, pointing to him as one of the greatest positives to come out of this season. Again, Ryan said he has his quarterback for 2016. The Bills would love to see Taylor put together that elusive full game, even if that full game merely inches them toward a .500 season. At one point Monday, Ryan hinted that having a legitimate QB competition last summer affected chemistry. "Would we have been better served if Tyrod got every snap with the one’s?" Ryan said. "Sure we would have. But at the time we weren’t sure who was going to be our quarterback. I think going into next season we are pretty sure who our quarterback is. I think that will help us." Taylor has 2,674 yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He's positioning himself to start in 2016 to prove he can be the long-term answer. Now, the Bills need to see him finish strong.