The Buffalo Bills have started their 2016 season off in a disastrous way, to say the least. First, it was a 13-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, a game in which the Bills offense totaled just 160 yards. In that game, yes, the Bills offense was a complete and total disaster. Immediately after the game, the attention shifted to head coach Rex Ryan, and the talk was specifically about how hot his seat was quickly becoming. Fortunately for Ryan, it wasn’t the head coach who lost his job, but as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, it was Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman instead.
Then, the Bills bounced back a bit (offensively) in Week 2 on Thursday night against the New York Jets, as they scored 31 points and totaled 393 yards offensively. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor tossed for 297 yards and three touchdowns, but the run game with running back LeSean McCoy was ineffective against the talented Jets defensive line. Overall, it was an improvement, and proof that the Bills could put some points on the board.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough.
With the Bills choosing to part ways with Roman, who as Schefter mentioned, was the highest-paid offensive coordinator in the NFL, it’s a way for the Bills to combat their problems at least for another week. Ryan is probably safe, and his brother and assistant head coach Rob Ryan is likely to be safe. The issue here? The Bills have decided to push all of their problems towards the offensive side of the ball, instead of talking about the real issue here.
The Buffalo defense was eaten alive on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. They allowed 493 yards; Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards and a touchdown, and Matt Forte rushed 30 times for 100 yards and three scores. The Bills were torn apart consistently, specifically in the red zone, and to top all of this off, the only thing their defense did that was even worth noting, was pick up an ugly Jets fumble and take it back to the house for a touchdown.
When you’re at home, in prime time, on Thursday Night Football, and your defense can only manage two quarterback hits and one sack, it’s a reason to be concerned. That concern should be focused on the defensive side of the ball, not on the side of the ball where we saw wide receiver Sammy Watkins giving it his all, but was limping around the field at times.
So, the decision to part ways with Roman, who has been the offensive coordinator for two seasons now, is just a way for Ryan and the rest of the Bills as a whole to deflect their issues onto that side of the ball. The point still stands with the fact that the real problem lies on the defensive side, and we’re going to see that issue exposed over the next few weeks, as the Bills get the brutal task of facing the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
While the Bills have moved on from Roman, Schefter also reported that they’ve chosen to hire assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn as the new offensive coordinator.
Regardless of who is running the show for a Bills team that, aside from Watkins, is pretty thin at wide receiver, the issues will always go directly back to the defense until there’s some fix figured out on that side of the ball.
While the first hammer to fall came on Roman, don’t be surprised if we see a few other Bills coaches, including potentially the Ryan brothers, over the next few weeks of the 2016 NFL season.