I'm going to make this quick because I need to sleep that crapfest off. I listed a laundry list of items that would be really bad indicators for the Hawks in my preview. Let's take another look:
X Matt QB rating under 80
X More than 1 sack by the Bills
X More than 1 turnover
O More than 130 yards rushing for the Bills
X Bills special teams TDs
X Bills score more than 14 points
O 50%+ 3rd down conversions for Bills
That's one place that going 5-7 is not good. I'll be the first to admit that the WR situation was more of an issue than I expected. It was night and day from what we had seen against first team defenses in the preseason. Matt looked rattled and rusty. The offensive line was bad, and Rob Sims looked every bit the rag doll he was last season. Why the hell was Jeb Putzier getting all the throws early instead of Carlson? Carlson certainly looked deserving of more opportunities.
The running game looked exactly like last year, the punting was horrible, there was no pressure on the QB, the injuries were significant. And on and on and on...
I would like to say, "Remember that we got destroyed in Jacksonville in our opener in 2005, and that turned out okay," but even in that game Shaun averaged almost 7 yards/carry and there was something to build on. The offense was a disaster in almost all aspects. Dropped passes more than any of the other problems must stop...now.
The defense actually looked better than the score indicates. They were very solid against a good running team. I thought Brandon Mebane, in particular, was stout.
The Bills defense played a superior game. They kept the pressure on all game and dictated to the Hawks offense. Give them credit for a good showing. Their offense is not good enough to make the playoffs, but if they get to face a few more teams that play as crappy as the Hawks did today, who knows?
I'm a Bills fan now. The more they win, the better it is for the Hawks at this point.
Let's start the season again in seven days.