Breaking News: “Our Main Problem Is Scoring.”

“Our main problem is scoring,” Doug Marrone announced during his press conference today. If you aren’t already laughing hysterically, say “Our main problem is scoring” to yourself using the Ron Burgundy voice.

“An astute observation has led to laughing… We are laughing… And it is continuing…”

What he should have added was, “Our main problem is scoring, when Dan Carpenter isn’t on the field.” But you don’t need us to tell you how valuable Dan Carpenter is to this team. Others around the Buffalo Bills blogosphere, like Rob Quinn of billsmafia.com, have also noticed that their offensive attack is largely based on Dan Carpenter.

Quinn’s numbers combine touchdowns from Marrone’s entire tenure. As for this season, Dan Carpenter has scored 82 of the Buffalo Bills 108 pts. However, there may be a deeper, darker reason for Dan Carpenter’s high usage this year.

According to advanced stats hotshot Chase Stuart, Carpenter’s point total has less to do with his skill, and more with opportunity.

No judgement here–he’s just like the rest of us, turned on by some weird shit. Hopefully admitting his offense is terrible is the first step to recovery.

***

P.S.

As far as fetishes go, this one is more understandable than the one he has for Chris Hogan.

 

The Bills Need A Good Offense First

“We can’t have a stupid guy leading this football team.” Caller from Bills post-game show WGR550.

This one simple, declarative sentence fits perfectly into the Bills zeitgeist. But, regardless of its simple beauty, it’s lost among the many angry caller comments I’ve heard since the Chiefs game. It’s safe to say from my informal sample that the unwashed masses have turned on Marrone.

And, it’s justifiable.

But hardly nuanced.

Here are three things to think on when it comes to Doug Marrone.

1. Misguided vitriol.

The blame over the anemic offense has to go somewhere, but it hasn’t come Nathaniel Hackett’s way–while Doug Marrone is practically getting Team America’d over the airwaves. This, despite the fact that the Bills offense is ranked 27th by Football Outsiders (as of last week). I assume Nathaniel Hackett has some say in what the offense does, right?

And, if you’re thinking EJ Manuel fucked up the sample, you’re wrong. It’s hard enough to blame Manuel when he’s on the sidelines handing towels to Fred Jackson, but even more so if you consider that the Bills offense was 23rd before his benching.

2. 4th down turtling.

I need to preface this. First off, I’m a card-carrying member of the, “Go for it on fourth down club.”  I even think teams need should convert more two-point conversions–fuck it, I am cool with teams going for two, instead of opting for overtime. I am all about prolonging possessions and playing to win. I’m one of you.

With that said, I get where Marrone is coming from. In a vacuüm, the stats say go for it on 4th and 6. But the stats don’t account for how terrible the Bills offense is this season. I think its unfair to criticize him for trusting his defense, and special teams, over his anemic offense because of how they’re ranked statistically. Football outsiders (as of week 10) has the Bills defense fourth, the special teams fourth, and the offense 27th. One of these is not like the other, right?

What we should be criticizing is a Bills offense that isn’t trusted enough to get 6 yards when the game is on the line. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Nathaniel Hackett The offense is the problem.

Considering the offense the Bills are running, complaining about 4th down calls is equal to putting the cart before the horse. In the interim, more fourth down tries would give Marrone another win or two. But what does that mean to the team? Just makes it moderately above shitty. The real change in philosophy has to occur on offense, rather than on fourth downs.

The Bills offense has languished under the boy wonder. Many point to the inferior quarterbacking he has had under his disposal. Of course, this ignores the job Kyle Shanahan has done with my ex-girlfriends cousin, Bryan Hoyer. What Shanahan has done with Hoyer, he could do with Orton as well. I don’t think there is any doubting that. Now imagine for a second, a Nathaniel Hackett offense run by Bryan Hoyer.

And try to fall asleep tonight.

***

Free piece of advice: after the Bills address the offense, Terry Pegula should pay for Marrone’s frontal lobotomy like the Panthers did for Ron Rivera. This way the Bills keep Jim Schwartz and don’t hire Mike Smith. Not a bad idea, right?

A Poor Man’s ALL-22 Review: Buffalo Bills.

Jeremy Piven wants you to spend your money to finance concussion lawsuits. Credit: NFL Game pass.

 

Since I’ve exhausted my “Dan Carpenter is God” shtick, and I’m not even entirely sure if I’m joking anymore, I’ve decided to try something a little different this week. Hence, the birth of my All-22 review. This week, I will be analyzing the infamous fourth-down that cost the Buffalo Bills a win on Sunday.

The only problem with starting an all-22, really, is how expensive NFL Gameday package is. Seeing as I’m a broke ass student, I had to seek out a sketchy alternative, like borrowing from the internet. All thanks goes to Jeremy White of WGR550.

(Check out his latest column here)

***

Credit: Jeremy White

 

Jeremy White does a solid job every week analyzing the Bills. He was bang on in his analysis of this play:

Orton looks at Watkins the whole way…and I don’t know if the read is….back shoulder because of the 2 safety look…or if it’s called at the line.  Watkins has his man beat here and the right throw is a touchdown.

He’s right. The pass was either going back shoulder, or it was underthrown. As for the latter, Sammy Watkins has his man beat, and it’s a touchdown if Orton throws a dart. As for the former, it’s a bad read by Orton. As you can see below, Parker is bird-dogging Orton, and Watkins gets a step on Parker. But the Chiefs corner (can’t figure out his name LOL) is playing the goal line. Watkins isn’t bracketed by the Chiefs defenders, but Orton turtles. Neither scenario casts Kyle Orton in the best light. But, lets not let the coaching staff off the hook.

 

Credit: Jeremy White of WGR550.

 

Sure, throwing to Sammy Watkins seems like a logical choice, just not in this context. As the screencap above shows, the defense is clairvoyant. Furthermore, behind centre you have an inconsistent quarterback. I believe the Bills brain trust had a better option, considering the context. As you will see in the illustration below, I believe the Bills think tank should have put their fate in the feet of their hard-kicking closer, Dan Carpenter, an inning early.

 

I'm a real football blogger now.

I’m a real football blogger now. Credit: Jeremy White of WGR550.

 

Yes, the the kick would have put the Bills down by 1, but with a few more seconds on the clock, the Bills would have a chance in the 9th. Even if Kansas City converts a third down, the Chiefs are running another play before the 2 minute warning, thus giving the Bills around 30 seconds to play with. And fuck yeah, that’s more than the 21 seconds the offense needed to give their stopper a chance to nail a 58-yard winner against the Lions.

After witnessing how the Michigan Laser Pointer Militia fired Superstar Carp Wash up, Doug Marrone should have known better.

***

If you fell for that setup, shame on you.

I Went To A Bills Game In Buffalo And Lived To Tell About it.

Inside joke.

Inside joke.

My buddy Ryan was kind enough to let me stay at his home in Niagara Falls. Not to mention, Ryan arranged tickets for us to see the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, care of Mick and Angelos sports bar group package (product placement).

I decided to keep mental notes of my trip. The following is an account of what happened, as best I can remember.

***

10:11pm On my way to Niagara, I tell a friend of mine that I’m going to Buffalo for a football game. She responds, “How very hetero of you!”

10:11pm I think about it a bit, and I don’t agree. With orgy-like pileups, and the positive psychology of butt slaps, football can be different things to different people.

Credit: Dylan Is Peachy.

11:30pm I arrive at Grand Central Bar in Niagara Falls. Ryan tells me this is Niagara’s hipster bar. “Chop Suey” by System Of A Down is on in the background while we’re talking.

11:31pm He tells me that it was either this or Boston Pizza. “One thing I had to learn when I moved to Niagara Falls, people go to Boston Pizza to have fun.”

11:35pm Our drink platter arrives. Fuck BP.

11:55pm Already drunk.

12:00am From here on in… things get blurry.

4:00am We are partied out. Wake up call is 730am.

8:15am We sleep through several alarms. Wake up at 815am.

9:ooam Late for breakfast. Thankfully there still is a large pile of bacon. We inhale it and get on the bus.

10:00am Border cross takes a while. I hear some chatter involving rubber gloves and border cops, which sounds a lot like fan fiction.

Credit: Kill Zone Authors

10:45am We drive up to the tailgate party. While our driver is trying to park, we see a retrofitted ping-pong table. Someone on our bus yells, “Is that a 12-year-old girl playing beer pong?” The driver makes a sharp turn, so it’s never clear to us whether she was actually playing. The facts are she had a cup, and was standing next to the ping pong table, but there is no clear, indisputable evidence to overturn the call.

11:00am I get off the bus and the first song I hear is, “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Unlike the Goo Goo Dolls, Def Leppard are not from Buffalo, but they sure sound like they are right now.

11:15am There is a pig roasting. Its destiny is in our stomachs. We have to wait until the game is over.

You're doing the lord's work, good sir.

You’re doing the lord’s work, good sir.

11:45 I brought a football. We start tossing it around. I develop a quick rapport with a friend of Ryan’s, catching him on quick slants and skinny posts. He is catching everything with one hand because he’s holding a beer with the other.

12:15 He drops a pass because he added a cigarette to the other hand.

12:50pm I buy a Buffalo Bills toque that’s far too small for my huge head.

1:0opm The Bills game starts. We aren’t inside yet–we are held up by two girls in our group who went to a bar to do shots. I could care less because I have a feeling the Bills are going to lose in excruciating fashion today. It’s getting harder and harder to call it a feeling, rather than, say, a rational thought.

1:15pm-ish We get in but before we can get to our seats, the Bills score a touchdown. I spoke to a fellow Bills fan and he tells me it was number 15. We know it’s not Watkins–he’s 14. We guess Robert Woods and Mike Williams, but #15 belongs to teacher’s pet, Chris Hogan. We should be excited by a first drive touchdown, but there is nothing more deflating than knowing Chris Hogan is a big part of the game plan.

1:45pm So far so good. I have yet to encounter any hostile Buffalo Bills fans. I’m starting to think Deadspin might be full of shit. 

People were so shit faced by game time that they had to open the parking lots an hour later. Needless to say it didn’t make a lick of difference. People just chug Genny Light in their driveways until 10:01 now instead of 9:01. I can also understand why the NFL didn’t hold a night game here for so many years. I was in the public lot for the Browns Monday night game. The only thing missing from this icy Gomorrah was the burning of virgins. There were port-a-potty blow jobs for all. Let alone the tire burning and faithful patrons getting boot fucked by the cowboy security guards at the gate of the stadium. When we had disposable income and could get season tickets we would play the “count the yellow jacket” game when they would have to swarm to the end zone to break up another completely reasonable altercation.

2:30pm The Bills are leading at halftime 10-3, but I’m not at my seat, seeing as I was exploring The Ralph.

3:30pm The Bills begin their descent. Horrendous coaching decisions? Inexplicable penalty calls? Inopportune turnover(s)? This is exactly what a Bills game at The Ralph should be like!

3:50pm There is a game still going on. The Bills throw four times in the red zone without a completion. Inexplicably, Scott Chandler, who is 6-7, is not targeted in the red zone once. But Chris Hogan is twice…

4:15pm Bills game is over. Ryan turns to me and says he’s happy and sad. Happy that Jamaal Charles got him some fantasy points, but sad that my first Bills game at The Ralph was a loss. I honestly don’t care they lost, but I appreciate the sentiment from him. I don’t know if you’re allowed to cry at hetero events, but I want to right now.

4:45pm The pig is ready. Someone says the pig, “died for a great cause.”

5:00pm Beer is running low. We start two fisting to get rid of our drink tickets.

6:00pm We are late leaving. Because the girls I mentioned earlier, took off to find a convenience store to get some drinks for the road.

6:30pm A due pukes on the floor. He claims motion sickness. I believe him because soon after we get into a heated debate over Alex Smith. Apparently he’s a top-10 quarterback. And he is… in the CFL.

6:45pm I manage to talk to several Bills fans who think Nathaniel Hackett should be fired. I avoid getting punched in the face. I think I fit in.

7:oopm We are back in Canada.

7:00pm to ???? Shit gets weird. But I do remember checking out Ryan’s work place Strada West. I’m also not surprised he has a pasta named after him.

bier a la beaubien
pancetta pan seared scallops hard shell clams, peas, served in a beer cream sauce orecchiette pasta 18

1100am (the next day) I get dropped off by Ryan at the bus stop, who impressively could still drive after the rough morning he had. I wait outside for the bus next to a dude wearing a Bills hat.

 

 

 

Am I Gonna Fit In? Will I Get My Face Punched In While Peeing Into A Trough?

Fame? Maybe not. Excess? YUP.

 

Recently I asked one of my friends what they thought of Nathaniel Hackett, and they responded, “Who the fuck is that? … Remind me again.” My anonymous friend is like most NFL fans I know:  they love football, don’t give a shit about the Bills.  And, why would they? Who in their right mind would root for the Buffalo Bills, unless they lived in Buffalo?

I do, for reasons best left for my therapist.

I get a chance to be around people who can actually talk about The Hack, when I watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Kansas City Chiefs at the Ralph–that’s what the locals call it. Am I gonna fit in? Instead of jumping off the upper decks, I could strike up a Nathaniel Hackett convo. Or maybe not… Some will agree with me, while others are likely to punch me in my face, while I’m peeing into a trough.

So stoked.

 

 

Dan Carpenter: The Legend Continues

IMG_1162

 

Forgive us for a second, for we must gloat.

We here at Emails From Doug Whaley have started a trend: Dan Carpenter Bills midseason MVP talk. And, by trend, I mean its not just Alex and I speaking to each other in an echo chamber. The Carpenter MVP talk has, in fact, spread to Reddit, as the above photo indicates.

Sure, Marcell Dareus tops the poll with 75 votes, but in 6th place is Dan Carpenter with seven votes. Sure, seven votes doesn’t so great, but all seven were write-in votes. Although, the curators dissappointed me by neglecting to add Superstar Carp Wash,  I’m ecstatic with the response of the Carpe Daniem army (Dan Carpenter’s fan club).  If it wasn’t for you, Carpenter wouldn’t have more votes than Fred Jackson, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

Pat yourselves on the backs people. Lord knows we already have.

 

Is Jim Harbaugh The Next Coach Of The Buffalo Bills?

Premise:

When a Buffalo Bills blogger develops a fantasy world in which a superstar head coach is interested in coaching a moribund franchise, everyone scoffs.

It’s looking more likely with each passing 49ers game that Jim Harbaugh will be coaching elsewhere next season. His relationship with 49ers director of personal, Trent Baalke, is toxic, but this is hardly news. It’s been years now since rumblings of Harbaugh and Trent Baalke’s feud surfaced, but this season the 49ers have struggled an usual amount. As a result, the tension between the two is building to a War Of The Roses style climax, this despite their quite fruitful relationship.

Initially Harbaugh got along well enough with Baalke and developed group of underachievers into a self-actualized team, who’s made the Super Bowl, as well as the conference championship three times, in four seasons. The tension between the two alphas, however intense it is, produces a lot of wins. And Harbaugh definitely loves winning.

Not to mention, leaving a winning franchise like the 49ers means also killing his rivalry with Pete Carroll. Carroll, a favourite dartboard target, provides the sort of antagonist who motivates an already motivated Harbaugh.  How would he fare in a division like the NFC North with their collection of mild-mannered coaches? Hard to tell, but it’s a consideration.

Considering the success, as well as the rivalry the 49ers offer, it’s crazy to think Harbaugh wants to move on. But maybe he just needs a change, even a little one to shake things up. Harbaugh isn’t as crazy as you think…

 

Credit: SB Nation

 

once you evaluate his potential suitors.

Harbaugh has potential rebounds lined up, like the “Anyone will do tonight” Oakland Raiders, and his alma mater, Michigan. It’s safe to say, neither of those two will ever become Facebook status worthy. The Raiders’ basis of appeal hinges on Harbaugh living close to the stadium. Not to mention, his insatiable thirst for victory won’t jive with accepting defeat to SEC opponents before the season even starts. Those two aren’t even options really, because for NFL coaches, there is no such thing as a one night stand; you are contractually committed. That’s why Harbaugh needs to consider a long-term rebound, someone he can actually commit to–for four years.

Those mired in an unhealthy relationship cycle will know that one tends to gravitate to new relationships that aren’t really new.* The Buffalo Bills can give such a familiarity, because as crazy as it sounds, the Bills are kind of like the 49ers, circa four years ago.

 

***

 

The similarities are striking, such as a reported feud between Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley and head coach Doug Marrone.  I’m sure Whaley and Harbaugh can remain civil long enough to have the Bills firing on all cylinders. From learned experience, the potential conflict won’t deter him. Harbaugh knows it can work for four years at the very least.

The similarities don’t stop there: the Bills have a familiar roster, too. Consider first, the talented Bills roster mismanaged, and poorly coached, underachieving for years.** Moreover, Kyle Orton is the perfect Alex Smith, to EJ Manuel’s Colin Kaepernick. The familiar roster will entice Harbaugh.

Beyond the tension, and palatable roster, the Bills offer an antagonist worthy of Pete Carroll, in the form of Bill Belichick.*** Sure, Harbaugh and Belichick don’t have a college rivalry stemming to their PAC-10 days, but is it unreasonable to think the zealous Harbaugh should be tantalized by the opportunity to face the G.O.A.T. twice a year?

Sure, the Buffalo Bills**** don’t offer a mature experience for the coach, but they do offer a framework he’s succeeded with. And, I’m sure Harbaugh is more concerned with winning than in developing a healthy relationship–even knowing exactly how it ends every time.

 

Credit: 5fingerdis

***

 If you like this, check out another post like this one.

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*Not bitter or anything.

**The Bills defense has been well coached–by two different coordinators

*** Keep Jim Schwartz! Schwartz is the perfect nemesis who becomes unwilling partners with Harbaugh. Through their shared adventures they learn to coexist for the greater good. It’s either the inspiration for a buddy action flick, or, the plot of Draft Day II.

**** In this post I operate under the assumption that Doug Marrone is fired, or Bills management would fire him, if Harbaugh became available.

#legendofdancarpenter

I’m sensing some synergy here.

Not much to report on the Buffalo Bills after a bye week–except that the legend of Dan Carpenter continues to grow.

After last week’s podcast, where Alex and I pseudo seriously discussed whether or not, Dan Carpenter, deserved the Buffalo Bills MVP, it’s only fitting that the Bills superstar kicker would further prove his value in a week the team didn’t even play. How did Superstar Carp Wash manage to do that?

See pic below.

Dan Carpenter Yahoo fantasy projection.

Dan Carpenter Yahoo fantasy projection.

During his bye week, Yahoo’s fantasy football algorithm predicted Dan Carpenter would score 5.2 points. Kyle Orton, Sammy Watkins, and as well as the rest of the Bills offense, combined for a projection 0 points.

#thelegendofdancarpenter.