Ryan Fitzpatrick practiced yesterday with the Bills and may start in the season finale against the Colts. He injured his ankle in the Patriots game and sat out last week’s loss to the Falcons. He took over for the benched Trent Edwards and has since thrown for 6 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Third-stringer Brian Brohm completed 17 of 29 passes for 146 yards and 2 interceptions against Atlanta. Fitzpatrick is the better alternative. Overall, Buffalo is 4 – 4 in games where he plays and 1 – 6 in contests with another starting quarterback.
Archive for December, 2009
Bills rookie free safety Jairus Byrd has been selected for the Pro Bowl. He is the only Buffalo player to make the squad this year. He is one of just two rookies on the AFC Pro Bowl team. The second-round draft pick from Oregon had 9 interceptions on the season, a franchise record for a rookie. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in October. Byrd was placed on injured reserve after a season ending injury and will undergo surgery this week. He will likely miss the all-star game in Miami on January 31. He has been the one standout player on Bills defense this year.
The Bills are reportedly interested in former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. They considered him for head coach in 2004, but gave the job to Mike Mularkey. Weis led the Fighting Irish to a 35 – 27 record in 5 seasons. He later served as offensive coordinator for the Patriots. Buffalo has been rebuffed by several big name candidates, including Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, and Mike Shanahan. Another prospect is former Saints coach Jim Haslett, who played for the Bills in the 1980s. Interim coach Perry Fewell is likely out of the running, having gone 2 – 4 since taking over for the fired Dick Jauron. The competition for available talent will intensify with the season’s end as other teams make coaching moves.
The Falcons trounced the Bills 31 – 3 at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta is looking for its first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history. Brian Brohm had his first NFL start in place of the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 146 yards and 2 interceptions. Buffalo’s only score came on a 42 yard Rian Lindell field goal. The Bills turned the ball over 3 times. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 18 of 35 for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Terrell Owens had his 1000th career reception, ranking him among the top 6 receivers in league history. Lee Evans set a club record as Buffalo’s third leading receiver with 5,307 yards. The Bills close out the season next week at home against the Colts.
Mike Shanahan has reportedly declined the Bills head coaching job. The former Broncos coach joins a number of other high profile prospects such as Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, and Mike Holmgren who have also turned thumbs down. Shanahan had meetings with general manager Russ Brandon back in November. He is pursuing discussions with the Redskins. That so many Super Bowl coaches aren’t interested attests to the widespread perception that the Bills are one of the league’s worst managed franchises. Rumored salaries as high as 10 million dollars a year are not enough to induce a championship coach. Having been snubbed by first rate talent, Buffalo will probably turn to second stringers to fill the vacancy.
Buffalo is looking for an upset against Atlanta. The Falcons have stumbled to a 7 – 7 record after getting off to a 4 – 1 start. Michael Turner is out with an injury and will not play. The Bills starting quarterback will likely be settled gameday. Ryan Fitzpatrick, sidelined with a sprained ankle, did not practice again yesterday. Brian Brohm, who joined the team 5 weeks ago, would start in his place. This would be his chance to audition for a permanent job next year. To pull off a win, Buffalo needs to convert on third down. The Bills are last in the league in third down conversions, averaging 3 per game. They face an Atlanta defense that is ranked 32nd in allowing third downs and 30th in pass defense. While the prospect for victory is slim, the Bills will be playing to safeguard their jobs as well as for pride.
Bills rookie safety Jairus Byrd has been placed on injured reserve. He will undergo hip surgery and miss the final 2 games. He becomes the 18th Buffalo player to go on injured reserve this year. Byrd led the team with 9 interceptions, a club record for a rookie. He had 2 interceptions in each of 3 consecutive games. The second round draft pick from Oregon had a standout college career. He had 17 interceptions in 2008 and was named to the All Pac 10 squad. He is a prospect for both Pro Bowl and Rookie of the Year honors. His father, Gill Byrd, was a veteran player for San Diego. The Bills pass defense is ranked third in the league with a total of 26 interceptions.
Third string quarterback Brian Brohm practiced with the Bills yesterday. It is unclear whether Ryan Fitzgerald, sidelined with an injury, will start against Atlanta. Trent Edwards has already been ruled out. Brohm would be making his NFL debut. The University of Louisville graduate was picked by the Packers in the second round of the 2008 draft. He sat out last season in Green Bay. He had an outstanding college career, going 24 – 9 and amassing 9,956 passing yards, a Big East conference record. On Tuesday Buffalo re-signed fourth string quarterback Gibran Hamdan. The Falcons quarterback picture is also up in the air, with Matt Ryan recovering from a toe injury. He did not practice yesterday. If he is unable to play, backup Chris Redman will start.
The Falcons are 8 point favorites over the Bills. Atlanta is coming off a 10 – 7 win over the Jets and has a slight wild card chance. Quarterback Matt Ryan was 16 of 34 passes for 152 yards and 1 touchdown in the New York game. The defense played well, with 3 interceptions on Mark Sanchez. The ground game will rely on Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling in the absence of the injured Michael Turner. They take on Buffalo’s worst ranked rush defense. The Bills will try to throw against Atlanta’s 30th ranked pass defense. There is uncertainty whether Brian Brohm will start as quarterback in place of Fitzpatrick and Edwards, both nursing ankle injuries. The Falcons are likely to prevail at home in the Georgia Dome.
Brian Brohm may see action in the Falcons game this weekend. The third-string quarterback may start in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards, who both sustained ankle injuries against New England. Coach Perry Fewell said yesterday that it is too soon to tell if they will be able to play. Brohm was signed to a 2 year contract off the Packers practice squad days after Dick Jauron’s firing. He may be the future of the offense, as both Buffalo quarterbacks continue to struggle. Fitzpatrick was replaced in the Patriots game by Edwards, who played 1 series in which he was sacked and went 1 of 2 for negative yardage. Brohm may get the chance to play in the last 2 games as the Bills search for a solution to their quarterback problem.