Buffalo Bills Progress Report: Where Do Things Stand Headed into Week 15?

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IDecember 12, 2012

HOUSTON, TX- NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Chan Gailey of the Buffalo Bills coaches against the Houston Texans on November 4, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 21 to 9.(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are not completely eliminated from playoff contention.

Mike Tyson also didn't completely bite Evander Holyfield's ear off.

Manny Pacquiao also wasn't completely destroyed at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez—just enough to put major question marks around the future of his boxing career.

Based on how the Bills' season has gone, there should be several people with similar question marks around their future with the franchise.

Where does the team stand after this week's loss? Where are things headed for the Bills from here? Let's catch up in this week's progress report.


Primary Talking Point

Chan Gailey has got to go

Between untimely timeouts, a lack of touches for running back C.J. Spiller and a determination to put the ball in the hands of an erratic quarterback in key situations, he takes the word "mismanagement" to a whole new level.

Still, public support for Gailey from the Bills players and general manager Buddy Nix could not be stronger.

"He’s got a year—or more," Nix said.

"I’ve got his back," said Spiller.

"Yeah, absolutely I do [think Gailey should remain head coach]," echoed Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, adding, "we’ve made progress since he’s been here."

The progress has been from 4-12 to 6-10 to 5-8, adding up to a 15-30 record in Gailey's tenure, but Nix has cast his ballot, and he's done talking about it, also having told The Buffalo News that he is not speaking on the matter until the end of the season at least.

Unless Nix is done talking about it for fear he'll have some damning Freudian slip, it looks like the Bills may be stuck with Gailey's coaching for at least another year, and that's just something Bills fans are going to have to learn to deal with.


Injury Updates

The Bills have already been struck badly by the injury bug this year: Defensive end Chris Kelsay, cornerback Terrence McGee, wide receiver David Nelson, offensive linemen Chris Hairston, Erik Pears, Chad Rinehart and Zebrie Sanders are already on injured reserve. Defensive end Mark Anderson, center Eric Wood and cornerback Aaron Williams are all also out.

Now, running back Fred Jackson is going on injured reserve for the second straight season after suffering a knee injury against the Rams. That should mean an increased workload for C.J. Spiller—that is, if Gailey's completely illogical love for Tashard Choice doesn't spoil the fun for Bills fans and Spiller's fantasy owners.


Stock Up

Mario Williams

Mario logged his sixth sack in the past four games with his sack of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.

Williams' stock has been on the rise over the past few weeks, and he was a constant presence in St. Louis' backfield this week with two run stops and two quarterback pressures (viaProFootballFocus.com).


Nick Barnett

Improved play from Barnett against the run can be directly attributed to the Bills' defensive improvement as a whole against the run. Barnett leads the Bills with 60 solo tackles and 32 assists on the season, and led them on Sunday with seven solo tackles and three assists against the Rams.


Stock Down

George Wilson

Dropped what could have been a game-saving interception on the Rams' final drive. It was a bullet of a pass from Sam Bradford, and Wilson gave himself a chance at the pick by tipping the ball to himself, but ultimately it fell to the ground.

This isn't his first missed opportunity of the season. He had a similar drop against the Tennessee Titans on a pass that was deflected directly into his lap.

Of course, those are bang-bang plays, but the timeliness of them proved costly.

The Bills came into the season with high hopes for their safety duo, but Wilson has begun to fall out of favor over the past few weeks, and this latest missed opportunity doesn't help his case to earn some of that playing time back.


Cordy Glenn

One of the few starting linemen remaining for the Bills has had two bad games in his last three outings, allowing two sacks, a hit and two pressures to the Rams (viaProFootballFocus.com) two weeks after allowing two hits and three pressures against the Colts.

Glenn got off to a good start to the season, not allowing a sack until Week 11, but he has struggled recently.


Lee Smith

No reason other than one of the most epic fail touchdown celebrations in recent memory.

There's the reason it is called the Lambeau Leap. We'll just call this one the "BuffaLOLeap."



As mentioned above, the Bills are not completely out of the playoff picture yet, but they need a lot of help down the stretch.

Not only must they win all their games, but the Steelers and Bengals must both finish 8-8 while the Jets lose their final three games.

The SeahawksDolphins and Jets are far from the best teams in the league, but they will all provide tough opponents for the Bills. Seattle has proven they can play on the road in recent weeks; the Dolphins were a drive away from beating the Bills on Thursday Night Football four weeks ago; the Jets dominated the Bills in Week 1 and are playing like a different team recently.

The short-term prospects are not good, and if the Bills don't move on from Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick, the long-term prospects may not be much better.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.


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