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Bills limp to finish on seven-game skid that portends changes

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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It wasn't long ago that the Bills were shaping up as one of the feel-good stories of the NFL season.

They jumped out to a 4-1 start, including signature wins over the Patriots and Eagles, two teams considered Super Bowl contenders.

Unfortunately for long-suffering Buffalo fans, the team quickly lost its way. Since beating the Eagles in Week 5, the Bills have lost eight of nine, including each of the last seven games. The rumors have started that sweeping changes in Buffalo are on the horizon ... again.

"You lose this many games in a row, we all get criticism," Bills coach Chan Gailey told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "There's nobody that escapes criticism when you're doing what we're doing right now."

One major issue of concern is at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension in October, then experienced the horror of his production instantly falling off a cliff. Fitzpatrick has thrown 10 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions since signing the deal, with the Bills going 1-7 during that stretch.


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Then there's a defense that has surrendered 32 points per game during the skid. Defensive coordinator George Edwards has received heavy criticism, and on Sunday, WGRF -- the team's radio broadcaster -- reported assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt had become more involved in defensive play-calling duties.

"I take it personal when I hear criticism about George," Bills outside linebacker Chris Kelsay said. "I think his scheme and his defense works. But it takes us players to execute it. And we haven't executed real well at times, and it's shown. Unfortunately, he's taken the brunt of most of the criticism. I don't think it's fair."

Fair or not, someone on the Bills will pay the price if they keep losing straight into the offseason. And the fans aren't happy: As of Wednesday, about 24,000 tickets remained for the home finale against Tim Tebow and the Broncos, meaning a third consecutive TV blackout in Buffalo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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