Pro Football Talk — Rex Ryan‘s Bills fell to 2-2 on the season in a 24-10 home loss to the Giants that was marked by a staggering number of penalties against Buffalo.
The Bills were flagged for 17 accepted penalties over the course of the contest, which is even more than they committed in a Week Two loss to the Patriots that was also marked by repeated losses of composure by Ryan’s club … but Ryan wasn’t dismayed by the apparent lack of discipline.
“I’m proud of the way this team played,” Ryan said in his postgame press conference. “Can we play a lot smarter? Absolutely. But I’ll take a team that’ll fight over a team that will sit back and take it every day of the week and bring on the next team.” …
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, that the Giants were doing things to provoke the Bills and that the officials are “looking for things, whether they’re legitimate or not” because of Buffalo’s reputation for drawing flags so far this season.
Remember when we all kept hearing that the rest of the AFC East was catching up to the Patriots? That while the Pats might still be the best team in the division, the others were “closing the gap”? I’m fairly certain we heard it this offseason thanks to big additions like Rex Ryan, Ndamukong Suh and Darrelle Revis. Or perhaps it was the year before. Possibly they were talking about next season. But anyway, they’ve been saying it. Repeatedly.
But if this weekend proved anything, it’s that it is the same old-same old with Rex Ryan anyway. He’s doing for the Bills what he did for the Jets: giving them an overinflated (pun not intended but I won’t delete it) sense of self-worth, absolving them from all accountability and celebrating them all out of proportion of anything they’ve actually accomplished.
Believe me, I love Shrex for being such a quote machine. But I also love having him in the division for the way he makes his players believe in themselves despite all evidence to the contrary. He might not have invented the art of false hope, but he does make first-team All-America in it every single season. Here he is, his team having gotten throttled at home for the second time in three weeks. The players lost what little composure they ever had. Committed three more penalties than they converted first downs, and he’s giving them all stickers on their foreheads. And like with the Jets, the attitude and lack of accountability is filtering down to his players, who think it’s all the fault of their opponents and the officials.
Rex is the perfect coach for the “participation trophy” generation. Great at manufacturing self-esteem, just not winners. I’ve said this before and I say it now: If Ryan didn’t exist, I’d have to invent him. And to the Bills fans who bought into his hype and probably now are starting to see the error of their ways: You better check yourself before you Rex yourself.
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