Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is Bills head coach Chan Gailey on the hot seat?

Since taking over for interim head coach (and current New York Giants defensive coordinator) Perry Fewell) following the 2009 season, Gailey's Bills have won just 13 of their 39 games (4-12 in 2010, 6-10 in 2011, 3-4 so far in 2012). After two seasons running a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league, coordinator George Edwards was relieved of his duties and replaced by Dave Wannstedt. Wannstedt switched the Bills from a 3-4 defense to a more traditional 4-3, which was supposed to help cure an anemic pass rush and porous run defense.
The team also spent big in free agency to improve that side of the football, signing Houston Texans defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams to the richest contract for a defensive player in NFL history (reportedly six years and $100 million).
Through their first seven games, Wannstedt's defense ranks 31st in both scoring (32.4) and yards allowed (424.1), and dead last in rushing yards allowed (176.9). While the pass rush has improved, Mario Williams has just 3.5 sacks while playing through a wrist injury, which has recently undergone a procedure.
Gailey's offense is middle of the pack, and does have one of the best running games in the league, as third-year running back C.J. Spiller (696 scrimmage yards, 5 TD in just 91 touches) is putting up huge numbers in what has largely been a platoon role with Fred Jackson. While Ryan Fitzpatrick is still turnover prone (9 interceptions, 2 fumbles lost), he's also thrown 15 touchdown passes (tied for 3rd in the league), including four each to wide receiver Stevie Johnson and tight end Scott Chandler.
The bottom line for Gailey is that owner Ralph Wilson and general manager Buddy Nix likely won't show much patience after what is shaping up to be a third straight losing season, especially after their rare offseason spending spree.
Temperature: Boiling

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