ORCHARD PARK —
"They played well, we played poorly," Gailey said. "It's my responsiblity to get our team ready to play each week. I didn't get these guys ready to play well enough to win this ballgame. It's a big ballgame. We hadn't had this happen at home this year and we've got to get better."
The Bills are better than they've been, but certainly no juggernaut. With injuries taking their tool, they were bound to play a bad game sooner or later. It's just surprising to see the home crowd sit back and watch it happen. This isn't Toronto where the fans need a good reason to cheer. The Bills came out slugglish on Sunday. The 12th Man followed suit. Maybe daylight savings threw everyone off their game. To their credit, the Bills players are too proud to admit they needed a little help from their friends to beat a team like the Jets.
"We have to make our own excitement," an indignant Drayton Florence said. "We don't come into this stadium expecting the fans to pump us up to play good. Once we start doing that we need to go to another business, another profession. We just didn't score enough on offense, didn't take the ball away enough on defense. That's the bottom line."
The bottom line is the Bills are 5-3 at the midway point. That sure beats 0-8. A winning record is probable, a playoff run still possible. They've come back strong after their two previous losses. But they took two steps back with this loss, and the second half will be tougher than the first. They still have to visit the Jets, as well as New England. Five of their final eight games are on the road, starting with the next three.
"You've got half a football season left," Gailey said. "It starts this week and you get a chance to go do something about it. If you don't like it, do something about it."
For what it's worth, the Bills will be wearing their home blues in Dallas next week.
Contact sports editor Jonah Bronstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.