A column by Chuck Pollock, Senior Sports Columnist
So Ken Dorsey has been fired … everything’s fixed right?
Yeah, it is, if the Bills’ offensive coordinator was responsible for the 12-men on the field penalty that set up Denver’s second-chance winning field goal in Monday night’s 24-22 last-second victory over Buffalo Monday night at Highmark Stadium.
And, yeah, if it was Dorsey who threw those two interceptions, fumbled twice and dropped four passes against the Broncos that spoiled eight possessions.
Who else would you blame?
To be sure, Buffalo’s offense has disappeared over the past six games averaging just under 21 points per game in a stretch that included three terrible losses — Jacksonville, New England and Denver — and two lucky last-play wins over the Giants and Buccaneers at home.
That’s how close the Bills are to being 3-7 … not exactly a Super Bowl contender. Indeed, at 5-5 with a brutal seven-game season-ending schedule, Buffalo’s playoff chances are microscopic with visits to the Chiefs, Eagles, Chargers and Dolphins and home games with Dallas plus the Jets and Patriots, both of which already beat the Bills on the road.
Normally, NFL firings take place during a long week to give the successor a chance to get acclimated. Sean McDermott, Buffalo’s head coach, didn’t wait even 12 hours to jettison Dorsey. Keep in mind that only two weeks ago, McDermott expressed full confidence in his OC and the offensive staff even as the fan base clamored for Dorsey’s firing.
Why the urgency?
Fan reaction was so inflamed after Monday’s loss that calls for McDermott’s job were overwhelming. Thus, for the third time since being hired in 2017, he either fired (Heath Farwell and Dorsey), or pushed aside (I’m looking at you Leslie Frazier) a coordinator. Farwell, in charge of special teams, was the sacrificial lamb after the “13 seconds” debacle at Kansas City though the popular theory is that it was McDermott who called for the deep kickoff. Frazier was nudged out after the Bengals eviscerated the Bills in a playoff game in Orchard Park, suggesting he was the problem
You could do worse that speculate McDermott made the decision to dump Dorsey to turn down the well-deserved heat on himself.
In my mind, a case could be made for letting the offensive coordinator go. For six straight games that unit has looked out-of-sync and non-productive and quarterback Josh Allen has been a shadow of his elite self. At the press conference after Monday’s loss, he looked to be a beaten man.
But I will offer this.
In beating the Raiders, Commanders and Dolphins in consecutive games earlier this season, Buffalo averaged 41 points against them. Did Dorsey suddenly become stupid?
There’s a lot more wrong in that locker room, which seems in disarray, than one coach. And McDermott had best not be foolish enough to start talking about Bills “culture” … the most misused word in sports.
And if Buffalo fans are expecting Joe Brady, the acting OC, to turn the offense around in five days, let me talk to you about some deals for bitcoins.
(Chuck Pollock, a Wellsville Sun senior sports columnist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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