Marshawn Lynch is a Blogger

Marshawn LynchMarshawn Lynch now has a blog going over at YardBarker.com. If you haven’t heard of that site, it’s pretty cool. A lot of athletes have blogs over there including Donovan McNabb, Baron Davis, and Greg Oden. It’s fun to read up on thoughts coming directly from the athletes themselves.

I’m no pro athlete, but I have a blog over there too, as any average joe can put some content up there at will. Here’s my column at YardBarker.


Bills May Start Another Rookie

Due to more injuries, this time to a pair of Bills running backs, another Buffalo rookie may get his first start this week. Running back Fred Jackson, who has played just a few plays here and there, may get the nod at the beginning of this week’s game against Washington.

Marshawn Lynch is still working on overcoming a sprained ankle, and last week Anthony Thomas strained his calf against the Jags. At this point, it’s not clear how the two will be come game time. Backing up Jackson would be fellow rookie Dwayne Wright. This is a great chance for them to shine next to rookie Trent Edwards.

With all these injuries, a lot of rookies are getting great experience. It will make for an interesting year in 2008. Most of the Bills starters are young guys anyway, just in their first few years as a pro in the NFL. So when those guys heal up, they will have to contend for their starting jobs with this year’s rookies. I think that’s not a bad deal at all for the Bills. Instead of having veterans focusing on their own games, maybe showing the rooks a thing or two, each week will have almost everybody on the roster battling for the starting position.

In sports, some competition from a teammate is often what pushes guys to play at the next level. Obviously, Buffalo’s got a long ways to go to get to the “upper echelon” of the NFL’s teams, but with all this experience early on, I like their chances a couple years down the road.

So, go Fred and Dwayne! Good luck this week against a pretty good Washington defense.


Buffalo 14, Jacksonville 36

Holiday travels have postponed this post, sorry about that. No surprises from this week’s game in Jacksonville. The Bills put up a couple 7 pointers and had it within 5 points going into the 4th quarter, but then Jacksonville ran away with the game. Garrard still hasn’t thrown an interception all year. I was hoping one of the Bills’ deep guys would change that, but it wasn’t to be.

Now, this morning is kind of tricky to focus on anything other than the tragic loss of Sean Taylor. That’s a terrible thing and I wish his family the best.

So the Bills have a 2 game losing skid. Apparently coach Dick Jauron has decided that JP Losman is no longer the team’s top QB. He has decided to start Trent Edwards for the remainder of the season. I think this is a good move. JP has had his chance to shine.

Next week’s game is the untimely match in Washington against the grieving Redskins. I’m not sure what to say about that game just yet. We’ll let things settle down a bit before going there.

Related: Bills Week 12 Report Card
Bills Beaten Badly By Jaguars 36-14 in Jacksonville
NFL.com Bills vs. Jags Game Center


Week 12: Buffalo at Jacksonville

Well I’m still mid-travel, but I figured I’d better get a word up before the Bills’ game at Jacksonville. This is another tough one. Jacksonville has been one of the more consistent teams this year. David Garrard hasn’t thrown an interception all year and has been very effective at throwing and handing the ball off in order to win games.

Of course, Jacksonville has the league’s best 2-man running back core with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Last year Buffalo was able to beat the favored Jaguars, but I don’t know if they will be able to do it twice in a row. Buffalo does well when they capitalize on mistakes made by the opposition. Jacksonville rarely makes mistakes.

Jags’ top pass coverage guy, Rashean Mathis, is questionable with a groin injury, but if he plays, he seems to always give the Bills a very hard time. With Marshawn Lynch out for his second game in a row, I really don’t have a bright outlook on this road game for Buffalo.

Prediction: Buffalo 6 | Jacksonville 17

Related: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
Bills/Jaguars: What to Watch For
Jags can take another step


Score as Much as Possible

Apparently after the 46 point blowout that New England shellacked upon Buffalo, some people have complained about running up the score. So, here’s what I have to say about the topic…and perhaps as a fan of the team who got destroyed, this spiel may have some validity to it.

My stand on this is the same as it has always been. Sports exist for entertainment. There are many other great side effects, but when you boil it down, that’s why they are there. In most cases, it’s more fun to watch scoring than non-scoring. So why would anybody ever get mad about a team trying to score? After all, that’s the point of the game, to score points and win. There’s no limit to how many points can be scored. It’s supposed to be the opposing defense that limits that number. If the defense isn’t good enough that game to stop an incredible amount of scoring, that’s just too bad, they should step it up.

I really don’t see the point in getting upset at the winning team in a big blowout because they performed the best they knew how. Professional athletes hear complaints about not caring enough and that they just play for money, then they have to hear complaints about playing too hard when they score a lot of points. There’s a critic for everything out there, so I say just play the game and do what you do best. If you can score 100 in a football game, I say go for it. That would be an awesome feat to see.

So I don’t blame the Patriots one bit for scoring 56 against the Bills. They probably should have scored 63 or 70, but they held back because they probably didn’t want to get ridiculed by the media and fans who just don’t understand. So to the Patriots and any other team who will win in blowouts, I say try to score as much as you can, you earned it!


New England 1,000,000, Buffalo 10

I think that was the score of the game. Man, the Bills couldn’t even slow down the Patriots on Sunday night! I guess I should be happy that Buffalo managed to get 10 points up. That field goal was pretty neat, how it bounced off of the camera and back into the field. The refs did a better job of getting that right immediately than the refs in the earlier Browns/Ravens game.

So this blog post is coming from the road right now. I’m traveling to the parents’ house for Thanksgiving, so my mind is in more turkey mode than football mode. But enough about me, let’s forget that mess of a game and look to the rest of the Bills’ season.

I could see them going 4-2, thus ending with possibly the most frustrating record for an AFC team of 9-7. Typically that won’t get you into the playoffs in the AFC, where 8-8 will get you in on the NFC side. The two losses I figure will come against the Jags and Giants with wins against Miami, Cleveland, Philly, and Washington.

So, a possible 2 game losing skid coming up, but the Bills usually end the season well, so I’m excited about that. I’ll try to get some more posts up before the big food day, but it’s never too early to wish people a Happy Thanksgiving!


Week 11: New England at Buffalo

Well, here we go again. Big game, big crowd, big national audience. Buffalo is playing on Sunday night football! Woohoo!

There’s not a lot more to this game on paper other than the fact that New England is 9-0, Buffalo is 5-4, and the Patriots have dominated the Bills for many years. But games aren’t played on paper.

Bills vs PatriotsThe Buffalo home crowd is awesome, and they will step up to get right in the ears of all the Patriots’ offensive players. Could that be enough to get Brady to throw more interceptions in this game than he has all season? Hopefully. Will the crowd get the Bills players pumped up enough to be able to run back a kick or two for a score? Definitely. Will that happen? I’ll give it a probably. Will JP finally be able to put up a good performance against the Pats without the star rookie RB in Marshawn Lynch? He’ll have to for a W here.

So what should we look for in this game? The obvious would be Brady calmly throwing for 350 yards and around 4 touchdowns and a lot of 3-and-out drives for Buffalo. I don’t think the obvious will happen. Believe it or not, the Patriots aren’t the only team trying to keep a perfect record going. I just read that Buffalo is 5-0 all time at home on Sunday night, so why not 6-0? As we know, no team other than the ’72 Dolphins have put together a perfect season, and in today’s game, that is almost impossible. It looks like New England could do it, but they are yet to have an off game. Why not on Sunday?

Buffalo historically steps up in big occasions (Super Bowls excluded) to give tough teams a run for their money. I’m keeping this optimistic, although I really don’t expect it to happen, but hey, why not?

Prediction: New England 16 | Buffalo 17

Related: The Patriots Are Coming, and the Bills Are Ready
Bills-Patriots Week 11 Preview
Sports on the Air: Madden sees good things in Buffalo


Lynch Banged Up, Losman Starting Again

The Sunday night game against New England is still 4 days away, and more of the same stuff is plaguing the Bills. Marshawn Lynch’s ankle remains in a good deal of pain from the end of the game in Miami. Coach Dick Jauron isn’t overly confident that the rookie RB will be able to suit up against the Patriots. In that case, Buffalo will likely go to a 2 or 3 running back plan. They’ll make use of rookie Dwayne Wright along with veteran Anthony Thomas, the A-train.

lynch-ankle.jpgJP Losman has earned another start this time around. He’s faced the Patriots a handful of times in his career, never coming out on top. Right now, the Bills are on a nice winning streak, but they’re winning ugly. A couple weeks ago, the Colts put up an impressive performance against New England, and they still lost the game. The Bills have yet to really put up anything that could be called an impressive offensive performance. Lee Evans has had a couple big catches, and Marshawn a couple medium length runs, but other than that, there hasn’t been much to show.

Right now, I’m enjoying the 4 game winning streak and looking forward to beginning a new one after the New England game. But hey, at least it’ll be on television!

Related: Lynch Status For Sunday Night In Question
Bills’ Losman Survives for One More Week


Buffalo 13, Miami 10

The Bills have had some very exciting games and some very dull games this year. The game against the Dolphins was a little of both. In an excruciatingly slow first half, the only score was made on a Miami field goal. The Bills were not looking good at all against one of the league’s worst defenses.

In the second half, the Bills put up a whopping 2 points when they sacked Miami’s quarterback, Cleo Lemon, in the end zone for a safety. The Bills gave the ball up quickly after that, and Miami went on to score a touchdown. Finally, with just over 5 minutes left in the game, Marshawn Lynch broke through the defensive line for a touchdown. Being down 8-10 at that point, Lynch got the ball again for a 2 point conversion.

So now the game was a bit exciting. Buffalo was able to put together a late game drive to set up Rian Lindell for what ended up being his eighth career game-winning field goal.

Lynch left the game late with a sprained ankle. He’s having an MRI today to see if there is anything to be concerned about with the ankle.

So, what does this mean? Well, first off, the Bills are the second hottest team in the league right now with a 4 game winning streak. They’re tied with Green Bay at 4. The hottest team is of course New England with a streak of 9 wins. That’s who Buffalo plays next, awesome. I hope they got the poor offensive play out of their system. They also let Miami’s backup running back run all over the place, not too good.

Related: Box Score
Second Down: Week 10


Week 10: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Finally, in the first game of the second half of the 2007 season, the Bills get to play the winless Dolphins. The game will take place in sunny warm Miami. This is the first game of the season where the Bills are expected to win easily. I hate to say it, but this looks an awful lot like the Monday nighter where Dallas came into Buffalo, only Buffalo is in the role of Dallas this time. It’s on the road, next week is a big game against New England (just like Dallas), and the Bills are expected to win.

week10.pngSo what needs to happen for Buffalo to walk away 5-4? They need to make a call to Bill Belichick and find out how to turn their brains into relentless scoring machines. I look at games like this one similar to the way a 5 on 4 basketball game works. The undermanned team has a big mental advantage, because they’re supposed to lose. The team with 5 tends to relax, figuring they’re bound to win. Oft times the shorthanded team ends up winning due to effort.

Buffalo has to come into this game with respect for Miami. The Dolphins are desperate for a win right now. They’re coming off a bye week and will be in front of their home crowd for the first time in 3 weeks. Their last home game was against New England where they got blown out, but managed to put up 28 points. Cleo Lemon seems to be a pretty mobile quarterback that could cause some problems for the Bills.

This game, like all Buffalo games this season, has its share of big injuries. The biggest seems to be the absence of Zach Thomas, Miami’s star linebacker. He’s been dealing with migraines after sustaining a concussion earlier this year. That is news you don’t want to hear about anybody, so I hope he can get rested up and get back to his pro bowl form soon. Miami’s star running back, Ronnie Brown is out for the season. Trent Green is also gone. Without those two guys, the Dolphins’ offense is really hurting. On Buffalo’s side of things, Aaron Schobel is questionable with an illness. WRs Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed are also questionable for the game.

The good news for the Bills is that Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans, and JP Losman are all feeling great and playing great. This really ought to be a game where all three of them can put up their best numbers of the season. If the Bills can stay mentally focused, I expect a nice, relatively easy win.

Prediction: Buffalo 34 | Miami 13

Related: Bills/Dolphins: What to Watch For
Game Day Tipsheet: Week 10
Schobel, Reed miss Friday practice, questionable