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Vince Young, David Garrard both hurt in MNF game

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 06:  Vince Young #10 of  the Tennessee Titans is pictured during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Both starting quarterbacks in the Monday Night Football game were injured in the first half. Vince Young sprained his knee early in the first quarter, while David Garrard took a hit from a Tennessee pass rusher in the second quarter and went into the locker room just before half. (His injury is unknown at this point, but don’t rule out the possibility that he took himself out because he’s God awful.)

The good thing for Tennessee is that Kerry Collins is Young’s backup. He hit Bo Scaife on a 2-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter and then orchestrated another scoring drive that netted the Titans a field goal. Tennessee currently lead 17-0 at half.

Unfortunately for Jacksonville, their backup is not Kerry Collins but Trent Edwards, who was signed three weeks ago after Buffalo dumped him following two brutal starts at the beginning of the season. He came in and took the Jaguars right down the field, but then Mercedes Lewis crapped on the drive by fumbling inside the red zone. Tennessee recovered the loose ball and held Jacksonville scoreless in the first half.

Edwards looked great on his lone drive, but soon enough he’ll remember he’s Trent Edwards and start checking down every chance he gets. Of course, he’s probably a better option than Garrard at this point, so even if Garrard is healthy to start the second half, Jack Del Rio might as well leave Edwards in.

Update: ESPN will think twice about putting the Jaguars on Monday Night Football again after their performance tonight. Thanks to Collins and a dominating performance by their defense, the Titans rolled Jacksonville, 30-3. Maurice Jones-Drew never got going for the Jags and Edwards was picked off on the first possession of the second half.

Reports say that Garrard suffered a concussion in the first half, which is why he never returned.

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The Bills continue to lack direction

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 19: Trent Edwards  of the Buffalo Bills looks on during a break in game action against the Indianapolis Colts on August 19, 2010 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)

This was the first thing I wrote about the Bills in their 2010 team preview back in late August:

There’s no doubt that the Bills are moving in the right direction now that Buddy Nix is their new general manager.

One month later and I already feel myself searching for the delete button when it comes to the above statement.

What was the Bills’ plan of attack here with quarterback Trent Edwards? Instead of signing a veteran in free agency or drafting a signal caller in April, they decided to stick by Edwards and give him all the first team snaps this offseason. Then they named him the regular season starter and after two bad games, they benched him in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick and then flat out released him on Monday.

Benching Edwards for Fitzpatrick isn’t the problem. Fitzpatrick isn’t great, but he proved yesterday in New England that he can keep the Bills competitive and gives them a better chance to win than Edwards did.

Releasing Edwards isn’t the problem either. He clearly lacks the physical and mental tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and he hasn’t played with any confidence in over a year and a half.

The problem is the lack of direction that the Bills organization continues to display. They should have acquired a quarterback when they had the opportunity earlier this offeason, or at the very least made an attempt to acquire one. If you remember correctly, Buffalo was mentioned repeatedly as a possible landing spot for Michael Vick and had Nix gotten aggressive, maybe Vick would be running around making plays for the Bills instead of the Eagles right now. There’s no guarantee that he would have had the same success in Buffalo as he’s having now in Philadelphia, but the point is the Bills did nothing to address their quarterback situation when they had the chance five months ago.

It’s staggering to think that Nix and Chan Gailey actually believed that Edwards was the answer at quarterback based on what he’s shown over the past two years. And even if they did truly believe he could run the offense, they still should have drafted a quarterback to develop just in case Edwards didn’t pan out (which was the more likely scenario all along).

Now what? Is Fitzpatrick their long-term answer? Is Brian Brohm? If it’s Brohm, then they might as well play him now so he can get some experience. If neither of them are the answer, then the Bills are going to waste another year without having their quarterback of the future on their roster.

This is how bad teams stay bad.

2010 NFL Question Marks: Buffalo Bills

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 18: Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills calls out orders against the New York Jets during the game on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Bills defeated the Jets 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Bills, who, as you may imagine, have a couple of issues on their plate.

Ugh. I think I had the Bills in mind when I first thought about doing this series, as there’s no limit to the number of issues going on right now in Buffalo.

Actually, that’s not fair because the Bills are moving in the right direction and the hiring of GM Buddy Nix is proof of that. Nix has 14 years of NFL experience and previously spent 26 years coaching in the college ranks. The guy knows how to scout and for a team that desperately needs to re-stock their roster with talent, that’s huge.

Whether or not Chan Gailey was the best choice for head coach is debatable, but at least a) he has experience and b) isn’t Dick Jauron. For the time being, let’s give Gailey a chance and take solace in the fact that the Bills actually have people in their front office who don’t base their decisions on simulations in “Madden.” (“Madden says that the Cowboys would be willing to take Marshawn Lynch, a fourth, and a seventh for Tony Romo, so get Jerry Jones on the phone and let’s see if we can wrap something up by lunchtime.”)

That said, things still look bleak for this team, especially compared to the rest of the AFC East. Defensively, the secondary is deep and the team devoted a lot of time this offseason re-tooling the line for new coordinator George Edwards, who will implement the 3-4. It’s going to take time for the new scheme to take shape, which is why I’ll leave the defense alone for now.

The offense, however, is another story.

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Have the Bills set themselves up for disaster yet again?

When the Bills went on the clock with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, many pundits figured that they would take an offensive tackle or a quarterback. But new GM Buddy Nix threw everyone the finger when he selected Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, which was a surprise move to say the least.

When it came time for the Bills to select in the second round, Nix once again surprised the masses by taking Central Florida DT Torrell Troup, instead of nabbing Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen. Then came DE Alex Carrington in the third and receiver Marcus Easley in the fourth before Nix finally took an OT in Ed Wang in the fifth. It also took Nix until the seventh round before finally taking a quarterback (Levi Brown).

In a recent interview with the Bills’ official website, Nix may have provided some insight as to why he didn’t take a quarterback in the draft.

“The offensive coordinator getting fired two weeks before the season starts, your left tackle is cut with a week to go before the first game,” said Nix.

“It was formula for disaster and a lot of it (the quarterback) couldn’t control, but it all happened. Everybody wants to put it on the quarterback and try to make a change.”

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Putting into perspective how bad the Bills are

The Bills’ 6-3 loss to the Browns on Sunday was ugly. How ugly?

Let’s look at some facts:

- The Browns were winless coming into Week 5 and the Bills were playing at home. In fact, Cleveland hadn’t won its previous 10 outings before yesterday’s game.

- The Browns had given up an average of 29.5 points per game in their previous four outings, yet the Bills could only muster a field goal.

- Speaking of points, Buffalo has lost three straight games and have only scored 20 points combined in those three losses.

- Browns quarterback Derek Anderson was 2 of 17 for 23 yards and an interception. How the hell does a starting quarterback win in the NFL by only completing 2 of 17 pass attempts? Only 11.8 percent of Anderson’s pass attempts were completed, yet he still was the winning quarterback.

- The Bills were charged with nine false start penalties. NINE.

Granted, the Bills are incredibly banged up defensively, but they can’t use that excuse considering that the Browns only scored six points. Dick Jauron is making a case to be the first coach fired in midseason and his decision to let offensive coordinator Turk Schonert go just days before Buffalo’s opener looks horrible in light of Alex Van Pelt’s brutal start.

I realize that the Bills have a highly inexperienced offensive line that is causing many issues for Trent Edwards and the rest of the offense. But there’s simply no excuse to lose to the Browns 6-3 at home, especially when Derek Anderson completes only two passes for 23 yards.

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