Who do you blame when one of the game’s most prolific wide receivers goes without a catch for the first time in 185 consecutive games? As it turns out, everyone is to blame, including the New Orleans Saints defense.
Yeah, blame it on Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for using former Bills CB Jabari Greer, who along with lots of help in double coverage, blanketed Terrell Owens on quick slants designed specifically to get him the ball.
Blame it on the Bills for firing offensive coordinator Turk Schonert in the final days of the preseason and placing their quarterback behind an O-line with only 42 combined starts in the NFL. The Bills attempted to throw the ball to T.O. five times in the second half, but only once in the first half, which means the early game plan did not include an initial effort to use T.O to help win the game.
In fact, this proves that T.O was not a primary plan for what the Bills wanted to do on offense, but that he was more of a secondary option within their scheme against New Orleans. Even when T.O did beat the Saints secondary on a deep pattern late in the game, his quarterback, Trent Edwards, overthrew his intended target, missing on what certainly would have been a touchdown.
To be fair, you would even have to blame T.O himself for not extending his consecutive game streak to 186 games. When the Bills did work to get him involved, he failed to secure the ball when it hit him squarely in the hands. It’s clear that Owens’ injuries, which caused him to miss valuable time gelling with his quarterback during training camp, has hindered the crucial chemistry needed between them.
Owens has always been a hard worker in practice and in the weight room, but his lost time on the field is just one contributing factor to his failure to consistently connect with Trent.
I believe a team should make an effort to help players achieve individual milestones as long as it aligns with the more important goal of winning the game. In my mind, I believe getting the ball to T.O will certainly help the Bills to win, and win big. In Week 3 against the Saints, the Bills did try to get the ball to T.O, but their overall failure to do so could trigger the beginning of a rift between player and team that so many initially feared since both sides agreed on their one-year matrimony.