SAN FRANCISCO – The Buffalo Bills’ defense was supposed to be among the best in the NFL this year.
The last two games they’ve been among the worst all-time.
The San Francisco 49ers’ offense annihilated the Bills in almost every imaginable way, posting a 45-3 victory Sunday in Candlestick Park. The Bills allowed a team-record 621 yards.
Coupled with the embarrassing, 52-28 loss to the New England Patriots last week, the Bills’ vaunted defense has allowed 97 points, 62 first downs and 1,201 yards. It has recorded two of its three worst statistical games in franchise history in the past seven days.
After the game, Bills coach Chan Gailey took the blame for not having his players prepared. But the face of the Bills’ supposedly fearsome defense, $100 million man Mario Williams, shot down Gailey’s declaration.
“No, no, no, no,” Williams said at his locker stall. “You don’t get beat like that from your head coach. I don’t care what you say.
“He’s not out there, going to get sacks. He’s not out there, covering receivers. He’s not out there, getting turnovers.
“From No. 1 to No. 11 on defense, this is all on us. … This is no head coach, no position coach.”
No NFL team had ever allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for 300 yards and given up 300 rushing yards. The Bills became the first team since the 1950 New York Yanks to surrender more than 550 yards in consecutive games.
The Bills were supposed to have a scary-good pass rush. They have one sack in their last two games. Williams sometimes lined up on the right side, something he had done rarely in the previous four games, but the different looks didn’t help.
The Bills failed to sack 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who had one of the greatest games of his career with 303 yards and three touchdowns. Smith and gadget quarterback Colin Kaepernick combined for 88 rushing yards.
Niners running back Frank Gore rushed 14 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Kendall Hunter ran for 81 yards on just 11 carries.
“Just huge plays,” Williams said. “If it’s a run for 15 yards, a pass for 40 yards, you can’t win the game off of huge plays. That’s on everybody.”
Williams refused to say the Bills quit, but kept saying they didn’t finish.
“Not with that score,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, you can keep chopping wood, but for them to go out there and score, you can’t look at anybody and say we did [finish].
“That’s not quitting. We weren’t just sitting there, letting the guy run through, letting the guy catch the ball or getting out of gaps on purpose. That’s not quitting. We just didn’t finish.”
Rookie punter Shawn Powell, with his first full week to prepare, has taken over the holding duties on extra-point and field-goal tries.
Backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen handled the role last week in Powell’s NFL debut against the New England Patriots. Powell was signed after longtime punter and holder Brian Moorman was released two weeks ago.
The Bills’ already patchwork offensive line got a little more tattered before – and during – the game.
With starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and starting right guard Kraig Urbik already sidelined with ankle injuries, Urbik’s replacement, Chad Rinehart, was replaced by Colin Brown, who made just his second career start.
Rinehart missed practice time this week with a calf injury and was listed as questionable for Sunday. He was not deactivated and got into the game in the second quarter after Brown appeared to get hurt, but Rinehart left the game in the second half, forcing the team to play Sam Young.
The Bills deactivated quarterback Tarvaris Jackson a fifth straight game. They acquired the former starter for a seventh-round draft choice (that will turn into a sixth-rounder if he’s active for six games) and are paying him $1.75 million in base salary this year, more than they would’ve paid Vince Young.
Inactive for the Bills in addition to Glenn and Urbik: running back Johnny White (healthy), defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (ankle), linebacker Kirk Morrison (healthy) and safety Delano Howell (healthy).
Former Bills receiver Lee Evans spent Sunday at Candlestick Park, taking in his first NFL game as a fan while on his way to Napa Valley.
Evans, 31, told The Buffalo News he’s enjoying retirement after the Jacksonville Jaguars released him in training camp and that he spurned subsequent interest from the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys.