Hello fellow Buffalo Bills lovers. Here are my takes from this game.
1. Can we talk Byrd into staying? To replace him, unless we are getting a first or another starter in a different spot, just seems counterproductive. He's a difference maker. We lost a good Guard last year (not that he's worth 9 mil a year) and to lose another starter isn't great. He needs to be a Bill for life.
2. I don't know if we can make the playoffs or not, but, I counted on this season being a learning one, so, anything more then 6 wins is gravy to me. My biggest fears for winning out are Tampa and NE. I think we can and will beat Atlanta (they've already run for the bus), Mia (again, at home), and Jacksonville (again, they've checked out). Tampa and NE are what stand in the way of a winning record.
3. This is the only really negative thing I will state. In the New NFL, no team is as good as they look when they win or as bad when they lose. Remember that.
4. I think all the talk about EJ being a failure or a bust MUST be shelved until after week 17. He played very well against a good defense, with no running game, and a big win storm. What more can you ask of him?
5. The biggest play of the game, to me, was the first snap from play when Dareus hit Geno and hurt him. That set the tone for the entire day IMO. Otherwise, the other spot was EJ's bomb to Goodwin iced the game. It took whatever momentum the Jets had and ripped it out of their ill-beating hearts.
6. QB ranking was an A. I thought EJ was solid. He made good choices, only threw one bad pass (the near pick 6) and had some really nice touch passes on a day when the wind made it hard to throw the ball. Those 2 bombs in the third iced the game. It was nice to see Tj and Goodwin step up and show us what they can do. And lets not forget Hogan. He did well. I think one game ball should go to Hogan. He was important today. Easley, not so much on offense, his days as a WR are over (at least with us), unless he follows Leo's path). I really thought everyone stepped it up to replace Stevie and Woods. Great game guys.
7. Running game was a D. 7 yards was the longest run of the day. Neither Fred or CJ could do anything against that front 7. We really miss Levetrie and in the offseason to me, is the biggest area of need to address.
8. Run Defense was an A. I don't care about the garbage time 70 yarder. It counts in the stats, but, it made no difference in the game. The run D was terrific all day.
9. Pass Defense was an A. Again, I don't care about garbage time passes and the late TD. When the game mattered, they were amazing. They gave Geno no time at all. They took almost everything away. Perhaps what I was happiest with was that every pass was contested by a very aggressive secondary. I haven't seen a defense that dominant in years. By far their best game. They made it possible for EJ to play a safe game until he was ready (in the third) to seal the game.
10. Special teams was a solid B. Yeah, I know Moorman had a 2 yard punt, and that could have changed things, but, it didn't. If it wasn't for a 4th down attempt, and the Jet guy BARELY making it over, the D didn't give up anything. I thought Moorman was pretty good otherwise. I really liked Carpenter again. He out kicked Folk. I am gonna go ahead and say it, I think we should sign Carpenter to a long term contract. He's a good kicker, and gets good depth on his kickoffs. I thought coverage was okay, but, the ST coach needs to be replaced next year.
11. As we go off to the Bye, expect us to be 2 games behind with 5 to go. Again, no clue if that will happen or not, but, we get the Falcons who will do what the Saints did last year, suck for a better draft stock and come back strong next year. I expect a win in 2 weeks. This team is getting healthy and peaking at the right time. They have something to play for at Thanksgiving. Not bad for a rebuilding team.