What a crazy last three games. The Bills played three games in twelve days on the road with multiple injuries, the star QB injured, overcame a pissed off Mother Nature dropping more snow down on the ground taller than said star QB. That's life in the NFL as many teams feel today because they may have been riding high on Saturday and now it's the end of Sunday and they look up and everything kind of changed. That's life as you look and certain things are different. That's life as you can be everything from rich to a pauper and as a football fan we were rich with this football Sunday.
In the end life will always end up how most people have thought most of the time. As of right now here is the AFC Conference Standings:
1.) Bills: Many people had the Bills in the beginning of the season as the #1 seed and as of right now they're in that spot and fighting for it after they had the lull of the season...that's life.
2.) Chiefs: They're also one of the teams seen to be in contention for the #1 seed. They have been kind of feasting on bad teams and hit another elite QB and lost to the Bengals...that's life.
3.) Ravens: This probably won't last with the injury to Lamar Jackson, but that is what happens when you go with a Greg Roman offense that hasn't evolved his passing game...that's life.
4.) Titans: They're what I thought they were...a tough team without an elite QB so they feast on their division but against those QB teams like the Bengals, Bills and Chiefs they just can't match up...that's life.
5.) Bengals: They are probably the most dangerous team outside of the Bills in the AFC because I can see them beating everyone and oddly enough losing to anyone. But with Joe Cool Burrow they don't fear anyone...that's life.
6.) Dolphins: They're really loaded in a lot of spots but well talk about them lower...that's life.
7.) Jets: Jets looked great last week with Mike White and then Mike White showed that he is Mike White and there is a reason why he is a back up...that's life.
1.) Bills happen to be the #1 seed in the AFC as of right now. Thirteen days ago the Bills were the 6th seed in the AFC. That's life as things change and lets be honest this team has been through the ringer with injuries, and everything so after all they have been through to have the ability to say they control their full destiny is pretty sweet.
2.) Josh Allen looks healthy against the Patriots. When watching him against the Lions he was OBVIOUSLY hurt and it was impacting how he finished but lets look at what I thought he really struggled with...his touch passes. The difference between the Lions and the Patriots game was that Allen was checking the ball down much more regularly. These are more of a touch pass and if you're hurt in the throwing arm you may lose this ability.
3.) Did the Bills offense just look more sharp? They looked kind of like they did before the Packers game so here is my theory. The Bills couldn't add anything during the Thirteen days of that three game stretch but remember what occurred before the Browns game...they had an illness which prevented practices. The Bills were given time and they had more people healthy to practice and it just helped. The other issue I believe is Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey.
4.) I believe Ken Dorsey took a breath. The Bills offense was much more specific at taking what was given to them and waiting for the bigger plays. The Bills saw two high safety concepts they ran the ball or went with a dink or dunk approach. They utilized James Cook in the passing game who can take a short pass 9-11 yards instead of Singletary who gets 6-7 yards on the same play. It just seemed like the Bills weren't exhausted.
5.) James Cook is going to hit a big one soon and we can all see it. The game is slowing down for him and he is seeing how the blockers are going to set up and he is reading. What I love the most is his jump cut and explosion where he gains much more yards. I felt earlier in the year he was more of a dancer trying to force the longer plays, they come when you pressure the defenders and that doesn't come going east and west.
6.) Diggs is the DUDE! Here are the stats: 91 catches (2nd overall)/yards 1202 (3rd overall)/TDs 10/)(2nd overall, not including Kelce he's a TE)/14 20+ yard plays(7th overall)/5 40+ yard plays (tied for 1st)/61 first down receptions (2nd overall). That puts him on average 3.6 place for all the important offensive stats. Rounding up that's 4th overall among all WRs in stats but it is also his other qualities which I believe make him the DUDE!
Leadership: Diggs had come to Buffalo and many had suggested he was a Diva and seeing how the Bills and Josh Allen had struggled a little bit the last couple of weeks it was obvious to all that watched that Diggs was a hell of a vocal leader.
Route Running: He is the best route runner in the league...that much is clear
Clutch: Diggs is just clutch and not all players have the clutch gene. Right now in his career it is obvious that he is CLUTCH.
Good Mouth Hygiene: DUDE is going to floss.
7.) Tremaine Edmunds is the most under-appreciated player on the Bills from the fan base. Bills fans have, not all, but some have mistaken splash plays for overall production. The Bills are a different defense with Edmunds on the field due to his physical gifts with his speed and his length. Also, he allows Matt Milano to free lance a little more because he will cover the gap that Milano leaves when he does free lance. Edmunds returning is big.
8.) Elam was a healthy scratch and I'm confused as to why, my belief is that he was more injured than they admitted on the injury report and to avoid being punished they made him a healthy scratch. But if he was truly a healthy scratch that is a major issue for me concerning his draft stock and wanting him to get reps. Are the Bills over thinking it or are they seeing something majorly wrong?
9.) McD should be in discussion for Coach of the Year. Why does it feel like McD doesn't get the respect around the league he deserves? He currently is 10th overall for odds of winning Coach of the Year and doesn't that feel odd? The team has gone thru a ton of adversity, injuries, acts of Mother Nature and he is getting no love.
1.) Miami Dolphins had the moment, if they won yesterday and they were in the drivers seat for the #1 Overall sport. What happened? Well, they played a good defense and lost to Mr. Irrelevant afterr Jimmy G was knocked out of the game. But lets dive into the stats of Tua, he was 18/33 which is 54%/295 yards/two TDs and two INTs. But what I want to do is take away of the 75 yard bomb which was mostly yards after the catch it is the coaching. Mike McDaniels called that play, at that time because he knew it would work. It was less Tua and more McDaniels. That one play out is 17/32 for 53%/220 yards for 1 TD/2 INTs. That can't happen if you want to be part of the big dog conversations. But lets look at the Dolphins win streak:
Steelers: No TJ Watt and oddly enough no pressure if no TJ Watt and they have the most expensive defense in the league.
Lions: Offense for the Lions is good but the defense is....well... bad
Bears: Bears have a bad defense and they already traded Roquan Smith
Browns: Enough said
Texans: Worse team in the league.
Looking at the Dolphins next two games...on the road against Chargers which is no easy task and then the Bills. The season for the Dolphins to me is the next two games because the Chargers still have a punchers chance and the Bills have some revenge on their mind.
2.) Jets, what's up? Mike White is NOT the answer. We know it because there is a reason why he was drafted where he is and he still is a back up. Did you have any trade requests for him from any other teams? If you think he is the answer that's a mistake. So where are the Jets now? Zach Wilson after that terrible answer to the question is not the QB mentally and White is limited mentally. Back to the drawing board.
3.) Lets look at Patrick Mahomes against Josh Allen and Joe Burrow the last two seasons. 2022 they have lost to Josh Allen and Burrow and in 2021 they have lost to Allen and Burrow and most likely a squib kick away from losing to Allen twice. So that is a 1-5 record against the other two best QBs in the AFC. That's concerning for the Chiefs because the Bills and Bengals have no fear against the Chiefs where I believe that some players/teams do fear the Chiefs.
4.) I have discussed this a lot but it is never a good thing to try and be the smartest person in the room. It will happen soon enough if you make the right decisions but don't try and over think it. With that said let's look at Coach Belicheck and the Patriots. Mac Jones has regressed and I can't blame him as it is obvious that he misses Josh McDaniels and/or an offensive minded offensive coordinator. What did Coach Belicheck do this off-season? They didn't bother naming an offensive coordinator and went with Joe Judge and Matt Patricia. They drafted a guard instead of bringing in an offensive weapon in the first round. The Patriots tried to outsmart everyone and force people to think...we're the smartest in the room...they finish 4th in the division.
5.) I love me some Sauce Gardner however they have to start calling him for defensive pass interference. It's now starting to look odd as he is going full blown Care Bear with the hugs. Let him play physical but if Elam sneezes on a WR he gets flagged for DPI then Gardner needs to be called for DPI.
6.) The Bills close win to the Lions is looking better and better as the Jags just got mauled by the Lions. Dan Campbell took over a mess of a franchise but he is having them play feisty and it wouldn't shock me is they ended up around .500 which is a hell of an improvement from the 2nd overall pick in the 2022 draft.