It's a Sunday and I'm sober because I didn't need to go to the bar to watch the Bills! It was on local TV all the way down here in Mississippi! This was a game I was incredibly nervous about because Miami had just dropped 70, that was not an error in this FanPost, but 70 points onto another NFL Team. Does not matter if it was the Denver Broncos but a professional football team. What would Coach McD do? Would Josh Allen feel the pressure and go "YOLO Josh Allen"? All of these are valid questions and it goes back to week one to me, to bring the Bills here.
The Bills coaching staff, especially Coach McD could have gone into a panic mode after losing to the Zach Wilson led Jets on Monday Night Football. This didn't occur and frankly I think this is the best coaching job happening in the NFL as of right now. This is because the Bills brass took a very balanced approach to the game. They fully understood it is a long season and going off the rails in terms of attitude and approach would only hinder the Bills later in the season.
What has occurred in the last three games is Josh Allen looking to be elite...again. The defense looks to be elite and different (More on that later), and the Bills have a running game. The Bills ahve fully embraced the idea of balance in terms of every aspect of the game. But as we hit the first quarter of the season here are some of the team categories: (Stats haven't been updated for this game so I'm making an educated guess)
Top Ten in offensive yards
Top Ten in passing yards
Top Ten in Rushing yards
Top Ten in Points Scored
Now for the Defensive Stats:
Top Five for yards allowed a game
Top Five for passing yards allowed
Top Tenish for rushing yards allowed
Top Five for points allowed
Top Three for turnovers
Top Five for Sacks (Without Von Miller)
This is of course with the clunker against the Jets and against the high flying Dolphins. How did the Bills achieve this, because they have embraced the idea of balance.
Random Bills Thoughts:
1. The story to me is the defense shutting down the very potent offense of the Miami Dolphins. This occurred on a two prong attack but specifically for the defense they were more than willing to give Tua the outside or a 10-12 yard play. What they wanted to eliminate is the obvious long and explosive plays that Mike McDaniels tries to draw up. Force Miami to drive and increase the chances of a mistake. This worked in the Bills favor as the Dolphins who are fairly reliant on long plays had only three drives resulting in TDs but also had fumbles, penalties and an interception to stop drives.
2. The other prong to the Bills attack was the offense taking the ball out of those play makers for the Dolphins. The Dolphins are at their best when they remain on script which is evident with how fast they start every game and when they return to the second half. This is also evident as they started going down in the game and Tua had to hold onto the ball and the clever plays which defined Miami so far which are within the 15 yards of the line of scrimmage just aren't going to make it when down that much. This also means that the one area Miami is not strong with, the offensive line because a liability gives up 4 sacks and surrenders 31 yards.
3. Stefon Diggs has himself a game and proved once again he is "HIM". I believe that Diggs heard so much noise about Hill and Waddle and he took it personally. He showed he is an elite WR with 6 receptions, 120 yards, 3 TDs with an average of 20 yards and a 55 yard long. The Dolphins had an obvious weakness in the secondary and Josh Allen went after him whenever there was one on one. Just amazing to see how good a "disgruntled" player like Diggs can be, imagine if he was happy in Buffalo, or at least that is what Stephen A. Smith says.
4. Can we give a huge shout out to Ken Dorsey for bringing in the running game? Over 100 yards rushing, yes it wasn't a lot of yards per carry but it was what was needed to open up everything else. It removed the pressure from Josh Allen and it also opened up a lot of the easier stuff as we see Josh Allen evolve before our eyes into what we always wanted him to be, the Bronco only when he needs to be but let the offense play within the structure of the game.
5. Can we slow down the Tua MVP talk? I'm not saying the fore runner is Josh Allen, but let's be honest, that was fast. But should Josh Allen be in the conversation? As of right now, probably should be in the conversation but that is for later in the conversation. Here is what Josh Allen did today, 21/25 for 84% completion, 320 yards, four passing TDs, one rushing TD, no turnovers and what I loved the most; played within the structure of each play and the game. Why do I keep bringing up the structure of the game when discussing the Bills offense the last three games? Because rarely does Josh Allen get into trouble when he is on script for the play. He went off script I believe once, it was a scramble drill and he hit James Cook for a long pass. It was amazing as ALL Fans held their breath as we feared he would go YOLO but no, he checked it down and let his weapons do the work.
6. How much fun is it to have two good Tight Ends? Kincaid is just tapping his potential but he is becoming more and more comfortable and I'm still waiting for him to have his first big game! Four catches (second most) for 27 yards but you can tell he is getting closer to having a break out game. But running those two tight end sets forces the defense to play the offense in a particular set.
7. Looking at these two teams I'm very interested in the use of motion. I think Tua uses motion specifically to show the defense and what they're using for coverage. The Bills use motion, but not a ton and I think it is because Josh doesn't overly prefer motion. He likes to see the defense and see where the leverage exists and then proceeds.
8. Ed Oliver is having himself a year. He is playing at a level we thought we would have seen before now, many questioned his contract, right now he is showing why the Bills showed the faith.
9. I believe the Bills Head Coach McD and Dolphins Head Coach McDaniel love coaching against each other because they bring the best out of each other. Watching how they tried to counter and re-counter each other was like watching two Russian Chess masters. But what we have seen from last year to this year is McD is embracing his roots with Jim Johnson, one of the best defensive minds of all time. The Bills brought pressure, faint pressure, rushed four, blitzed to stop the run, blitzed to stop the pass. It was incredible.
10. Tragic with what happened to Tre White as he is most likely done for the year. Makes my stomach upset, makes me upset, just an upsetting part of the game. , This fear and knowing it is such a long season is why Elam was not traded. So the Bills can bring in a physically elite CB to spill Jackson and Benford. Sometimes your chance is because of injury, here is his shot.
Random NFL Thoughts:
1. Bears as of right now have the first and second overall picks in the 2024 draft. My suggestion, fire EVERYONE! Start over because right now it is not working. Do not trade any of the picks and bring in Caleb Williams the best QB to come out in my mind since the 2018 draft and draft Marvin Harrision Jr. the best WR to come out since Julio Jones. Why do I say this? The Bears managed to lose to the Broncos, who just a week earlier lost to the Dolphins and gave up 70 points. What is worse, they gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter unanswered. Nothing is working in Chicago, they had Chase Claypool a healthy scratch who they gave up major draft capitol in a trade. I normally wouldn't say changes so fast, but when it is obvious, it's time.
2. What up Steelers? How does it feel to let a rookie QB own you? Still think that Steelers way for loyalty is looking good with keeping Matt Canada? When I look at the Steelers when they win it is in spite of their coaching and because of just an elite play happening. I am not suggesting it is time to fire Mike Tomlin but I think the culture is working against the Steelers. Change can be scary, but I just don't feel it.
3. Titans played a Titans game but the story is not the Titans here, it is the Bengals. Only scoring three points and the question I have to ask, is it time to shut down Burrow for a couple of weeks? At 1-3 they're not out of the playoffs because we know how good they are but it is obvious to everyone Burrow is significantly hobbled by his calf injury. Burrow's whole game is based upon driving the ball down the field. If he can't he is completely a different player. My question is at his current physical limitations, does he open himself up for a bigger injury?
4. Commanders are feisty, they took the Eagles to the overtime and look competitive. This is great for the fan base who have had to endure the Dan Snyder years. This maybe a sneaky wildcard team and I hope they will be just for the fanbase.
5. Watching the Cowboys V. Patriots and the Patriots look bad. Mac Jones as of right now 11/19 for 146 yards and two interceptions. The one thing I see with the Patriots lack an easy button. The Bills have Diggs and/or the emergence of Kincaid for a quick hitter. The Phins have Hill and Waddle. Mahomes have Kelce and the good teams have a go to guy. The Patriots it just feels have to do it the hard way every single play, every single game on offense. Mix in the fact Mac Jones is limited physically and the play caller Bill O'Brien (Who is a hack) has to call a perfect game. I believe this is the last year for Coach Belicheck.
6. Jags beat the Falcons but as I watched it I had a feeling that the Jags should have taken control much faster. Desmond Ridder was a fun story out of Cinci but it just doesn't feel like the Jags dominated them. I know the box score says otherwise but it just didn't feel like wow, this is a blow out. The huge advantage they have over the Bills is they are staying in London where as the Bills have to travel.
7. Raiders and Chargers is a game which reminds me of a game 15-20 years ago. They're just throwing their bodies around without a care for self preservation. Raiders are starting a rookie so it should be an easy win for the Chargers but great to see the hitting as it is obvious this game is between teams which dislike each other.
8. Cardinals effort is amazing week in and week out. They're not on the level for talent wise compared to the 49ers but it is just they play hard on each and every play. Truly fun to watch them play because you can see the effort. Brave to their head coach keeping them playing hard.
9. Packers, how you going to let the Lions beat you like that? Seeing Jordan Love I see a QB who deserves to be in the league but I''m not sure he is going to be the franchise. As we have said before, there are players who deserve to be in the league, good players and players which change the fate of the franchise. Watching the Packers where do you think he lands? I'm saying he is trending towards space holder.
10. Good for Baker Mayfield, he has made his mistakes but he is having a good start to his season. Also, does anyone really feel like the team out of the NFC South really is a threat? It seems like a wild card round and quick out but still good for Baker.
Final Thoughts: This is the part of the season where bad teams learn they're bad. It is just the way it works. They can see across the field and can tell a few things. The talent level is just not there to compete, that is not totally a bad thing as there is a draft and free agency. What is bad is when you look across and see coaching is the reason for the lack of talent as they're not placed in the right position. What is even worse is when a GM has been there for a few off seasons and the talent is still not there to compete.
But as teams discover this, the opposite occurs as teams realize they're good and they raise the standard for themselves. Those are the teams like Buffalo, Chiefs, 49ers, Eagles, and Dolphins etc. Those teams know what they're capable of and will continue doing what they do until a team stops them.
The dangerous teams are the ones in between who still haven't figured it out because they can make a run for the playoffs or bottom out!
Have a great week!