I’m not sure I can bring myself to write many words about this team and that effort we just witnessed. I’ll do my best and if words fail me, I’ll simply cut it short and allow you the space to vent in the immediate aftermath of the Buffalo Bills’ fourth loss in nine games. After a 10-day break between Week 8 and 9, and having extra time to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals, could the Bills have looked any less prepared yet again in front of a national audience?
My hat’s off to the Bengals. They came in prepared, motivated, and managed to put together a near-flawless executed game plan on all sides of the ball. I fail to see how Buffalo can and will manage to defeat this generation’s Bengals team, if they don’t manage to implement significant (at least temporary) changes in scheme.
The 5-4 Bills are playing some of the most wonderfully terrible football right now. At the very least, Buffalo Bills football isn’t fun football to watch these days. It’s incredible to type that, and insane to think the idea’s even possible given the talent on the current roster. There are some valid concerns on offense — ones that might not change until the offseason, if at all.
The good? Somehow, Buffalo’s defense still kept the team in the game. It’s an amazing accomplishment when you consider the injury situation. Down 21-7 at the half, the Bills held the Bengals to three points in the second half. Buffalo is essentially at the point now where half its starting defense is unable to suit up. Injuries should never be relied on as an excuse, but the Bills’ defense has been decimated this season like few before them.
Speaking of injuries — edge rusher Von Miller, man... that was rough to watch. He’s either very far removed from 100% healthy or there are bigger conversations to be had.
What in the world was that challenge about? What were they really going to gain by winning it? Poor decision in a key moment. A continued theme.
It might be time to consider running something other than zone defense every down, every drive, and every game.
Why did the Bills look so great with their scripted offense, playing fast? Then immediately after that drive everything fell apart. The offense’s identity is that it lacks one.
Hey Gabe Davis! Where are you? I said tonight that we might have to accept that Davis is going to make a mistake in each game. That’s fine. No one is perfect. But the concern could be that Allen immediately loses trust in Davis when he has a poor rep. The team can’t afford to lose its WR2 so often. If it’s a Davis thing or Allen thing, or both — it needs to change and soon.
Quarterback Josh Allen has thrown an interception in five straight games. Again, the one tonight didn’t give any points to the Bengals, but it denied the Bills at least three.
Kincaid was a key contributor tonight, whether by design or necessity. His fumble was a momentum-killer. That’s not a referendum on the rookie’s ability. The future is bright, but we do know now that Kincaid is human.
How many more weeks must we watch the offense go into hibernation during the second and third quarters? Again in Week 9, Buffalo’s offense didn’t do anything meaningful until there were around six minutes left in regulation. Unacceptable.
About those refs? Not great. Much worse than terrible, even. That’s not why the Bills lost, but their actions (or inaction) came at the expense player health, and I’m not okay with it. Sure throwing the flag wouldn’t have prevented an injury to tight end Dalton Kincaid or safety Micah Hyde, but throwing them early might have cause certain players to be more mindful of their approach.
Carry on in the comments in whatever way best comforts you at this time. Just please be civil to one another, to the people who make up the team, and to those who don’t align with your fandom.
I’ll update this piece throughout the early hours here, but it’s time for some group therapy due to this dysfunctional team.