The last two games have placed upon myself, emotions. I'll admit after Monday night I truly believed the Bills would be on the struggle bus. It wasn't that I completely thought the season was lost but more so I didn't have answers to the question, what was that? I think it can be answered by a few obvious observations. In typical NFL Musings and Observations I will answer the bold questions using movie references and showing the difference between the Jets loss and the Raiders win.
1. Knowing what you are and performing it to the best of the ability. Much like having a correct soundtrack for the arrival of Darth Vader in the Return of the Jedi the Bills looked different from the Jets and Raiders. What occurred was the Bills understood what they were against the Raiders which I believe is understanding they are a very good team and the Raiders have to beat them... it almost felt like the Bills felt they were the underdogs against the Jets and played tight.
2. Anyone even notice O'Cyrus Torrence for the most part? This reminds me of the beginning of Batman where Jack Napier and his men are almost stalked by Batman. They didn't notice Batman and frankly I am not noticing Torrence which is the ultimate goal for the offensive line. Much like in the Tim Burton classic we see the finesse as well as the raw power of Batman and Torrence is no different.
3. Diggs is John Wick! In the first John Wick film it is truly remarkable how they introduced him to the film as the villain spoke with true fear of his capability. He explained how Wick was a professional but the viewer never fully understood how good John Wick is until the fight scene in his house. This is Wick, to the point that many know how good he is but he isn't spoken of but is feared. Diggs is Wick, and watching how he operates just proves it more and more.
4. Really liking James Cook as the lead back and like Sonic the Hedgehog he has the speed but I think what fits best for him is not the pure speed but the natural fluidity of his running style. It almost feels like sometimes he glides or skates as he runs. He is also showing more patience and letting his blocker do their job and not get in front of them. The Bills are better in terms of an offense with Cook being used heavily.
5. One of the things I enjoyed watching the Bills against the Raiders was the balance between the run and pass. The Bills had 37 pass attempts compared to 30 rushes especially running backs. Now this obvious isn't 50/50 but lets be fully honest, this is by far the best ratio to pass to run than I have seen the Bills have in awhile. This allowed for a few things, one it resulted in Maxx Crospy to not tee-off on Josh Allen as he had to respect the run and it really brought in something else which can only be said as the team told Josh "Lean on me".
6. Josh Allen I believed had to swallow his pride, he needed to lean on his fellow teammates to have success. He took all the blame on Monday night's loss and frankly, he needed to take all of the blame but you watched the Bills versus the Raiders and you could tell the whole team kind of rallied around Josh. This is important because they could have easily fallen apart and especially going down 7-0 to the Raiders. They didn't they all rallied and won.
7. Bernard is kind of making it seem he has the right to have the Middle Linebacker job. I'm just going to say, the Raiders want to run the ball, they have a top 5 running back in Josh Jacobs and the Bills shut down Jacobs and a big piece of that is Bernard. Now, he doesn't have the bulk you would like to see with a linebacker but he appears to have some more pop than expected. He earned the right to keep the spot.
8. Dalton Kincaid is just smooth and he is only scratching the surface of his talent. He has not had the "pop" game yet but I have to imagine he is going to have one soon enough. What I do like is that the Bills are now using Kincaid as someone who will give a helping hand to Spencer Brown and then go in a delay release and he will be open and open often if he is doing that. Expect big things from him.
9. Props to Ken Dorsey who adjusted after the Bills first series. I'll say this, coaching is not in the first quarter but rather in the second and in the fourth. In the first quarter teams are following a script and thus it is something they can plan for in the week. Same thing with the third quarter, they can readjust and follow. In the 2nd and 4th quarters you have to be able to change game calls quickly and that's where coaches make their money. Great coaches win the 2nd and 4th quarters. Dorsey called a great game. Second Quarter the Bills with two Touchdowns and fourth quarter the Bills added 10 more points. So in the big money quarters where coaching comes up, you can't script plays the Bills put up 24 points.
Random NFL Observations:
1. Miami is good and Tua is going to make a lot of money off of this season...maybe. The thing about Tua which can not be understated is he works when he is on script. If Tua leaves script he will not have success. This leaves so much pressure upon Mike McDaniel to call a perfect game, or at least as close to perfect as possible. Here's where it becomes difficult as teams see more and more films of Tua and what McDaniel wants to do it puts added pressure on him to call the game within what Tua can do. This is coaching, however there will be times when Tua will need to survive off of script or when the pass rush folds the offensive line.
2. There is something wrong with Joe Burrow. He looks off, he can't drive the ball down the field. This is his calf injury which he tweeked again this week. I believe they will shut it down for him and see if that can get him right. They spent big bucks on him and wanted to make a deep run because Tee Higgins is probably gone due to the cap next year, but his health is a major concern.
3. It's over for Justin Fields. 16/29 is 55% for one TD and two interceptions. I like Fields and I wish him the best but it's done. The Bears have increased the quality of offensive lineman and brought in more talented weapons. In the end it looks too much of a struggle. I fully know Fields can do the spectacular but he struggles, I mean really struggles with the boring. Want to know what made it look so easy for Josh Allen against the Raiders? He won the boring part of the game.
4. Chargers will always find a way to Charger. It is something I am so sure of in life as the sun will rise in the east and on a road trip I'm stopping at Wendy's to get a #6 Spicy Chicken Sandwich combo. I'm not even sure why, it's as if the Chargers are paying for sins they never committed. But I will always believe the Football Gods truly hate the Chargers, no matter the city.
5. On the Josh Allen TD pass to Shakir I have to believe if it was anyone else the internet would have exploded. It is an absurdly amazing play and if Mahomes, Herbert, Lawrence, Burrow were to make it Twitter explodes. Nick Wright has to get a towel, Colin Cowherd will be using hyperbole and Pat Mcafee will be sounding like that one dude who is in his 30s still trying to go to college parties. But it was Josh Allen, so only Bills Mafia Cares.
6. Bills are playing against the Commanders this upcoming week and frankly, I expect the Bills to cover the spread. They are in Washington but they just have more talent than Washington. The key to beating them is controlling the pass rush and DL of the Commanders. What the Bills showed against the Raiders was a willingness to check it down. Bills do that and it cancels the pass rush....that's a huge win and frankly I think it is just too much for them.
7. A precautionary tale of not paying average QBs money as Daniel Jones got his money because the owners of the Giants love him. Here's the issue, he is an average QB who got hot last year because Brian Daboll called perfect games. So in the first 6 quarters the Giants started 0-60. A huge issue with that was Daniel Jones and being overwhelmed. This is where many teams will be looking closely to avoid over paying for average.
8. NO one claps better than McD!
Have a wonderful week!