Oh how wonderful it feels to be an every man king, a term I heard from Political Talk which I strictly stay away from in the NFL Musings and Observations but I have to give credit to where credit is due if I'm taking it and using it, not my term. But to me I am in my sun room, watching Cover 1 (Fantastic YouTube channel) and sipping my coffee thinking of the Bills Vs. Commanders.
The Bills and the obsession of football (My Wife's words) SIDE NOTE**** Nothing will get you up from writing a FanPost like hearing your dog start making that puking noise, I was up, in a karate stance trying to figure out where she was to get her outside, I was not successful and had to clean it up. But, back to the point I'm trying to make at hand. Life gives you chances in between the grind and to me that is Buffalo Bills football. I feel like a king in the early morning with my coffee trying to come up with convoluted analogies for football and life. Today is a good day.
So what do we make of this game against the Commanders? To me it is a statement game for both franchises. The Bills want to make a statement that they are still one of those contender teams in the league. The Bills were the media darlings last year and it went array. This in-coming season the Bills were beaten up by the same media and frankly, they were right in some aspects. Can JA17 overcome his turnovers? Can McD get over the hump? Are the older leaders of the club house still having it?
The Commanders want to show they are a legit 2-0 team. They are not an automatic win for the NFC East, the embarrassment of Dan Snyder is over and they're moving on, Chase Young is fully back from his knee energy and is deserving of his draft status with more consistent play. Can Eric Bienenmy show he is truly deserving of a head coaching job? Is Ron Rivera the guy for Washington DC? A lot of questions.
So what is the story of the game? To me it is the weather as a tropical storm which can truly dictate how the game is played. If the Bills can establish the quick passing game like they did with the Raiders they will have success. In that regard that was a game where we saw the best of Josh Allen and the Bills offense. The efficient offense forced the Raiders to defend from sideline to sideline and kept the Bills on track. It wore down the defense and eventually Allen showed why he is an elite QB on three or four plays which is what the Bills want, Allen being that beast he is but only for three to four plays instead of nine to ten plays a game.
Looking more specifically at the Washington Commanders I'm very curious how good they are because we know the Bills are good, you don't win consecutive divisions titles and end up in the division playoff round for consecutive years without being good. The Commanders did start out 2-0 but lets dive into those two teams they beat.
The Arizona Cardinals are my pick for having the first overall pick in the next draft. They're bad, they know they're bad, they're starting Josh Dobbs at QB and the Commanders beat them 20-16. I would argue the Cardinals do not have a true #1 WR, QB, playing right now. It is talent depleted so I don't believe it truly to be a good gauge to say a team is good or bad.
The Denver Broncos I believe are a top ten drafting team in 2024. They lost to the Raiders who the Bills blew out and lost to the Commanders in OT. The Broncos QB, Russell Wilson, lost the locker room last season and I don't believe ever truly won it back. It got to the point where Sean Peyton broke an end written rule of calling out the old coach Hackett (Can't spell Hackett without Hack) and even said to Wilson to stop kissing babies, he's not running for office. To me that says all we need to know, Wilson is not leading the team and I think it shows.
So how good are the Commanders? As I have said I believe it comes down to the weather. If the weather turns the game into a slug fest the Commanders have a decent chance of beating the Bills. If the Bills minimize the weather concerns the Bills should win fairly easily.
Random Bills Observations:
1. This is why you bring Harris and Murray, a weather game where you may not have the ability to truly engage the passing offense. If the Bills establish a form of the run and they get down hill that will help everything else out. Murray and Harris are very good in the trenches and lets not forget what's the best counter to a strong pass rush? Running the ball.
2. This is why the Bills brought in O'Cyrus Torrence. Torrence has not looked like a rookie in my opinion. His first test was Williams, who quite frankly held his own. He lost his fair share of reps against Williams but lets be honest, he is a top three DT in the league. He can go power to power with almost all DT in the league, he's not as fast as some would like in terms of lateral movement but in a weather game where speed may be slowed down naturally this is his kind of game.
3. This is why the Bills brought in Dalton Kincaid. My bold prediction is Kincaid leads the Bills in receptions as they really embrace the quick passing game. PFF (I know, not a huge fan but they do have a measure to give some context) have the linebackers ranked at 25th overall starting the 2023 season. They have talent but haven't brought it together. With Kincaid being so smooth in his routes already and a very aggressive D-Line the solution Dorey has to see in my opinion is Kincaid on option routes. Keep JA17 on time and clean while forcing the Commanders to honor Kincaid.
Random NFL Observations:
1. The Bears are a mess. Justin Fields has not taken a step forward and I'll be honest, I think he has regressed. Remember back to the Pre-Season and everyone was celebrating two huge TD passes, yea, those were screen passes to starting WRs versus players who were best defined as practice squads. Here at NFL Musings and Observations we have a belief that young QBs have to mid-season year three to prove they're a franchise QB. Here are the stats for Fields in his career:
Fields career stats are as follows in his 29 games played with 27 games started. He is 5-22 as a starter.
Passing Attempts: 654
Completion %: 59.8
Sacks: 101 (This feels odd given his athletic ability)
So is Justin Fields the answer? No, he is not the answer for the Bears. Now, it is not completely his fault as I point out two plays from the Bills and Bears. In the Bills game the Bills used TEs to do an initial block on DE. They got out and slowed down the DE and then released into the passing game allowing the RT to get to his set and QB standing up right. That was a great scheme by the Bills. The Bears had the same alignment as the Bills but the TE did nothing, the TE prevented the RT to have a good pass set, he didn't engage the DE and even worse did a really weird release where he went in between the Guard and Tackle and was ineffective on his passing route. The result was Fields had no chance on the play and was sacked.
Add in the weird FBI raid to the Bears defensive coordinator, Fields calling out the coaches, and you have a true dumpster fire. But I fully believe I understand what the Bears as a franchise problem is and it is an addiction. An addiction to the idea of the Monsters of the Midway. The Bears threw a ton of money at Tremaine Edmunds to the tune of a 4 year with an average 18 million a year. In terms of off the ball linebackers he is ranked 5th highest in the league. They have a young signal caller, struggling and they spend big on an off ball linebacker? Swing and a miss. Instead of trying to improve the offensive line, bringing in even more talent for offensive weapons they double down on the idea of the 1985 Bears defense. The Jets have the best defense in the league and it took sugar high Josh Allen playing his worse game in years to beat them. If he simply played within the system the Bills win. The Bears do not have a defense close to the Jets and they again double down on this image of the Monsters of the Midway.
3. What is the value of Tua? I will fully admit I was wrong about Tua and he can play in the league but the question becomes how much is he worth because they will need to decide how much to pay him. So lets discuss what sounds like a good deal for Tua and that comes down to worth.
1. Tua is fully a system QB who must be on script. This is not a bad thing of course because every QB must be able to play within the system but where it ends is off script plays which are a part of the equation. Tua I believe struggles off script, if the play is not there he does struggle. He is not able to Mahomes, Allen, Burrow etc. and make something out of nothing.
2. Tua has MAJOR injury concerns and I don't believe he has played a complete season. It maybe unfair but it is part of the equation. Can he survive the physically demanding NFL season? He has yet to prove he can and the best ability is availability. If he is one concussion away from retirement, does a franchise really want to throw the bank at him?
3. He is well liked in the locker room and in my opinion a true professional. He could of easily said the wrong thing to the media as his OL let him get hit for those concussions, he could have said the wrong thing about Brian Flores and the mess he left in Miami. He never did, he is truly engaged as a professional. As a face of an NFL franchise they don't have to worry about him saying the wrong thing (See Justin Fields and/or Zach Wilson for a bad example) and to me this can't be understated.
So what is the value of Tua to Miami? As of right now, Tua, is the 26th highest paid QB in the league. This allows the Dolphins right now to pay for elite weapons. If Tua demands to be paid elite money then the helping support for him will not be available. But Tua also doesn't want to give all the power to the team in contract negotiations. So where would I believe Tua should be in terms of a contract?
How about a five year deal worth 100 million guaranteed with incentives bringing the total to 150 million. His puts his contract around the Jalen Hurts deal. It shows Tua Miami is dedicated to him but also won't completely cripple them in terms of money. It also puts him in the ball park of the 8th to 12th highest paid QBs which feels about right for Tua.
4. Daniel Jones is not it as a long term solution for the Giants. This is why owners should let football people do football things. It is the league's worst kept secret that the Mora family is fully invested in Daniel Jones. Brian Daboll went from Josh Allen and can see a truly elite QB who can lead a franchise and so does GM Joe Schoen. What occurred? The owners decided to pay Jones. What has occurred to the Giants offense? 28th in yards per game, 27th in passing yards per game, 25th in rushing yards per game, 29th in points per game. Did Brian Daboll just forget to game plan and call a game? No, he has shown he can call a game as he has had huge success in the NFL as well as college. No, the issue is Daniel Jones is what he is, an average at best QB being paid way too much money.
5. What's up with the Bengals? I know Joe Burrow is playing hurt but they should be able to be more potent on offense even with an injury? They have looked inept and Burrow is limited in practice this week with his calf injury and they have the Rams coming into town for Monday night. If the Bengals drop to 0-3 they will not be out of the playoffs but the path becomes much more difficult. Here's the thing, the Bengals paid Joe Burrow a huge and deserving contract. But it also means Tee Higgins is pretty much gone after this year due to the salary cap. This was the year before the huge contract truly takes effect and thus they have to make a run. Calf injuries are tricky and if Burrow can't drive off of the leg to drive the ball down the field there goes the biggest element of the offense. Lets see what happens.
6. The hottest seat in the NFL is Brandon Staley, the head coach of the LA Chargers. They lost to the Dolphins in the most Chargers way possible and followed it up to losing to the Titans who are in a mini-rebuild. But can we talk about Justin Herbert, I love his game but I feel some have anointed him as an elite QB without the accolades to place him as elite. He has elite traits but losing to the Jags, starting 0-2, he can have those elite games but I feel he is a victim of our want as a society to find the next big thing.
7. The Bucs are a surprising 2-0 and what is more surprising is Baker Mayfield is having a fairly good early season. More than Xs and Os Baker is in his perfect environment for his personality. He is doubted, he was beaten up in the media, he was tossed aside from the Browns, Panthers and Rams. No one believes in him and for me that is when Baker is at his best. He wants the chip on his shoulder, he wants to play off of his emotions. Will it last? Maybe because the NFC South isn't the strongest division, but it is a good story.
8. The Browns are the one ugly person you know who doesn't know they're ugly so therefore wear clothes they probably shouldn't wear. Now, I'm not saying they shouldn't have self worth and having a severe appearance deficit shouldn't stop anyone from having a good life. But I know I have some extra pounds due to beer and wings so I might not go jogging with my shirt off. The Browns beat the Bengals and then BOOM, they returned to being the Browns as they lost Chubb to a dirty play by the Steelers (Yes, the Steelers have a track record of being dirty) but what's worse is Watson. A fully guaranteed contract, he has lost it, he touching a ref without permission (seems like a trend) and they look terrible. Browns are ugly, but if they realize they're ugly they can pick out a wardrobe which shows the best of themselves, so maybe a paper bag?
9. I love loyalty, but not loyalty over stupidity. Ever have the friend who treats you wrong but it takes a long time to realize you need to more past the friendship? Blinded by loyalty? That is the Steelers to Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada. They were so hyped over the flashes of the Bills Pre-Season game. Well, teams are now game planning for the Steelers are concerned with the Steelers unlike the pre-season where teams are more concerned with their own squad. The offense looks bad, like Battlefield Earth kind of bad. Where is the motion to show Kenny Pickett the coverages?
Have a good day.