The Bills won the week 16 preseason matchup against the Cowboys in a game that many who watched it wish they could erase it from their brain. It was a very painful game to watch as it looked like neither team had any desire to win but in the end the Cowboys were bad enough to get the lost and get in better position to draft Jalen Ramsey.
Kellen Moore for Heisman
The Bills were not lucky in their QB opponent as the Cowboys did not start Matt Cassel who would have cured the Rex Ryan defense problems. Instead they faced Kellen Moore who has the arm strength of many of the people on this site. The Cowboys offense was pathetic as Moore was lucky every pass was not picked off and the only bright spot was McFadden at RB. The Bills only gave up 6 points and if they could learn how to tackle, probably would have pitched the shutout.
The only concern on defense had to be the rash of injuries that occurred. Marcell Dareus pinched a nerve, Manny Lawson got hurt and they are already missing a few other guys. Thank goodness the season is almost over so these guys can get healthy.
The Three-Headed Rushing Attack
The Bills offense had a great day running the ball and it showed why they are built off the run instead of the pass. The Bills ran for 236 yards on 40 carries and 2 TDs. All three of their RBs ran for over sixty yards and the Bills ran the Cowboys into submission. Greg Roman did a great job designing the run game as they were able to get successful runs from Los and the no good Gator. The Bills offensive line was not old and unathletic like Bill Polian said they were and that is another reason why Polian should never be brought back to the Bills organization. With Shady out, they had to be happy with the production of their two backup running backs.
Tyrod the runner had a great game, Tyrod the passer had a meh game. Tyrod had 11 carries for 70 yards (taking out the 3 kneeldowns which really shouldn’t count against the rushing totals) and was using his athleticism to convert on key third downs. However on his scrambles he did take a couple unnecessary hits which will not help him have a long career as a starter. As a passer, he wasn’t great nor horrible, just kind of ok considering the gameplan. He was 13-18 for 179 yards and really wasn’t asked to do much. It was a typical Tyrod day where he primarily throws it deep which is complemented by underneath swing passes, passes to the flats and screen passes and largely ignoring the intermediate passes and middle of the field.
Tyrod still needs to work on his situational awareness as he still doesn’t understand 3rd and 4th down don’t mean go for TD. On the first drive on 4th down, Tyrod locked onto Chris Hogan who was running a go route and had tight coverage and a safety over the top breaking on him. On 4th and 3 he needed a 1st down and with the play design, Watkins was running an out route underneath with single coverage and a running lane was made. Instead of going for the home run, he needed to get a 1st down and should have taken the safer high percentage throw. The other mistake was right before the half where the Bills were right on the 4 yard and needed at least a FG. The play he locked on to was a jump ball to Hogan who while had single coverage, had no inside leverage. Tyrod waited too long to throw and when he did, it was a floater when it needed some zip and was picked off. It was a horrible throw and in the redone, Roman needs to design plays to Watkins or that 6’4 Dezmin Lewis who they called up for just this reason.
Overall the offense and defense did some nice things and maybe it will help them next year. The defense didn’t let Kellen Moore go all Drew Brees on them but it looks like that side of the ball will have a total rebuild to fit Rex’s inflexible scheme (he had Mario Williams covering a WR at some point. ) The offense I feel very good about as the run game is top 5 in the NFL and they have 4 solid running threats when Shady comes back next year and if Tyrod can learn to use more of the field, the offense should be very good next year.. Now they will finish the season in the Super Bowl against the J-E-T-S and the only things Rex, sticking it to his former team.
Extra: The Refs are Still Horrible
For another week the refs continued to show how incompetent they are and how change needs to come. The worst offender had to be Clete Blakeman who went rogue on a coin toss and completely ignored what the winner of the coin toss said. Then in the Bison game the head ref called a fumble an interception and left his mic on when arguing with some coach or player on the sideline. Also apparently dropping the ball after a catch is considered delay of game. Who knew. Overall the refs have been as bad as Treon Harris this year and unless the NFL makes any changes, we will be stuck with this until the next CBA. Thanks a lot Replacement Refs.