Older AFCE

Older AFCE

Buffalo Bills: Maybe…

Buffalo Bills: Maybe…
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Two weeks ago, fresh off the win over the Cardinals in Buffalo, I wrote an article warning the Bills faithful to not jump headfirst into the hype machine after a single win against a maybe-not-so-good football team. Two games later, I find myself in a similar position. Yes, the Bills have run off three straight wins for the first time since the 2011 season. Yes, one of those victories included a win over the hated, the despised, the outright loathed New England Patriots. And yes, the Bills did manage to go out to the West coast and win what would normally be a classic Bills let down game against the Rams. These are all good things, but let us take a look at the facts here.
 
First, the Arizona Cardinals have looked, well, mediocre over the first five weeks of the season. The Bills were playing them in Buffalo and, to be fair, played stellar defense for the majority of the game. The offense, on the other hand, was fairly lack-luster, particularly in the air, but McCoy was doing his Shady thing and carried the team.
 
Second, the New England Patriots were without Tom Brady. That should almost nullify any win against them, but, to be fair again, their QB for that game did just start the week before and the Patriots shut out the Texans. The Bills defense was superb once again and the offense was mediocre once again. The thing to take away from this game was that when the game plan called for a quick passing attack, Tyrod Taylor was able to step up and deliver. However, the absence of Sammy Watkins is clearly felt in the red zone.
 
Third, the Los Angeles Rams were playing above their level for their own three game winning streak. They had the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL and somehow the Bills defense that had played so well the previous two weeks was unable to clamp down on the mighty Case Keenum and his weapons of… Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, and Brian Quick. Yes, really. The offense was miserable through the air once again, but McCoy continued to be incredible on the ground and carried the team. Two passing touchdowns saved Tyrod’s day, but he was inaccurate and inconsistent for the majority of the afternoon.
 
What I take away from these three wins is pretty simple: when the Bills get their act together, formulate a sound game plan, and play consistent, deliberate, disciplined football, they can hang with or beat any team in the league. The problem they have is that Rex Ryan is not a good head coach for game planning and he certainly is not capable of maintaining a disciplined team. The best thing he could have done is give the play calling duties to someone else and I hope he learns something from these last few weeks.
 
The Bills are fortunate to have a soft patch in their schedule right before things get a little bit brutal, with a game versus San Francisco (and they are really bad) then a road trip to South Florida to face the Dolphins (who are downright abysmal). These are games that they should win and win easily, if they can manage to not play down to the level of their competition. They will need to maintain discipline and focus on the opponents before them and avoid looking forward to the following two games, a rematch against the Patriots in Buffalo, with Brady this time, and a big Monday Night Football game at Seattle.
 
Side Notes
 
> Justin Hunter may be just what the doctor ordered for the Bills’ red zone ailments. Hope to see more of him in the coming weeks.
> Shady doing shady stuff is one of the most enjoyable things to watch in the NFL.
> Taylor’s tendency to throw rockets that go a little high on short routes plus Marquise Goodwin’s vertical challenges equals a lot of incompletions.
> Lorenzo Alexander is the NFL’s sack leader after five weeks. Just like everyone expected.
> Gilmore kind of sucks in his contract year, who saw that coming?
> Seriously, Shady. Wow.

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