The Bills have dropped 3 of their last 5 games and are currently at the 7th seed and playoff hopes in doubt. This is a strange turn of evens for a team that before the season was expected to make the Super Bowl and after beating the Chiefs were expected to run away with the AFC. Then the Titans happened and it has been downhill ever since.
The Colts Game
The Bills faced the Colts this past weekend and like many, I expected it was going to be a close game. The Bills were at home and so far has had a solid defense and the offense has been good enough. Also the Colts have Carson Wentz who negates any advantages the Colts would have otherwise. I underestimated how bad the loss of Spencer Brown, Tremaine Edmunds and Star Lotulei were. Without Spencer Brown the Bills had to make a mad scramble at the line and move guard Daryl Williams to RT where he is bad at despite being good at it last year and put in Cody Ford who might be the worst guard not on the Miami Dolphins. The offensive line which is already not great seems to become terrible the second Cody Ford comes in and just does not do well. The run game struggles at that point and Josh Allen faces more pressure which leads to bad things.
On defense, the loss of Edmunds and Star really create issues in the run game especially against a team with a really good OL and good RB which the Colts have. The Colts OL is one of the best in the game and were able to force their way in the run game which the Bills had no answer for due to missing their big run stuffer. That would be bad enough but the Colts have a pretty good RB in Jonathan Taylor who has been on quite a tear this year and has really taken over and made Marlon Mack be a healthy scratch every week (CGC trading Kamara for Mack might be the worst fantasy trade of all time). The Colts having their way in the run game meant that Carson Wentz didn’t have an opportunity to blow the game which he so badly wanted to. Instead, Taylor just had 5 total TDs and probably won AFC player of the week.
Now if this was only one game, it wouldn’t be so much of a concern especially in the AFC where no one wants to take it. But this team has lost to the Jags just two weeks ago and the similar issues were shown then. This team has major depth issues at offensive line. For some reason they don’t have a player good enough to play over Cody Ford. That is a major red flag. Jon Feliciano should be coming back soon but surprisingly we don’t have any info on when Spencer Brown is coming back. If he was unvaccinated it would have came out by now from any report that he would have been out for the Saints game (because stuff like this will leak) but it has been all quiet on the spencer front. If Cody Ford has to play against the Saints, Marcus Davenport might break the single game sack record.
On defense the Bills run defense has been a concern for at least two years. Star was signed to fix that but he was out last year and this year has slimmed down and isn’t the run stuffer he was before. He is however still better than the backups on the line. The linebackers while solid in pass coverage do struggle in the run defense front at times though Edmunds has been getting better there. In pass defense the Bills do not generate a lot of pressure but their secondary does a surprisingly good job at coverage which is a credit to the scheme Leslie Frazier and Sean McDermott has created and players like Levi Wallace. The defense is designed to be playing with a lead as they have invested in the pass rush and secondary for when teams are passing to catchup. They are not designed to be playing from behind or a close game as the run defense can be exposed and against any team with a great RB, it can be exposed. The good news is not many teams in the AFC have a great RB.
A Positive to End Things
Now we end this article with some positives. This week is the FSU-UF content which means it is UF hate week. UF fired their Head Coach Dan Mullen one year after winning the SEC East and barely losing to Alabama. This team gave up 50 points to Samford and even celebrated the game as if they just won the SEC. This same team fired their defensive coordinator and ended up giving 50 points the next week. Meanwhile FSU with Jordan Travis is on a warpath coming off beating the U (who is still not back) and following it up by having a double victory against Boston College and the ACC Refs who have no equal when it comes to incompetence. Now if FSU wins this week, they will be bowl eligible and get to play in some random bowl in Shreveport Louisiana. After what FSU has been the past few years, I will gladly take it. Go Noles!!!!