Older AFCE

We Are The 2014 Jets

Older AFCE

We Are The 2014 Jets
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Originally this was going to be a recap article of the Jets vs Bills game on Thursday Night and after watching the Coaches film, I could write a complete recap. However things changed on Friday where the Bills made a huge mistake and now are the most dysfuctional team in the NFL.
The “Defense”
In 2014, the Bills had a top 10 defense that led the league in sacks and overall shut teams down. Instead of keeping the defense the way it was, the Pegulas overruled their GM and hired Rex Ryan to radically change the defense and take a top 10 unit into a bottom 10 unit that has been the laughingstock of the NFL. In 2015 the Bills did not do what they did best and instead of generating pressure with their front four, they tried to get too fancy, having their best pass rusher play contain, and worrying more about confusing opposing QBs than actually shutting them down. After 2015 Rex found his scapegoat in Mario Williams and cut him and said he needed his guys and brought his brother Rob who coached the great Saints defenses of the past few years. As expected, the results have backfired as the defense somehow got worse than last year. Week 1 they did alright against an ok Ravens offense but in week 2, the Rob Ryan special was on full display on national television.
Instead of trying to create pressure and forcing Fitzpatrick into Fitztragic, the Bills were very passive and vanilla against the Jets. The corners were left on an island with the safeties primarily being asked to cover the middle due to the Bills having no cover LBs. This would be fine if the WRs on the Jets didn’t have a major height advantage and the corners had to play conservative to avoid the big play. This led to a bunch of 10-15 yard completions as Fitz was just chucking them up with no care in the world.  This led to a defensive performance as bad as week 2 of last year and yet again, Rex was speechless. This has been a theme under Rex as he turned an elite defense into a defense that probably couldn’t even stop the Rams.
The Madden Offense
The one bright spot in the Rex hire was making Greg Roman his offensive coordinator.  Roman ran a successful offense in San Fran which was always top 5 and rushing and make people think Colin Kaepernick was actually good.  In his first year in Buffalo the Bills had the #1 rushing attack and 13th in points per game, a significant improvement over the 2014 offense.  After the 2015 season, everyone knew that if the defense actually did its job, the Bills would have made the playoffs with the offense.
Then 2016 happened and after giving their starting QB Tyrod Taylor an “extension”, the problems with the offense started to get exposed big time.  The first problem is the passing offense which was hidden last year but now shown as a major problem. Last year in 14 of the 16 games, the passing game was heavily reliant on the deep ball as the intermediate passing game and middle of the field was largely ignored. This is why the Bills were 31st in 3 and outs and why there were long stretches where the passing game was non-existent. Last year this wasn’t as big a hindrance as the Bills had a strong running game of Thunder and Lightning aka Shady and Los who moved the chains when the deep balls didn’t connect. This year without Los and no power back currently on the roster, the run game has been stuffed and the passing game has been shown for what it really is, a Madden offense. This year opposing defenses have figured Tyrod out, playing contain and forcing him to be a pocket passer. This has worked as Tyrod has not been comfortable as a pocket passer, unnecessarily leaving a clean pocket multiple times into either a sack or scrambling for a loss or small gain. The only real chain movers by the passing game has been with Tyrod has improvised and chucking it deep for long TDs. Other than that the passing game has been dead as he has been inaccurate on the short passes and can’t even throw a simple curl route. The lack of offense due to Tyrod getting figured out has led to dramatic changes starting last Friday.
The Downfall
After the defense giving up 37 points against the J-E-T-S, Terry Pegula was very unhappy and wanted someone fired. Rex couldn’t fire himself or Rob which meant he fired Greg Roman whose offense scored 24 points which based on week 1, would have been enough for the win. Instead Rex fired his most likely replacement and promoted his longtime assistant Anthony Lynn. After firing Roman, Rex stated he wants to throw the ball more and abandon the ground and pound which is why he made the guy who coined ground and pound into the new OC. I expect the offense to regress similar to the 2015 Niners as without Roman the flaws with the offense with be further highlighted and the defense will still not be fixed. 2 week into the season and the Bills are already the worse team in the NFL (even the Rams have a win).
What does this all mean? What this means is after the season the Bills will clean house. There will be a new HC, GM and a new QB as Tyrod will most likely not have his option picked up. Hopefully this time Pegula doesn’t listen to Russ Brandon and hire a HC who actually has had success as a coach, not someone who has a nice personality or else the Bills playoff drought will be of drinking age before it finally ends.

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