Older AFCE

We’re Ready…..Just Kidding

Older AFCE

We’re Ready…..Just Kidding
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The Bills were the worse team on Sunday, losing to a Ravens team that will probably finish middle of the pack.  It looked very much like the 2014 season where the Bills had a solid defense but an offense that didn’t want to do anything. It was sloppy game on offense and special teams and might have been avoided if the 1st team offense played more in the preseason.
 
Let’s Start With The Only Bright Spot 
 
In 2015 Rex took a top 5 defense and turned them into a laughingstock, failing to generate pressure and a big reason the Bills missed the playoffs….again. This year the defense has gotten revamped and they are now playing more of Rex’s defense instead of last year’s muddled mess. This was a big first game against a Ravens offense that while not great, is better than most of the offenses the Bills will face this year.  After one week, they passed the test.  They got 4 sacks and were forcing Flacco out of the pocket numerous times (who was pretty mobile despite coming back from knee surgery). Jerry Hughes is more comfortable in the true OLB role as he was consistently in the backfield causing pressure. Shaq Lawson fill-in Lorenzo Alexander also did fairly well and the front 5 played pretty well.  The Ravens offense really didn’t do much and outside of a deep ball to Mike Wallace where Duke “I can’t Cover” Williams was in coverage, they were shut down.
 
The only concern is the coverage against the TEs and RBs in the flats. Due to the lack of LBs that can cover (Only Zach Brown), the Bills were letting the TEs do a lot, and against teams that actually have TEs, this might be a problem if the Bills don’t use Corey Graham or Aaron Williams to cover them.  Other than that, the Bills defense was fantastic, holding the Ravens to only 13 points, I would take that every week.
 
Now It Goes Downhill
 
Reggie Bush was signed because he was supposed to be a dynamic threat from the backfield and a return threat. Many believed Bush is far past his prime in being a legit threat on offense but the Bills thought otherwise and used him as the #2 RB.  However like many predicted, he did nothing. Bush could have ran up the gut for zero yards each play and it would have been better than his actual play. He  ran backwards more than he ran forward, and didn’t show any real shiftiness and can’t pass block to save his life. Overall the run game struggled. Without a big bruiser to attack the middle, they had Shady McCoy run up the gut where he was for the most part stuffed or had to break outside to make anything. The only real success the Bills had running was on outside runs where McCoy was able to make one or two guys miss but even then, they had no big runs which they were known for last year. The biggest question mark was why Mike Gillislee didn’t play as last year he showed that he could turn any run in a long TD and he is definitely better than Bush. The lack of big plays in the running game hurt the Bills as they definitely can’t rely on the passing game to bail them out.
 
Now we go to the worst part of the Bills which was their lack of a passing game.  This was the first play on offense. Tyrod looks left, then moves right before checking down to McCoy who did nothing. What the worse thing is he clearly sees Robert Woods is wide open but doesn’t pull the trigger on what would have at the very least been a 40 yard gain, or 1/4th of their entire offensive output. Then on the next drive he makes the same mistake on the 1st play.  Watkins had one on one on the outside and the seam route was wide open but Tyrod didn’t pull the trigger. All game there were plays deep whether in the middle of the field or the outside that Tyrod for some reason didn’t want to throw. The Ravens were giving a lot of single safety looks or switching to two safety after the play started which left the middle of the field wide open especially up the seams. Tyrod didn’t recognize that instead locking to his primary read and taking the easy completions which the defense was expecting. The Ravens after the game said their plan was to make Tyrod a QB and it is obvious Tyrod is not comfortable in the pocket as there were numerous times that he was in a clean pocket but unnecessary moved out of his spot or moved into the pass rush because the Ravens were playing contain. Tyrod is not a good pocket passer and I don’t think he will ever become one, his best asset is his legs and he has to be moving around for him to be the guy the Bills gave big money too. He can’t turn into Trent Edwards like he did Sunday if the Bills are to make the playoffs and for his option to get picked up. The worse play of his day has to be in the 3rd quarter. On a 3rd and 16, after wasting a timeout, near FG range down only 3, Tyrod goes for a one yard checkdown instead and a horrible throw that doesn’t even give Woods the ability to make anything happen after the catch. That gave Carpenter a long FG chance which he obviously missed and turned out to be the last chance for the offense. After that the Ravens didn’t take the deep ball seriously and were able to put more pressure on an Oline missing Cordy Glenn and RBs who can’t pass block. After missing on that 3rd and 16th opportunity, the Bills offense was stuck in neutral and due to horrible timeout management, never had a change to get the ball back near the end.
 
Overall this is a game the Bills offense needs to forget. The defense did its job but the offense did absolutely and only the LA Rams were worse. This was not a good game for Tyrod was not the Tyrod of last year. They need to quickly forget this game as they play the Jets on Thursday and that is definitely a must win game if the Bills don’t want to be too far out of the playoffs. The Jets will have to be watching the Ravens game to figure out what to do on defense and they actually have the players to make that gameplan work perfectly. Bills need to adapt or they will be missing the playoffs yet again.

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