8 targets, 2 catches for 4 yards and 3 INT’s when thrown to against the Patriots on a gloomy and cloudy day at New Era Field.
That was not a good day for Zay, to say the least. To boot, he has a miserable 38% catch rate on the season. As we watched D’haquille Williams hall in two touchdowns in the pre-season, one of which displaying strong HANDS to secure the ball over another defender and “out-muscling” for the ball, we also saw a need for that type of player these first four games.
I find it odd that Sean McDermott called his receivers smurfs, almost to double-down on their new strategy and scheme acquiring players who get open in space. This said, he is finding out quickly you can’t have a WR room full of smurfs, especially in the red zone. Blue and red may not be a winning combination, only on the Buffalo Bills Uniforms.
We saw the ball go off and through Zay’s hands in the 4th quarter on a Barkley throw that was slightly inaccurate but catchable. We saw an errant throw from Josh Allen go towards the sidelines as Zay watched the defender fly high directly in front of him to pick it off. Zay couldn’t have somehow tried to interfere with the defender? Tackled him maybe? It’s a OPI flag, but it isn’t a turnover at least! Zay needs to get on some calf raises and get up sometimes as seen on both throws!
Deep breath. Alas, former stud WR in the CFL, a 6’3, 225 lb receiver has been called up, D’haquille “Duke” Williams. The Bills may have someone they can throw the ball to in the red-zone! Frank Gore up the gut on 3rd down to go up a touchdown after a failed pass attempt on 2nd ain’t gonna cut it. It’s predictable. I’m not saying we need to be constantly throwing fades or jump balls to Duke, but, similar to what we saw in the pre-season, having a guy with strong hands that can out-will the defenders is nice.
The Bills have not truly had this type of target in quite some time (RIP James Hardy), and with what we saw on Sunday, they have nothing of the sort to throw to within the 5-yard line. Defenses know to clog the middle, don’t allow the slant/crosses, and force the receivers to go up and get the ball or make a tough catch. That is not the Bills offense’s forte, yet with Duke, we may have a piece that can change some dynamics for what appears to be a limited Bills offense. Duke had two TD’s where the ball was above his head … yes in the pre-season but he has displayed the ability.
With this, come reports of Zay Jones being on the trade block. He is a McDermott draft choice, not a McBeane draft pick. Brandon wasn’t there yet, and we will likely never know his level of involvement in the 2017 draft. It’s possible there was no involvement, as Beane was still employed by the Carolina Panthers. I never liked the Zay pick, and I’m willing to bet Beaner didn’t either.
I have far more confidence in a Beane draft vs. a Whaley/McDermott combo draft, to say the least. I hope there is still some value on the market for a guy like Zay. I can see him being of value in a limited roll in the slot or up the seam but not a top 1 – 2 guy on either sideline. He’s quick, runs some good routes but he has shown he can’t be relied upon in key moments of the game or in making “tough” catches.
All the best Zay, and welcome to the Bills Mafia, D’Haquille!
Sincerely from the North division of Bills mafia HQ –