It’s been as good of a start to the 2020 season as the Buffalo Bills could have asked for. Josh Allen has shown that he is the franchise quarterback, throwing for over 700 yards through the first two weeks of the season. Stefon Diggs appears to be everything the Bills could have asked for, as this offense has been excellent so far.
The defense has been good too. Injuries have plagued them early, but they’ve still been able to make enough plays to get the job done. This is the case except for one player, Levi Wallace. This week’s Thursday Thought: Is it time to move on from Levi Wallace?
Wallace has been an underdog story from the beginning. A former walk-on at Alabama, Wallace battled his way into the starting lineup his senior season where he won a national championship with the Crimson Tide. He was even invited to the combine that year as well.
However, Wallace would go undrafted and eventually signed with the Bills. He’d make the practice squad and stay there for half the 2018 season until being called up on to the 53-man roster. He would immediately be put into the starting lineup.
Surprisingly, Wallace shined his rookie as he was regarded as one of the best rookie cornerbacks in the NFL that season. He then held down the starting job throughout the 2019 season, where he experienced some ups and downs.
Now in 2020, the season has not gone great for Wallace. He’s struggled a bit through the first two games, especially last week against the Miami Dolphins. Ryan Fitzpatrick exposed Wallace throwing at him all game long. Many where displeased with his performance, including defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier who didn’t seem to have the best things to say following the Bills win over the Dolphins.
“In Levi’s case, when people are doing that, you’ve got to make a play to get them off of you,” Frazier said. “He made a couple plays here and there. Just got to consistently do that, otherwise, they’re going to come after you, because they’re going to rarely target Tre’Davious, for obvious reasons. The guy who is opposite Tre’Davious is going to get the work. You have to know that going into a game, and you have to prepare mentally for that. The only way to get them off of you is to find a way to make some plays.”
Is the writing on the wall? Should the Bills move on from Wallace? Right now this isn’t the case as Josh Norman is still on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury, and outside of Siran Neal and Cam Lewis, there isn’t much depth at boundary cornerback. Wallace has embodied exactly the kind of players Sean McDermott likes. Underdog guys who work their tail off each day to get better.
However, the on-field production has not been there for Wallace. If he doesn’t turn his play around he may no longer be a starter on this defense. I like Wallace but it’s undeniable that he’s played poorly in 2020. Hopefully, he can get back to the sound football he’s shown throughout his first two seasons. What do you think? Is it time to move on from Levi Wallace? Let me know on Twitter or in the comment section below.