The Bills run defense needs to be better.
The Bills need to generate a more consistent pass rush.
Levi Wallace was beaten on a couple of occasions this week in key situations.
Steven Hauschka missed two field goals that someone with his paycheck should make.
Josh Allen still cannot hit the deep ball.
The wide receivers had some key drops.
Sean McDermott made half a dozen questionable in game decisions.
That being said, at the end of the day, if the Buffalo Bills offense had any semblance of an identity, they would be 7-2 right now. Brian Daboll deserves a bulk of that blame, I will explain why below.
Is Brian Daboll The Right Fit?
Brian Daboll is a modern NFL offensive mind. He draws up dozens of great plays a game. Often his players are unable to execute those plays. On the first drive, we saw a drop by Dawson Knox and a missed throw by Josh Allen. Andre Roberts dropped another pass, killing a drive. Josh Allen missed Cole Beasley on the hot read on the last drive that would have made for a much shorter game-tying field goal attempt. So why is this loss on Daboll?
This offense has no identity. For the first time last week this team found an identity for a half in Devin Singletary. He touched the ball 24 times 140 yards. This week Singletary was limited to three carries in the first half and five in the second for a total of 8 carries. On those 8 carries, he went for 42 yards, an average of over 5 yards a carry. Cleveland came into the game 30th against the run. His only contribution to the passing game was seven desperation dump-offs which he caught three of for a measly 8 yards.
Brian Daboll comes from a football upbringing in New England that values game-planning week to week based on your opponent’s weaknesses. The only problem with that is it means you need the talent to do everything, and the Bills do not. Brian Daboll needs to start playing to his players’ strengths, or the Buffalo Bills need to start looking for a new offensive coordinator in 2020.
Josh Allen threw the ball 41 times today. The Bills ran the ball a combined 20 times today. Did I mention the Browns are 30th in the NFL against the run? If you took 11 of those throws and made them runs, that is nearly a 50/50 split in runs to pass. A more balanced offense more than likely scores more than 19 points and wins this game.
Singletary and Beasley were targeted 5 times combined in the first half. Do better. By the end of the game John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Devin Singletary were targeted 32 times combined. Do better. That number should be closer to 45. Get the ball in the hands of your weapons.
Brian Daboll has 7 weeks to prove he is the guy in Buffalo. Sean McDermott and the fans need to see him start to cater the offense to the talent, not the talent to the offense. If not, the Bills need a new offensive coordinator in 2020 and it could cost us a shot at ten wins and a postseason birth this year. Daboll should look at what Norv Turner is doing in Carolina for inspiration.
Bonus… Steven Hauschka Sucks Now
Man, it hurt to write that title, but it is true. The Bills were not going for it so often on 4th down from just past mid-field all game because Sean McDermott discovered some newfound aggression. He was doing it because he had no faith in his kicker to make a kick from more than 50 yards out. Hauschka proved him right, missing a chip shot to close out the half and the potential game-tying field goal from 52 yards out to close the game. Hauschka has missed his last 5 kicks of over 50 yards.
The odd part is the Buffalo just signed Hauschka to a lucrative extension. They gave a guy who they don’t trust to kick a ball over 50 yards guaranteed money. If Hauschka doesn’t get right the Bills will have to eat almost 5 million dollars towards the cap next off-season.
Do You Agree With Darren?
AFC Playoff Picture
The Raiders, Steelers, and Titans all won this week. The Colts lost but will get there starting quarterback back within the next few weeks. This will not be an easy road to the playoffs. Buckle up for a stressful final two months.