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The Buffalo Bills Break the Broncos and Lock Up the AFC East: 10 Things I Think I Think!



Yes, yes, we’ve all said it. We all know. Does it really need to be said again? Of course it does! The Buffalo Bills are AFC East Champions for the first time since 1995! The last time we won the division, I was (COUGH!) years old … those social security checks should be coming in any moment now.

Anyway, the Bills could have backed into the division by losing on Saturday and if the Dolphins lost to the Patriots, but they didn’t. They came out firing against a vaunted (albeit, banged up) Broncos defense, and Josh Allen and this team are showing that they don’t just belong in the playoffs … they should be feared. Right now, the Buffalo Bills are shooting shots like Gilbert Arenas in an And1 3-on-3 tournament!

The Bills are 11-3, people, and they are crushing narratives!

  • Beating the Patriots
  • Currently undefeated in the division (two games left)
  • Prime Time Wins
  • Quality Wins
  • Ending the Drought Playoff Draught (2017)
  • We have a QB with 4,000 F&%$ing passing yards and 38 total TDs (30 passing) with two games left!
  • Winning the division for the first time since 1995 … you know what’s next?

Playoffs. Sean McDermott sees a barrier and smashes through it like Hulk batters the walls of Burger King when he gets hangry. The next big barrier/wall/narrative, etc. is winning a playoff game, and you know what? They’re going to have to come to Buffalo, where we don’t (and never will) have a dome … now that is some homefield advantage. Just listen to Steve Tasker about it:

In case you hate America, puppies, Christmas lasagna, and all things beautiful, and somehow missed Buffalo’s stomping of the Broncos, here are some highlights:

And with all that in mind, here are 10 things I think I think about this Buffalo Bills team following their dismantling of the horsies!

1. Josh Allen throws for about 15 TDs in this game

How many touchdowns were called back this game? Seriously, the Bills could have easily dropped a 50 Burger or a 60 Steak on the Broncos, but the refs more whistles than a Union Pacific freight train blowing through downtown Manhattan! Were most of the calls penalties? Yes … But, man, they called a soft game, and Zach Moss had that first down! I don’t know what they were looking at there (must have felt bad for the Broncos).

But Josh Allen did what we’ve come to expect Josh Allen to do. He scored four times (could have been six, easily), two by his feet and two by his laser-rocket arm. Allen is transcendent, and he continues to improve every week. Under heavy pressure, he is not fazed. He takes chances, trusting his strong arm to fit the ball into tight windows, and his ability to extend plays is wearing out defenses. No one must enjoy playing this guy, and I believe it’s why the running game is improving, as they are gassed chasing this big Beefalo around the backfield.

Josh Allen should be in the MVP discussion, no doubt. I’m sure the haters in the world, the Nick Wrights and such, will come up with some fantasy stories on par in imagination and creativity with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. But let the laters keep hating … it makes the domination sandwiches taste that much more sweet.

2. Stefon Diggs is starting to take over games at will.

Right now, Stefon Diggs has stellar numbers, and he is about to break every single-season Bills record. He currently has 111 receptions for 1,314 yards, and five TDs. On Saturday, he contributed 147 yards on 11 receptions. And that’s the thing. This guy isn’t just putting up big stats; he’s taking over games like Steve Smith over the Chicago Bears in the playoffs on January 15, 2006. Diggs is breaking ankles, taking souls, and getting open whenever he wants. Need to go deep? Got it! Need a first down? Got it! Need a key block? Got that too! Diggs (stats aside) is playing at a ridiculous level right now, and you can see how his energy is driving Josh Allen. He’s been a fantastic addition to this team, and if things go right, Allen to Diggs could be a phrase we’re hearing for years to come.

3. Touchdown Jesus appeared and blessed Bills Mafia with a TD!

Jake Kumerow caught one pass on Saturday, a 22 yard cruise missile from Josh Allen in the end zone. It was nice to see touchdown Jesus get on the stat sheet, and this 6’4″ beef stick could be an exciting, big, red zone weapon for the Bills come the playoffs. Allen has thrown TDs to 12 different receivers, tying an NFL record, with two games left. Allen is getting to the point that he can make something of lower receiving talent, something only the great ones do. It’s only one little stat, but it says so much about this offense.

4. The running game is on track, and Zach Moss is the RB1.

Moss (Business Decision) and Singletary (Motor) plowed through a good Broncos defensive front for 149 yards on Saturday on 21 carries for an average of 7.09 YPC. Singletary had the big run of the game to put on the finishing touches, but Moss got the Lion’s share of carries when it matters. Zach Moss is not pretty as a runner, exactly. Yes, he spins and pirouettes, and he can Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge, but his greatest strength is his ability to go straight into the line and push forward. Moss is the bruising back that can wear out defenses, and he is now our RB1. Singletary still gets his touches, and he is more elusive. He’s a better receiver, and he is the better pass protector, and these two backs are finally rounding out into the duo we hoped for at the beginning of the year … all it took was for Brian Winters to find a nice comfy seat on the bench.

5. Jerry Hughes is officially RB3.

If any of you are like me, you were screaming, “Go down!” or “Protect the ball!” as Jerry Hughes did his best loaf of bread Shady McCoy impersonation. But Hughes, seeing young gun, Taron Johnson, score last week would not be outdone by such a whippersnapper. He shook wold-be tacklers like Barry Sanders putting people on spin cycle and found his way to the end zone (amazingly … no penalties). Hughes is this year’s Zo or Kyle. He’s the old man strength of this team, and he leads by example. Would any of you be shocked if you found out Daboll and McDermDerm were putting together a special running play for him after that rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ stroll through tacklers? I wouldn’t.

6. The Kaiju, Tremaine Edmunds, had a great, quiet game, but there was a surprise in the LB stats …

Tremaine Edmunds (The Kaiju) very quietly led the team in tackles on Saturday with eight (tied with Poyer). Let’s be clear on something: you really want your monstrous middle linebacker to lead the team in tackles. That is a very good sign! Edmunds is playing healthy, and he is attacking the ball. Plus, the defensive line is playing effectively enough to keep O-linemen off of him. You want to hear another bonkers stat? Tyler Matakevich played only 15 snaps in Saturday’s game, yet he finished second in tackles with seven! This guy is a tackling machine, so watch out for him should we face a run-heavy team like the Titans in January.

7. Ty Nsekhe is a very important player on this team.

Daryl Williams left the game on Saturday with a groin injury. Let’s hope he’s OK, as he’s had a hell of a year, but Ty Nsekhe, the old mountain man, came in and blocked admirably. Nsekhe can block on either side of the line, and there is no huge drop off. He played 30 snaps for the Bills, and he is the ultimate insurance policy at either tackle position. I’m really glad we have this ginormous (6′ 8″, 326 lbs. {yeah, sure}) man on our side because we might need him.

8. There’s no doubt: Cole Beasley is the best slot receiver in the NFL.

The Bease is having the best year of his career with 79 receptions for 950 yards. This puts him at 16th in receiving yards and receptions in the NFL. He is set to break 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, but the most important thing is that Allen trusts him. Early in the season, it was obvious who Allen trusted the most: John Brown. Right now, once Brown is back on the field and the Bills need a big play, I have no idea who Allen is going to go to. Diggs, Brown, and Beasley are a three-headed monster, and with Gabriel Davis in the mix, I don’t know how defenses account for these weapons. All three of those guys were free agent additions. BBB … you did it again!

9. Tre’Davious White sets the standard for this team.

As many heard people talking about after the game, Tre Day was the first pick of the McDermott regime. Beane wasn’t even there yet. Yes, we traded down and didn’t get Patrick Mahomes, but watching Tre play these past few years, you have to see what McDermott saw in him: heart. Tre is smart, instinctual, and tough. He plays banged up. He studies. He makes tackles. He’s trying to catch Bruce Smith’s sack record, and when he made that strip sack on Drew Lock on Saturday, you saw perfect form. He looked like a DE out there, swiping down on the ball. That is technique. If Diggs is a technician on offense (and he is), then White is his counterpart on defense, and he should be listed in the same breath and on the same level with guys like Diggs. He’s a hell of a leader, a hell of a man, and he earns his paychecks every game day.

10. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane feel like a younger version of Marv Levy and Bill Polian.

Look. I love Marv Levy. He’s the most quotable and inspiring coach in NFL history (so says I), and the dude knew how to get his team ready and going. Sean McDermott is that guy. He had a plan, and he executed it to perfection. Have there been bumps? Sure. Does he need to watch a few how-to videos on YouTube about the red challenge flag? For sure! But Buffalo has themselves a coach, and that is more important than having a QB. He is a leader, a schemer, and his guys love him. He’s the one that created that locker room culture we all love so much. He’s the guy that gets the most out of his players. And Brandon Beane is the card-playing son of a bitch who is taking deeds and shirts from the 31 other GMs in the league. They came together with a plan, and they’ve done it. It’s not over yet, and until they win the big game, there will always be questions, but damn is it good to see.

Thanks for reading! I’m still giddy, y’all! If you have any comments, questions, or if you want to know where I get my hair conditioner, hit me up on Twitter at @adamnannini

And catch me every week as I make NFL game picks with my podcast partner and our resident lions fan, Nate Asper, on The NFL Basement podcast!