Josh Allen led his legion of Bills onto the field in Orchard Park Sunday with a swagger Bills Mafia has not seen in weeks. This is strange to say without fans in the stands, but Sunday definitely felt like a home game. The Seahawks, led by Not so DangeRuss Willson, have been famously good against East Coast teams, but they were not ready for the beatdown they received at the hands of the Boys of Buffalo at 1 pm.
Let’s get this straight: this was not a close game. I know the Seahawks had decent numbers, and, yes, I know they inched back to within one touchdown, but the Bills superglued the accelerator to the floor of the car and could not be stopped. This was a true complete team win. Hyde and Epenesa came up with clutch onside kick recoveries. Jordan Poyer intercepted Wilson in the end zone. Everyone on this team contributed to this win, and it was a sight to see. This was maybe the most dominant performance I have seen from a Bills team since 2003.
Considering all of this, here are 10 things I think I think:
1. Josh Allen … MVP?
Look, this was a team win, to be sure. And it was a team win when George S. Patton’s Third Army blazed a fiery path to Berlin, but people remember Patton for it and rightfully so. Allen threw for 415 yards (tying his career best) and three touchdowns with a completion percentage of 82%*.
[*Note: I’m not even going to make a joke about how Allen is inaccurate or how accuracy can’t be taught because he’s done it so much, the joke is getting really stale.]
Allen also added 14 yards on the ground with a superbly blocked rushing TD. It looked dicey a couple of times as he took seven sacks, but Allen did not turn the ball over. But the most important thing he brought to this game was swagger. You could see it in practice this week. You could see it in pregame. You could see it in his “dance moves” with Matt Barkley. (It’s OK, Allen. You don’t have to dance. You already look good in shorts.) Our leader, the King, Pierre, has been talking about Josh Allen as the MVP all season. The last four games were OK but not MVP worthy, but with this win (and Tom Brady’s hilariously embarrassing loss), I think Allen just put himself back in the running.
I hear something … something faint. It’s building and it seems to be coming from Western New York. What are they saying? What will they be saying when the smoke of this season clears? I listen closely …
M V P! M V P! M V P! M V P! ….
2. Watch what you say! A.J. Klein is listening …
A.J. Klein has been the favorite whipping boy for Bills Mafia all season. Even in this game, Klein took all of the slings and arrows for missing a run gap and other plays, but man, you need to be careful what you say because like Gene Hackman in the 1974 classic film, The Conversation, A.J. Klein is listening. This man finished the day with five tackles, two sacks, four QB hits, two tackles for loss, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble. Guys, I have an idea. Let’s keep talking shit about his play, and let’s see if he gets any better!
3. John Brown is STILL the most important weapon on the Bills offense.
I love Cole Beasley. I love Stefon Diggs. I love Motor and Business Decision and Dawson “Rambo” Knox (when he’s not getting blown up blocking by DBs), but there is no more important offensive weapon for the Buffalo Bills in 2020 than John “Smoke” Brown. Allen trusts him. His comebackers seem unstoppable, and he has got stickier hands than Jameis Winston on a crab boat! Smoke finished the game with eight catches for 99 yards, but his catches always seem to come at crucial points. The offense looks different when he is out there and healthy, and this week, Mr. John Brown looked healthy. Watching out, NFL. Didn’t you read the side of the carton? Smoke is bad for you.
4. Stefon Diggs somehow had a quiet nine catch, 118 yard game.
Despite all of my John Brown love, props must be given to our #1 receiver … statistically. Diggs has been a great teammate. He allayed any of my fears when we made this trade. Here’s what I learned: Diggs isn’t a diva; Kurt Cousins is just kind of a dork. He and Allen have the chemistry of two fourteen year olds in heat on homecoming weekend: hot and heavy. Somehow, Diggs’s performance today seemed quiet somehow. He didn’t get into the endzone, but he tacked on another masterful day with nine catches and 118 yards receiving. Through 56% of the season, Diggs already has 813 receiving yards and is on pace for over 1,400 yards for the season. He has exceeded all of my expectations this season, and this dog will continue to eat.
5. Tremaine Edmunds, the Kaiju, is back!
Like Godzilla rising from Tokyo Bay in 1985, Tremaine “The Kaiju” Edmunds rose up in this game to wreak havoc on the helpless, fair citizens of Seattle. Edmunds looked like his old self on Sunday. He led the team in tackles (as he should) with 11, tacked on a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a beautiful pass defensed. I know the shoulder was bothering him, but if he looks like this as we go down the stretch, it won’t matter if the opposition trots out Gigan, Rodan, Ghidorah, Destroyah, Biollante, or Barry Manilow. Edmunds will prevail.
6. McDermott and Frazier consulted the ghost of Jim Johnson.
I don’t know what got into ol’ Seany McShirtssotight, but, damn, son! The defense was throwing all kinds of exotic blitzes against one of the most seasoned and polished QBs in the NFL, and it worked! Famously, McDermott got his start under Defensive Coordinator legend, Jim Johnson. Ol’ JJ never saw a blitz he didn’t like, and McDermott does not usually call a game like that, but this week, defenders were swarming in like basic girls on the first day of Starbucks pumpkin spice latte season! I liked this aggressive style, and I liked how he and Frazier could confuse and disturb someone as great as Wilson. I want to see more of this going forward.
7. Andre Roberts is a spark, and the opposing team’s Special Teams unit is kerosene.
When Andre Roberts took the ball from six yards deep in the end zone, and rocketed forward for 60 yards to start the game, didn’t you know that it was going to be a big day in Buffalo. Props to Roberts. He is dangerous, and one of these days, he’s going to take it to the house. But he is such a spark for this team. He regularly gets the offense in great field position, and you can see how his teammates love to see what he does. Well done, Mr. Roberts.
8. Darryl Johnson + Siran Neal = Special Teams monsters!
I know Special Teams coverage isn’t sexy. I know it’s not talked about much, and no, it’s not one-third of the game, but watching Darryl Johnson and Siran Neal coming at the opposing return man like men possessed is something to see. I am impressed with how much our Special Teams play has improved over the last few years, and those two guys have been excellent additions. When Johnson and Neal absolutely freight-trained Freddie Swain, I got to tell you … It was good for me. Was it good for you?
9. Tre’Davious White had himself a day. Dance, young man. Dance!
Tre’Davious White has been an enigma this season. It’s seems like he’s constantly banged up, and he’s struggled at times this season, but yesterday was a vintage Tre Day! He finished with eight tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed, a fumble recovery, and an interception with a 28 yard return (gotta score that one, bro). That interception of Wilson was classic Tre. He baited an experienced QB, left his assignment, and surreptitiously plucked the ball from the air like a chameleon snatching a fly. That was a hell of a game from Tre, and as this secondary gets healthier, I think we will see more performances like this.
10. Tyler “I caught you a delicious” Bass is settling in nicely.
Tyler Bass has been a point of consternation for Bills Mafia a lot this season. But the kid is solid. He’s becoming much more consistent on his kick placement (thereby improving his accuracy), and he is a great kickoff kicker. That sounds like the easy part, but he rarely gives opposing teams a chance for a decent run back. When it’s short, it’s usually got some hang time. When it’s deep, well … need I say more? I like this kid, and I am glad that McDermott had the patience and vision to keep him around. Now, if he can’t start drilling the really long ones, that would be something.
- That tackle of Metcalf by Dane Jackson … wow.
- Tyler Kroft and Isaiah McKenzie each had one touchdown on one catch on one target. #efficiency
- Gabriel Davis is looking like a draft day steal. Sunday, he had four catches for 70 yards and a TD. I can’t wait to see how this kid develops.
- Ed Oliver played 60% of the snaps against the Seahawks but stayed off the box score. He seemed to regularly be in the vicinity of the play, but I can feel Bills Mafia’s impatience. Stats aren’t everything, but they’re also not nothing. Stats mean you overcame the extra protection to win the play. Stats show character and drive. I love Ed. He’s not a bust. But, I do think stats matter. But that’s my two cents.
- Moss and Motor were effective catching out of the backfield, and I think we’ve finally got a short down back in Business Decision.
- Did you see that block by Reggie Gilliam on the Moss TD? Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!
Thank you all for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this game. You can find me on Twitter at @adamnannini
You can also hear me and my podcast partner, Nate Asper, make every game pick for the week on The NFL Basement. You can find that podcast on all major podcast apps! Thanks, and go Bills!