Wow! The NFC East has played 12 games this season and has three total wins. I think the NFL just found its minor league farm system. Tom Brady looked good yesterday. He nearly tied the NFL record for most TD passes in a game after throwing six! Unfortunately, one of those was to the Chargers, but it’s the effort that counts. The Lions blow another double-digit lead (third time in four games this season) … I bet Mat Patricia is asking for a contract extension this morning.
Oh, and the Buffalo Bills are 4-0 for the first time since 2008! Rejoice, #BillsMafia! But let’s stay humble and hungry … #ProcessJuice
Here are 10 Things I Think I Think
1. Josh Allen is a legit MVP candidate
We are four weeks in, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but anyone who actually watches the Bills this season knows that Allen has been carrying this team on his back this season. The offensive line is letting people through like a subway turnstile (with a smell to match), and the defense up until the end of yesterday’s game couldn’t stop anyone. It’s not just that Allen is putting up monster stats … it’s that he’s doing so without the help of a god supporting cast. Hopefully, these situations will improve, but right now, the Bills are 4-0 solely because of the top-tier, mistake-free football Josh has played thus far.
2. The Defense showed up? Kind of?
The defense has been a shell of its 2019 glory thus far this season, and we need them to get straight. But yesterday, we had contributions from unlikely heroes like Josh Norman who peanut punched the ball away from Raiders Tight End, Darren Waller. Defensive End, Darryl Johnson, started getting pressure at the end of the game, and new Bill Quinton Jefferson made a key play with a strip sack to bury the Raiders. Maybe the play of these non-stars can get the engine revving for those who should be playing a lot better.
3. Tremaine Edmunds doesn’t look like himself
I know he’s fighting a shoulder injury. I know that’s why he is struggling with tackling (though he was never a sure tackler), but a shoulder issue doesn’t make you miss gaps and assignments. Listen, I love the Kaiju. I think he has amazing potential, and I love his character, but at times the last two games, he looked a little lost out there. Certainly, losing his LB mate, Milano during the game didn’t help. You need one to complement the other. In other words, “Wonder Twin powers, activate!”
4. Safety vs. Stefon Diggs? Throw it!
After a turnover, Brian Daboll dialed up a huge pass from Allen to Diggs. Allen underthrew the pass slightly, but Diggs went full Moss-mode on his defenders and snatched the ball away. And who was guarding him down the field? It was #25, Erik Harris, Safety for the Raiders. Listen, Josh, can I give you some advice? Any time you see a Safety guarding Stefon Diggs, just throw it, baby. They cannot cover Diggs. This man is balling right now, and I don’t think much is going to stop him right now.
5. Chippy energy all game
Two out of the four games we’ve played this season, it seemed like other team tried to bully us: Jets and Raiders. Maybe they see that #thicc QB stiff-arming guys like Marion Motley bowling down the center of the field, but it seems that we are perceived as a finesse team that other teams can push around. Well, Johnathan Abram seemed like he was in a Bills player’s face after every play, and who stood up to him? Who got in his face? Who had a dominant game against that secondary? That’s right, Stefon Diggs again. Love that energy. As so many of Bills Mafia said yesterday, “Imagine trading this Diggs guy away!” Also, John Gruden, don’t be Gregg Williams. You’re better than that.
6. The Return of Mr. Undrafted
Guard, Quinton Spain, has been rather inconspicuous the last few games. Instead, top-heavy big man, Brian Winters has been starting in his place. Some have speculated that Spain was hurt, while other thought maybe the Bills were looking to trade him. Either way, Winters seemed to get banged up during the game (hope he’s alright), and Mr. Undrafted, Quinton Spain, came in. I have not rewatched the game yet, but I thought Spain played better than Winters after he came in. This is a guy who was fantastic last season. The story of his early pulling after a contract extension and only a couple of games is mysterious to me. Barring a Feliciano return, I was Spain starting next week.
7. No dance Tre?
Who doesn’t love Tre’Davious White? He’s a great player with a sparkling personality, but he has a tell … Despite a 4-0 start to the season, I am not seeing Mr. White dance like he does when he’s on his game. And it does seem like he’s been off his game thus far this season. I suspect Take Away Tre is the kind of guy that puts a lot of pressure on himself, but sometimes that approach seems to leave him looking frustrated and down when the defense needs an emotional spark. I know Tre is going to turn it around, but in the meantime, keep dancing, Mr. White! We need it.
8. Daboll & the Running Game
It seems that Daboll has not been looking for anything resembling a balanced offense this season. Singletary did have 18 rushes but only managed 55 yards and beauty of a touchdown. Is it that Daboll is not trusting his offensive line to create holes? That’s a decent reason to go away from the run. While the Bills showed a little more commitment to the run, a fan would think that a team who has had double-digit leads in every game thus far would have more rushing attempts than they have this season. This is working now, but we are going to have to get this run game figured out as the weather cools and when we play teams we have to ice in the final minutes. Maybe Feliciano’s return is that important. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
9. Phillips and Oliver played well yesterday.
They’ve been getting killed a lot this year, but both Horrible Harry and Ed “Captain Insano” Oliver have been dealing with injuries. Still, they were great yesterday against the run. Both Harry and Ed got low on run plays and seemed to consistently get into the rushing backfield. And much as the defense is getting maligned (by me), it’s no small feat to hold Josh Jacobs to 48 yards at 3.2 per attempt. The defense did a nice job of stopping the run, and I’m going to give a lot of credit to those two guys who consistently seemed to be making plays.
10. No lead makes me feel safe.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think I do … as I am watching the game, no lead makes me feel safe. I swear, the Bills have taken years off my life. I pace. I lean in. I yell at the TV as if Allen can hear me scream, “Throw it away!” It’s nerve-racking for anyone who watches the games with me. And yes, we are critical! And yes, we make stupid tweets during the game! And yes, we may drink too many seltzers before 4:25, but that’s what makes us who we are. That’s what makes us Bills Mafia. Is it childish? Sometimes. Can we be combative? For sure. But there’s is no fanbase that lives and dies on the success of its team like Bills fans, and I hope that our boys get to hear us cheer them on at some point this season.
- How is that John Brown catch not a touchdown?!
- The refs were all over the game yesterday making some strange calls, but I think on balance, they were shitty to both teams.
- What happened with that Derek Carr fumble? That was the definition of a fumble to me.
- Another 3rd quarter goose-egg. What is up with that?
- Finally, Josh … stay healthy, Josh. Learn to throw the ball away, bruh. We need you. Barkley is a fine backup, but have you seen him in shorts?
Thank you all for reading. It’s 4-0, but last time we started 4-0, we finished 7-9, so let’s keep that in perspective and take it one game at a time. Stay safe!