Well, week six for our Buffalo Bills is complete. The Kansas City Chiefs came to Buffalo and bullied our boys to the tune of 245 rushing yards at 5.3 yards per clip. Any sane viewer watching the game must have wondered why the Chiefs were throwing at all. Meanwhile, the Bills offense stalled for the second week in a row. The book is out there on Allen, this offense, and the limited vision of Brian Daboll. In light of this embarrassing loss at home, here are 10 things I think I think.
1. It’s time to panic.
Sorry. I know we’re 4-2, and we just lost to two of the top AFC contenders, so, now is not the time to worry, right? Wrong. When a team cannot seem to pass-block, run-block, and rush the passer, or stop the run, it’s definitely time to panic. The Bills are getting dominated at the line of scrimmage, and the coaching staff seems to have no answer. McDermott is making some bewildering decisions, and Daboll cannot seem to adjust. It’s like he throws out a haymaker, and if it lands, good. If it doesn’t, he’s out of ideas. If the Bills want to be contenders and not pretenders, these things must improve. The schedule is going to be getting tough.
2. Ed Oliver is officially on “bust watch”.
Ed Oliver … who doesn’t love this endearing equestrian? Look, I know he’s been hurt this year. I know he showed flashes last season, and I know the guys around him are not exactly helping him, but man, he was brought in to penetrate at the three technique, to disrupt the line and get into the QBs face, and I’m not seeing it. Maybe it’s too early in his career to wonder about this, but he disappears for long stretches. Honestly, last night, I felt like Zimmer and Butler easily outplayed him. Maybe McDermott, if he wanted to send a message to this spongetastic defense, benched the wrong guy.
3. The first sighting of bad Diggs.
A fair chunk of Bills Mafia worried about the Diggs trade when it happened. Does this guy have an attitude problem? Is he a locker room cancer? Well, thus far in the season, we haven’t seen anything remotely that would validate those fears … until last night. It’s a small thing, but it’s an important thing. With no timeouts and the Bills rushing to the line to snap the play, Diggs casually sauntered back to the line. That wasn’t a good look. Would it have made a difference in the game? No. Probably not. But that sort of behavior is telling, and Diggs is supposed to be a juice guy. He’s supposed to bring the energy, and instead, he was moving slower than Cody Ford. This bears watching.
4. The team looks shook.
In a short span, the Bills committed two stupid personal fouls. Poyer body-slamming a guy out of bounds was just foolish, but it’s a sign of something deeper. Tre White isn’t dancing. Allen looks flustered and shaken. Edmunds looks confused. I see guys hanging their heads on the sideline. Where is the confidence? Where is the juice? Is it because of a lack of leadership? Where are the leaders on this team? If we don’t get some mojo back soon, I worry about this tough stretch going forward.
5. Beasley and Brown look hurt.
Allen was inaccurate last night. But his receivers did bail him out a few times with some tough catches and tough plays. But it’s tough to see Beasley and Brown wincing after every play. I don’t know what the Bills need to do, as they need these guys on the field, but Brown and Beasley do not look healthy. That may be why there seemed to be little separation last night. Speaking of …
6. Allen is mortal. And we could be ruining him.
Josh Allen played badly last night. He went 14/27 for 122 yards at 4.5 per attempt with two touchdowns and an interception. That’s some weak sauce, and it’s not going to get it done. So, Allen can’t do it all. But he’s not getting help right now. His offensive line is constantly being pushed in his face, and teams are funneling him out of the pocket and to his left. He doesn’t look comfortable in the pocket because there is no pocket. Are there not any hot routes in this offense? Doesn’t seem like it. But with Allen struggling and getting jittery in the pocket, his footwork is suffering. The reason he was airmailing people consistently last night is footwork. He’s regressing. He’s not reading the defense well, and if you watch his feet in the first four weeks as compared to last night, well … it’s different. He’s got to be better, but he’s got to get some help.
7. Zach Moss sighting.
It was nice to see Zach “Business Decision” Moss last night return from his toe injury. He only had five carries for ten yards, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. He made some gutsy runs, tough runs, and showed some spice. If the offensive line could block, oh … I don’t know, anybody, we might see this run game improve. Still, I liked what I saw in a few plays from Moss. Hopefully, he continues to improve going forward.
8. The offensive line is the worst unit on the team.
I know the defensive line sucks. I know we’re struggling to cover anybody, and I know without Milano, Edmunds isn’t looking so hot. But the worst unit on the Bills this season is the offensive line, and it’s not really close. The team averages 3.8 yards per rush, and that includes some of Allen’s escapes. Running backs have one TD this season (Allen has three). And Allen is constantly running for his life. The kid has great escapability, but he needs some help. The O-line is consistently getting pushed around, spun around, stunted, etc. They seem to have no answers. Allen brings back extra protection with a tight end and running back, but it doesn’t seem to help, and now Allen is showing a penchant to escape the pocket prematurely. Who could blame him? Jon Feliciano is coming back soon, and do we need him. I still do not understand why Quinton Spain isn’t playing. But I’m not the coach. Still, this unit is playing the 2018 Bills offensive line.
9. The Bills are figuring out the pass interference play.
This may not sound like a good thing, but it is. The Bills offense did one thing well last night, and that was to toss the ol’ pass interference play. Allen struggled to connect downfield, but by throwing deep, he forced the Chiefs to commit PI, helping to give the Bills decent position. This is a play that Brady and his ilk pulled on us for years. Sometimes, I think the QB just tries to get it close. I don’t like the pass interference rules, but if it’s there, we should take advantage, and to Allen’s credit, he did.
10. Thank God for the Jets.
I’m not going to candy coat it. We have a brutal schedule going forward, and if we are playing like we have the last few weeks, we are not going to beat the Patriots, the Seahawks, the Cardinals, Niners, etc. But next week, we play the worst team in the NFL. This is the epitome of a get right game. And this one can’t be close. The Bills need to get mad. They need to drop a 50 Burger on this listless crew. If they don’t come out strong, if they struggle, well … I don’t want to think about that.
- Is Joe Buck the most overrated announcer in the history of sports? (Hint: he is.)
- How about Corey Bojorquez? He’s been lights out this season. Last night h e punted four times, each time in the opponents 20, with an average of 53.3 yards. I’ll take it.
- I still like this Gabriel Davis kid. He only had one catch, but he’s doing a lot of dirty work.
- There’s a lot to think about as we approach the trade deadline. Just saying.
Thanks, y’all for reading! Time to rebound and regroup. Let’s stay positive and get a double-dose of process juice before next week’s game. Stay safe!