Week 17 Recap: The Buffalo Bills are in the Playoffs!!!
For the fourth time in five years, the Buffalo Bills are in the playoffs. They’ve been getting better and better, and this year the odds are in their favor.
This was a win. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t pretty either. However, whatever it was ensured that the Bills will play football late into January and I’m all for it. So, let’s take a deep dive into this.
1) Daboll and McDermott have got their fire back
To everyone who’s been watching, the Buffalo Bills offense started slow, then fast, and the very slow again. A big reason for that was the timid way in which McDermott was coaching and the plays Daboll was calling. Last week was a turn around. This week, it’s very clear that the offensive masterminds of last season are well and truly back.
An attempt at a big man TD was exhilarating. Diggs attempting a TD pass gave me life. But the biggest and best part about this offense is their ability to adjust at the half. (Finally!!) Far too many times this season they’ve come out of the locker room making the same mistakes as the first half. Not this time.
Allen was struggling. I’m still not quite clear on what it was. The only plausible explanation I have is the weather conditions. The snow made that ball really slick so his throws were coming out a little wonky. To counter this, those behind the scenes guys put their head together and decided to abandon the air game and stick to the ground. They have a RB they trust and a physical QB, a perfect combination.
Singletary had a 100-yard rushing game for the first time since 2019. And, to make it even better, he had two TDs as well. Additionally, Allen rushed for 81 yards and two TDs and Moss rushed for 39 yards. It seems almost illegal for Buffalo to have an effective run game and yet here we are, just in time for the playoffs. This was a really good game plan and, for the first time in weeks, I’m stupidly confident in the Bills’ ability to go all the way.
2) Devin Singletary is God
I said in the preseason that Singletary would be RB1. Now, just before the season finale, he’s proving me right. This guy has been stellar and I’m so glad that he’s having all this trust put in him.
Singletary had a career high 110 rushing yards yesterday. This brings him to a career high 782 rushing yards on the season. He put the team and his back and said, “I can do this, gimme the rock”. Then, he went out and did just that. His two TDs were just the icing on the cake. I really cannot stress enough how great this guy was. I loved everything he did.
This RB might not be Derrick Henry or Jonathan Taylor, but who needs that when Singletary gets the job done? My personal opinion is, if the Bills sort out their offensive line issues (not using a TE and backup RBs even if it does work in the short term), then Singletary can be as explosive as the top RBs in this league. He has one more season to prove that, and he can – and will – do it.
3) Gabriel Davis: The King of Toe Drag Swag
Gabriel Davis has been a human highlight reel for his whole two seasons. Every time he takes the field, I just know he’s going to do something fun. And he never disappoints. No one is a better toe tapper in the league than this guy and, in this game, he once again proved why.
It’s third and 10, Davis is wide open and makes an impressive catch along the sideline, but it’s ultimately rules incomplete. McDermott, in all his wisdom, throw his challenge flag. I’m so glad he did because this, in my opinion, is the best play of Davis’ career to date. This catch accounted for 10 of Davis’ 40 receiving yards on the day. I have seen few WRs who can do what he does. His future is bright in Buffalo.
4) Stefon Diggs is Spider-Man
Let me explain. I’m convinced Diggs has spidey senses. The awareness he has when he gets the ball is amazing. Even whilst the ball is in the air, he’s already turning his head clocking exactly where the defenders are and where they’re heading. Then Diggs does as Diggs does.
He led the Bills with 52 receiving yards. Every time he caught the ball, he gained a handful of yards in the most graceful fashion. He spun and danced his way around defenders, making sure that Allen can always trust him. Diggs is Spidey and no one can tell me otherwise.
5) This defensive line is hungry
The Buffalo Bills defense may not be the league leaders in sacks. In fact, if the season ended at 17 weeks this year, they would have five less sacks (33) than last season (38). So what is it about this DL that gives the defense more character?
These guys are big and nasty. They’re capable of pressuring the QB in ways that the Bills have not been able to since 2017. This is a big help to the secondary, which is why the Bills had the best rated defense for weeks. They’ve now dropped two places. Still, not a bad position to be in at all.
Matt Ryan was sacked five times for 28 yards. One by Groot, whose last sack was Patrick Mahomes all the way back in Week 5. This one led to a forced fumble, recovered by the Bills, which Allen and Co. then converted into the Bills’ second TD of the game. A pretty good day for the rookie.
He obviously has a great teacher in Ed Oliver, who, after an Allen pick, sacked Ryan and knocked the ball loose from Davis. He single-handedly forced the Falcons to punt, stopping them from potentially leading the Bills by two scores. Four different defensive linemen sacked Ryan in Sunday’s game. All are hungry. All want a piece of glory. They all seem to be putting in the work to be the best defensive unit in the NFL.
I didn’t find much wrong with this game. Yes, it was frustrating before the half to see our beloved Buffalo Bills seemingly struggle mostly because, in previous games, this teams has buckled under the pressure and gave up before coming out of the locker room. Not this time. The offensive came out with a brand new game plan, and the defensive refused to let the Falcons score, not even a FG.
This gives me great confidence for their playoff chances. They’ve had issues these past few weeks. But now they’ve won three in a row, clinched a playoff berth, and proven they can make the necessary adjustments.
Buffalo Bills by a Billion.