10) Are the Bills playoff bound? No.
Sorry boys, but all the stitches in the world couldn’t sew this offense back again. Why? Because the lifeblood is gone. The skill guys who were a part of making it a top 10 scoring offense are in ER or LA. The Bills defense is as stoic as it gets, but this offense is a train wreck. It is not just one thing, but a multitude of issues:
- The Bills have just 8TDs on the year which is tied for 30th in the NFL.
- The Bills are 28th in yards per carry at 3.37. It is the 5th fewest through club history and lowest since 2003 after 5 games.
- The Bills have scored the 9th fewest points in the league.
- The Bills are 31st in total yards -1,358 yards- and 7th fewest in team history through 5 games.
- The Bills are 26th in passing yards and have given up the 4th most sacks.
- The Bills have had the 10th most runs that have resulted in 2 yards or fewer.
This is bowling shoe ugly. Everyone is to blame for this offensive mess. To me, I just don’t see the offense picking up with all the injuries and the defense holding teams to what they have been doing. If the Bills could get their running game going, I could buy 8-10 wins. But right now, the offense can’t do shit. I know the AFC seems to be in a transition period, but when you have to rely on other teams to be worse than you, that’s not a good sign.
9) Is the Bills defense for real? Yes.
The Bills defense has been a classic bend but don’t break defense. They are 14th in yards given up, but are 3rd in points allowed. The system has worked to perfection as it proves how big of a buffoon the Ryan Brothers were. They are doing it by the following:
- Forcing turnovers (10 takeaways-4th best)
- Getting sacks (12 sacks-13th best)
- 3rd in points allowed (14.8PPG)
- 1st in TDs allowed (6TDs)
- 9th in Yards per carry (3.59)
- 1st in TD passes allowed (2)
- 3rd in opp. QB rating (65.4)
The remarkable thing is their front 4 is getting pressure on the QB without Dareus and doing it with their DL rotation. The secondary has been very aggressive in pass coverage. They’ve also done it against the last two NFL MVPS in Cam Newton and Matt Ryan. The only red flag I would give is that they seem to be suspect with over the middle passing plays. They have given up an average of 8.32 yards per completion on passes over the middle, which ranks 12th most in the league. When it comes to the sidelines, they are allowing just 6.32 yards per completion which is the 9th fewest.
8) What has been the best thing about McBeane? Defensive acquisitions
I was unmoved basically when the Bills signed Poyer/Hyde, but the duo have been lights out. Poyer/Hyde look like the best safety tandem right now in the NFL. Hyde and Poyer have 6 INTs between them and rank in the top 6 in INTs for safeties (Poyer-6th/Hyde-4th). Tre White has basically been what Ronald Darby was as a rookie. The guy who you can’t believe is this good when you consider where he was drafted. White has the most Passes defended for a DB in the league with 11. He’s also showed a lot of a bounce back to his game. At certain times he’s been burned, but never seems to let it effect him for the long term duration of the game.
7) Do the Bills regret trading Sammy Watkins? Yes.
Yes, I know he’s been very inconsistent in LA (Note: He got there a month before season, so, there’s bound to be some growing pains) but you have to understand that when you have a WR like Sammy who you have to worry about, it opens up other weapons. Please google what the Rams stats were last year and how shitty Jared Goff and Todd Gurley were. They were BAD. Yet, the Rams went out and got more offensive players (Woods/Watkins) to take the pressure off those guys. The Rams are the 2nd highest scoring team in the NFL right now. It is a byproduct of better scheme, more offensive players around them, and experience. Individual Talent tends to accentuate the positives of a team.
Now, I was 50/50 on trading Watkins back in August. I understood it in terms of getting more picks and maybe them not wanting to pay him, BUT, if you were to tell me the Bills would be 3-2 and had beaten the Broncos/Falcons and came within an offensive play or 2 for being 5-0, I would have said don’t trade him or wait. A part of me wonders if the Bills brass underestimated how they would do this year and that’s why they traded Sammy. I still think they were on the “shhhhhh” quietly rebuild train in the off-season. The defense and some Tyrod flashes against DEN/ATL have thrown a wrench in that 4-12 pipe dream. Right now the Bills pass catchers are in shambles. Mike Rodak had a few gems about the WR corps:
That’s deplorable. And if Sammy was here, that’s not happening.
6) What is the biggest factor in the Bills running game demise? Scheme
When Eric Wood was on WGR this past week, they asked him about the scheme being a factor in the demise of the running game, and he basically said it was a bit of a factor in it. And when he went to give credit to Dennison, it was because he started calling more pull plays…which is what they did a lot last year. That’s a bit of a red flag for me when your center is that candid.
Now, I’ve seen a lot of “teams don’t respect Tyrod Taylor and they are crowding the line of scrimmage and that’s why the running game is struggling.” I buy a little of that, BUT, was Tyrod lighting up last year in the passing game? Not really. He’s about 20 yards fewer per game from 201 to 182. And the Bills still ran the ball effectively when Sammy was out of the line up last year. Now, they have played 4 teams in the top 15 in rush defense. So, maybe that’s a factor. There’s also the poor change of pace running back situation they have since Tolbert sucks and they relied on Karlos Williams/TD Mike the last two seasons.
But to me, I think scheme doesn’t fit. In a zone blocking scheme, you want light offensive lineman who are quick. I always remember hearing how those Broncos OL in the late 90s and early 2000s were the lightest in the NFL. The Bills have maulers up front who aren’t fast, but fat. I think that’s also why they may not be in love with Glenn cause he’s BIG (5th biggest in NFL by weight for OL). Another issue, the Bills aren’t running McCoy out of shotgun enough.
2016: 177 carries out of shotgun for 988 yards (5.58 YPC)
2017: 14 carries for 90 yards (6.4 YPC)
- Jets: 3 carries for 34 yards
- Panthers: 2 carries for 6 yards
- Broncos: 3 carries for 9 yards
- Falcons: 3 carries for 19 yards (Note: a 14 yard gain was wiped away by a holding penalty on a WR)
- Bengals: 3 carries for 22 yards
Um, hello??? When you are averaging 6.4 YPC in shotgun, maybe you should do it more than 3 times in a game? If you want to use the Tyrod lack of respect as the issue, then try running plays out of shotgun more so McCoy can have more space and spread the defense out. Lastly, and more alarming..check out these numbers for McCoy when it comes to rush direction:
- Rushing up the middle-13 carries for 74 yards
- Rushing to left side- 33 carries for 82 yards
- Rushing to right side-39 Carries for 125 yards
5) What have been the worst thing about McBeane? Glenn/Dareus situations
I’ve wasted a lot of energy explaining the Dareus situation on Twitter and on here. To be blunt, I’m sick of it. I don’t like this playing 30% of the snaps they’ve been doing. How on earth is Dareus supposed to get better if he’s hardly playing? Yes, I know, some of you guys hate him and get a hard-on over McDermott being a dick to his star defensive player. This gets constantly lost, but Dareus and OTHER DL/LBs struggled under Ryan’s shitty ass defense. He earned his contract because he was awesome in 2013/2014. Now, he’s been a bit of an idiot off the field and maybe the Bills are trying reverse psychology with him to make him hungrier, but we are almost 1/3 through season and I think you made your point. Also, let’s just say you want to trade him because it is all about his off the field shit (Note: I know the cap would blow up next year if they did, but it ain’t like they got a bunch of people they are going to have to pay for and they have already said they aren’t players in FA), wouldn’t you want to showcase his skills by playing him?
And what in the blue hell is going on with Cordy Glenn? Is he healthy? McDermott has been very coy about where he sees him, just like he’s been with Dareus. I don’t give a fuck what scheme they are using, but there’s no way you should have Dion Dawkins and Jordan F’N Mills playing at tackle over him. What has Glenn done wrong? I know that Twitter cheapskates don’t think he’s worth the money -unless your name is Eric Wood- even though he was pretty stellar from 2012-2016, but there hasn’t been any sort of negative story about him. If he’s not starting out of the bye, then I’m going to start the hashtag of #trustthedictatorship because that’s bullshit. Maybe not having arguably your best OL is why your running game F’N blows right now.
4) Should the Bills look to trade for a WR? Yes.
Look, I’m not asking for them to get someone north of 30, but I’m game to give up a 2nd rounder next year for a WR between 24-28. You have 6 draft picks within the first 3 rounds. Plus, your core guys are a bit long in the tooth, so, why not give them every opportunity to succeed this year since I have a sneaking suspension a few of them (25/95) will be gone next year. It is obvious they are going to address this need next off season since Zay Jones is the only guy under contract. Why not address it now? Is it easier said than done? Of course. But I don’t think this team is going anywhere this year unless they get a legit #2 WR.
3) Have the Bills exceeded expectations? Yes.
Although some of their tactics and McDermott’s boring ass cliches have gotten on my nerves, this franchise was tire fire a year ago. They’ve shown to be at least somewhat competent and have a plan. I wouldn’t say I trust the process yet, but at least they have a process. Of course, when you compare shitty Bills teams from the past, it can be dangerous since the measuring stick should be the rest of the NFL. Still, beating Denver/Atlanta is a feather in your cap. Even though I don’t think they are playoff bound this year, they should get 7 wins which is 3 more than what I thought they would get.
2) Who is the Offensive MVP? Tyrod Taylor
I mean, who else is there? When you consider how the running game has been MIA, you gotta give it to someone. All kidding aside, I felt Tyrod was the best offensive player on the field against Denver and made some great throws in Atlanta. Of course, in his losses he’s struggled. Still, what do you expect? He’s playing with the worst WR core in the NFL and the worst I’ve seen in Bills history. He also has Dion Dawkins and Jordan Mills playing tackle. Again, who are you giving this to on offense? Maybe Charles Clay…who is now out for a month.
1) Who is the defensive MVP? Michah Hyde
He just edges out Poyer/Hughes. The guy has the most INTs in the league. Case closed.