1) Man, I gotta stop picking against the Bills. I can’t recall a time when they have made me look this foolish during anytime in the drought. I felt this was a terrible match-up against them with all the injuries to the secondary and the Raiders edge rushers. Instead, the Bills turned the tables on the Raiders and put together their best team effort of the season. They did it with defense, a strong running game, and Tyrod just being great when he has to be. Beating a team that went 12-4 last year by 20 points is a big deal.
2) I’m inching closer and closer to trusting the process. Yes, the Bills have made some moves that I’ve questioned (Dareus/Watkins deal), but right now they are 5-2 and my questions are getting answered with how they are so much better off than they have been in years. As someone tweeted during the game, if these were the injuries to last year’s bunch, they would have been racing for the bus by halftime. These guys are believing in the kool-aid that McDermott is making them drink.
I always joke about how culture mixed in with blue collar work ethic can be bullshit and nothing more than lazy writing, but these guys believe in that. Football can be a sport where mentality and chemistry are things that are ultra-important. Sometimes you need that mad scientist to make you believe and give you a plan. How many times has a player spit out the McDermott cliches? Like, all of them! He’s accentuating the positives of this team while hiding their weaknesses.
3) Just another 3+ takeaway game for the Bills. It is their 4th straight game they have done that and first time since 2004 they’ve done it 4 straight times. If you want me to list reasons why they are winning, the turnover ratio is near the top. If you are forcing at least 3 turnovers a game, you are going to win games. This tends to be a stat that does really worry me for them to keep up. Still, they are forcing turnovers against top-notch offensive teams, so, it isn’t like the competition sucks.
4) Funny what happens when you start playing rush defenses that weren’t in the top 10. That’s what happened the first 6 weeks of the season when the Bills faced off against 4 teams who ranked in the top 10 in rush defense. The Raiders/Bucs have been suspect against the run and the Bills took full advantage. McCoy had his 2nd best outing as a Bill with 151 yards on 5.6 yards per carry.
- Last 2 games, McCoy has 242 yards rushing and 3TDs.
- First 5 games, McCoy had 279 yards rushing and zero TDs.
5) Let’s give it up to our boy Tyrod Taylor. Efficient is the word of the day with Tyrod. He completes a high percentage of passes and can make that elite throw when called upon. He may not be what you want with being Drew Brees, but he makes plays that those guys can’t. It is called working your feet to avoid the rush and buying time so your below average WRs can get open. Go watch his TD throw to Holmes if you don’t know what I mean.
6) The Raiders had 367 yards in total offense, but they really did it on just two drives. Their scoring drives were 75 and 81. The rest of their 9 drives culminated in just 211 yards. The Bills really didn’t get much pressure on Carr – who is very fast with getting rid of the ball – but their secondary put pressure on the WRs with their physical brand of football. The Bills had 8 passes defended today. Hell, safety Trae Elston (Who?) lead the team in tackles with 11. Give this coaching staff credit. They turned what appeared to be a chicken shit secondary today into chicken salad.
7) Unless the Bills are going to get a #1 WR and a pick, they are foolish to trade Cordy Glenn. After today’s win, I can kind of understand – in a kicking and screaming way – why they traded Dareus (They hated each other), but why would you do this to a LT that F’N shutdown Khalil Mack? I mean, he dominated him. Plus, I don’t think it is an accident the Bills have found their running game since he came back. Just chill out and wait until the season ends. You have the running game and pass protection running very efficiently and you are 5-2. Let’s just chill on jettisoning EVERY pick you didn’t make. When healthy, Glenn makes a difference.
Sacks given up:
- First 5 games: 18
- Last 2 games: 1
8) In quarters 2 and 3, the Raiders ran 23 plays for 93 yards. In the 3rd quarter alone, the Raiders ran 6 plays for 6 yards and had the ball for 2:05. Seriously, I thought the Raiders were going to walk all over us after the 1st quarter. They just went into a shell.
9) It is your weekly “where the hell did this guy come from?” portion of the piece. Outside of Rob Quinn and Rich Fann, who would have thought Matt Milano would be this effective at LB? He’s making plays in the pass defense and always seems to have a good nose for the ball. I know I give tons of shit to Andre Holmes, but he balled out today. He made some pretty catches with keeping his feet in bounds.
10) Happy we went through a game where Zay Jones didn’t have any drops. I’m hoping he keeps this up and he gets over those struggles he had for this season.
11) Note: If you want a negative free piece…go to #12...I’ve been toying with writing a piece about comparing this team to the 2008/2011 teams through 7 games, but I really don’t want to start crying. Also, I’m busy with work stuff. Look, I’m going to be scared because I haven’t been able to get over the past. I’ve had my heart broken numerous times during these fast starts. It is amazing that teams have a 73% chance of making the playoffs at 5-2 (since 1995), but of course, the Bills have had two stints where they didn’t make it when we were getting punch drunk on Dick Jauron and Chan Gailey’s cliches. There are some parallels, especially with 2011.
2011 had the scrappy bunch of no-names that came out of nowhere, a defense that was forcing turnovers (18 through 7 games), a top tier running back, trading their franchise WR in August (Lee Evans), and a QB making the most out of poor WR talent pool. Then shit went to hell. And who did they face and lose to after their 5-2 start? THE JETS!!! OK. Breathe Joe. It may not be the same…but, the same people who are telling you it is different from 2011, are the same people who said 2011 was different from 2008. The same people who said that they knew those seasons were going to go straight to hell after being 5-2 are also liars.
Bottom line: You may get me to trust the process, but I’m blaming the past for being a little queasy about trusting playoffs.
12) In 7 of his last 12 starts, Tyrod Taylor has over a QB rating of 100.
13) Micah Hyde’s 5 interceptions are tied for the 3rd most through the first 7 games in franchise history. What a find.
14) Final word: This has been a whole lot of fun. I can’t believe the Bills are 5-2. Every time an injury or trade happens, I question whether they are crazy or stupid. Well, they are stupidly good right now.
Outside of the Peterman fan club, I’m thrilled most of Buffalo Twitter is happy for a change. This is much better than talking tanking or draft picks. Thursday’s game is huge. If you want cynical fans like me to kill off the ghosts of 2008/2011, win this game. If you want to be considered a playoff team, beat the Jets.