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  1. As I recall Vosean didn't shine in camp or preseason. The word on him was inconsistent: terrific plays mixed with blown coverages and overrun plays. Also small. Probably no coincidence they stashed him on IR. I don't think Bean would assume he can start next year; more likely he'll be allowed to compete with a FA and/or mid-round draft pick. But you never know. If they get a pass rusher and top WR in free agency and draft a WR in the first round, they could go for a OLB in the second round.
  2. It's normal, even inevitable, to foreground the negative when your team loses. But they could easily have won, not just because they were the better team (as the OP points out), but that they played better, too. The difference was the home crowd. I don't think it was Texans adjusting at halftime or even the Bills being too conservative overall, but rather the crowd getting into it after the Watt sack and Houston feeding off that energy. If you've ever played a sport before a big crowd you know how that can pump you up and make you a better player. Conversely, it's hard to keep your play strong when you sense the momentum shifting, such as after Allen's fumble. The refs are human, and they, too, were inevitably influenced by the crowd. (This isn't empty speculation: the phenomenon has been documented. See Scorecasting by Tobias Moskowitz, for example.) In other words, play this game at home or at a neutral site, and the Bills win. So Bills fan should temper their emotions with a dose of rationality. The Bills don't suck, Allen isn't a bust, and the coaches aren't any dumber than any of the other playoff coaches. (Good god, can you imagine the grief the Houston coaches would have gotten for going for it on fourth down and basically snatching defeat (or OT) from the jaws of victory?). They're fine. I think the lesson here is not be less conservative overall but be less conservative in spots, like going for it on fourth down in at least two occasions (not the fourth and 27!).
  3. Yet people are criticizing Daboll's running-play calls on second down in the fourth quarter. He must shake his head. A game of inches and either you're a genius or an idiot, for exactly the same body of work. Anyway, Singletary is terrific and a key building block on offense. They're pretty close, just a WR, backup RB and maybe RT away, along with better depth. This would have been a different season with just one more competent WR.
  4. I agree that he jumped too early but not that it was a bad throw. It was exactly on the money. Those kinds of drops and non-catches have plagued Allen all year, contributing to the "Allen isn't accurate" trope. Smurf receivers with bad hands backed up by practice squad players, that's what Allen has had all year. Is it any wonder he tries to do too much? Who else is going to make a play for him?
  5. So all the good or incredible things the Bills did--the touchdown call, the huge screen to Singletary, Allen's incredible across-the-body throw on the run, the beautiful pass to Williams in the end zone, the seven sacks, shutting down one of the best WRs in the game, all the excellent plays and calls and stops are mere givens. Praising or savoring them amounts to giving out "participation trophies," as is the mere fact that the Bills got to the playoffs at all with that thin offense. Not enough! You're like a spoiled kid. "The ice cream is too melty!! And it's the wrong flavor!" Yes, it hurts they couldn't close the deal, but "heads should roll"? Spit on players that fought their hearts out and gave us an incredibly exciting season? What's wrong with you?
  6. He did well for a practice-squad player, which is what he is and should be on most NFL rosters. On the Bills', he should have been active all year, which underlines how much the Bills needed that last piece. A few weeks ago here I wondered if Beane and McDermott were surprised at this run and wished they had added that last key player, and I was assured this wasn't the case, that the current roster was all part of the process. That was the Koolaid talking. I think they were surprised and did regret not adding somebody better than Foster and Williams (i.e, virtually any warm body). No blame: great they did better than anyone expected. The cruelty here is that they and Allen are enduring scorn across the league--and on this board--for not doing WAY WAY better than expected (one way is not enough). I mean, Allen was came into the league as raw as any QB ever, probably, and he takes the team to the playoffs in his second year with only two receivers and a rookie tight end. Duke Williams is the Carwell Gardner or Keith McKellar of this offense, a guy everyone desperately wants to be good and is simply not.
  7. This is fair. It's just that we saw Michael Vick and RG III do much the same and receive the same hype and then fade into oblivion. Also (speaking for myself), adulation is annoying. Living in Brady country, I hear it all the time. In place of cool, objective analysis commentators try to outdo each other praising the Patriots and especially Brady. I suppose jealousy is another factor: I wouldn't mind Allen getting more love. Finally, I sincerely believe Jackson will be figured out soon. As a fan wrote on the Ravens board, the Bills made the Ravens look like they had a gimmick offense. I do think he's more gifted as a runner than Vick, RG III, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young and others, but he's nowhere near as good a passer as the top QBs in the league. Yeah, yeah, 36 tds, etc., but, as many people have pointed out, virtually all of these are based on his scrambling or fear of his scrambling. That's to his and the Ravens' credit, but it suggests that if you shut down his running, take away the middle-field throws to his tight ends and force him to throw outside, his effectiveness will diminish, maybe a lot. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy watching him embarrass defenses (besides the Bills) trying to stop him.
  8. Jackson deserves the MVP award probably, or at least he deserves strong consideration, but I think defenses will figure him out soon, likely following the Bills approach. He could well be just another guy in two years. Maybe even in the playoffs. We had this discussion when the Bills played the Ravens: contain him in the pocket, take away his tight ends and score more than 20 points. If teams can do that to him consistently, he's not a great QB, or even a very good one.
  9. Metcalf was still available when we took Cody Ford, so him instead of Ford is probably the relevant comparison. My take is that short term, Metcalf would have been the better pick. Long term, can't say yet. Ford looks like a keeper, though.
  10. What worries me is that Nsekhe will be out and Watt will be in, meaning Lee Smith will be helping Cody Ford, meaning at least two or three drives will be killed by holding penalties. I'm also worried about Levi Wallace being out and Will Fuller being in. What gives me hope is that the team is clutch and the coaches prepare the players well. Simply, it could go either way. An edge to them on paper with the injuries and home field advantage, but the overall advantage to the Bills because they have more heart.
  11. Too bad it's a home game for the Pats, meaning they'll have all the cheats they've undoubtedly installed over the years in the visitor's locker room and elsewhere. They would lose in Tennessee playing, you know, just football.
  12. I agree. It's hard and very risky to conspire with refs, much easier to do the "little" things we're talking about here. It's working because the other teams are naive, or so it appears. McDermott catches Belichick's son closely watching the Bills' punt unit warming up before the first game, when the Patriots block a punt and score a few plays later, the difference in the game. It works to cheat. And it's certainly worth the risk. This Bengals taping episode, for instance: it looks like they're going to get away with it. McDermott "shoos" Belichick Jr. away. Wow, what a penalty for transgressing an unspoken rule. Once you cross that ethical boundary and persuade yourself that it's fine to cheat ("it's only cheating if you're caught"; "if you're not cheating you're losing" etc.) you're only limited by your nerve and resources, and Belichick has plenty of both.
  13. The Patriots got caught cheating twice, with Spygate in 2007 and the inflated balls in 2014, and maybe again this season with the "innocent" filming of the Bengals sideline. So it's not unreasonable to assume they will cheat when and where they think they can get away with it. Yet I don't see any speculation along these lines anywhere. For instance, what's to stop them from installing microphones in the visitors' locker room at Gillette? Or eavesdropping on opposing teams' communications during a game? Or recruiting spies to report on other teams' practices? If you have the will and resources to cheat, the possibilities are endless. Someone here said Madden assumed his opponent was spying on the Raiders' practice before a playoff game and had his team stay after to install different plays. You don't want to get paranoid, but if I'm McDermott I might want to do the same thing, and more.
  14. I think this is right, although I don't think the improvement needs to be dramatic. Steady improvement over the next two-three years will be sufficient with his other qualities--and with the better weapons he will presumably having going forward.
  15. The cliche is that a great quarterback makes the players around him better. Both Brown and Beasley are having career years--with a QB in only his second year. People criticizing Allen are going to feeling foolish real soon.
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