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Virgil

A Few Thoughts about the Dolphins Game, in no particular order

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Watched the game with a friend at the bar today, which didn't let me rewind any plays nor hear the volume.  I figured since it was only the Dolphins, how much could I miss.  Have I said that I'm wrong a lot?  Did I mention that my friend was a Dolphins fan who watched and talked about every single game that wasn't our game?  My restraint was strong.  With that being said....

 

1 - First Half Offense - It's easy to look at the stat line and say the Bills came out flat.  They were able to move the ball close enough to get into field goal range three times, but things were off.  To me, I blame the playcalling more than the players.  It seemed like Daboll decided to get cute and bust out all of his mis-direction plays against the lowly Dolphins.  Due to poor execution, drops, and the Dolphins pass rush (yeah, that was a thing), the Bills never got into an offensive rhythm.  In a game where they could have played vanilla and probably gotten the job done, we wanted to be fancy.  One play in particular was a quick slant to Brown, where we decided to add a little play action into it.  That little extra second and motion threw the timing off and the play fell flat.  In addition, we also felt the urge to keep calling QB rush plays.  For the life of me, I don't get that at all when you're trying to protect your QB.  But hey, what do I know?

 

2 - Dolphins Pass Rush - The School of Hoodie showed up this week as we saw very similar defensive formations that the Patriots run.  Many plays had 7-8 Dolphins defensive players standing around the line of scrimmage.  Then, after the snap, they'd delay for a second to try and confuse Allen as to who was in coverage or rushing him.  On more than one play, they only ended up rushing 3 guys, but all from one side.  They'd get right to Allen while the entire right side of our line is just standing there with nothing to do.  We adjusted in the second half, but I'm concerned at how long it took us to adjust.  I also wonder if this is something other teams will pick up on that we have a problem with.

 

3 - First Half Defense - I want to get the ugly out of the way, so just two more.  I don't know if I should give more credit to Fitz and the offense or, like our offense, think the whole team came out flat.  We generate zero pass rush in the first half.  We also jumped in the time machine to last year and forgot how to tackle.  We got absolutely gashed in the running game.  Fitz was finding open spots in our zone all over the place.  Overall, their offense was carving us up and if you didn't know the records of who was playing, you'd think we were going to get beaten badly when it was all over. 

 

4 - We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. We're gonna get 'em on the run boys and once we get 'em on the run we're gonna keep 'em on the run. And then we're gonna go go go go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goal line! This is a team they say is...good; well I think we're better than them. They can't Hit us. So what do you say men?

 

5 - Knox - Every player needs that game in their career to grow from.  Let's hope this was that game.  Knox truly looked like a rookie today in both blocking and with drops.  In the first game back where you'd expect Kroft to take some snaps from him, Knox was pleasantly targeted more, but couldn't make the most of them.  He had a big drop in the red zone where he was wide open.  He was either anticipating a hit, but I think he was already running in his mind with the ball.  Either way, poor game for the kid but I expect him to bounce back.

 

6 - Allen - Many have been asking for the deep shots and he took two of them.  Unfortunately, he overshot both of them by at least 5 yards and they both would have been touchdowns.  It's a little concerning as he hasn't hit one yet this season.  Fortunately, based off last year, we know he can hit them.  I'm not going to pay much attention to his first half as the whole offense was bad.  In the second half, he was pretty much perfect and didn't suffer his normal 3rd quarter meltdown.  He was strong in the 4th like usual and had a great touchdown pass to Brown.  Today wasn't flashy for Allen, but I'd put his game overall on par with his Titans performance.  My only real concern for Allen at this point is wondering if this is the extent of his capabilities.  Is he capable of taking a game over?  I think it's possible and I'm not writing it off yet.  But I'd hope we'd have seen more of that by now.

 

7 - Brown - It's easy to call out skill position players when they produce, but I think Brown is in the conversation for biggest offseason pickup for the team.  His hands are much better than I realized (while Beasley's are a little worse) and he seems to be gelling well with Allen.  He did a great job with his match-ups today and his final stat line was strong.  He's be a bargain and I was surprised to see that today was his first touchdown since the opener.  Had Allen hit him on the deep ball, he'd be one of the top receivers on the day.  Great route running, adjusts when Allen scrambles, and fantastic hands.  I'm extremely happy he decided to give us another chance.

 

8 - Special Teams - Two games in a row where this unit showed up well today.  Hausch-money was, well...money.  Bojo was consistent and pinned a few inside the 20.  Kickoff coverage was strong and Roberts got to make a few returns.  Overall, while not spectacular, it's really good to see some consistency from this unit as things were shaky at best in the beginning.  Micah's TD return on the onside kick was beautiful.  I don't know how he kept his balance.  I'm not going to hold the fake field goal against them as it seemed like we were prepared for it in both formation and the right personal, but just didn't execute defensively.

 

9 - Tre - Defensive MVP today with both the interception and the forced fumble.  He gave up some passes today with some soft zone, but man did he make the difference today.  The int was more Tre than it was Fitz and was a massive game changing play.  Then, when we still weren't sure if we could stop their offense, the fumble really put the game away for us.  It's good to see him get some turnovers going and add to his already impressive resume.  Good thing we have a lot of cap space because we are going to need it.

 

10 - McD - I'm not going to complain about 5-1 but I am concerned with how we started this game against an inferior team coming off the bye week.  In each game this season, we seem to play up or down to the level of the team we are facing.  We haven't established an offensive identity yet and the stat about us having the most pre-snap penalties in the NFL is scary.  No matter what, McD has us in every game and I don't think that's going to stop this season.  But we are getting to the point where we should be seeing more growth in this offense than we are getting.  Either way, again, 5-1 is great.  However, my BBFS is flaring up as I dread the possibility of 5-2 with our history.

 

Side Points:

-Refs: Some crap phantom holds and the RTP on Lawson was BS

-Lots of talk about how many sacks Oliver would get this game.  Still sitting on a goose egg 6 games into the season.  (Yeah, I'm not counting that play as a sack.  Disagree all you want)

-I really wish the camera would have followed the ball when Josh threw it after the 2 point conversion.  I saw the video later.

-Was Phillips too busy celebrating after his strip sack of Fitz to realize the ball was out?

-Where was Singletary and Kroft in this game?  Seemed like a lot of waiting with little payoff

 

 

We dodged the letdown game and didn't let Fitz get a win against his former team.  Even though his beard was gloriously distracting.  Here's hoping Milano gets healthy as we'll need him against the Eagles TE's next week.

 

Go Bills!

Edited by Virgil
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Bills were  facing the third straight team on their schedule that runs a version of the Pats* defense. The players milling around the line was no surprise. I’m not sure how many teams that don’t run that D will deviate from their system to try it. 

Edited by Boatdrinks

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2 minutes ago, Boatdrinks said:

Bills were  facing the third straight team on their schedule that runs a version of the Pats* defense. The players milling around the line was no surprise. I’m not sure how many teams that don’t run that D will deviate from their system to try it. 

 

That have that many guys standing at the line like that, including the D-Lineman?  Who else?  I don't remember the Titans having that many guys on their feet

Edited by Virgil

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1 minute ago, Virgil said:

 

That have that many guys standing at the line like that, including the D-Lineman?  Who else?

Yep. A quirk if the schedule that the Bills faced NE, then TEN and MIA that obviously have connections to NE and roots in that system. They’ve struggles with it, but not sure say Schwartz is gonna deviate from his wide 9 and put that in. Lots of coaches are married to their systems , including the Bills coaches. 

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Real good observations. That said, Im saying the first half we played down to their level. Played back to our level in the second and we won. 5-1 and we are moving foward.

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4 minutes ago, fansince88 said:

Real good observations. That said, Im saying the first half we played down to their level. Played back to our level in the second and we won. 5-1 and we are moving foward.

 

You might be right.   I just remember quite a few plays where we seemed to be trying to trick them before even trying to just line up and shove it down their throat

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17 minutes ago, Boatdrinks said:

Bills were  facing the third straight team on their schedule that runs a version of the Pats* defense. The players milling around the line was no surprise. I’m not sure how many teams that don’t run that D will deviate from their system to try it. 

 

The D looks the Titans gave the Bills were very different overall.  They did run one blitz where the blocking assignments were totes screwed up.  Cover1 featured it and thinks the fault was Allens.  

 

Whatever, the O line breakdowns against blitz from several teams are very concerning to me and I hope our offensive brain trust gets together to figure it out.  We’re putting too much on film for other teams to exploit.

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1 minute ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

The D looks the Titans gave the Bills were very different overall.  They did run one blitz where the blocking assignments were totes screwed up.  Cover1 featured it and thinks the fault was Allens.  

 

Whatever, the O line breakdowns against blitz from several teams are very concerning to me and I hope our offensive brain trust gets together to figure it out.  We’re putting too much on film for other teams to exploit.

Yeah, there’s some variation. The roots for their Ds  are in the Belichick system though. I agree it’s troubling , and teams are going to continue to send blitzes until they handle it. Not sure if theyre going to have players standing up around the line, but they won’t be afraid to blitz. It’s a major problem on offense right now. 

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Just now, Virgil said:

 

You might be right.   I just remember quite a few plays where we seemed to be trying to trick them before even trying to just line up and shove it down their throat

 

I need to hit the film, but that was my sense also - Daboll thought it would be a great game to break out some gadgets.  

 

The thing that has to be remembered is that not only Flores, but his OC O’Shea and his DC Graham came from the Pats and overlapped with Daboll.  O’Shea was the WR coach while Daboll was the TE coach.  It’s not much of a stretch to think that they understand how Daboll thinks pretty well.

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We call lots of QB runs because Allen is a great runner and a big guy, and one of the best running QB’s in the NFL and his passing is much worse comparatively to his peers.

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I have said this before, but I didn’t have a problem with the play calling. Game looks a lot different if Knox doesn’t drop that one ball, or we make a third down conversion. Guys have to make plays. 

 

That said, I get the OP point that maybe conceptually it would have been better to, for example, Just go heavy all game and try to run it down the Dolphins’ throats.

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The Bills won...and yet 9 penalties for 83 yards.

 

ToP Miami 33:31 vs Buffalo 26:29. 

 

First downs Miami Passing 13, Buffalo 10. First downs rushing Miami 8, Buffalo 5. 

 

Total yards Mami 381, Buffalo 305. 

 

I wonder the difference if Christian Wilkens doesn't throw that punch...

 

 

Those penalties remind me of a Rex Ryan team and simply shouldn't be happening on a well disciplined team.  In my view the Bills are so much better than how they played against Miami. I hope they play better against the Eagles. 

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8 minutes ago, Nihilarian said:

The Bills won...and yet 9 penalties for 83 yards.

 

ToP Miami 33:31 vs Buffalo 26:29. 

 

First downs Miami Passing 13, Buffalo 10. First downs rushing Miami 8, Buffalo 5. 

 

Total yards Mami 381, Buffalo 305. 

 

I wonder the difference if Christian Wilkens doesn't throw that punch...

 

 

Those penalties remind me of a Rex Ryan team and simply shouldn't be happening on a well disciplined team.  In my view the Bills are so much better than how they played against Miami. I hope they play better against the Eagles. 


I think half the penalties were BS honestly.  I didn’t see a lot of poor discipline by the Bills

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Great observations from the OP.  

1 hour ago, Virgil said:

I don't know if I should give more credit to Fitz and the offense or, like our offense, think the whole team came out flat.

Watching that first half just reminded me that Fitz-Magic is a real thing.  Fortunately, it's a fleeting thing.  During the 2nd half we did a better job of adjusting and bottling him and the running attack up.  It seemed like the Phins were playing with a lot of pride, and that can be enough to win an NFL game.    

Overall, I am concerned that our offense couldn't deliver the blowout it should have, but we did enough to win.  Keep doing just enough to win...my blood pressure can take it. Go Bills!

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5 minutes ago, Virgil said:


I think half the penalties were BS honestly.  I didn’t see a lot of poor discipline by the Bills

At least one of those 1st half offensive holding penalties was a phantom call (the one on dawkins i believe.) either way though 9 is a bit much; you’d like to see that number lower.

 

The defense was softer up the middle today. Not sure why; miami’s O-line is pretty trash. 
 

not saying anything about the offense. Too sensitive a subject for some. But you nailed it in your OP.

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Nice job as usual Virgil

 

The first half fg's where due to a couple of holding penalties and a dropped pass by Knox that would of set up first and goal.  

 

Defense showed how much Milano means to this defense as Alexander his replacement struggled.  Wallace was not having a good day as well.

 

Lot of people are mentioning third quarter woes again but the one possession we had ended in the fourth quarter td to Brown.  Really impressive drive there when the defense really needed it after an eight minute drive by the phins that White saved them on with the pick.

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8 minutes ago, JoPar_v2 said:

The defense was softer up the middle today. Not sure why; miami’s O-line is pretty trash. 

 

Yep.  Except for the secondary, the entire defense was flat today.  And against a weak O-line and a quarterback who gets the ball away quickly , why weren't we blitzing?

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I too am concerned with the designed Allen runs. I have to wonder at this point if they think the best play comes from josh when he’s running and gunning. Ya know best way to get him pumped up and in the game after ripping a run and getting hit. 
And I really like Jordan Phillips and he makes some impact plays, but it’s really concerning that some of these big plays are immediately followed by something incredibly dumb. Famous saying is what? Act like you’ve been there before. In the end though, we are off to a near perfect start and primed to make a playoff push and be a scary team to play for some of the favorites. 

4 minutes ago, Formerly Allan in MD said:

 

Yep.  Except for the secondary, the entire defense was flat today.  And against a weak O-line and a quarterback who gets the ball away quickly , why weren't we blitzing?

I was yelling for some blitzes. Definitely missed Milano out there today next to tremaine 

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I too did not like the play calling from Daboll in the first half. Stop trying to be so clever and use our strengths.

 

Why was Singletary used so sparingly?

 

I don't like the designed QB running plays either. Particularly the draw plays up the middle. I'm fine with the QB sweep, because Allen has blockers in front of him.

 

I re-watched the play of Jordan Phillips' sack and he did not get up to celebrate. Looked like he was trying to find the ball and was unaware that Fitzy had recovered it.

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good write up! pretty much what i saw point for point as well.

 

what is going on with singletary and this system? id say they are holding him back due to the hammy but its been exactly how they use him this season...sparingly. overall i thought we had success running then go straight to a empty set? if you want identity it def pass first sprinkle in a bit of run to change it up. and 1 of the sprinkles is motor. am i wrong? we ran alot to kill clock so cant tell by attempts.

 

im with you Phillips strip sack...rolls over the ball sitting on it..then forgets that its there? strange play but guy is hitting a different gear and it will be hard to not offer a extention but he wont want depth money.

 

really hoping knox gets it together. its been a long time since we had a game changing te. hes in the right places at the right time and has to finish the play. jugs machine is your friend.

 

lets be honest. we have played alot of bad teams and have had to climb out of a self inflicted hole in alot of these games. allen said they were rusty coming out. if we are going to compete against some of the better teams we have to look prepared and play that way all game. but the big bright spot was allen didnt hand a turnover to them and the defense did not have to play lights out to save the O while they stalled out. they both struggled and both turned it around when they had to. happy with the W regardless.

 

tre white. the guy was a great draft selection! every game he proves it.

Edited by Buffarukus
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1 hour ago, BringBackOrton said:

We call lots of QB runs because Allen is a great runner and a big guy, and one of the best running QB’s in the NFL and his passing is much worse comparatively to his peers.

Singletary and Gore are great runners also, how about giving them 14 to 15 carries each? 

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7 minutes ago, Mark Vader said:

I too did not like the play calling from Daboll in the first half. Stop trying to be so clever and use our strengths.

 

Why was Singletary used so sparingly?

 

I don't like the designed QB running plays either. Particularly the draw plays up the middle. I'm fine with the QB sweep, because Allen has blockers in front of him.

 

I re-watched the play of Jordan Phillips' sack and he did not get up to celebrate. Looked like he was trying to find the ball and was unaware that Fitzy had recovered it.

 

really? i was telling my girlfriend phillips is so big he cant feel the ball cause it looked like he sat on it a sec. i dont remember him even looking for the ball cause he stood right up after. ill see if i can find a replay because i thought the same thing. 

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