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Shaw66

THE ROCKPILE REVIEW - “Bottom Feeding”

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The Bills had another grind-it-out win against an underperforming team Sunday, stopping the Redskins at New Era Field, 24-9.  There was what’s become the typical collection of encouraging plays and puzzling shortcomings, but in the end the Bills had enough to win comfortably. 

 

In these wins, the Bills are more in control of the game than the score indicates, which is little comfort to fans.  A one-score game in the third quarter is still a one-score game, even if, in retrospect, it seems clear that the Bills were in charge.  No one is comfortable waiting for Tre’Davious White to make his play of the game and seal the victory.

 

Put another way, week after week it becomes clearer that the Bills are not a dominant team.  They’re a team that goes about its business seriously, works hard, comes ready to play and beats teams that can’t or don’t bring the same level of commitment to the field.  They understand well that it’s a long game and in the course of the game some things are going to go badly.   They work hard to keep those bad things from happening, but their real strength is in how they respond to adversity.

 

And so it was on Sunday, when Adrian Peterson was being Adrian Peterson, putting up a Hall of Fame afternoon, at least for a half.  The Bills were in charge on the scoreboard, 17-6, but the fans were restless.  The Bills were ugly in short yardage in the red zone, settling for a long field goal after being first and goal from the two and barely sneaking into the end zone on fourth down after failing three times from the one. 

 

In fact, the Bills were in charge.  At the half, Washington hadn’t found the end zone and wouldn’t for the rest of the day.  It was classic bend-don’t-break defense.   Statistically, many of Washington’s numbers were similar to the Bills, but the Bills wouldn’t let Washington finish.  The Bills got the critical third-down conversions and Washington didn’t (6 of 12 for the Bills, 2 for 11 for the Redskins).   Buffalo finished in the red zone and Washington didn’t (3 for 4 vs. 0 for 2). 

 

Wins or not, these games show off the those areas where the Bills just aren’t good enough yet to be a premier team.  The offensive line, for one.  In the off-season, the Bills signed a collection of marginal NFL linemen, hoping to put together a line that would outperform the 2018 version.  That’s what the Bills got – some journeymen who were better than a pretty bad 2018 starting line, but who are still journeymen.  Cody Ford hasn’t stepped up, Dion Dawkins isn’t dominant, and so the Bills struggle on the line.  Sunday they failed miserably in short yardage.  When asked about it after the game, Sean McDermott essentially said “well, I’ll have to look at the film, but I don’t have to look at the film to know that no one was moving his man off the ball.”  

 

Wide receiver, for another.  After last week’s game, I said the Bills need better playmakers on offense, including more speed.   This week, Duke Williams went to the sidelines and the Bills inserted their speed into the lineup, with McKenzie, Foster and Roberts getting much more playing time.  It didn’t help much.  Brown, Singletary, Knox and Beasley still were the pass catchers; the speed boys didn’t contribute much.

 

And the pass rush, for another.  The Bills recorded four sacks against the Redskins and got occasional good pressure, but the pass rush wasn’t enough to make the rookie uncomfortable in his first start .  He was able to stand in the pocket and complete plenty of passes. 

 

One of the sacks was White’s.  It was a crucial play emotionally for the Bills.  They continued to nurse their one-score lead, unable to manage a lot of offense for themselves.  Washington had the ball deep in their own end, and Bills could use a stop for field position and a chance to put up a field goal to create some breathing room on the scoreboard.  On third and ten, White came off the corner, stayed under control as Haskins tried to escape, and made the tackle, forcing the punt.  Energized, the Bills offense drove for the touchdown that essentially ended the game.

 

White’s sack was a good example of why the Bills’ defense is so good.  Their defensive style isn’t what I’d call aggressive, but they aren’t afraid to change things up.  The safeties are in the offensive backfield often, and the Bills will rush a corner off the slot occasionally, but I don’t recall a true corner blitz all season.   The Redskins had no reason to have prepared for that rush, and the surprise element is what made it so effective, along with White’s flawless execution of the play.

 

Devin Singletary sparkled once again.  Having been elevated to the starting role, he gave the Bills exactly what they’d hoped for:  a big play threat who repeatedly sparked drives with his elusiveness and quickness.  The screen pass was perfectly executed and caught Washington off guard.  Singletary has what Gore lacks – the ability to create something when it appears there’s nothing there.  

 

It was surprising that the Bills had the lead with the half that Adrian Peterson had.  He was unstoppable, plowing into the line and staying upright until something opened up for him.  It wasn’t classic Peterson from earlier in his career, but his strength was always underrated.  It was on display Sunday, play after play. 

 

Once Levi Wallace had Peterson in his sights for a big loss.  They were both upright, face-to-face, with Wallace wrapping his arms around Peterson.  Peterson broke free for a short gain.  A fan behind me yelled “HE’S GOTTA MAKE THAT TACKLE!!!”  Well, yes but that’s not just any running back.  That’s Adrian Peterson, and he’s been doing exactly that for a long time.  There’s no shame in being beaten by Adrian Peterson.

 

Tremaine Edmunds was nowhere to be seen on many of Peterson’s first-half runs.  He was either trapped in the wrong gap or unable to get off one-on-one blocks, left to try to chase down Peterson from behind. 

 

McDermott said after the game that the Bills needed to adjust their run fits to respond to Washington’s running game, and it worked.  Edmunds seemed to become more of a factor in the second half, and Peterson was shut down. 

 

Edmund’s problems in the run game notwithstanding, it’s a thing of beauty to watch him close on running backs and receivers.   His combination of size and speed is awesome, and although his isn’t a big hitter, he’s become a solid tackler.   Impressive dude. 

 

Jordan Phillips was promoted to the starting lineup Sunday, and he didn’t disappoint.  Besides being cheerleader No. 1, Phillips was a disruptive force on multiple plays.  In an injury-conscious league, big hits don’t happen too often any more.  His ferocious sack of Haskins electrified the crowd.

 

And there was Josh Allen.  I’ve said Allen will be a star in the NFL, and I continue to believe it.  The big name draft choices from 2018 are struggling, and Lamar Jackson is outplaying them all, but of the top four, Allen is the only one who seems to be steadily improving and showing signs that he will be elite.  

 

Allen keeps getting better in the pocket, hanging in until he has to move, then moving enough to give him the time to make a quality throw.   His escape and throw through Brown’s hands was almost magical; the ball got on Brown so quickly that he couldn’t handle it.  Brown made amends with a great catch on the sideline a few minutes later on another superb Allen throw.  The touchdown to Beasley was beautifully executed, with Allen in complete control.  The back shoulder throw to Brown up the left sideline was a gem, too.  Allen didn’t throw a lot, but when given the opportunity, he looked like a winner.

 

Ball security obviously is a concern with Allen, as are a half dozen other issues that his coaches see but aren’t obvious to me.  Allen is working and learning, and we continue to see the improvement. 

 

It was a solid win against a struggling team.  Now the schedule gets tougher, and we will see just how well the Bills can play.  The Browns won’t be easy, and the Ravens, Cowboys, Steelers, and Patriots are waiting down the road.  It’s been fun so far, and we’ll see what the next month brings.

 

 

GO BILLS!!!

 

The Rockpile Review is written to share the passion we have for the Buffalo Bills. That passion was born in the Rockpile; its parents were everyday people of western New York who translated their dedication to a full day’s hard work and simple pleasures into love for a pro football team.

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13 minutes ago, Bangarang said:

Bottom feeders are never hungry

they can also be ravenous and dangerous 

 

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Great observations.

 

Appreciate your clarity and honesty, after watching yesterday, it is clear right now Buffalo is not a dominant team, i dont care what record they have.

 

Edmunds is a major concern on running plays, as you point out often in the wrong gap, he is also susceptible to misdirection and has a very difficult time shedding blacks.  He needs to move to the outside, probably a SAM, MLB is not his calling unless it is pass happy team.  Leave him in for obvious passing situations.

 

On the Wallace/Peterson attempted tackle, i cant necessarily blame Wallace for not putting him down, Wallace is a thin CB ad Peterson is an animal.  what Wallace did do was stop him and for PLENTY of time, like to see the film but the pursuit by other Bills was next to non-existent from what I saw.  You stop any guy like that help should be there in a hurry.

 

I  think you were being charitable to Brown,a #1WR in the NFL has to make that catch and he failed.  

Edited by RoyBatty is alive
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2 minutes ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

I  think you were being charitable to Brown,a #1WR in the NFL has to make that catch and he failed.  

Yup, Brown will tell you he has to make that catch, and he does, but I learned a long time ago, listening to receivers in their first year playing with Elway, that it was real adjustment.  The ball arrives faster than any ball you've ever seen, so you aren't quite ready when it arrives, and it goes through your hands faster, so you have less time to react to it.   Receivers said that it often took most of a season to adjust to it.  

 

On that play, it was remarkable how fast the ball got to Brown.  Allen didn't really get set, he was hurried and he wanted to unload it.  The pass flew practically on a straight line, and it looked to me like Brown was ready for it.   

 

You can say Brown's a #1 NFL receiver, but there are practically no NFL #1 receivers who have fastballs coming in like that.  

 

Allen has whistled some past Beasley too.  Beasley talked about it earlier this year, trying to get Allen to take a little off balls that didn't need to be shot out of a cannon.  We saw it on the TD pass to Beasley on Sunday.  I could almost hear Allen saying to himself "no need for mustard, just float it in there."

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Yup, Brown will tell you he has to make that catch, and he does, but I learned a long time ago, listening to receivers in their first year playing with Elway, that it was real adjustment.  The ball arrives faster than any ball you've ever seen, so you aren't quite ready when it arrives, and it goes through your hands faster, so you have less time to react to it.   Receivers said that it often took most of a season to adjust to it.  

 

On that play, it was remarkable how fast the ball got to Brown.  Allen didn't really get set, he was hurried and he wanted to unload it.  The pass flew practically on a straight line, and it looked to me like Brown was ready for it.   

 

You can say Brown's a #1 NFL receiver, but there are practically no NFL #1 receivers who have fastballs coming in like that.  

 

Allen has whistled some past Beasley too.  Beasley talked about it earlier this year, trying to get Allen to take a little off balls that didn't need to be shot out of a cannon.  We saw it on the TD pass to Beasley on Sunday.  I could almost hear Allen saying to himself "no need for mustard, just float it in there."

 

 

You make good counterpoints, i would like to see it again.   I get sick often watching WR from other teams constantly making one handed cicus catches and I am just hoping the Bills dont have any egregious drops.   I think Zay Jones Buffalo tenure was sealed with the Allen selection, i dont think he could adjust to the velocity of the balls and why he dropped so many.  Jones is much better fit with Oakland third sting playing catch with Peterman's rocket arm.

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Great write-up, thanks OP. Singletary's emergence makes me regret questioning the timing of the pick in the draft, and I'm sure Allen's ability to hit on deep play action will also improve in the weeks to come the more that Singletary shows off credible #1 chops running the ball. 

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10 minutes ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

You make good counterpoints, i would like to see it again.   I get sick often watching WR from other teams constantly making one handed cicus catches and I am just hoping the Bills dont have any egregious drops.   I think Zay Jones Buffalo tenure was sealed with the Allen selection, i dont think he could adjust to the velocity of the balls and why he dropped so many.  Jones is much better fit with Oakland third sting playing catch with Peterman's rocket arm.

Good point about Jones.  

 

The two Brown plays, the one he missed and the nice catch on the sideline, were right in front of me, looking down from the upper deck.   The one he missed was placed perfectly.  I mean, EXACTLY where the receiver wants the ball to be.  I saw the throw and was amazed how flat it was - there was no loft on it at all.  I don't recall ever seeing a QB throw a pass that far that flat.   I think some of it was adrenalin - he had just escaped, he saw Brown and he wanted to get it out of his hands.   Brown got his hands up, but there was something about it that looked like he needed a split second more to get ready for it.  It just looked like the ball arrived before he expected it.  He got his hands up, but his fingers weren't quite ready, and then the ball was gone.   

 

It wasn't one of those plays where he looked away, or was afraid he'd get hit, or anything.   It just looked like it surprised him.  

 

Then, a few minutes later, there was the play on the sideline.   You know Brown was thinking "I'm NOT going to miss this one."  The second one didn't have the same velocity, but it was a tougher catch.   Brown's a pro.  

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Shaw, the Bills better continue this feast for the next three weeks because after that Winter is Coming. They’ll need every bit they’ve stored up to make it through until Spring!

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13 minutes ago, SoCal Deek said:

Shaw, the Bills better continue this feast for the next three weeks because after that Winter is Coming. They’ll need every bit they’ve stored up to make it through until Spring!

I can't say I'm optimistic.  9-7 still looks like a realistic outcome.  Not what we're hoping for, but 9-7 is borderline playoffs, and borderline playoffs is about as good as the Bills have looked. 

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In another thread, someone has posted a video of the first pass to Brown - possibly the postgame thread. It sure looks like the ball is there before Brown expects - even though his hands are up, and it gets there in a hurry. I suspect that it may have had a little help from the wind, and that might be why it just seemed to get big on Brown, quickly.

 

As pointed out, it was a harder catch made by Brown just a couple of plays later, in a very similar set of circumstances.

 

I'd agree that the Bills aren't a dominating team, at all. But they could make life an awful lot easier for themselves by not trying to be so blasted cute half the time - particularly on offense, for which I largely blame the OC.

 

Defensively, Edmunds is still a talent, even when he isn't having his best game. He's also still something of a 'man-child', he's so young. I believe that some of his struggles are more a result of gaining experience, than an inability to be a MLB.  People need to remember it's only his 2nd year also, and he's got almost as much responsibility defensively, as Allen has for the Offense.

 

The O-Line is definitely better than last year, but has some poor moments in just about every game so far. Some of that is attributable to not having found exactly the right blend yet - although we did keep the same 5 starters on the field for the whole game yesterday, for the first time this season. Ford being missing from any snaps. In respect of Ford, I think they will just get him up to speed as a Guard, where I'm sure he will excel, and look to find another tackle. As far as I can tell, the largest (probably literally) weakness is at LG, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Ford get a start there before the season's out.

 

Wallace is being exposed somewhat. less because of a lack of talent, but mostly through a lack of physicality in respect of size and strength. Teams bigger receivers are being targetted against him, and while I don't really blame him for not stopping AP, it surely wasn't a coincidence that that play went to his side of the field. We might need to find another CB with more size, that we can use when we play teams with larger WRs.

 

I'm still encouraged by Allen. He does seem to take coaching well, especially from the limiting mistakes pov. I am concerned about his ball retention though - that needs to get better. As fans we always want to see the big plays, but the last couple of weeks have obviously not been much good for that, with some very hefty winds. Allen has made enough plays, without getting carried away, and while it hasn't been overly exciting, he has been effective. There is still plenty more to come from him.

 

Very pleased for Singletary. Definitely the MVP on Sunday, and displayed everything we were told he had. Elusive isn't really a good enough word for how he made some people miss around the LOS.

 

We should beat the Browns next weekend, as we have beaten teams we should beat so far. It won't be easy, because there is undoubtedly plenty of talent on the Browns atm. Thankfully, there isn't especially good coaching. That should take us to 7-2, and we have 3 more games we should win, against the Broncos, Jest and Fins. We will probably lose one of those games, and win one of the ther 4 we have left against the Cowgirls, Ravens, Steelers and Cheats. Ealier in the season I would have said we should beat the Steelers, but they are back on track. Getting Minkah from the Fins has made a lot of difference to them. They have once again got a ball hawk at safety, and they know how to play defense with that set up.

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Awesome read Shaw

 

The accurate account of the game goes a long way in explaining why Buffalo believed it was not one player away from competing for a championship. The Bills are well coached and have a roster full of good character hard working athletes.

 

  Still a ways to go though,

 

Thanks again for the good read, much appreciated.

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55 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

I can't say I'm optimistic.  9-7 still looks like a realistic outcome.  Not what we're hoping for, but 9-7 is borderline playoffs, and borderline playoffs is about as good as the Bills have looked. 

9-7 , really? So you figure they only win 3 of their remaining 8? That’s pretty pessimistic. Seems like too much being made of the Bills not  beating these losing record teams by enough points. Not being dominant enough. No win in the NFL is easy and can be taken for granted. The Bills have done what was needed to win six of eight games so far along with a near miss against the almighty Patriots.

They should continue to slowly improve and hopefully will be playing their best ball in December. No way I see them getting less than ten wins and I believe 11-5 is very achievable.

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2 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Yup, Brown will tell you he has to make that catch, and he does, but I learned a long time ago, listening to receivers in their first year playing with Elway, that it was real adjustment.  The ball arrives faster than any ball you've ever seen, so you aren't quite ready when it arrives, and it goes through your hands faster, so you have less time to react to it.   Receivers said that it often took most of a season to adjust to it.  

 

On that play, it was remarkable how fast the ball got to Brown.  Allen didn't really get set, he was hurried and he wanted to unload it.  The pass flew practically on a straight line, and it looked to me like Brown was ready for it.   

 

You can say Brown's a #1 NFL receiver, but there are practically no NFL #1 receivers who have fastballs coming in like that.  

 

Allen has whistled some past Beasley too.  Beasley talked about it earlier this year, trying to get Allen to take a little off balls that didn't need to be shot out of a cannon.  We saw it on the TD pass to Beasley on Sunday.  I could almost hear Allen saying to himself "no need for mustard, just float it in there."

 

 

Muhammed Sanu stepped in and had 10+ catches yesterday for the Pats.  Current version T. Brady (93 passer rating) is fairly pedestrian.  I am a huge Josh Allen fan, but maybe in a league with the has the turnover  it does today compared to when Elway played, teams don't have the luxury to have WR's take a year to adjust.   Its a valid question. 

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1 hour ago, Buddo said:

In another thread, someone has posted a video of the first pass to Brown - possibly the postgame thread. It sure looks like the ball is there before Brown expects - even though his hands are up, and it gets there in a hurry. I suspect that it may have had a little help from the wind, and that might be why it just seemed to get big on Brown, quickly.

 

As pointed out, it was a harder catch made by Brown just a couple of plays later, in a very similar set of circumstances.

 

I'd agree that the Bills aren't a dominating team, at all. But they could make life an awful lot easier for themselves by not trying to be so blasted cute half the time - particularly on offense, for which I largely blame the OC.

 

Defensively, Edmunds is still a talent, even when he isn't having his best game. He's also still something of a 'man-child', he's so young. I believe that some of his struggles are more a result of gaining experience, than an inability to be a MLB.  People need to remember it's only his 2nd year also, and he's got almost as much responsibility defensively, as Allen has for the Offense.

 

The O-Line is definitely better than last year, but has some poor moments in just about every game so far. Some of that is attributable to not having found exactly the right blend yet - although we did keep the same 5 starters on the field for the whole game yesterday, for the first time this season. Ford being missing from any snaps. In respect of Ford, I think they will just get him up to speed as a Guard, where I'm sure he will excel, and look to find another tackle. As far as I can tell, the largest (probably literally) weakness is at LG, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Ford get a start there before the season's out.

 

Wallace is being exposed somewhat. less because of a lack of talent, but mostly through a lack of physicality in respect of size and strength. Teams bigger receivers are being targetted against him, and while I don't really blame him for not stopping AP, it surely wasn't a coincidence that that play went to his side of the field. We might need to find another CB with more size, that we can use when we play teams with larger WRs.

 

I'm still encouraged by Allen. He does seem to take coaching well, especially from the limiting mistakes pov. I am concerned about his ball retention though - that needs to get better. As fans we always want to see the big plays, but the last couple of weeks have obviously not been much good for that, with some very hefty winds. Allen has made enough plays, without getting carried away, and while it hasn't been overly exciting, he has been effective. There is still plenty more to come from him.

 

Very pleased for Singletary. Definitely the MVP on Sunday, and displayed everything we were told he had. Elusive isn't really a good enough word for how he made some people miss around the LOS.

 

We should beat the Browns next weekend, as we have beaten teams we should beat so far. It won't be easy, because there is undoubtedly plenty of talent on the Browns atm. Thankfully, there isn't especially good coaching. That should take us to 7-2, and we have 3 more games we should win, against the Broncos, Jest and Fins. We will probably lose one of those games, and win one of the ther 4 we have left against the Cowgirls, Ravens, Steelers and Cheats. Ealier in the season I would have said we should beat the Steelers, but they are back on track. Getting Minkah from the Fins has made a lot of difference to them. They have once again got a ball hawk at safety, and they know how to play defense with that set up.

Nice comments.   Thanks.

 

From what McD said and what I saw, I think that Edmunds is doing what he's told, and that plays into his weakness instead of his strengths.  He's attacking gaps aggressively, and once he's engaged, he's largely neutralize.  He needs to move freely, so he can flow to the point of attack.   Can't do that all the time, of course, or he's just another safety, but aggressively attacking the line really limits his effectiveness.  

 

Allen's making a LOT of plays.   He knows the progressions, he sees the openings, and he is delivering the ball pretty accurately.  The wind really didn't seem to bother him much.  

 

That one run by Singletary was astounding.  Hit the hole, stopped and stepped left to avoid a tackler, burst forward and left a second tackler grabbing at air.   Ten or 11 yards that he simply created.  And he bounced the touchdown run outside very nicely.  

 

Lots to like, lots to get better.  

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2 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I can't say I'm optimistic.  9-7 still looks like a realistic outcome.  Not what we're hoping for, but 9-7 is borderline playoffs, and borderline playoffs is about as good as the Bills have looked. 

 

 

@Cle, @Pit will determine if they are 9-7, 10-6 or 11-5.  It really could go any scenario.

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Fans are expecting the Bills to lose against an underdog, but I'm also expecting them to win against a favorite.

 

They can definitely beat Baltimore, NE, or Dallas.

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Well done Shaw66 as usual.  Heard on radio today Bills went with 8 men in box exclusively in 2nd half to stop AP. 

 

Not sure that will be an option vs Dallas, Pats or Ravens.  Those offenses and QBs could take advantage of play action and get favorable matchups. 

 

Curious to get your your take on change in Run D from first to second half. 

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2 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I can't say I'm optimistic.  9-7 still looks like a realistic outcome.  Not what we're hoping for, but 9-7 is borderline playoffs, and borderline playoffs is about as good as the Bills have looked. 

 

Thanks for the write up, Shaw.

 

I would be interested in your observations with regard to play calling.  

 

I found myself the most frustrated with the plays  - First down and Gore up the middle for one seem to be a favorite yesterday. UGH

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3 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

The Bills had another grind-it-out win against an underperforming team Sunday, stopping the Redskins at New Era Field, 24-9.  There was what’s become the typical collection of encouraging plays and puzzling shortcomings, but in the end the Bills had enough to win comfortably. 

 

In these wins, the Bills are more in control of the game than the score indicates, which is little comfort to fans.  A one-score game in the third quarter is still a one-score game, even if, in retrospect, it seems clear that the Bills were in charge.  No one is comfortable waiting for Tre’Davious White to make his play of the game and seal the victory.

 

Put another way, week after week it becomes clearer that the Bills are not a dominant team.  They’re a team that goes about its business seriously, works hard, comes ready to play and beats teams that can’t or don’t bring the same level of commitment to the field.  They understand well that it’s a long game and in the course of the game some things are going to go badly.   They work hard to keep those bad things from happening, but their real strength is in how they respond to adversity.

 

And so it was on Sunday, when Adrian Peterson was being Adrian Peterson, putting up a Hall of Fame afternoon, at least for a half.  The Bills were in charge on the scoreboard, 17-6, but the fans were restless.  The Bills were ugly in short yardage in the red zone, settling for a long field goal after being first and goal from the two and barely sneaking into the end zone on fourth down after failing three times from the one. 

 

In fact, the Bills were in charge.  At the half, Washington hadn’t found the end zone and wouldn’t for the rest of the day.  It was classic bend-don’t-break defense.   Statistically, many of Washington’s numbers were similar to the Bills, but the Bills wouldn’t let Washington finish.  The Bills got the critical third-down conversions and Washington didn’t (6 of 12 for the Bills, 2 for 11 for the Redskins).   Buffalo finished in the red zone and Washington didn’t (3 for 4 vs. 0 for 2). 

 

Wins or not, these games show off the those areas where the Bills just aren’t good enough yet to be a premier team.  The offensive line, for one.  In the off-season, the Bills signed a collection of marginal NFL linemen, hoping to put together a line that would outperform the 2018 version.  That’s what the Bills got – some journeymen who were better than a pretty bad 2018 starting line, but who are still journeymen.  Cody Ford hasn’t stepped up, Dion Dawkins isn’t dominant, and so the Bills struggle on the line.  Sunday they failed miserably in short yardage.  When asked about it after the game, Sean McDermott essentially said “well, I’ll have to look at the film, but I don’t have to look at the film to know that no one was moving his man off the ball.”  

 

Wide receiver, for another.  After last week’s game, I said the Bills need better playmakers on offense, including more speed.   This week, Duke Williams went to the sidelines and the Bills inserted their speed into the lineup, with McKenzie, Foster and Roberts getting much more playing time.  It didn’t help much.  Brown, Singletary, Knox and Beasley still were the pass catchers; the speed boys didn’t contribute much.

 

And the pass rush, for another.  The Bills recorded four sacks against the Redskins and got occasional good pressure, but the pass rush wasn’t enough to make the rookie uncomfortable in his first start .  He was able to stand in the pocket and complete plenty of passes. 

 

One of the sacks was White’s.  It was a crucial play emotionally for the Bills.  They continued to nurse their one-score lead, unable to manage a lot of offense for themselves.  Washington had the ball deep in their own end, and Bills could use a stop for field position and a chance to put up a field goal to create some breathing room on the scoreboard.  On third and ten, White came off the corner, stayed under control as Haskins tried to escape, and made the tackle, forcing the punt.  Energized, the Bills offense drove for the touchdown that essentially ended the game.

 

White’s sack was a good example of why the Bills’ defense is so good.  Their defensive style isn’t what I’d call aggressive, but they aren’t afraid to change things up.  The safeties are in the offensive backfield often, and the Bills will rush a corner off the slot occasionally, but I don’t recall a true corner blitz all season.   The Redskins had no reason to have prepared for that rush, and the surprise element is what made it so effective, along with White’s flawless execution of the play.

 

Devin Singletary sparkled once again.  Having been elevated to the starting role, he gave the Bills exactly what they’d hoped for:  a big play threat who repeatedly sparked drives with his elusiveness and quickness.  The screen pass was perfectly executed and caught Washington off guard.  Singletary has what Gore lacks – the ability to create something when it appears there’s nothing there.  

 

It was surprising that the Bills had the lead with the half that Adrian Peterson had.  He was unstoppable, plowing into the line and staying upright until something opened up for him.  It wasn’t classic Peterson from earlier in his career, but his strength was always underrated.  It was on display Sunday, play after play. 

 

Once Levi Wallace had Peterson in his sights for a big loss.  They were both upright, face-to-face, with Wallace wrapping his arms around Peterson.  Peterson broke free for a short gain.  A fan behind me yelled “HE’S GOTTA MAKE THAT TACKLE!!!”  Well, yes but that’s not just any running back.  That’s Adrian Peterson, and he’s been doing exactly that for a long time.  There’s no shame in being beaten by Adrian Peterson.

 

Tremaine Edmunds was nowhere to be seen on many of Peterson’s first-half runs.  He was either trapped in the wrong gap or unable to get off one-on-one blocks, left to try to chase down Peterson from behind. 

 

McDermott said after the game that the Bills needed to adjust their run fits to respond to Washington’s running game, and it worked.  Edmunds seemed to become more of a factor in the second half, and Peterson was shut down. 

 

Edmund’s problems in the run game notwithstanding, it’s a thing of beauty to watch him close on running backs and receivers.   His combination of size and speed is awesome, and although his isn’t a big hitter, he’s become a solid tackler.   Impressive dude. 

 

Jordan Phillips was promoted to the starting lineup Sunday, and he didn’t disappoint.  Besides being cheerleader No. 1, Phillips was a disruptive force on multiple plays.  In an injury-conscious league, big hits don’t happen too often any more.  His ferocious sack of Haskins electrified the crowd.

 

And there was Josh Allen.  I’ve said Allen will be a star in the NFL, and I continue to believe it.  The big name draft choices from 2018 are struggling, and Lamar Jackson is outplaying them all, but of the top four, Allen is the only one who seems to be steadily improving and showing signs that he will be elite.  

 

Allen keeps getting better in the pocket, hanging in until he has to move, then moving enough to give him the time to make a quality throw.   His escape and throw through Brown’s hands was almost magical; the ball got on Brown so quickly that he couldn’t handle it.  Brown made amends with a great catch on the sideline a few minutes later on another superb Allen throw.  The touchdown to Beasley was beautifully executed, with Allen in complete control.  The back shoulder throw to Brown up the left sideline was a gem, too.  Allen didn’t throw a lot, but when given the opportunity, he looked like a winner.

 

Ball security obviously is a concern with Allen, as are a half dozen other issues that his coaches see but aren’t obvious to me.  Allen is working and learning, and we continue to see the improvement. 

 

It was a solid win against a struggling team.  Now the schedule gets tougher, and we will see just how well the Bills can play.  The Browns won’t be easy, and the Ravens, Cowboys, Steelers, and Patriots are waiting down the road.  It’s been fun so far, and we’ll see what the next month brings.

 

 

GO BILLS!!!

 

The Rockpile Review is written to share the passion we have for the Buffalo Bills. That passion was born in the Rockpile; its parents were everyday people of western New York who translated their dedication to a full day’s hard work and simple pleasures into love for a pro football team.

I couldn't have said it any better awesome take shaw!!

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3 hours ago, freddyjj said:

Well done Shaw66 as usual.  Heard on radio today Bills went with 8 men in box exclusively in 2nd half to stop AP. 

 

Not sure that will be an option vs Dallas, Pats or Ravens.  Those offenses and QBs could take advantage of play action and get favorable matchups. 

 

Curious to get your your take on change in Run D from first to second half. 

The Bills adjusted, the Redskins didn't answer, good move.  

 

It was pretty clear in the first half the Redskins didn't want to put the game in that wind in Haskins' hands, especially because the Bills D is so hard to read.  The Bills went 8 in the box and the Redskins still didn't want Haskins flinging it.  

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3 hours ago, cd1 said:

 

Thanks for the write up, Shaw.

 

I would be interested in your observations with regard to play calling.  

 

I found myself the most frustrated with the plays  - First down and Gore up the middle for one seem to be a favorite yesterday. UGH

The Bills didn't want to throw it a lot, either.  The Bills were run heavy, but it's hard to argue with running a lot when Singletary is getting nearly 5 yards a pop.   Gore really wasn't used all that much except on the goal line, which was a modest disaster.  The call I didn't like was McKenzie down on the goal line.   Go up the field, not horizontally.  

 

I don't worry about play calling.   I think it's an overrated concept.   If you're in a play that doesn't work against a defense, the QB is supposed to check out of it.  If it looks okay, then you run it and execute it.    

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1 hour ago, Shaw66 said:

The Bills didn't want to throw it a lot, either.  The Bills were run heavy, but it's hard to argue with running a lot when Singletary is getting nearly 5 yards a pop.   Gore really wasn't used all that much except on the goal line, which was a modest disaster.  The call I didn't like was McKenzie down on the goal line.   Go up the field, not horizontally.  

 

I don't worry about play calling.   I think it's an overrated concept.   If you're in a play that doesn't work against a defense, the QB is supposed to check out of it.  If it looks okay, then you run it and execute it.    

I try to stay away from the X's and O's conversation as much as possible because I'm just not very knowledgable especially in comparison with some of our fellow Bills fans here on TBD. I do however know enough to realize the point you make on play calling is a good one. Perhaps having a young QB still fairly early in his development deserves as much blame for failure to execute properly as the Bills OC.

 

Something to think about before calling for Dabolls head on a platter...

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8 hours ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

You make good counterpoints, i would like to see it again.   I get sick often watching WR from other teams constantly making one handed cicus catches and I am just hoping the Bills dont have any egregious drops.   I think Zay Jones Buffalo tenure was sealed with the Allen selection, i dont think he could adjust to the velocity of the balls and why he dropped so many.  Jones is much better fit with Oakland third sting playing catch with Peterman's rocket arm.

 

Brown is putting up WR1 number this year. I’m not going to get on him for a drop. He is our biggest threat, hopefully Singletary can be another threat because we are desperate for playmakers right now. 

1 hour ago, Shaw66 said:

The Bills didn't want to throw it a lot, either.  The Bills were run heavy, but it's hard to argue with running a lot when Singletary is getting nearly 5 yards a pop.   Gore really wasn't used all that much except on the goal line, which was a modest disaster.  The call I didn't like was McKenzie down on the goal line.   Go up the field, not horizontally.  

 

I don't worry about play calling.   I think it's an overrated concept.   If you're in a play that doesn't work against a defense, the QB is supposed to check out of it.  If it looks okay, then you run it and execute it.    

 

I just rewatched it and overall the offence was fine. They just need to cleanup some of the short yardage game. I think throwing a few play actions in there might be a good idea to stop teams from cheating on the run. I do wish they gave Josh a few more attempts but I understand why they went run heavy given the wind and their performance in bad weather the previous week. 

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