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Virgil

A Few Thoughts about the 2nd Dolphins Game, in no particular order

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I get nervous before writing thoughts about games like this as I know that people will take any form of critiquing as a negativity.  So, to be clear, today was the best performance that Allen, Daboll, Brown, and defensively attacking that we've seen in this new regime.  It was the most complete game they've played and showed that the coaching staff is willing to make adjustments to their scheme, something many of us have asked for.  With that being said....

 

1 - Defensive Pressure - Today was probably the most creative defensive pressure Frazier has brought since becoming a coach here.  We ran stunts, sent corners and LB's, stacked the edges, and even had a few 'everyone standing' blitzes.  The Dolphins offensive line were confused on quite a few plays. So much so, that even Oliver got a free shot at Fitz for his 2nd sack of the season.  At the end of the game, we got 7 sacks and way more pressures.  I wish it was any other quarterback besides Fitz so that I could've enjoyed it a little more.  HOWEVER, be careful what you wish for with these blitzes because a large portion of the Dolphins offensive production came on chunk plays due to guys finding open holes creating by us blitzing extra defenders.  Parker had two massive plays that were from this.  This is why, even though the score seemed closer than it was, I never felt the Dolphins were a threat today.  When we played contain, they couldn't do much of anything, including run the ball.

 

2 - Special Teams - Today was a mixed bag.  Hausch hit all 4 of his field goals and his extra points.  His 51 yarder barely made it though, which makes me wonder how is overall leg strength is.  More importantly, I want to know if he was instructed to not put the ball through the end zone on kickoffs or if he can't right now.  As a result, the Dolphins had two big returns, one going for a touchdown.  Our ST unit also allowed the Dolphins to recover an onside kick as our unit was completely unprepared.  When the kicker can recover it exactly 10 yards downfield without being touched, you aren't paying attention.  Take special teams out of the equation and this game is even more of a laugher.  Great game again for Bojo as he showed off his leg and Roberts had a few decent returns.  Like I said, very mixed bag.

 

3 - Smoke - For as much as this offense hasn't been great this season, it's crazy to think that Brown is on pace for 1,300 yards.  He was great today, but also targeted a lot.  The only blemishes on the Allen/Brown connection was a drop by Brown, a miss by Allen on a 3rd down that would've gone for at least 20+ yards, and some jump balls that Brown has to right being targeted on.  What I loved about his game today was his ability after the catch as he made a few guys miss today and his first TD was all him for the final few yards.  I love the connection that him and Allen seem to have and there's no question who this passing offense revolves around.  However, I personally wonder if we are focusing on him too much and ignoring other players.  With a day like today, who cares as Brown had the most fantasy points at his position today.

 

4 " There are not many situations in life that can compare to the emotions, the competition and the preparation that go into a football game. And it is a great game."

 

5 - Allen - Today was, by far, Allen's best game as a QB and he also led all QB's in fantasy points today.  He technically hit a deep ball today as the Brown TD was 31 yards in the air, even if it was a bullet.  Which, by the way, isn't it crazy how he can make that throw seem so effortless?  That's one of the biggest differences between him and TT; that throw and the ability to make a 4th quarter comeback.  If you don't think that Allen and Daboll don't listen to the media and fan criticism, then you don't need to look any further than their 2nd to last drive.  The game was well decided and they had the ball at their own 48 yard line.  They took a shot deep to Brown and were clearly trying to get some more passing yards.  I don't know if they wanted to hit a touch deep ball or get Allen over 300 yards, but that was very unlike a McD team to go for more points.  I'm a little surprised they didn't try again on the final drive, but that would've looked bad.  The Dolphins had 10 in the box and Brown was on an island against the DB.  They could've scored on a slant play as there was no one playing deep.

 

Allen also ran the ball today in the way I think most of us would approve.  His big run was on a read-option where the entire D bit on the running back.  His scrambling TD was after trying to make multiple reads and had the right side of the field wide open.  Basically, he took what was given to him after trying to be a passer first.  Overall, Allen missed some passes as all QB's do.  But overall, Allen was pretty great today and showed the type of game that indicates growth.  There was one play where he did a great job of recognizing the blitzers, moved some receivers around, then audibled a run for Singletary for 15 yards.  Just great awareness and play diagnosis.  If you add a touch deep ball to today's game and make it against a team that isn't 2-8, then I'd say it was pretty perfect.

 

6 - Daboll - Hats off to the poster who said Daboll should return to the booth.  I'm also going to give some credit to McD as I assume he was part of that decision.  Daboll ran a very balanced offense today between the run and pass, took shots sporadically, and overall gave Allen options on each drive.  The only drives that stalled out were due to poor execution, not play calling.  I'm as big a critic of Daboll as they come, so good job to him.  The only real critiques I have are his over-focus on Brown and he still seems to be sending Beasley 20 yards down field a lot.  Knox was the safety valve on a few plays, while Beasley was off somewhere else.  I don't understand why he is trying to make Beasley into something he's not, but again, we won big today and the offense was solid.  Then, from 2nd and goal from the 12, we setup with 1 WR, not fooling anyone into a run in that clear passing situation.  We ended up settling for a field goal, shockingly.  Either way, we had 23 points with 1:23 left in the 2nd quarter.  Well done sir. 

 

Best play - Went for it on 4th and short.  Lined up for a QB sneak, then let Gore take it to the outside as everyone was zeroed in on Allen.  Took the entire first half of the season to set that play up.

 

7 - Knox - On the long list of bounce back performances, Knox is in the top 3 consideration.  He had some great blocks, no drops, and most importantly showed why he can be our future at the TE position.  His touchdown was impressive for a guy his size and CAME ON A ZERO BLITZ!.  Granted, the Safety gave him a little bit too much cushion in the disguise, but credit Allen for recognizing the coverage a delivering a great pass.  From there, most big TE's will stumble down after contact.  Not Knox, as he found his balance after blowing off the tackle and motored into the end zone.  I love this kids potential and while his stat line wasn't huge, he was a factor out there today and showed continued promise.

 

8 - LB's - Can we give some love to all three guys out there today.  Edmunds was great against the run, coverage, and gave pressure sometimes.  Lorax had some great blitzes and tracked a few runs down.  Milano should probably find a safe house and lay low for a while because he's probably wanted for murder.  He killed a few guys out there with a trident.  The hit on Ballage was painful and simply amazing.  He was in position on quite a few plays and all over the field, even almost pulled off the elusive swat and pick on the same play.  Just great game by this unit today and I'd say their best game as a collective unit.

 

9 - Officiating - The refs weren't a big factor today, but it seemed like you could feel the effects from the Browns/Steelers game.  The refs were very quick to get involved anytime a player was jawing at another.  There was a defensive holding call that they said occurred after the pass, which was wrong and hurt us, but that was about it.  There was also a play on a punt where Foster was so afraid of getting call for illegal block in the back, that he put his hands up and let Roberts get nailed immediately.  Lastly, there was pass that seemed a solid yard short that I'm surprised they refs missed and McD didn't challenge.  I know this may be a weak point, but again, there was just a feeling to me that both the players and refs were aware of how tense things are right now.

 

10 - McD - The buck stops and starts with the head coach for all teams.  The Bills have played down to their opponents level this season and there's been warranted cause for concern about the performance of the overall team this past month.  I give full credit to McD for bringing the Bills out of the tunnel in full swing today.  There was significant changes on both sides of the ball today.  Like I said before, if ST does there job, this is possibly the biggest margin win for the Bills in a long time.  I really liked what I heard coming out of the Bills locker room this week with all the 'Play Fearless' talk and they did that today.  Just great job today in making a lot of us breath a little bit easier and show capacity for change.

 

Side Notes:

-Star got both a sack and tracked down a screen play today.  He was very active today

-The game commentators were probably the best I've heard all season.  They were very spot on in many cases and their knowledge of the Bills was solid.

-Credit Liuget for the sack, helping up Fitz, and then giving the man a hug.  He played solid as well today and knew that Fitz is our friend.

-There were a lot of empty seats and I saw way more Bills fans in the crowd.  I may need to make that trip one year.

-Phillips was out there as a cheerleader again today.  Got to love this guys energy

-Ty knew he was done immediately.  Felt bad for the guy and even worse when Ford got called for a hold on the next series.

 

 

Listen, I know it was against the Dolphins and we have a tough stretch coming up, but today showed the type of change and growth we need as a team.  I'm incredibly more optimistic after today's game than I thought I would be starting the day. Great day overall and now it's on to a Broncos team that had an interesting game today.


Go Bills!

Edited by Virgil
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6 minutes ago, Virgil said:

The game commentators were probably the best I've heard all season.  They were very spot on in many cases and their knowledge of the Bills was solid.

 

Totally agree. Archuleta is really good. Did you hear him say, "dirty sanchez" at end of game? I think he immediately realized he shouldn't have said that. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Ha!  Go Bills. 

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Great Points Virgil.  Always enjoy your thoughts after the game.  I thought a big difference today was we didn't get conservative when we got the lead.  They let Allen play and he responded.  I wonder if the Coach told Daboll to call the game "Fearless"

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1 minute ago, Bills Fan In Pittsford said:

Great Points Virgil.  Always enjoy your thoughts after the game.  I thought a big difference today was we didn't get conservative when we got the lead.  They let Allen play and he responded.  I wonder if the Coach told Daboll to call the game "Fearless"

 

Welcome to the board and good first post.  If you continue to follow and praise me, you will go far.  Also, don't let Gugny bring you into a dark room alone.

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1 minute ago, Virgil said:

 

Welcome to the board and good first post.  If you continue to follow and praise me, you will go far.  Also, don't let Gugny bring you into a dark room alone.

well @Gugny is a jets/giants/pats fan

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Just now, Virgil said:

 

Welcome to the board and good first post.  If you continue to follow and praise me, you will go far.  Also, don't let Gugny bring you into a dark room alone.

Thanks Virgil.  Been lurking for years, know you all well.

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2 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

well @Gugny is a jets/giants/pats fan

 

He's basically a fan of all things dirty

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@Virgil, great read. As always, spot on on many of your points. I suppose they did need the rocky ground to learn and grow. I do see the growth.

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On Allen - I think McDermott and Daboll really neutered him after the Patriots game. Before that game he was playing freely but had too many dumb turnovers. The Patriots was such a disaster game I think they overcorrected in the opposite direction. They got rid of the dumb turnovers but they had him playing nervous. This week they let him play his own style of game again but it appears the dumb turnovers have successfully been coached out of him.

Edited by HappyDays
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2 minutes ago, HappyDays said:

On Allen - I think McDermott and Daboll really neutered him after the Patriots game. Before that game he was playing freely but had too many dumb turnovers. The Patriots was such a disaster I think they overcorrected in the opposite direction. They got rid of the dumb turnovers but they had him playing nervous. This week they let him play his own style of game again but it appears the dumb turnovers have successfully been coached out of him.

I hope they stick with this approach and don’t get tight when it’s a tougher opponent. Without Josh taking risks this offense is stagnant.

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4 minutes ago, CommonCents said:

I hope they stick with this approach and don’t get tight when it’s a tougher opponent. Without Josh taking risks this offense is stagnant.

 

Yeah they have to find a good balance between nervous Josh and stupid Josh. I kind of like the way they handled it. Get rid of the turnovers and then turn him loose again. The 2nd TD to Brown today was a good example. He threw back across his body into a very tight window. You say maybe that was an unnecessary risk with a 2 score lead and well within FG range. But I'd rather he just throw the ball when he sees an opening. That's how he'll learn. This time it paid off big time. Next time maybe the defender makes a good break on the ball and it turns into a pick. Keep throwing it anyways.

Edited by HappyDays
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So we have the Full Banana in the Tail Pipe and Dirty Sanchez this season?  Yikes!

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Point 1 - This, and the Pats game, was the most aggressive defenses we've seen.  I hope they keep playing like this.

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I may rain on the parade but the offense's miracle today was, in my opinion, strongly correlated to the lack of any pressure on JA by the Dolphins.  

Josh has not had great pockets this season, lacks time and is running for safety way too often.   

I don't know if I can credit the Bills OL or the Dolphins lack of roster talent, but JA17 had excellent protection today, time to scan the field and make his throw without someone grabbing at him.  

That is the first time for the entire year, and I am not sure the Bills OL can deliver that type of long clean pocket against better competition.   

 

So, I am going to not become irrationally exuberant but hope that things will continue to trend in this direction.

 

 

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1 minute ago, CNYfan said:

I may rain on the parade but the offense's miracle today was, in my opinion, strongly correlated to the lack of any pressure on JA by the Dolphins.  

Josh has not had great pockets this season, lacks time and is running for safety way too often.   

I don't know if I can credit the Bills OL or the Dolphins lack of roster talent, but JA17 had excellent protection today, time to scan the field and make his throw without someone grabbing at him.  

That is the first time for the entire year, and I am not sure the Bills OL can deliver that type of long clean pocket against better competition.   

 

So, I am going to not become irrationally exuberant but hope that things will continue to trend in this direction.

 

 

 

I am going to give credit to the Bills offensive line as the Dolphins were able to get pressure in the previous match-up

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Nice work as usual Virgil. This was the best game by far (outside of Kick coverage and on sides kick) for both sides of the ball. Let's hope the trend continues to point north....

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I just rewatched the kick while watching the game highlights.... he had plenty of distance. Woulda been good from 55-56 IMO 

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2 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

I just rewatched the kick while watching the game highlights.... he had plenty of distance. Woulda been good from 55-56 IMO 

 

Did he?  Live, I thought he barely sneaked in the bottom corner.  I actually thought he missed it at first

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1 minute ago, Virgil said:

 

Did he?  Live, I thought he barely sneaked in the bottom corner.  I actually thought he missed it at first

I thought so too at first glance.... the angle I just saw wasn’t great but it looked like there was plenty of leg there as I really concentrated on where it landed this time 

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Thanks Virgil, my Sunday's are not complete without your wrap-up. I always look forward to it and you never disappoint.

 

Concerning Point 1 about Defensive pressure: It seems clear to me that this more aggressive Defensive scheme best suits this team. McD wants his line to generate pressure so the rest of the D can cover the run and pass. But our line is not good at that. Adding the extra people is a risk, but the reward seems to outweigh the risk. I hope they continue to do this.

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24 minutes ago, HappyDays said:

 

Yeah they have to find a good balance between nervous Josh and stupid Josh. I kind of like the way they handled it. Get rid of the turnovers and then turn him loose again. The 2nd TD to Brown today was a good example. He threw back across his body into a very tight window. You say maybe that was an unnecessary risk with a 2 score lead and well within FG range. But I'd rather he just throw the ball when he sees an opening. That's how he'll learn. This time it paid off big time. Next time maybe the defender makes a good break on the ball and it turns into a pick. Keep throwing it anyways.


That ball must have been an absolute rocket, the way it was deflected and still made it through to Brown. 

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This wasn't Allen's best game of his career. His best game was his 5 TD game against Miami last year. The Vikings game from last year was also pretty good.

 

I'd say this was his 2nd best game.

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40 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

well @Gugny is a jets/giants/pats fan

 

That's it.  Let's ***** GO!

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17 minutes ago, CNYfan said:

I may rain on the parade but the offense's miracle today was, in my opinion, strongly correlated to the lack of any pressure on JA by the Dolphins.  

Josh has not had great pockets this season, lacks time and is running for safety way too often.   

I don't know if I can credit the Bills OL or the Dolphins lack of roster talent, but JA17 had excellent protection today, time to scan the field and make his throw without someone grabbing at him.  

That is the first time for the entire year, and I am not sure the Bills OL can deliver that type of long clean pocket against better competition.   

 

So, I am going to not become irrationally exuberant but hope that things will continue to trend in this direction.

 

 

Yes, Allen had perhaps his most solid game.  But the lack of Dolphin pressure may be in direct correlation to his lack of fumbles today.  Also, he really needs to work on his "out" passes.  Some today were quite ugly.  Let's just hope the progress continues and tougher defenses don't pour much rain on the parade.

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