Jump to content

Here's What I Got Wrong About the Bills in 2020


Groin
 Share

Recommended Posts

All season long we've seen that the Bills have missing pieces and that Allen playing lights out, and coaching doing their best to adjust, goes a long way for sweeping the team's flaws under the rug.  Unfortunately this great run in 2020 ended tonight.

 

Having written that, I am surprised that I find myself indifferent to this loss.  It's not BBFS.  It's simply that the Bills are a strong, competitive team who lost to a juggernaut, and I expect that between coaching, FO, Josh Allen, the draft, and free agency, that they're going to find a new way next year.

 

In a way, and I suppose that slightly older Bills' fans like me might have different opinions about this, this season had this dark hue of 1988.  The Bills exceeded everyone's expectations in 1988.  The O clicked.  ST were really good, for the most part, if I recall.  Bruuuuce, of course.  I was in my senior year of high school at St. Joe's, had a full head of hair, and my future was ahead of me.  Plus we'ed endured a mostly pretty horrible decade of football in Buffalo, or maybe 2, if you remember the Bills of the 1970s.  Suddenly the 1988 season had an abrupt ending, and watching the Bengals play a close SB against the Niners was this textbook lesson of watching how you would draw the Bills into that picture and how they would've fared.  Unfortunately, the 1989 season was a huge disappointment, but 1990 was $$$.  Then again, the league used to move much slower back then, so here's to hoping for a strong 2021 season -- because this team doesn't have to reboot to get to the next level, there is free agency, etc.  But I digress.

 

Like many people here I felt that the Bills would go 10-6 or 11-5 and win a playoff game.  IMO, that would've been a totally reasonable conclusion to this season, and something to build on.  The Bills going 13-3 and ending up in the AFC-CG was a boon, and in thinking through things I realized that I got a number of things wrong about this season.  So here they are, and feel free to add yours if you're into it.

 

  1. Coaching.  I didn't care that McD was hired.  The vast majority of Bills' coaches in my lifetime have been total clowns.  McD was a sane hire, and process or clapping or whatever didn't faze me, and he made a quick pivot from his OC after Year One.  What did faze me is that the Bills, while starting to show signs of competitiveness a few years ago, were still getting smoked here and there, would sleep walk in large parts of games, wouldn't finish games, couldn't adjust to their competition, etc.  This year, given holes in the roster -- some due to COVID and some not -- coaching far exceeded my expectations.  Some will call the KC game a coaching failure, but at some point you need coaching and you need players.  Tonight the Bills didn't have enough capable players to get things done.  The first half was a harbinger, and I'm surprised that KC didn't drop 50 on us.  Still, I think that the Bills are a well-coached team, and if replacing HC in the future gets them over the hump to a championship, then that's an excellent problem to have.
  2. Run game.  It sucked.  I really can't say more about it than that, except to note that I thought that it would be much better than it was.
  3. Knox.  I thought he would be good, and at times he was.  But I thought that this team was beyond drafting the likes of Zay Jones.  This team needs a good, consistent, strong TE who can move the chains and score.  Knox isn't that guy I don't think, and there is no other player on the roster who can be a Kelce.
  4. D overall.  Frazier, for the flack he gets, actually did a really good job coaching them.  But unfortunately at some point his personnel couldn't contain KC, and the missing pass rush and inability to collapse the pocket consistently were real negatives for team as the stakes got higher.
  5. Allen.  He far, far, far exceeded my expectations.  I knew that he was going to be better than the likes of EJ or Edwards or Fitz or Losman.  Then again, that bar is pretty low.  Still, Allen is the franchise QB that we've been waiting for, or at very least, short of a massive regression next season (which I don't see), he will be flat out great for a long time.  HIs game still needs some work, but don't we all?  Had someone told me that a Bills' QB would be passing for 300+ yards per game, game after game, I'd have told them that crack was whack.

 

So that's what I've got.  What have you got?

 

 

  • Like (+1) 6
  • Awesome! (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The story of this season, bar none, is Allen's improvement.  He didn't improve incrementally, it was exponential.

 

He may have improved more than any other QB in the history of the game, from one season to the next.

 

He went from being something like the 25th best QB in the league to the 2nd or 3rd, at least on paper.

 

I always considered him a bust waiting to happen and HATED the pick the moment it was made.

 

 

  • Like (+1) 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Groin said:

All season long we've seen that the Bills have missing pieces and that Allen playing lights out, and coaching doing their best to adjust, goes a long way for sweeping the team's flaws under the rug.  Unfortunately this great run in 2020 ended tonight.

 

Having written that, I am surprised that I find myself indifferent to this loss.  It's not BBFS.  It's simply that the Bills are a strong, competitive team who lost to a juggernaut, and I expect that between coaching, FO, Josh Allen, the draft, and free agency, that they're going to find a new way next year.

 

In a way, and I suppose that slightly older Bills' fans like me might have different opinions about this, this season had this dark hue of 1988.  The Bills exceeded everyone's expectations in 1988.  The O clicked.  ST were really good, for the most part, if I recall.  Bruuuuce, of course.  I was in my senior year of high school at St. Joe's, had a full head of hair, and my future was ahead of me.  Plus we'ed endured a mostly pretty horrible decade of football in Buffalo, or maybe 2, if you remember the Bills of the 1970s.  Suddenly the 1988 season had an abrupt ending, and watching the Bengals play a close SB against the Niners was this textbook lesson of watching how you would draw the Bills into that picture and how they would've fared.  Unfortunately, the 1989 season was a huge disappointment, but 1990 was $$$.  Then again, the league used to move much slower back then, so here's to hoping for a strong 2021 season -- because this team doesn't have to reboot to get to the next level, there is free agency, etc.  But I digress.

 

Like many people here I felt that the Bills would go 10-6 or 11-5 and win a playoff game.  IMO, that would've been a totally reasonable conclusion to this season, and something to build on.  The Bills going 13-3 and ending up in the AFC-CG was a boon, and in thinking through things I realized that I got a number of things wrong about this season.  So here they are, and feel free to add yours if you're into it.

 

  1. Coaching.  I didn't care that McD was hired.  The vast majority of Bills' coaches in my lifetime have been total clowns.  McD was a sane hire, and process or clapping or whatever didn't faze me, and he made a quick pivot from his OC after Year One.  What did faze me is that the Bills, while starting to show signs of competitiveness a few years ago, were still getting smoked here and there, would sleep walk in large parts of games, wouldn't finish games, couldn't adjust to their competition, etc.  This year, given holes in the roster -- some due to COVID and some not -- coaching far exceeded my expectations.  Some will call the KC game a coaching failure, but at some point you need coaching and you need players.  Tonight the Bills didn't have enough capable players to get things done.  The first half was a harbinger, and I'm surprised that KC didn't drop 50 on us.  Still, I think that the Bills are a well-coached team, and if replacing HC in the future gets them over the hump to a championship, then that's an excellent problem to have.
  2. Run game.  It sucked.  I really can't say more about it than that, except to note that I thought that it would be much better than it was.
  3. Knox.  I thought he would be good, and at times he was.  But I thought that this team was beyond drafting the likes of Zay Jones.  This team needs a good, consistent, strong TE who can move the chains and score.  Knox isn't that guy I don't think, and there is no other player on the roster who can be a Kelce.
  4. D overall.  Frazier, for the flack he gets, actually did a really good job coaching them.  But unfortunately at some point his personnel couldn't contain KC, and the missing pass rush and inability to collapse the pocket consistently were real negatives for team as the stakes got higher.
  5. Allen.  He far, far, far exceeded my expectations.  I knew that he was going to be better than the likes of EJ or Edwards or Fitz or Losman.  Then again, that bar is pretty low.  Still, Allen is the franchise QB that we've been waiting for, or at very least, short of a massive regression next season (which I don't see), he will be flat out great for a long time.  HIs game still needs some work, but don't we all?  Had someone told me that a Bills' QB would be passing for 300+ yards per game, game after game, I'd have told them that crack was whack.

 

So that's what I've got.  What have you got?

 

Good post.

I had that 1988 feels about this myself.

 

I just hope we don't go "Bickering Bills" where we backslide next year

  • Like (+1) 3
  • Agree 1
  • Thank you (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two biggest things I got wrong were...

 

1)  I thought Tremaine Edmunds would establish himself as a rising star, and he backslid.  I'm a little annoyed that he got a Pro Bowl nod because I think it kinda complicates the issue of moving on from him as an every down player.

 

2)  I thought Diggs would basically be the guy we saw in Minnesota, sometimes flashing as a top-10 WR and then other times dropping off the map.  He insisted he was an elite player and it turns out he is.

  • Like (+1) 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

Good post.

I had that 1988 feels about this myself.

 

I just hope we don't go "Bickering Bills" where we backslide next year

I remember hanging out with my best bud from high school and his family in North Buffalo where we watched the debacle against Cleveland in 1989 (or I guess it was early 1990).  At the end of the game, his father, knowing that we were underage, still gave each person in the room a shot of whisky.

 

Of course, free agency didn't exist back then like it does now, so the Bills had to fill in the blanks over the course of the 1988 and 1989 off seasons by way of the draft.  The reason why I have hope is that the Bills will attract FAs who want to have a chance at winning a SB, and this FO is competent enough to draft players to fill open spots on the roster.  Further "Bickering Bills" was the result of weak coaching back then.  It should've never gotten that out of hand.

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last year it was obvious what was necessary; we needed a #1 WR.  We got that, we became a juggernaut, the Bills just had their best season in 25 years.

 

Still not nearly good enough to hang with KC.  The path forward is unclear.  How do we make another huge step??  I think we need to shore up the lines and CB2 position before anything else but personally I am confused as to how a team gets substantially better than what we saw this year.

  • Like (+1) 1
  • Awesome! (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

Good post.

I had that 1988 feels about this myself.

 

I just hope we don't go "Bickering Bills" where we backslide next year

 

I consider this more of a reverse of those years...Bills went to AFC championship game in their first trip to the playoffs under Kelly and then got knocked out in the Divisional round against Cleveland in 1989 before the run to 4 SB's starting in 1990.

 

We did it in the reverse order if we make it to the SB next year

Edited by Big Turk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, InEnemyTerritory said:

Last year it was obvious what was necessary; we needed a #1 WR.  We got that, we became a juggernaut, the Bills just had their best season in 25 years.

 

Still not nearly good enough to hang with KC.  The path forward is unclear.  How do we make another huge step??  I think we need to shore up the lines and CB2 position before anything else but personally I am confused as to how a team gets substantially better than what we saw this year.

It's D line and a pass rusher or two for starters.  Bend but don't break won't break KC.  That's for sure.

 

And a TE.  Most definitely a great TE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put Kelce & Hill on Buffalo and I think we have a different outcome. 
 

There are areas to improve but 2020 was an awesome season. I want more. Sucks we have to wait 8 months, but I’m excited for our future. 

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Groin said:

It's D line and a pass rusher or two for starters.  Bend but don't break won't break KC.  That's for sure.

 

And a TE.  Most definitely a great TE.

I agree with everything here.  Trade for a DE (Mack?), get Star back, and your DL looks substantially better.

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allen, 100%. 

 

I expected Diggs to be good, but I did not expect the prime Antonio Brown like 127-1535-8 statline and impact. That's incredible. 166 targets??! I'm already excited for the Allen/Diggs connection next year.

 

I thought our backs would be better. I thought Tremaine Edmunds would be better. I expected more sacks with Addison, Oliver maturing, Epenesa. Feels like both the Oliver and Epenesa picks are still up in the air. I don't believe Epenesa was picked as a long-term project so it would have been nice if either could have made more of a statement this season. 

  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

 

I consider this more of a reverse of those years...Bills went to AFC championship game in their first trip to the playoffs under Kelly and then got knocked out in the Divisional round against Cleveland in 1989 before the run to 4 SB's starting in 1990.

 

We did it in the reverse order if we make it to the SB next year

True, but if memory serves, there was no free agency (like it exists today) in 1989.  It was mostly drafts and trades and people off the streets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, InEnemyTerritory said:

I agree with everything here.  Trade for a DE (Mack?), get Star back, and your DL looks substantially better.

Yes, for the ***** that Star got before the pandemic, you'd think that he was a leper.  No, he could eat other players up.  You can't replace that, or maybe you can, but you need to find the same type of player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Straight Hucklebuck said:

I don’t know where you get a Tight End like that.

 

Pitts won’t be there when we pick obviously and the Raiders aren’t trading Waller.

I like Pat Freiermuth in the draft, but he probably won't be there by the end of the second round

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, ALLEN1QB said:

This team needs Bruce Smith type player on defense. Is Hughes doing anything I never hear his name? A Derrick Henry type running back would be nice.

Lol we don't need one of the best defenders in NFL history. We just need to not have 5 below average starters in our front 7. That would be a good start.

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, InEnemyTerritory said:

Last year it was obvious what was necessary; we needed a #1 WR.  We got that, we became a juggernaut, the Bills just had their best season in 25 years.

 

Still not nearly good enough to hang with KC.  The path forward is unclear.  How do we make another huge step??  I think we need to shore up the lines and CB2 position before anything else but personally I am confused as to how a team gets substantially better than what we saw this year.

 

It'll be interesting to see what McDermott and Beane do.

 

In one press conference, Daboll made the comment that we only have one first round pick on offense.  I would argue we have two, since we spent a first round+ to acquire Diggs and he has been worthy of the acquisition.  In any event, our OL is 2 2nd round picks; 2 4th round picks; and an UDFA.  They don't seem to quite measure up against the best OLs for either rush or pass, although I believe both Allen and play design with outlets could counter this.

 

We have, I believe, 5 first round picks on Defense - Tre' White, Tremaine Edmunds, and Ed Oliver from our drafts; Vernon Butler from 2016 Panthers; Jerry Hughes from 2010 Colts.  (am I missing someone?) 

 

Overall we are 11th in the league on Offensive spending.  We are top-3 in the league on WR spending, and that's the only place on offense where we're top 5.  Top 8 on OL; TE top-12; RB 23 and that's only counting the guys who seldom play like Yeldon and Taiwan Jones; QB 24th though that will change soon. 

 

We are 2nd in the league in defensive spending, largely on DL - $52.8M on DL.  #7 for safety;  #11 for LB; #12 for CB.  Overall, I think it may be fair to say that right now we are overpaying for underperformance on D, especially on DL.  Part of this is our #1 draft picks Edmunds, Oliver, Harrison Phillips and Epenesa underperforming perhaps high expectations, and our FA signing Butler likewise (though he was playing hurt today).

 

It will be interesting to see how things go forward.  I believe that McDermott's instinct will be to focus the draft and FA entirely on D, and I believe that would be a mistake.  We need an upgrade on OL and TE, at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, SageAgainstTheMachine said:

Two biggest things I got wrong were...

 

1)  I thought Tremaine Edmunds would establish himself as a rising star, and he backslid.  I'm a little annoyed that he got a Pro Bowl nod because I think it kinda complicates the issue of moving on from him as an every down player.

 

2)  I thought Diggs would basically be the guy we saw in Minnesota, sometimes flashing as a top-10 WR and then other times dropping off the map.  He insisted he was an elite player and it turns out he is.

I agree exactly about Edmunds.  He gets most of his tackles 10+ yards behind the line of scrimmage and that's not great for a supposed MLB.  Cut bait!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...