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ROCKPILE REVIEW - End of the Road


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Note:  I have had some matters arise that require my personal attention and I won’t take the time now to write my usual review.  I will have more to say later.

 

The Bills lost to the Chiefs in Kansas City, 38-21.  The Chiefs move on to the Super Bowl against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.  The Bills go home.

 

First, congratulations to the Chiefs.  They have assembled a marvelous organization, and they play football at an extraordinarily high level.  It’s fun to watch them play.

 

Second, congratulations to the Bills.  They too have a marvelous organization, and practically no one in the pro football world expected what we saw from them in 2020.

 

As for the game, a couple of observations.

 

Just as teams have to learn to play playoff football, they have to learn to play championship football.  The conference championship games and the Super Bowl are played at a higher level than the earlier playoff games.  The Chiefs raised the game to that higher lever, and the Bills were unable to respond.

 

In particular, what often happens in the championship rounds is that the game becomes even more physical than it was in the earlier rounds.  This game looked a lot like Super Bowl XXV in that respect.  The Chiefs pounded and pounded on the Bills from start to finish, just like the Giants did thirty years ago.  They were merciless.  Two symptoms of the physicality of the game were that several Bills players showed it.  Josh Allen clearly was beaten up.  He’d been in mortal combat and survived with his life.  Diggs was worn out by the end of the game.  The Chiefs made it difficult for all of the Bills receivers to get easy releases off the line of scrimmage, and Diggs got a double dose all night.

 

The other symptom was the melee toward the end of the game.  It was obvious that the Bills simply were pissed off that they’d been beaten physically like that, and they finished the game fighting back, literally.  They had been losing a lot of the personal battles all night long, and they’re competitive enough that they refused to roll over.  Instead, they lashed out.   Frankly, it was good see.  Next time they’ll be better prepared to give what they need to give from the start of the game.

 

Mahomes and Hill and Kelce were magnificent, and the Chiefs’ offense was in high gear.

 

The Chiefs defense was magnificent too, and the Bills struggled to find answers.  They should have had answers; they are good enough to have answers, but Brian Daboll’s game plan and in-game adjustments weren’t up the task.

 

In a sense, the Bills play a finesse game.  The Chiefs play a finesse game with power.  The Bills were overpowered.

 

It was fascinating to watch Edmunds manipulated in the middle of the pass defense.  Time and again in the first half, he drifted right or left to respond to the routes run by Kelce and others in his zone and to respond to Mahomes drifting right or left and threatening to run.  Whichever way Edmunds moved created a weakness somewhere, and Mahomes attacked mercilessly.  It looked to me that each time Edmunds was doing what he should have been doing; it was just that Mahomes had the brains and the role players to exploit the weakness.  That will give Sean McDermott something to think about during the off-season.

 

I know that a lot of guys play hurt, and plenty of them play in less visible positions, but I can’t close without commenting on the remarkable courage of Cole Beasley.  He’s been hurting for at least the past few weeks, and he stayed in the game.  Against the Chiefs, he was hammered all night long, he limped off, gathered himself, and came back for more.  It was heroic.  He wasn’t alone, for sure.  In some ways he was the symbol of the Bills tenacity, the tenacity that had the Bills fighting on every play as the clock ran out.

 

That’s it for now.  Congratulations again to the Chiefs and the Bills.

 

Giver me a couple of weeks off and I’ll start getting antsy for the 2021 season!

 

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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Note:  I have had some matters arise that require my personal attention and I won’t take the time now to write my usual review.  I will have more to say later.   The Bills lost to the Chiefs

Oh, I won't argue with you about any of that.   I was quite surprised there were no ejections.   I think the refs figured they didn't want to mar the game and that they could keep things under control

Thanks.  It's nice to have fans.

Thank you Shaw for both the sober analysis as well as hopeful tone for what tomorrow can still bring us. I also like that you highlighted the melees at the end, the injury-plagued play of Beasley, and what it all meant for the team and its overall character. I admit I was channeling some of my own frustrations through them, and if possible love Dawkins even more now.  

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Very good review Shaw.

It was a crummy ending to a great season.

KC has a great team and THE best coach in the NFL.

 

Good luck settling your real life matters !!

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Excellent analysis. Agree with everything you said.  Especially the part about Edmunds being in the right spots but never making any plays.  Too robotic.  And Feliciano and Dawkins showed they are 2 dudes you wanna go to battle with.  They can play for my team anytime.  

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Thanks, Shaw - really appreciate these reviews all season.

 

I feel like a few plays might have made it a different game, particularly Singletary's big drop. But the bottom line is that they were just better.  Everything seemed easy for them, and incredibly hard for us.  As you mentioned, the Bills just seemed worn out at the end. 

 

We'll keep on keepin' on.  Most fun season in decades, and a lot to look forward to.

 

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As always - THANKS Shaw!

 

Good recap and to parrot others - it was nice to see you touched on the frustrations at the end.  The Bills will learn from this.....a few more pieces of the puzzle are needed.

 

Beasley - was a beast.  Mongo and Dawkins were perfect in standing up for their QB.

 

If you would have told me the Bills were going to have a 13-3 season, win the AFC East, advance to the AFC Championship game and Josh was going to have the year he did along with Diggs in September???  I would have looked you squarely in the eye and said - whatever you are drinking I sir would like a double.

 

MANY THANKS to the Bills for an awesome season in the most crummiest of times.  Made Sundays a little more accepting.

 

GO BILLS!

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2 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

The other symptom was the melee toward the end of the game.  It was obvious that the Bills simply were pissed off that they’d been beaten physically like that, and they finished the game fighting back, literally.  They had been losing a lot of the personal battles all night long, and they’re competitive enough that they refused to roll over.  Instead, they lashed out.   Frankly, it was good see.  Next time they’ll be better prepared to give what they need to give from the start of the game.

I disagree with this.  It was childish and showed a complete lack of discipline.  In the big dust up I understand Feliciano's actions and excuse them for the reasons you stated because he likely did not see Josh instigating it, but only saw the KC player jawing at Josh.  But Dawkins was inexcusable and he should have been ejected.

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46 minutes ago, CodeMonkey said:

I disagree with this.  It was childish and showed a complete lack of discipline.  In the big dust up I understand Feliciano's actions and excuse them for the reasons you stated because he likely did not see Josh instigating it, but only saw the KC player jawing at Josh.  But Dawkins was inexcusable and he should have been ejected.

Oh, I won't argue with you about any of that.   I was quite surprised there were no ejections.   I think the refs figured they didn't want to mar the game and that they could keep things under control, which they did.  It WAS a total lack of discipline.   I didn't say that any of it was a good thing.   What I said was it was a symptom, it was a some really tough dudes reacting to the fact that they'd been getting their butts kicked all night.  They had had no success fighting back within the rules, so they lashed out in frustration.  

 

It's another teaching opportunity for McDermott.  Dawkins will be physically tougher next season - count on it.   

 

Feliciano, by the way, is plenty tough enough already.  He was reacting in part, I'm sure, to getting punched earlier in the game.  

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1 hour ago, Shaw66 said:

Oh, I won't argue with you about any of that.   I was quite surprised there were no ejections.   I think the refs figured they didn't want to mar the game and that they could keep things under control, which they did.  It WAS a total lack of discipline.   I didn't say that any of it was a good thing.   What I said was it was a symptom, it was a some really tough dudes reacting to the fact that they'd been getting their butts kicked all night.  They had had no success fighting back within the rules, so they lashed out in frustration.  

 

It's another teaching opportunity for McDermott.  Dawkins will be physically tougher next season - count on it.   

 

Feliciano, by the way, is plenty tough enough already.  He was reacting in part, I'm sure, to getting punched earlier in the game.  

Punch that goes completely unnoticed. I agree

 

Thanks Shaw for a wonderful year of reviews. Both you and Virgil

 

Much appreciated

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4 minutes ago, Figster said:

Punch that goes completely unnoticed. I agree

 

Thanks Shaw for a wonderful year of reviews. Both you and Virgil

 

Much appreciated

Thanks.  It's nice to have fans.

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7 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I know that a lot of guys play hurt, and plenty of them play in less visible positions, but I can’t close without commenting on the remarkable courage of Cole Beasley.  He’s been hurting for at least the past few weeks, and he stayed in the game.  Against the Chiefs, he was hammered all night long, he limped off, gathered himself, and came back for more.  It was heroic.

Shaw: always a fan, that's a given.

 

But the above: this was Homer-ic. Like it belongs in the Iliad or something.

 

Anyway, thanks for your great season.

 

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3 minutes ago, I am the egg man said:

Mahomes will be the end of the road for Bills for awhile.

 

 

 

 

Don't lose faith yet.  Let's say that DC changes.  The Bills will have the pick of the litter.  Let's say that OC changes.  The Bills will have the pick of the litter.  I am unfazed by last night, because this team has been trending in the right direction under McD's watch.

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8 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Just as teams have to learn to play playoff football, they have to learn to play championship football.  The conference championship games and the Super Bowl are played at a higher level than the earlier playoff games.  The Chiefs raised the game to that higher lever, and the Bills were unable to respond.

This is a great observation.  There is as much of a difference between playoff games and championship/super bowl games as there is between regular season games and playoff games. 

 

The Bills had to get "bloodied" in a championship game to learn how to play in that kind of game.  Now that they have the Bills must make sure that they get back there a couple of times over the next 5 years.  And I'm confident they will.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dukestreetking said:

Shaw: always a fan, that's a given.

 

But the above: this was Homer-ic. Like it belongs in the Iliad or something.

 

Anyway, thanks for your great season.

 

Thanks.  Wrote it this morning.  Then this afternoon I found out he had a broken fibula since the Patriots game.  He just sort of matter-of-factly mentioned it in his press conference.  No big deal.   My, heavens!

1 hour ago, SoCal Deek said:

Shaw?

 

Wasn’t it 38-24? Don’t short change our shellacking!

Yeah, fixed it.  Thanks.  

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9 hours ago, Success said:

Thanks, Shaw - really appreciate these reviews all season.

 

I feel like a few plays might have made it a different game, particularly Singletary's big drop. But the bottom line is that they were just better.  Everything seemed easy for them, and incredibly hard for us.  As you mentioned, the Bills just seemed worn out at the end. 

 

We'll keep on keepin' on.  Most fun season in decades, and a lot to look forward to.

 

The only thing that would have made a difference yesterday was for us to score TDs instead of FG...We needed to be in a shoot out and kept that 9 point lead we built early on....we didn't stay with them.

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10 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

In a sense, the Bills play a finesse game.  The Chiefs play a finesse game with power.  The Bills were overpowered.

This for me rings true the most. 

 

We have been questioning the toughness of the Offensive and Defensive lines all season. Our winning streak was able to mask over the cracks but when the playoffs rolled around, the cracks became apparent.  

 

This off season we have to invest in some big uglies that can eat up space, move their man, and generate pressure. Upgrade the TE and RB position and run it again. 

 

Thank you for your post as always. Very insightful. 

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48 minutes ago, HomeTeam said:

 

 

This off season we have to invest in some big uglies that can eat up space, move their man, and generate pressure. Upgrade the TE and RB position and run it again. 

 

I don't know exactly what the characteristics of those big uglies should be, but you're right. in general.  Running back is less important if they've get better up front.  The only thing wrong with Moss and Singletary is they didn't have holes to run through.  Sure, I'd like an RB with more speed or more power or both, but all running backs need good offensive line play, and the Bills didn't have it.  

 

And on defense, some difference maker, instead of just role players, is what they need.  I hoped we'd see more out of Oliver this season, but he didn't take a big step.  Obviously it's a stretch, but somehow it would be good to have a Chris Jones, or someone who demands double teams more that we saw this season.  

 

I've said all along that 2021 was the target season.  It still is. 

 

The Bills aren't far away in terms of talent.  

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4 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Thanks.  Wrote it this morning.  Then this afternoon I found out he had a broken fibula since the Patriots game.  He just sort of matter-of-factly mentioned it in his press conference.  No big deal.  

 

Yeah I know, that was flabbergasted.  The reporter was fighting to keep a disbelieving tone from his voice.

 

Beasley just tossed it out there in response to a follow up question about him saying that he was looking forward to a second full off season, he was asked something like "we know you've been playing through an injury, how will that impact your off season?" and he just tossed it out "well I broke my fibula but it won't need surgery"

 

I had no idea you could hear jaws dropping on Zoom

 

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