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Bridging the gap from great to elite


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After settling down, I think this is where the Bills need to improve, and some other thoughts on what's going well

 

  • Speed on the Perimeter.   Without Brown healthy, the Bills struggled to force defenses to respect the deep threat. KC basically threw coverage at Diggs, and just bodied the rest of the Bills WRs. That worked because the Bills did not have a single 4.4 40 guy on the roster at WR or RB.
  • Quickness at WR, This has to do with injury and age.  Ignoring Gabe Davis, who's purely an X, the Chiefs defense were extraordinarily physical with the Bills WRs. Yes it was annoying in that a lot more defensive holdings could have been called, but quite honestly I would have done the same. These are average defenders outside of the honey badger. Why was it successful? Because neither John Brown nor Cole Beasley were healthy enough to have the quickness they needed to punish physical play from DBs. Prior to his late season injury, Beasley had that quickness, and the Bills punished defenses for it. When he's fully healthy, there's not a lot of DBs who are quick enough to body Beasley.  I don't thikn Brown ever gets back to that quickness, unfortunately.
  • Pass rushing fear creation.  I don't remember a single moment from yesterday where a Bills defender blew up his blocker and created havoc. Whether from a DE, DT or LB.  Watch that Bucs - Pack game, and you saw JPP and Shaq Barrett be complete menaces, and you saw it hugely impact the Pack offense. The Bills simply don't hve the horses to do this to better teams.  KC had above average OLine talent across the board, and that's all it took to keep Mahomes, in general clean.  That OLine protection is also what allows the Chiefs offense to put the Bills' back 7 in such a precarious position.  Because they couldn't get to the passer, the Bills had to choose between getting killed in man by KC's elite perimeter talent while blitzing, or getting killed by KC's elite speed and TE play while sitting back in zone/man combos.  Endmunds and Milano and Tre and Wallace didn't actually have bad games all things considered. They were put in horrible spots by their DLine, and I guess game plan. Kelce is a TE who has the footwork and agility of a small WR, which is just unfair. Tyreke Hill is perhaps the fastest player in NFL history while Mecole Hardman isn't exactly slow.   And then add in a versatile RBs? Without a pass rush, that's an impossible ask of your back 7 in coverage.

 

For where I think the Bills ARE ready?

 

  • Josh effing Allen. Man. I'm sorry but that kid brought it yesterday, and 95% of the other QBs in the NFL would have been FAR FAR worse. This would have been a complete blowout by halftime without Allen. Instead, he was a John Brown caused turnover away from getting it to one possession sometime in the 4th quarter. I mean, Allen had RBs who wouldn't start for Alabama right now, much less any other NFL team, WRs who were so injured that it was a miracle they ever got open, and the one elite WR actually played well, but had coverage just directed at him for the entire game. And then facing an offense he knew was going to score everytime they got it? The amount of pressure - physical and mental - he faced was just flat out insane.  And I thought he did well in those circumstances
  • The Z. I have no idea how Diggs even got the production he did, and that long catch was a tremendous play. For at least 4 years, the Bills might have the best technician in the game at that position.
  • The tackles. IF they get Williams back, I think the Bills are set there.
  • Linebackers. In this system, you need two elite LBs, and I think the Bills have that in Edmunds and Milano. They almost never missed a tackle, and were basically left on an island against the run game, which they proceeded to stuff for the most part. Not going to blame them for not being able to contain Kelce, when he had all the freedom and time in the world to get open. That dude is just a problem
  • Safeties. Again, I thought they did a reasonable job out there, but were left out to dry by the lack of pressure. They mostly put a cap on the passing game. All of the big plays by the Chiefs are short gains turned into big plays. Can't recall Mahomes straight up beating them.

 

So where do the Bills go from here? I'm not sure what comes first. I'm inclined to think tou fix the pass rush first. They have a good enough pass rush against either flawed protections (much of the NFL) or against one dimensional offensive schemes (the Ravens, the Steelers), but when they go up against multi-dimensional offenses that also bring above average protection, they're going to run into a lot of problems, and those are the teams you're gonna play in the Divisional, Championship and Super Bowl Sundays.

 

My feeling is that they can scheme around not having a 2nd high end WR to pair with Diggs, and think a Beasley provides the quickness you need to offer a second weapon when Diggs gets coverage thrown at him, and finally think Gabe Davis (healthy), is an off-season away from being a decent weapon in his own right. So wouldn't put too many resources here. Perhaps if you're sitting in the 4th round and you see a 4.3 40 kid sitting there, you snag him

 

You absolutely need to do something with the run game. Again, this is about bridging the gap to elite. You can let Allen carry you to greatness, but to take the next step, you gotta have a legit run game that defenses need to game plan around.  That might start with drafting a true #1 RB, or maybe it's cutting Morse, move Feliciano to center, and signing at least one guard and hope Ford turns into a legit power blocking guard.

 

This team is a bit closer than the Chiefs made them look, just that where they do need to improve is exploitable

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Good analysis and not too emotional as many are today.

 

I am not sold on Edmunds at MLB.

 

Overall our trenches need a lot of work, esp on the interior.  What we need is a big stud DT to play alongside Oliver.  We also need to get a stud guard/center, we have been weak there all year.

 

We cant continue on with no run game.  I dont know why the regressing in Singletary this year...he never was a speedster game breaker, that is one position we might consider filling.

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3 minutes ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

Good analysis and not too emotional as many are today.

 

I am not sold on Edmunds at MLB.

 

Overall our trenches need a lot of work, esp on the interior.  What we need is a big stud DT to play alongside Oliver.  We also need to get a stud guard/center, we have been weak there all year.

 

We cant continue on with no run game.  I dont know why the regressing in Singletary this year...he never was a speedster game breaker, that is one position we might consider filling.

 

Star is going to be on the roster next year (costs too much money to cut), so there's some help at the 1T to Oliver's 3T. Letting Ed just be a pass rusher would at least allow the Bills to truly assess him.

 

Definitely understand the hesitation around Edmunds, even if I disagree with it, but there's not much you can do about it this offseason. 

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28 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

McKenzie is a 4.4 guy...ran a 4.42

Stills ran a 4.28. Why not keep him around too. He is proven.  Brown may get a shot to stick around. When healthy, we have. great set of WR. Unfortunately for this one game 4 of 5 were banged up badly.  My #1 concern is getting us a legit sack-master pressure cooker at DE. Throw the bank at him and Allen and keep as much of the others as possible. This roster was deep and I hope we keep it that way.

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49 minutes ago, appoo said:

 

  • Linebackers. In this system, you need two elite LBs, and I think the Bills have that in Edmunds and Milano.

I think we have one pretty good LB, maybe two.  I don't think either is really elite.

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Just now, BillsFanSD said:

I think we have one pretty good LB, maybe two.  I don't think either is really elite.

Yea, I should have edited that out. You're right. Edmunds, if he continues to get better, has that potential though.

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2 hours ago, BillsRdue said:

Stills ran a 4.28. Why not keep him around too. He is proven.  Brown may get a shot to stick around. When healthy, we have. great set of WR. Unfortunately for this one game 4 of 5 were banged up badly.  My #1 concern is getting us a legit sack-master pressure cooker at DE. Throw the bank at him and Allen and keep as much of the others as possible. This roster was deep and I hope we keep it that way.

 

You think Stills runs the same 40 time as he did at the combine 8 years ago?

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51 minutes ago, JaCrispy said:

Too much reading...can you summarize in 150 words or less? 😉

Not enough speed, too injured at WR

Run game sucks

No game wrecking pass rusher

Chiefs too much elite versatility

Back 7 never had a chance because of underwhelming front 7 in rushing the passer

 

Josh Allen Good

Tackles Good

Linebackers Good

Safeties good

 

Acquire elite pass rusher, good pass rusher, RB, run blocking guard, healthy Beasley, develop Gabe Davis, Beat Chiefs, win Super Bowl

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