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19 hours ago, Inigo Montoya said:

The Chiefs entered the off season after getting man handled in the Super Bowl because their O-line had fallen apart.  They blew up their O-line and decided to rebuild.  On paper at least, they look to have improved the line.  They signed Joe Thuney to a 5 year $80 million contract and he will slide into the left guard position.  They then signed Kyle Long to a one year deal to step into the right guard position.  They resigned Mike Remmers to play right tackle and then traded with the Ravens for Orlando Brown to step in as their left tackle.  They signed Austin Blythe from the Rams to play center, and then drafted the 2nd ranked center, Creed Humphrey, to push Blythe and develop into their future center.  The only free agent they lost of any consequence was Sammy Watkins which should not slow them down much.

 

I think on the whole the O-line is upgraded and they kept the rest of the band together.  I don't see any reasonable argument to say the Chiefs shouldn't remain the #1 seed in the AFC heading into the 2021 season.

 

The Browns will leap frog us this season and be the primary threat to the Chiefs.   If you look at the playoffs last year, the Browns came within a fumbled football out of the endzone from beating the Chiefs.  The Bills by comparison didn't even make a game of it against the Chiefs.  The Browns' roster seems to match up better against the Chiefs, and that was before the Browns very impressive off season.

 

The defense was the weak side of the ball last season and the Browns attacked this off season with that in mind.  They snagged John Johnson the best free agent safety on the market to address a huge weakness and also added CB Troy Hill who will be an instant upgrade.  They brought in Clowney to stack opposite Miles Garrett on the D-line.  They then drafted CB Greg Newsome and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who should both start this season.  The Browns bring back their offense intact and Mayfield will have the benefit of playing in the same offense for the first time in his career.  OBJ will also be back this season.

 

The Bills did a great job of resigning their key free agents this year and also upgraded the backup QB position.  They brought in Sanders to replace Brown which could be an up grade and added Hollister to the TE room.  We all hope that having Star back will have a ripple effect on the D-line and result in better play across the entire line and allow our LB play to improve as well.  The entire team will benefit from another year of coaching and scheme stability and hopefully some of our young players like Oliver and Edmunds will take a step forward this year.

 

 

Overview   A lot is made of the Bills retaining their own talent, and I agree that Beane did a great job of maintaining a roster that made it to the AFC Championship game, but the uncomfortable truth is that the Chiefs maintained their roster too AND improved their O-Line.   The Browns also avoided any key free agency loses AND improved their defensive secondary and brought in Clowney on the D-line.  The Browns and Chiefs will also benefit from another year of coaching and scheme stability just like the Bills.

 

The off season isn't over yet, but the free agency period is winding down and the Draft is over.  Baring injuries, any changes to the rosters of the Chiefs, Browns, and Bills before opening weekend will likely just be on the margins before opening weekend.  When Andy Reid looks out across the AFC, I think he is probably more worried about what is going on in Cleveland than what is going on in Buffalo.  I think the Browns have improved enough this off season to move past us and become the primary threat to the Chiefs this year. 

 

At this point I'd rank the AFC;    1. Chiefs  2. Browns  3. Bills

 

Good post, my friend, and well thought out. I am not sure if the Browns, as a team, are better on the field this year than the Bills; however, I do think it is a legitimate argument. What is more important to me is not whether the Bills are the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd best team in the AFC, but that we can make a legitimate argument that they are one of the best teams in the AFC (and entire NFL), and capable of reaching and winning a Superbowl. I have been a die hard fan of this team since the late 60s and lived through relatively few seasons in that span (53 yrs) in which that argument was a legitimate one. It's a nice feeling to have again. I am hoping it stays around for a long time. :beer:

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As Adrienne from the Burgh says (he’s a regular on MTC and kind of annoying) I’m not worried about the Hash Browns yet.

 

Like every FA and draft it’s about hope and when you’re close to the leader you should expect other teams trying to close the gap.  More pundits than not now think we are the closest to the Chiefs in the AFC.

 

One thing was for sure this weekend, Beane pivoted his philosophy somewhat in that we used to have need meet BPA.  Now he really showed BPA.  This team now likes t bet on themselves in development and FWIW, I think they did it.  They bolstered a D Line for the future an LD a little now.  Addison and Hughes probably won’t be here in a year.  They bolstered their O Line with 5 guys.  Those guys will add a lot of depth.

 

not sure on the other three but should be fun.  I think beane is just getting started in the UDFA market.  Should be fun in the other thread what he does moving forward.

 

Go Bills!

 

20-0 baby.  Still trying to get used to that 17th game.

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9 hours ago, Arm of Harm said:

 

Below are the yards per pass attempt and QB rating for some QBs:

Baker Mayfield (2020): 7.3    95.9

Tom Brady (career): 7.5      97.3

Joe Flacco (career): 6.8     84.1

Josh Allen (2020): 7.9     107.2

 

As you can see from the above numbers, Baker Mayfield's 2020 season was solid, and Josh Allen's 2020 season was sick. It is absolutely possible for a team to win the Super Bowl while its QB puts up numbers similar to those of Baker Mayfield in 2020. But, the team in question would need to be well-balanced, with a good defense and good running game. 

 

It’s absolutely possible to win a Super Bowl with a QB like Mayfield under center.  I would say, though, that the run game and D have to be better than good.  They have to be top notch.

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On paper, the Browns look very solid. They also have the benefit of playing a 3rd placed schedule since they finished behind Pitt and Balt. The Ravens and Indy all made improvements as well. The AFC is loaded and IF somehow Rodgers goes to Denver, they are immediately SB contenders. We are pretty much rolling out the same ball in the upcoming season, hoping stability improves our running game, that our offense will continue to flourish without defenses adjusting to our scheme forcing us to run and that drafting two very raw DE’s somehow improves our pass rush. I love our Bills as much as anyone, but I think it’s going to be a dogfight to win the division and objectively feel like in the upper tier of the AFC, we’ve slipped while our competitors were aggressive on adding contributors that will make impacts this season. We are putting so much stock/expecting that Josh will have a similar season as last year. In the NFL, your window of opportunity is small and IMO I’m not confident the Bills are seizing on this moment in their franchise history. Hoping I have to eat crow!

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1 hour ago, Captain Hindsight said:

The Bills would have absolutely destroyed the Browns in the AFC Championship game if Cleveland could have just stopped Chad Henne

 

Sorry, but KC had the lead when Mahomes went out.

 

Where the Brownies got robbed is on that end zone fumble.  That should have been a PF against Sorensen.

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46 minutes ago, JGMcD2 said:

This is a convenient reframing of the truth...  the fumble occurred in the first half of the game and the Mahomes missed part of the 3rd Q and all of the 4th.

 

Don’t make it sound so close 😂

The game was very close. Yes, 19-3 looked like this was going to be a blowout. Even without the Fumble the 19-10 still would have looked like Chiefs were dominating.

 

2nd half was a different story even before Mahomes was hurt. Browns drive down 70 yards and score a TD to make it 19-10. Then hold KC to FG, 4th straight drive with a FG or nothing. Mahomes now gets hurt and its 22-10. CLE drives 70 yards again and scores so its 22-17 (Mahomes does not play D). CLE then gets the INT and it is looking like could win the game. KC is able to hold on with Henne and some luck on their side. But CLE had all the momentum for a big part of this game and almost stole it. 

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43 minutes ago, machine gun kelly said:

As Adrienne from the Burgh says (he’s a regular on MTC and kind of annoying) I’m not worried about the Hash Browns yet.

 

Like every FA and draft it’s about hope and when you’re close to the leader you should expect other teams trying to close the gap.  More pundits than not now think we are the closest to the Chiefs in the AFC.

 

One thing was for sure this weekend, Beane pivoted his philosophy somewhat in that we used to have need meet BPA.  Now he really showed BPA.  This team now likes t bet on themselves in development and FWIW, I think they did it.  They bolstered a D Line for the future an LD a little now.  Addison and Hughes probably won’t be here in a year.  They bolstered their O Line with 5 guys.  Those guys will add a lot of depth.

 

not sure on the other three but should be fun.  I think beane is just getting started in the UDFA market.  Should be fun in the other thread what he does moving forward.

 

Go Bills!

 

20-0 baby.  Still trying to get used to that 17th game.

 

I don’t understand how Beane and McD plan to manage the roster this year, is my only problem with the draft.

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TLDR,

 

How often do draft picks come in and make a big difference right away? I mean a big enough difference to swing Ls to Ws, not a ton. 

 

The UFAs the brownies brought in will help them more than their Rookies this season. Clowney hasn't been that great of a player the last few years and is kinda close to an overpriced JAG. Cleveland and Balt will contend for their division and thus far I'm giving the edge to Lamar over Baker. Baker needs to take a big step forward this year imo.

 

If Tua plays good this year, I would rank Miami over the Browns...sadly I'm not expecting much from Tua, will be a great roster with meh at qb...

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1 hour ago, JGMcD2 said:

This is a convenient reframing of the truth...  the fumble occurred in the first half of the game and the Mahomes missed part of the 3rd Q and all of the 4th.

 

Don’t make it sound so close 😂

 

The fumble was a big momentum swing and Mahomes really only missed part of the last Chiefs drive in the 3rd.  Where KC got away with one was that Sorensen hit that caused the fumble, IMO.  I thought and still think that should have been a personal foul.

 

Henne did try to help the Brownies out with a pick, though.

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I think my concern with crowning the browns is that they went 2-3 against pitt and baltimore, and the 1 win was against rudolph and the other had a bit of a flukey start to give them some really good field position and points.  

 

Good (not great) offense (14th in points, 16th in yards), but a great rushing attack.

Defense was 21st in points and 17th in yards - they drafted here and added clowney so there's definitely some room to improve a bit.

 

2-0 against cincy

4-0 against the NFCE

L to the jets

L to the raiders

 

The biggest win on their schedule was probably Tennessee, but they also beat Indy.  

 

7-2 in 1 score games.  Their offense is probably good for them to win some of these, as mayfield cut down on turnovers and they play more ball control.  But these were 1 score games that included Cincyx2, Houston, Philly, jax, the jete, and steelers backups week 17.  

 

I think they can push for the division lead here, but any of baltimore/pitt/cleveland can win that division.  NFCE vs NFCN is a big difference, and they play the AFCW - plus NE and Houston.  

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1 minute ago, dneveu said:

I think my concern with crowning the browns is that they went 2-3 against pitt and baltimore, and the 1 win was against rudolph and the other had a bit of a flukey start to give them some really good field position and points.  

 

Good (not great) offense (14th in points, 16th in yards), but a great rushing attack.

Defense was 21st in points and 17th in yards - they drafted here and added clowney so there's definitely some room to improve a bit.

 

2-0 against cincy

4-0 against the NFCE

L to the jets

L to the raiders

 

The biggest win on their schedule was probably Tennessee, but they also beat Indy.  

 

7-2 in 1 score games.  Their offense is probably good for them to win some of these, as mayfield cut down on turnovers and they play more ball control.  But these were 1 score games that included Cincyx2, Houston, Philly, jax, the jete, and steelers backups week 17.  

 

I think they can push for the division lead here, but any of baltimore/pitt/cleveland can win that division.  NFCE vs NFCN is a big difference, and they play the AFCW - plus NE and Houston.  

 

The Browns had a major weakness last year which was the back 7 of their defense. They have made some very good looking moves to address that through a combination of draft and free agency. There was no question to me that last year's Bills were a considerable distance clear of last year's Browns. The point is that on paper (and I get it they have to prove it on the field, no doubt) Cleveland has narrowed that gap. I was on record before last season as saying I thought there were only three possible Superbowl teams in the AFC - Kansas City, Baltimore and Buffalo. I think Cleveland is now on that list.

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5 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

The Browns had a major weakness last year which was the back 7 of their defense. They have made some very good looking moves to address that through a combination of draft and free agency. There was no question to me that last year's Bills were a considerable distance clear of last year's Browns. The point is that on paper (and I get it they have to prove it on the field, no doubt) Cleveland has narrowed that gap. I was on record before last season as saying I thought there were only three possible Superbowl teams in the AFC - Kansas City, Baltimore and Buffalo. I think Cleveland is now on that list.

 

I just think there is definitely some improvement to be had there.  I'm not totally set on clowney as an upgrade over vernon either.  They did well to grab a couple of rookies who can probably contribute right away though, and the offense should be better with beckham.  If they can't overtake baltimore though, the roads a bit tougher to start the playoffs on the road.

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I gave you a thumbs up.

 

Not because I agree with your conclusion (I think it is still Chiefs, Bills, Browns until Mayfield shows he can play at the Mahomes/Allen level), but because it was well reasoned, and I do think you can make a strong case that, while all three teams retained their own well, KC and CLE did more to improve their rosters.

 

Just not enough to close the overall team talent gap given the QB play and importance of that position.

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2 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

It’s absolutely possible to win a Super Bowl with a QB like Mayfield under center.  I would say, though, that the run game and D have to be better than good.  They have to be top notch.


In the year Trent Dilfer led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, he averaged 6.7 yards per attempt, and had a QB rating of 76.6. Mayfield’s numbers for 2020 were 7.3 and 95.9. That’s substantially better. The considerable upgrade Mayfield gives you over Dilfer means you don’t necessarily need a defense or running game as good as the Ravens of 2000 to achieve a Super Bowl win if Mayfield is your QB. 

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15 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

This is straight up homerism. Cleveland is very good and is a threat. They have had an excellent off season.

Allen is better, but Mayfield is good enough to excel with a good team around him. And Cleveland right now is LOADED with talent on both sides of the ball. I expect them to win 11-12 games next year. I hated what the Steelers have done and expect them to be 8-8 next season. That division is going to be a Ravens-Browns dogfight. @Inigo Montoya’s OP is a good one.

 

Games aren't played on paper, they are played on the field. Adding a bunch of pieces doesn't do a lot if they don't fit properly. And we have yet to see what that fit will look like. We already know how the Bills pieces fit. They went 13-3 against one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.

3 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

It’s absolutely possible to win a Super Bowl with a QB like Mayfield under center.  I would say, though, that the run game and D have to be better than good.  They have to be top notch.

 

When Cleveland didn't have the run game going, Mayfield wasn't good enough to carry them. It's why they lost to the Jets. It was the same in most losses they had.

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The Browns are going to be a problem, but I think having OBJ back actually hurts them.

 

The more Mayfield tries to make big throws the more they have issues. When they run the ball and Baker does his Alex Smith impression, going 17/20 for like 200 yards and no INT, they are tough to beat. But with the big name WR they try to air it out more and it costs them. 

 

It will be interesting to see how they approach the season. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ngbills said:

The game was very close. Yes, 19-3 looked like this was going to be a blowout. Even without the Fumble the 19-10 still would have looked like Chiefs were dominating.

 

2nd half was a different story even before Mahomes was hurt. Browns drive down 70 yards and score a TD to make it 19-10. Then hold KC to FG, 4th straight drive with a FG or nothing. Mahomes now gets hurt and its 22-10. CLE drives 70 yards again and scores so its 22-17 (Mahomes does not play D). CLE then gets the INT and it is looking like could win the game. KC is able to hold on with Henne and some luck on their side. But CLE had all the momentum for a big part of this game and almost stole it. 

Yep.... how it evolved into "the Browns couldn't even beat Chad Henne" is beyond ridiculous. 

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1 minute ago, ScottLaw said:

Yep.... how it evolved into "the Browns couldn't even beat Chad Henne" is beyond ridiculous. 

They were getting dominated everywhere except the scoreboard before Mahomes went down. Nobody watching the first 40 minutes of that game thought the Browns had a chance.

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