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Rational Thoughts After Pats Loss


corta765
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Let me first start off by saying yea last night stunk and for many fans a gut punch of the worst kind. For others the Bills lived up or rather down to the fears they expected.

 

With all of that said lets be a little bit rational with our approach and thoughts as fans. I 100% understand your feelings if you want McD gone as this does not feel. If you feel like that or some other pretty strong feelings understand that what I say below probably won't satisfy your feelings today and come back a few days from now haha

 

With that said here we go:

 

 McD Bad Coaching Year: Lets just go out and say this has been his worst year coaching and truthfully the coaching staffs worst year since he started in 2017. As I said above if you want him fired I get your frustration, but use some perspective or come back 2 days and read this. The standard has changed and elevated since McD has gotten here which is awesome and something he deserves heaps of credit for. Within 5 years we went from just hoping to break the playoffs to accepting that a title is something we should at least hope for. The flipside of that is the Bills have climbed the proverbial mountain to the point there is much left to climb other then a title so successes feel less big and failures larger. A year after his best coaching job his team just looks all over the place and that goes straight to the top. Last nights game alone was a synopsis on the coaching issues that have frustrated many:

 

-Down 8-0 in a game where scoring was coming at a premium the Bills get a TD and then.... kick a FG to still be down. One of the best things about McD the prior two years was the teams evolution to playing a burn the ships type mindset. If we lost we lost throwing everything out there right down to the kitchen sink. What difference did it make going for two vs FG. Either your tied or your down, didn't make a difference. This type of in game questioning has been constant all season and since the Titans loss when they went for it on 4th down the team has looked incredibly nervous and conservative as if that game short circuited him.

 

-The offense which had a solid identity on offense the prior two years (2019 strong running team with complementary passing, 2020 fast passing attack) just looks lost at points and uncreative. Like the other losses (minus IND) there was a lack of play action, movement pre snap, running Josh on a night he could've and should've been used and just general creativity.

 

-Many weeks the Bills have looked like a team expecting success just because they have in the past. I have said this in numerous posts but the first four seasons I never once questioned the play and intensity of the team. This year in multiple wins and losses I have questioned what the heck they are doing and their focus. This goes back to the guy leading the team. Yes this team seems to have a propensity to not doing well with tough line play, but prior Bills teams overcame talent issues like this and managed. This team just hasn't been able to do so.

 

-Buffalo many weeks seems to be playing catch up with game design rather then dictating what is happening which again goes back to the coach. Defenses across the NFL have adjusted to years of high passing attacks to forcing a more patient approach something the Bills just don't seem fully adjusted to. 

 

So yea if you feel McD has been bad this year your right to an extent. Many of the things above he was far better at in the prior years and mixed with the highest expectations the club has had in a while its a combo of puke all at once. With that said this isn't the end even if the season does go off the cliff for good. Sports are not linear and for coaches the most difficult thing in my opinion once your team has had success is managing expectations and focus. Many times coaches themselves have to fail before they learn that themselves. There is a laundry list of coaches and teams (1989 Bills are a popular one brought up here) who after the first big break through regress a bit before moving forward for real. I said a month ago this was the biggest challenge McD had faced since he became coach and the Peterman mess, right now he seems to be losing this challenge.

 

Daboll: I already covered some of this but he has had a bad year also. Part of this stems though from what is looking like an ideology clash between Sean and Brian. I think Sean has seen enough this season and is trying to tell Daboll to run and balance things more. Daboll to me is been vanilla and lacked creativity, but I also think he understands the Bills are at their best passing with how they are designed. Neither are right and neither are wrong, but part of the lack of identity comes from what seems to be the clash of these ideas. The biggest issue to me is they are protecting Josh too much. In far too many games that were close like NE or JAX they barely used Josh as a runner. Listen I get running your franchise QB is a risk, but he is also really good at it and the defenses have been leaving it out there. The same with play action or pre snap movement which are both things Allen excels at. For whatever reason the play design and calls have been incredibly porus. With that said Josh and Sean would both credit a lot of Joshs growth to Daboll. Regardless of where this season goes I would expect him to be back next season and the offense is going to evolve a bit to a bit more like the 2019 style that runs a bit better to setup Josh's best assets. 

 

Allen- It is funny I was nervous of regression from Allen, yet his numbers are pretty close to equal from last year and overall he has had another strong year. If there is one thing I miss from Josh it is the end of game killer instinct. Prior to this year he has had multiple game winning drives each season and generally seemed to thrive. Whether it is the offense, bad luck, some poor play, or just the way the cards have fallen he is 0-4 this year after last night which is a little surprising to me. The Bills were 5-1 in one score games last year vs 0-4 this year so some of it is statistics working there way back, but I do agree that he has been a little off in an area you could always count on him. With that said last night was not on Josh he was one of the few bright spots and it sucks I left feeling the team let him down.

 

Playoffs/Division:  Football is the dumbest sport out there because of how things change so fast week by week. Despite the loss Buffalo could lose win out there last 4 games and with a NE loss still win the division. I do not expect that to happen as I think the Jags game on has exposed them a bit as just not being there year, but no one knows anything. The eye test doesn't sit too good right now, but win the next two games and the NE rematch feels different. I guess what I am saying is it is 1000% fair to feel like this is looking pretty dire, but this is a really really weird sport where weird reigns supreme. The Bills to me look like a 6-7 seed playoff team that we will all look and say after losing well they came close and repeat all the issues we've said all year for their loss.

 

Long Term:  I understand that everyone wants the offensive line overhauled and the defense to get better at pass rushing in the offseason. There is absolutely room for both, but the bigger picture for me is what direction is the league moving in and how do the Bills stay with. The Bills have a lot of talent across the board and the biggest thing they need to do which they failed at in my eyes this offseason is evolving that talent whereas the Bills just seemed to bring the band back from round 2. Improving the lines is a needed fix, but just is needed is adding players who will maximize our best players talents. Identity keeps being the buzz word, but for good reason and it will be the largest question that needs addressing on offense especially for what they want to do. The same goes for the defense in terms of addressing the run. It is easy to say they need another run stopper, the bigger question is adding people who don't take away from the Bills success against the pass. 

 

That is all I have to say. If you read this thank you regardless of whether you agree or it angered you or your indifferent. This has been a frustrating season of sorts as at points the Bills have looked like title contenders and at other points the look like a team that is drafting mid round. If you were at last nights game credit to you for sticking it out despite the weather and end result. The Bills are just 3-3 at home which is pretty annoying as a fans considering the energy the fans put in and support for the team. 

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today is a lot to take in in the fanbase ...like u said many Im guessing feeling kinda gut punched Disappointed. I  Appreciate your thoughts a lot.

 

Ima grab my popcorn kind of poster I dont get too UP or down anymore Ive taught myself to deal with being a bills fan better if I just sit back and watch it all unfold..my angst and drama is in check LOL Go Bills

 

Exhale...........

 

 

m

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McD is a good coach. It's easy to look at last night's game and say he got outcoached - and he did - but BB will always be the master.  McD really didn't have a bad strategy or gameplan.  BB's was better - and NE got the breaks that made all of the hindsight analysis more stark.

 

I.e. - if we score on that last drive, the talk today is more about how the Pats might have blown it by not being more aggressive and passing more. That's how it goes in hot take nation.

 

We weren't going to keep sweeping the Pats year after year. The important thing now is to get the split.

 

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It's not about what McD has done. You have to believe he can win the SB or not. That is all that matters.  Five years of 10 wins and no SB is not success. We have had that already. The fan base and the city wants a championship. If you believe McDermott can do it there are signs of prior success that he can. If you believe as I do that he is closer to Dungy in Tampa and Schottenheimer in Cleveland, San Diego, and KC then you should move on to another head coach. My immediate 2022 choice was Lincoln Riley but that ship had sailed. 

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We had two opportunities late in the game to go ahead.  Poor execution on the field was the issue.  The line is just not good enough which limits the run game and prevents Josh from settling down.  And I don't think we have a single running back worth keeping.  The D for the most part did their job.  We all knew this was going to be a close game.  McD challenge was bad and we could've used those timeouts late but I just don't think this game was a result of coaching as much as the players being outmuscled.

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11 minutes ago, Muppy said:

today is a lot to take in in the fanbase ...like u said many Im guessing feeling kinda gut punched Disappointed. I  Appreciate your thoughts a lot.

 

Ima grab my popcorn kind of poster I dont get too UP or down anymore Ive taught myself to deal with being a bills fan better if I just sit back and watch it all unfold..my angst and drama is in check LOL Go Bills

 

Exhale...........

 

 

m

 

This year has been kinda a sports evolution year for me for two reasons:

 

1. AFC Title. Once we made it there finally!, it reset my expectations and also kinda grounded me from living and dying on every play. 

 

2. Had my second child, my wife got COVID (recovered thankfully), and my mother in law got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Football stopped mattering nearly as much for what really is important. I do not mean to put people down either saying that as if it is your thing to max that is awesome and good for you. But life for me hit a major refocus and losing my mind and ruining my week over a game played by millionaires lost its importance.

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9 minutes ago, Ethan in Portland said:

It's not about what McD has done. You have to believe he can win the SB or not. That is all that matters.  Five years of 10 wins and no SB is not success. We have had that already. The fan base and the city wants a championship. If you believe McDermott can do it there are signs of prior success that he can. If you believe as I do that he is closer to Dungy in Tampa and Schottenheimer in Cleveland, San Diego, and KC then you should move on to another head coach. My immediate 2022 choice was Lincoln Riley but that ship had sailed. 

 

I get what your saying and depending on this season some true warning lights may be coming on the dashboard. Since McD got here my faith has grown and last year certainly was big step forward. It is concerning though that seemingly every time expectations raise when they have success they have some major fits with it. The Pegulas I think want McD long term the way PIT does with Tomlin, Ravens John H, or the Giants have had only a few coaches etc... for stability. With that said I could see that by 2023-24 the hot seat warming for real if the team keeps spinning its wheels.

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5 minutes ago, corta765 said:

 

This year has been kinda a sports evolution year for me for two reasons:

 

1. AFC Title. Once we made it there finally!, it reset my expectations and also kinda grounded me from living and dying on every play. 

 

2. Had my second child, my wife got COVID (recovered thankfully), and my mother in law got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Football stopped mattering nearly as much for what really is important. I do not mean to put people down either saying that as if it is your thing to max that is awesome and good for you. But life for me hit a major refocus and losing my mind and ruining my week over a game played by millionaires lost its importance.

2. I hope your mom recovers fully, my dad had a coupled bouts with cancer and is in remission (and he was in his 70’s) I pray your mom does too.  Congrats on your baby!  As for Covid My entire family is just now getting out of quarantine and my wife and I are finally starting lose the dang cough..

 

Enjoy your holidays with your entire family and find enjoyment only in this silly thing we calll football. (I rather watch my son play who absolutely loves the sport and always watching film.)

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9 minutes ago, corta765 said:

 

This year has been kinda a sports evolution year for me for two reasons:

 

1. AFC Title. Once we made it there finally!, it reset my expectations and also kinda grounded me from living and dying on every play. 

 

2. Had my second child, my wife got COVID (recovered thankfully), and my mother in law got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Football stopped mattering nearly as much for what really is important. I do not mean to put people down either saying that as if it is your thing to max that is awesome and good for you. But life for me hit a major refocus and losing my mind and ruining my week over a game played by millionaires lost its importance.

Best of luck with your mother.

 

Yes when life faces you it quickly can demonstrate how insignificant this game is.

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23 minutes ago, Success said:

McD is a good coach. It's easy to look at last night's game and say he got outcoached - and he did - but BB will always be the master.  McD really didn't have a bad strategy or gameplan.  BB's was better - and NE got the breaks that made all of the hindsight analysis more stark.

 

I.e. - if we score on that last drive, the talk today is more about how the Pats might have blown it by not being more aggressive and passing more. That's how it goes in hot take nation.

 

We weren't going to keep sweeping the Pats year after year. The important thing now is to get the split.

 

BB isn't Einstein for Christ's sake.

 

You offer the rationalizations of a loser.

 

It was obvious what to do and not to do last night.

 

McDermott played scared and defensively, b/c that is who he is by nature.

 

He did not play bold and aggressively, like Philadelphia did in their SB against NE a few years ago...which is why Philly won that game. 

 

They played to win, took chances, were aggressive....and it paid off.

 

I don't ever recall a Bills game being coached like that against NE.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, HOUSE said:

Thank You Corta, I am leaving you extra money in my will a

 

Buy some ice cream

gglsnorts...im maybe the only person that thinks u are the shiznik but I'll own up to it

 

lmaooooo

 

im being snarky. I wear my heart on my sleeve haha

 

m

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@corta765 mentioned Allen not having the 4th qtr comebacks this year. It is definitely lacking, do we even have one? It seems this year Allen is always driving down the field and there is some stupid penalty every single time that kills the drive or puts us in terrible position. I think that has happened in every close loss this year. Yesterday it was Knox's false start.

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I came onto this thread to say something about improving O-line coaching (talent is there, IMO, scheme is not), but I now realize that I currently have little capacity for rational thoughts. If I didn't have to work today, I might just close all the shades, blast the Dead Kennedys, and cut myself.

 

EDIT: Thanks for all the work writing this, @corta765. I'm sure it's well written, and thoughtful. When my stomach settles, I'll probably read it.

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Nextmanup said:

 

McDermott played scared and defensively, b/c that is who he is by nature.

 

He did not play bold and aggressively, like Philadelphia did in their SB against NE a few years ago...which is why Philly won that game. 

 

They played to win, took chances, were aggressive....and it paid off.

 

I don't ever recall a Bills game being coached like that against NE.

 

McD has seemingly played conservative since the Titans loss which is probably my biggest gripe on the season as that seems to have seeped to every area of the team.

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10 minutes ago, Realist said:

@corta765 mentioned Allen not having the 4th qtr comebacks this year. It is definitely lacking, do we even have one? It seems this year Allen is always driving down the field and there is some stupid penalty every single time that kills the drive or puts us in terrible position. I think that has happened in every close loss this year. Yesterday it was Knox's false start.

 

No 4th quarter comeback this year. 0-4 in one score games, Buffalo either wins big basically or loses hyper close (minus IND which seems like our yearly implosion game that happens). Since Allen started he has had 10 4th quarter comebacks (tied or down):

 

2018: Titans, Jags, Lions (at Miami SHOULD be here also THANKS CHARLES CLAY :) )

2019: Jets, Bengals, Titans, Steelers

2020: Rams, Phins, Pats

 

Usually he is at his best in these situations which is why the three losses to TEN, JAX, & NE are in a sense stunning to me because Josh has bailed them out so many times I honestly would've figured by now he did it at least once. Truthfully if you are looking for a real positive he has played and proven to be a franchise QB this year and odds are he will probably single handily win them a game that at least clinches the playoffs in some capacity.

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54 minutes ago, Nextmanup said:

BB isn't Einstein for Christ's sake.

 

You offer the rationalizations of a loser.

 

It was obvious what to do and not to do last night.

 

McDermott played scared and defensively, b/c that is who he is by nature.

 

He did not play bold and aggressively, like Philadelphia did in their SB against NE a few years ago...which is why Philly won that game. 

 

They played to win, took chances, were aggressive....and it paid off.

 

I don't ever recall a Bills game being coached like that against NE.

 

 

 

 

I agree with everything you wrote EXCEPT for the bolded, I certainly do that we think in the past the Bills played scared, especially against Belichek.  Think back to the Jauron Era, we often played not to lose.

 

I get tired of the over the top praise at what a genius BB is, as if his game plan was some master stroke.

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