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THE ROCKPILE REVIEW - Bills Take Care of Falcons


Shaw66
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Fans have a mental-image of what an NFL win looks like. A prototype win. It’s what they want to see from their team, week after week.  Take control of the game from the start, score on almost every possession, have a comfortable half-time lead, and cruise through the second half to a stress-free win.

 

Problem is, every NFL game is unique.  It’s different from every other game, and very, very few wins fit the prototype.  In every game, as Sean McDermott is fond of saying, each team will face adversity.  How the team responds to adversity is the measure of how good a team is.

 

Yes, it’s a cliché.  The reason it’s a cliché is because it’s true.  Things go wrong in games.  They always do. 

 

The cliché was on display Sunday as the Bills beat the Falcons 29-15, clinching a playoff berth and now needing a win over the Jets in Orchard Park to win a second-straight AFC East title.  Things went wrong in the middle of the game for Josh Allen and the Bills, but the Bills responded.  The defense held, the running game clicked into gear, the Bills regained the lead.  The Falcons threatened to make it close, and then something went wrong for them.  They couldn’t recover.

 

For a game with plenty of uncomfortable moments for the Bills, it all ended oh, so comfortably:  Run the clock down to the two-minute warning and take three knees. 

 

The story of the game begins as it almost always does for the Bills, with Josh Allen.   Commentators for the past few weeks have been saying that no team relies on one player more than the Buffalo Bills, and it’s hard to deny it.  Allen can wreck a game with his arm and with his legs, and no quarterback in the league is as good as an over-all offensive player.  A few QBs run better, and a few QBs pass better, but no other QB is like Allen, a high-level threat both ways. 

 

Against the Falcons, Allen had some typically amazing throws, some near misses, and some drops, but he certainly did not have a good passing game.  Allen threw fastballs most of the day, probably because of the wind and snow, and the fastballs weren’t connecting. 

 

With the Bills driving for their third TD of the first half, a score that would go a long way to ending the game, Allen saw Diggs in the endzone, fired another bullet that was tipped and intercepted.  The Falcons then scored so quickly that the Bills still had time to attack again.  Allen immediately threw another interception, and the Falcons drove for a field goal to take the lead at halftime, 15-14.  On the third play of the third quarter, Allen threw his third pick.  Did someone say adversity?

 

The Bills responded.  The defense forced a three-and-out and also pushed the Falcons out of field-goal range.  The offense drove 80 yards in six-and-a-half minutes, an 11-play drive featuring 10 runs by Singletary and Allen.  The offensive line took charge.  The touchdown and two-point conversion put the Bills up 7.  The Falcons punted after five plays, and here came the Bills offense, again.  Twelve plays, seven and a half minutes, 65 yards for the touchdown to make it 29-15.  Another 10 running plays, shared by Allen, Singletary, and Moss.  29-15, and the game was in hand.

 

But the Falcons marched back, insisting the game was not over.  Matt Ryan scrambled for a touchdown and picked up a taunting penalty that became incredibly damaging when it was ruled Ryan had given himself up short of the goal line. That took six points off the board and left the Falcons with third and goal from the 16.  The Bills held for two plays to take the ball back.

 

And now, as if to show that Ryan’s drama was irrelevant, the offense took over again. They went on an 11-play, 5+ minute drive, that included all runs and three kneel downs.   If the Bills had needed a TD, Allen would have gotten it. 

 

The Falcons were not going to beat this team at this point in the season.  These Bills are doing a lot of things right, not always flashy, but right.  These Bills are mentally tough.  It’s evident everywhere:  Singletary’s emergence as a real threat; the offensive line’s sudden development as a pass protection unit, the line’s equally sudden ability to create the running room for Singletary, Allen, and Moss throughout the second half; a strip sack from Rousseau; a shoe-string tackle by Epenesa.  Guys at every position were making plays.

 

Sure, on pure style-points, this game was far from awesome:  Stevenson’s fumble. Allen’s INTs, of course, the defense’s failure to get a stop on the Ryan non-TD.

 

But, style points no longer matter.  Scratching and clawing and competing in every way you possibly can is what matters.  The style isn’t always pretty, but this style is showing that it can be pretty tough to beat. 

 

And Josh Allen is the Chief-Executive-Scratcher-and-Clawer.  The team feeds off his determination.  We see his physical toughness in his runs, of course, and we also see his mental toughness in his presence in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.  He isn’t confused; he understands what he sees.  We aches to win.  He’s mentally tough.

 

The Bills have played with that toughness, led by Allen’s toughness, for two games now, and I would be surprised if they lose that attitude against the Jets next week. 

 

GO BILLS!!!

Edited by Shaw66
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Whatever it takes, including a bit of luck.  Results oriented, selfless.

 

ot - but compare our players’ attitudes to that of Antonio Brown.  Opposite end of an unsustainable spectrum.

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18 minutes ago, RunJoshRun said:

Was Bates injured badly?

Dig Higgs suffer a concussion late in the game?

Where was Sanders?

 

Just wondering??!!

 

Bates not sure...

 

Diggs, no...he was back on the field.

Sanders was inactive with a knee injury.

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26 minutes ago, ControllerOfPlanetX said:

1st and ten at the 12 and the Bills dial up some reverse pass by Diggs...idiotic...they were systematically driving down the field and Daboll goes high school...

please - relax.  We won and I would bet you've never been an offensive co-ordinator.  Some people just need to complain and bring down others who succeed.  It 's called a "sad" personality!

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The last 3:30 of the 2nd qtr can’t happen against good teams. Bills were in complete control then they get cute with attempting a WR pass and a horrible decision by Josh on 3rd and long that results in an interception. At the minimum you get no less than a short FG to go up 17-5. Plus you get the ball to start the 2nd half. Josh has to be mentally stronger in that situation. Points equal extending your lead and maintaining your momentum. Instead it pumped life into the Falcons.

 

On Josh’s 3rd interception all the credit to ATL’s Walker who made a great play. 

 

Strong games by Devin, Oliver and the OLine showing improvement in the running game. Bills didn’t play great but still won by 14 on a meh day by Josh in the passing game.

 

Now lets take care of business against NYJ and go into the playoffs with strong momentum!

 

 

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13 minutes ago, RunJoshRun said:

please - relax.  We won and I would bet you've never been an offensive co-ordinator.  Some people just need to complain and bring down others who succeed.  It 's called a "sad" personality!

Sequence ended in a pick when the game could have been put away. I am relaxed and glad we won but get perplexed when  coaches try to outsmart themselves.  Not upset at third pick..ball was tipped and Diggs was open..

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Scratching and clawing against the Falcons would equal being down by multiple scores against a good team.  The Colts showed us that.  The emergence of a running game is great and the emergence of sorts of the Dline is great also.  That said our special teams woes and double digit picks since the beginning of Nov are concerning.  Not concerning like we can't win but certainly an area we should clean up.  We have a scrappy opportunistic defense but i wouldn't call it a shut down defense.  The defense you read about on paper does not seem like what you are watching on the field.  I feel like we are just as capable of winning any game we play (like last year) yet I don't feel as confident.  Like I'm waiting to see which team shows up on Sunday.

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why are we discussing all this in a thread that just re-caps a game we all saw with flowery words.  With so many game re-play options on the Internet this has all become a bit stale and boring.  You can read the Buffalo News reporters after a game and get the same drival.  

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Great review Shaw. 

 

One thing though - Bills adjusted - Allen's intercepted balls were tipped and Bills adjusted the game plan to try to take those factors out of game.  They would not have done that before.

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1 hour ago, RunJoshRun said:

why are we discussing all this in a thread that just re-caps a game we all saw with flowery words.  With so many game re-play options on the Internet this has all become a bit stale and boring.  You can read the Buffalo News reporters after a game and get the same drival.  

Because it's a discussion forum, perhaps?

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2 hours ago, Aussie Joe said:

Nice review as always Shaw…

 

An added bonus this week is that it seems to have upset one of the forum peanut gallery members …

"Review" - can't we all remember what we saw just a few hours ago???  It really doesn't need an interpretation or explanation.  It's written like a historical paper about a silly football game.  

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15 minutes ago, RunJoshRun said:

"Review" - can't we all remember what we saw just a few hours ago???  It really doesn't need an interpretation or explanation.  It's written like a historical paper about a silly football game.  

 

I look forward to this write up and Virgil’s every week.  It’s a TBD cornerstone.  If it’s not your thing, that’s ok, just don’t read it and move along.

 

I don’t run into a fondue restaurant berating the diners there about how bad fondue restaurants are.  People do their thing and I do mine.

 

Comity.

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