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A Few Thoughts about the Vikings game, in no particular order


Virgil
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Hey everyone, sorry for the hiatus these past few weeks, but taking some time off here and there was always the plan.  In all honesty, I didn't plan to write this game either, but a few  people asked and I didn't want to break my word.  However, these recaps are going to become less frequent as I continue to lean towards overall retirement.  It's not so much a the commitment to writing as I feel like there's less to say.  I'm either talking about the same positive types of performance or a let down.  Also, the few days after a loss on this board can be painful and I don't envy the mods.  With that, this might be a different style and not as in depth, but I tried to enjoy the game as much as I could.

 

1 - Josh - For all the mystery surrounding his elbow, you never would have thought for a moment he was injured in this game.  Allen was making all the throws with ease.  Josh made some amazing throws and even more amazing runs.  On the first red zone interception, I can't fault him for trying to make a play.  It was 4th down, so they Vikings would get the ball unless it was a touchdown.  The fumble, I still don't know who it was on, but it looked like a good snap from the replay I saw, albeit a tough replay to see.  The last interception is really my only concern with Josh in this game.  We had taken all the momentum back, were moving down the field at ease, and Josh throws it right into a defenders chest, same as he has the past few weeks.  What worries me the most is that I couldn't see anyone he was trying to throw to.  This wasn't a matter of receiving running the wrong route or an anticipation throw, he just made a terrible throw.  We are going to be in more games like this, that come down to the last drive, and Josh needs to be better here.  The fact that this was the only throw I questioned makes me a feel a little better about his decision making from the past 2 games, but still a concern.

 

2 - Coaching - The ONLY coaching issue I have from this game is the abandoning of the run game in the second half.  Motor was the offense for the first two drives until he fumbled.  Which, if you are going to have 3 other active running backs, then don't punish all of them for Motor's fumble (which I'm still not convinced was a fumble).   Going one dimensional in the second half is a large part of our second half scoring issue.  I don't understand why it keeps happening.  But on the goal line fumble, the going for it instead of the field goal, all of the coverages and decisions, I completely agreed with all of them in the moment.  They were the analytical right thing to do and made sense if the PLAYERS didn't keep getting beat.

 

3 - Pass Rush - If I'm not mistaken, the Vikings have one of the better offensive tackle tandems in the league.  With Groot out and Oliver possibly still not at 100%, it was going to be a rough day.  Credit to Von for getting home in the 4th, but you have to credit the Vikings offensive line in this game.  Besides the OT drive and the big run by Cook (to the outside again), the Bills defensive line did a decent job.  There were more than a handful of plays were I was surprised Cousins could even get the ball out, but he was just a split second faster with his release.

 

4 - Jefferson - Yes, the defender should have tried to knock the ball down on 4th and long.  However, Jefferson simply made some amazing plays in this game.  He's arguably the best receiver in the game right now.  His catch near the goal line was also a thing of beauty.  I can't blame coaching because players were on him both times, but couldn't make the play.  And credit to Cousins for making those throws.  Now, if Tre were back is it a different outcome, I hope so.

 

5 - Special Teams - I'm really curious to know why the Vikings kept bringing KO's out of the end zone and why they kept kicking to us short.  Did I miss something?  I don't remember seeing so many kick returns in a single game in years.  Also, why was Duke Johnson activated for this game?  Both sides played well for these units and Bass was back to being automatics.  Hines showed some nice punt return skills off the bounce as well.

 

6 - Super bowl - In the closing moments of the Jets game, you could see the Jets sidelines celebrate like they just won the Super Bowl.  In this game, I believe the Vikings played out of their minds.  There's no doubt to me that we got their 110% effort.  Even though we haven't won anything, we've been deemed the best team in the league all season and this is what the Bills need to expect each and every week.  If there's a silver lining, the Bills absolutely should have won all the games they lost.  We haven't gotten "beaten" per say.  So if there's a silver lining in this, we are preparing ourselves for the playoffs each week and will be greatly battle tested.  

 

 

Like I said, abbreviated version this week.  Hopefully you all get the point of what I'm trying to say.  Trust me, I'm pissed off too.  I'm tired of being on the losing end of these "game of the weeks."  But, we are only one game out of the one seed, get the chance to play everyone ahead of us again, minus the Chiefs, and are overall getting more healthy.  Hyde and Poyer being out is going to hurt us in these games.  Poyer might be 50/50 the rest of the way. but we have to get better there.  Hopefully, these back-ups can figure it out in time.  But come playoffs, regardless of our path, I expect us to be ready.


Go Bills

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Us abandoning the run game is absolutely blowing my mind.  Motor is running extremely well, why do we try to fix what isn't really broken.  These second half meltdowns has me concerned.  I'm still a believer in Dorsey, but he needs to expand his options.  We have playmakers outside of Allen and Diggs.  For the love of God, please get Shakir and Hines involved more.

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Just now, zevo said:

can beane go back in time and not hand Dawson knox that contract. I will forever not understand that contract.

 

It made sense based off his upward trajectory through last season.  I would argue that Dorsey isn't using him like he should and it's on him.  Knox actually had a decent game and helped when it mattered, making it even more frustrating that we don't use him more often

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100% agree on the abandonment of the run game.  Although Allen "is" a large majority of our offense, we are starting to see what it looks like when the OC puts the entire weight of winning solely on Josh's shoulders.  He reverts back to hero ball, doesn't take the underneath, and makes bad decisions.  Even an average run game allows him to take a play off, collect himself and take a breath.  Instead, he's constantly forced to be thinking - and eventually starts forcing things downfield because he wants to make a play as the game becomes solely on him.  As he slowly gets rattled he loses his short/medium field vision and starts to solely focus on Diggs or chunk plays to Davis.  Rams, Titans, etc. he took what was there and the results showed with points.  He's definitely forcing - and I believe that it's partly due to elevated weight on his shoulders only in close games when we abandon the run - and also the "Super Bowl" expectations of this team - kind of a "***** - we need points, I NEED to make something happen.  

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2 minutes ago, Virgil said:

 

It made sense based off his upward trajectory through last season.  I would argue that Dorsey isn't using him like he should and it's on him.  Knox actually had a decent game and helped when it mattered, making it even more frustrating that we don't use him more often

for the money I expect him to make that catch. it wasn't easy I get that. 

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I think Allen believed Davis was going to cross the face of the defender, but instead he tried to go deeper, meaning Peterson was the only player there when Allen threw it.

 

Looking below, Allen had 3!! other very good options on the play:

 

1)  Checkdown to Motor for an easy 6 or 7 if not a first down.

2) Take off running to the wide open space up the middle and to the left. Easy first down and possible TD.

3) Throw it to a wide open Quentin Morris coming across the middle around the 10 yard line. First down.

 

Instead he makes the one throws you CANNOT make in that situation.

 

 

 

Edited by Big Turk
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21 minutes ago, Virgil said:

then don't punish all of them for Motor's fumble (which I'm still not convinced was a fumble)

wasn't a fumble in my eyes

elbow touched the ground before the ball came loose

 

Thx for the post Virgil, appreciated

Edited by Repulsif
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I just find it funny McD in his press conference post game said something like Lewis needed to swat the ball…,

 

Well coach… was your staff or the players or anyone talking during the game??? That kind of stuff should have been yelled out multiple times before the snap by everyone!!!!!

 

Sounds like nobody said crap!!! 

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2 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

I think Allen believed Davis was going to cross the face of the defender, but instead he tried to go deeper, meaning Peterson was the only player there when Allen threw it.

 

Looking below, Allen had 3!! other very good options on the play:

 

1)  Checkdown to Motor for an easy 6 or 7 if not a first down.

2) Take off running to the wide open space up the middle and to the left. Easy first down and possible TD.

3) Throw it to a wide open Quentin Morris coming across the middle around the 10 yard line. First down.

 

Instead he makes the one throws you CANNOT make in that situation.

 

 

 

 

I think a lot of the credit has to go to Patrick Peterson. A Vet who clearly studied what the Bills like to run and who made 2 great plays which won them the game.

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3 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

I think Allen believed Davis was going to cross the face of the defender, but instead he tried to go deeper, meaning Peterson was the only player there when Allen threw it.

 

Looking below, Allen had 3!! other very good options on the play:

 

1)  Checkdown to Motor for an easy 6 or 7 if not a first down.

2) Take off running to the wide open space up the middle and to the left. Easy first down and possible TD.

3) Throw it to a wide open Quentin Morris coming across the middle around the 10 yard line. First down.

 

Instead he makes the one throws you CANNOT make in that situation.

 

 

 

I was yelling QB power or QB sweep at my TV!!!! Bills needed to get to the 10 yd line and take 3 shots from there. Use the damn timeouts, run the ball!!!! Bad decision and bad throw by Josh, play call was worse!!!

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23 minutes ago, Virgil said:

 

6 - Super bowl - In the closing moments of the Jets game, you could see the Jets sidelines celebrate like they just won the Super Bowl.  In this game, I believe the Vikings played out of their minds.  There's no doubt to me that we got their 110% effort.  Even though we haven't won anything, we've been deemed the best team in the league all season and this is what the Bills need to expect each and every week.  If there's a silver lining, the Bills absolutely should have won all the games they lost.  We haven't gotten "beaten" per say.  So if there's a silver lining in this, we are preparing ourselves for the playoffs each week and will be greatly battle tested.  

 

 

Great work as always Virgil.  The above is a good point.  As much as I hate to say it, one of those bad people over on Chiefs Planet pointed out that our victory over the Chiefs was bound to be the highlight of our season.  Is it possible that the Bills were so focused on that game that they're just fading out now?  If so that's 100% on coaching.  In any case, the Bills went from being the talk of the league right back to the NFL middle class.  They'll probably slip into the playoffs but they're not scaring anyone any more and will live or die with how Allen plays, which is not a formula for sustained success.

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3 minutes ago, billieve420 said:

 

I think a lot of the credit has to go to Patrick Peterson. A Vet who clearly studied what the Bills like to run and who made 2 great plays which won them the game.

 

Why is Peterson always involved in crazy regular season losses under McD and Allen?  He was in Arizona for the Hail Murray and was responsible for giving up a TD to Diggs that should have won the game.  This was his revenge I guess.

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2 minutes ago, CEN-CAL17 said:

I just find it funny McD in his press conference post game said something like Lewis needed to swat the ball…,

 

Well coach… was your staff or the players or anyone talking during the game??? That kind of stuff should have been yelled out multiple times before the snap by everyone!!!!!

 

Sounds like nobody said crap!!! 

 

Bills have been terrible at long down and distances what seems to be forever now. If it is not a conversion it is 4th and short type situation. Something they have to correct. I rather team be aggressive and lose than play soft coverage.

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Bills have played sloppy football all season.  Coaches have to remind guys of situational football.  The OC and his game plan is slow to establish a philosophy.   Play action plays are lacking and with a 17 point lead in the second half,  abandoning the run was baffling.  Bills keep losing these epic games. 

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