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Bills chasm between Regular Season Success and Playoff Failure-Are there Football Strategy Problems?


Chaos

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I am hopeful this thread avoids discussions of specific coaching or players.  

Here are some facts that are not in dispute:
 

  1. The Bills have had more regular season success than virtually any other NFL team in the last 5 years.
  2. The Bills have not translated the regular season succes into deep playoff runs

 

Here is a commonly held opinions:

  1. Playoff football is different than regular season football.  (I am personally on the fence on whether or not this is true)

 

For purposes of this thread discussion I would like to stipulate that Playoff Football IS different than regular season football.  Here is the question:

 

Are their any significant football strategic changes that could be made, that would result in playing better "Playoff Football"? If so what are those changes?
 

Alternatively, its fine to respond "flawed premise, the gap between playoff success and regular season success is because the Bills are less talented, or unluckier than the teams that win the Super Bowl"

 

 

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More regular season success than virtually every team EXCEPT Kansas City... And they are the ones that keep knocking the Bills out of the playoffs.

 

It's as simple as that. We are in the middle of a Chiefs dynasty and the Bills are really good, but not quite as good as them.

 

But they are close. The games are always close. They've shown they can hang with them. So, keep trying and one of these years they will.

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2 minutes ago, MJS said:

It's as simple as that. We are in the middle of a Chiefs dynasty and the Bills are really good, but not quite as good as them.

 

 

But we ARE as good as them (talent wise). That’s the part that kills me. We have beaten them two seasons in a row.

 

Poor coaching killed us in 13 seconds. And injuries decimated us this year.

 

Last year we didn’t even get bounced by the Chiefs - we got beaten (badly) by the Bengals.

 

The only year KC was truly better than us was 2020.

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8 minutes ago, Einstein said:

 

 

But we ARE as good as them (talent wise). That’s the part that kills me. We have beaten them two seasons in a row.

 

Poor coaching killed us in 13 seconds. And injuries decimated us this year.

 

Last year we didn’t even get bounced by the Chiefs - we got beaten (badly) by the Bengals.

 

The only year KC was truly better than us was 2020.

Yes, it's a factor. However, virtually every team has to battle the injury bug. The Ratbirds were probably the healthiest team of the 7 AFC teams, they couldn't get it done either.  

 

I just think the Bills are a step behind KC even when healthy. Funny thing is, I do think the Bills would beat the over rated 49ers today, that's what is so frustrating. 

 

 

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The difference might literally be as simple as Steve Spagnuolo. The guy is really good. Shut down the 2007 Patriots offense when he was with the Giants.

 

The Bills will never get to the Super Bowl if they are giving up 27+ points in every single divisional/conference championship game. It's too much to ask of the offense in consecutive weeks against the top four teams in the conference. 

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12 minutes ago, Einstein said:

But we ARE as good as them (talent wise). That’s the part that kills me. We have beaten them two seasons in a row.

 

Poor coaching killed us in 13 seconds. And injuries decimated us this year.

 

Last year we didn’t even get bounced by the Chiefs - we got beaten (badly) by the Bengals.

 

The only year KC was truly better than us was 2020.

How are we as good as them talent wise? They have a lot of really good, young players on defense. They've knocked it out of the park in the draft the last couple of years. They have three superstars (Mahomes, Kelce, Jones). The Bills have only one (Allen), because Diggs isn't even performing like a good #1 anymore, much less like a superstar.

 

I don't think the Bills are too far behind them, but the Chiefs are better. I think the Chiefs do have more talent, especially high end talent, and they have an excellent coaching staff as well.

 

I don't think it is hopeless. I think the Bills can beat them. They've shown they can. But the Chiefs have the upper hand.

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10 minutes ago, MJS said:

How are we as good as them talent wise? They have a lot of really good, young players on defense.

 

For one, we have beaten them two of the last three games.

 

We should have beaten them 3 of the last 4, if not for some very poor coaching decisions.

 

That doesn’t happen with a team (talent wise) that is better than you. 

 

If the argument is really that we are not their equal after 4 offseasons of trying, then Beane needs to go (I don’t agree with that argument). Those really good young players you talk about on their defense we’re all added in the last 2 offseasons.

 

And we are talking about a Chiefs offense that was so bad at times this season that Chiefs fans didn’t think they would make it out of wild card round.

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Andy Reid and the Chiefs as a whole organization, are just a more mentally nimble operation. The Bills look at everything from a reactionary passive aggressive approach, while the Chiefs are always looking at creative ways to stay 1 step ahead of everyone else.  It’s why we’re “so close” but always a day late and a dollar short. It’s a glitch in the operating philosophy of the Bills 

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17 minutes ago, Sammy Watkins' Rib said:

The difference might literally be as simple as Steve Spagnuolo. The guy is really good. Shut down the 2007 Patriots offense when he was with the Giants.

 

Coaching is DEFINITELY a limiting factor in the Bills-Chiefs equation.

 

Swap the Chiefs and Bills coaching staff in 2021 and the Bills are in the Super Bowl. 

 

The sad part is you could make the same argument for the early 90’s Bills teams. Swap Levy’s staff with our Super Bowl opponents and we have at least 2 Lombardi’s.

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I've said coaching for a while but they've gotten great players with their 1st and 2nd round picks the last 3 years which have morphed their defense. Rice, McDuffie, Karlaftis, Bolton, Humphrey over the last three years (amongst others). They've effectively transformed their team into a cost controlled team while keeping their superstars (though we will see about Sneed). 

 

But it's coaching. 

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Two big differences between regular season and playoff games are coaching and management of pressure.

 

1) The best coaches plan for the playoffs. They save plays and wrinkles in their schemes to take advantage of other teams’ weaknesses. One example from the last Chiefs-Bills playoff game. Reid put 10 men on the field for the Bills punt that got faked. He knew from it happening previously in the regular season that the Bills had the fake baked into their system and were likely to run it if they faced 10 or less men. They knew exactly what was coming and got a huge turnover on downs. It is very unlikely that KC wins that game without that play. 

 

2) Pressure increases throughout the playoffs, ramping up each and every round and in close games. Coaches have to instill confidence in their players that they are up to the task and putting them in the best position to succeed. We’ve certainly seen pressure get to this coaching staff (13 sec) and team (2022 playoffs). The expectations have to be that the coaches and players will prevail, not that someone will find a way to lose. Problems here manifest themselves as blunders, unnecessary risks lack of focus. Hero ball and overly aggressive play calling are examples. 

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3 hours ago, Chaos said:

I am hopeful this thread avoids discussions of specific coaching or players.  

Here are some facts that are not in dispute:
 

  1. The Bills have had more regular season success than virtually any other NFL team in the last 5 years.
  2. The Bills have not translated the regular season succes into deep playoff runs

 

Here is a commonly held opinions:

  1. Playoff football is different than regular season football.  (I am personally on the fence on whether or not this is true)

 

For purposes of this thread discussion I would like to stipulate that Playoff Football IS different than regular season football.  Here is the question:

 

Are their any significant football strategic changes that could be made, that would result in playing better "Playoff Football"? If so what are those changes?
 

Alternatively, its fine to respond "flawed premise, the gap between playoff success and regular season success is because the Bills are less talented, or unluckier than the teams that win the Super Bowl"

 

 

It's part not enough quality weapons for Josh and part being too predictable. 

 

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It’s been pointed out numerous times here that playoff failures over the last five years are invariably defensive failures (giving up an average of 33 PPG over the last four losses).  So really the mystery comes down to why a defense that is typically a top performing regular season defense poops the bed in the postseason.  I’m a believer that the bend but don’t break, soft zone defense needs to be revamped.  Look to the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” defenses.  Super aggressive, built to play with a lead and cause turnovers.  Not particularly a good defense.  WE NEED TO CHANGE DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHY!  It’s been said many times, what is the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Spags maintains or even elevates his Defense in the playoffs while McDermott Defense is a no show, even with that, Allen walked off the field twice in the final 2 mins with a lead but when your Defensive genius coach doesn’t know how to handle 13 seconds then it’s a wrap.

 

McDermott has to go.

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4 hours ago, Chaos said:

I am hopeful this thread avoids discussions of specific coaching or players.  

Here are some facts that are not in dispute:
 

  1. The Bills have had more regular season success than virtually any other NFL team in the last 5 years.
  2. The Bills have not translated the regular season succes into deep playoff runs

 

Here is a commonly held opinions:

  1. Playoff football is different than regular season football.  (I am personally on the fence on whether or not this is true)

 

For purposes of this thread discussion I would like to stipulate that Playoff Football IS different than regular season football.  Here is the question:

 

Are their any significant football strategic changes that could be made, that would result in playing better "Playoff Football"? If so what are those changes?
 

Alternatively, its fine to respond "flawed premise, the gap between playoff success and regular season success is because the Bills are less talented, or unluckier than the teams that win the Super Bowl"

 

 

I believe that there may be. In the regular season they worry about execution and can be a little more cautious because they generally have more talent. Over the course of the year, that will lead to a good record.
 

In the playoffs you need to score more. It isn’t about keeping games close. Surround Josh Allen with weapons and try to score 35+. You’ll only need a few stops then. You can’t play in the playoffs to win 20-17. You negate the advantage of Josh Allen when you do that. KC has figured that out over the last 6 years. Forget about “ball control” or “time of possession” or “balance” or “field position” in the playoffs!! Put the ball in Josh Allen’s hands and get out of the way. Pedal to the floor

Edited by Kirby Jackson
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Bad bounces, a hand full of bad play calls, bad penalties at the worst times from the officials, remove just some of those and the Bills are in a couple of Super Bowls. 

 

Sometimes it's the Bills coaching making some bad decisions at the worst times, but they have also been incredibly unlucky.

 

Look at every statistic since McDermott and Beane took over, the Bills are near the top for everything.

 

The worst decision in franchise history was to trade the pick to KC that allowed them to draft Mahomes. If he goes to any other team in the league other than KC with Andy Reid I'm convinced the Bills already have at least one championship. 

 

The Bills have this inexplicable "curse" and someday it's going to to get exorcised. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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