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Virgil
Virgil

A Few Thoughts About the Cowboys Game, in no particular order

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© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

 

I can honestly say I didn't know if was going to write another one of these this season.  Not because of the prior wins or losses, but because I don't see a point in writing the same content over and over again.  The Bills team and individual players rarely did enough from week to week that constituted 9 things and lyrics to talk about.  I mean, I can sum it all up with Kincaid, Kindcaid, McD's defense collapses, and Floyd/Oliver.  However, this Dallas game was a different beast and one of the more enjoyable games of the season.  

 

1 - We got you Josh - I promise, Cook will be second. If there's one thing I loved most about this game above all else, it's that the coaches and team finally proved to Josh that they could beat a quality team without needing him to be superman.   I don't think I've ever been happier to see our starting qb throw for under 100 yards in my entire time as a Bills fan.  Not only that, but to see Diggs and Allen still pumping up the team on the sidelines, supporting the offensive line and Cook, just shows you again how great a team dynamic McD (yes, dropped here intentionally) has built.  To take it a step further, the Bills have also sent a message to every other team in the league that you have to plan for more than Allen and Diggs, which is a very scary thought.

 

2 - Yes Chef! - I have been one of many who believe that you can plug and play most running backs in a good system and you will see similar results.  And while I do believe that still, Cook showed just how important confidence, rhythm, and skillset together can allow a back to perform at the next level.  I was really impressed with Cook's acceleration after a cut.  His change of direction had defenders falling all over themselves.  Cook also showed great angles when bouncing outside and just blew past guys.  Even better was just how the rest of the team fed off every run.  Usually Josh has to perform some heroic feat to get everyone all riled up, but you could see everyone bracing for the next big run.  I mean honestly, when's the last time you can say you were excited for the next hand off.  The only thing that prevented the perfect game was the dropped potential touchdown, which wouldn't be an issue, if we didn't have the same issue in Philly a few weeks back.  But all that being said, Cook is now the #2 back in rushing yards and total yards.  For you fantasy owners, I bet you are really hating on Murray and Josh stealing all those goal line carries.

 

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© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

 

3 - The Pulls - Maybe I don't pay attention to this enough in other games, but it seemed like our lineman pull game was exceptional.  I counted at least six big runs where a guard or tackle pulled to the other side of the line and laid out a monster block.  It was almost comical to see those guys get to the next level and destroy a defender.  You've all seen the replay of Dawkins blocking a defender into the next time zone on one of the big Cook runs.  Regardless, such a simple play design allowing the big dawgs to shine was a beautiful thing and I couldn't be happier for the line to finally show some success.

 

4 - Run for the money, caught short on the rent.

Big ideas, but the cash is all spent.

The trouble with love is it's on vase.

You just want a cup, but you don't want to race.

No, you don't want to race.

 

5 - Definition on Insanity - Not to take away from the Bills success, but anyone else find it strange that the Cowboys seemingly made zero adjustments at half time.  I get it, the Cowboys are built for speed on defense, which they sacrifice size for.  However, stack the box, but some bigger depth guys in, do something different!  On the few plays we actually did pass the ball, you could see that Dallas was ready for it as they got to Josh somewhat quick.  Which is fine, when you aren't down 21 and the Bills have proven they have no issues continuing to run the ball.  It all just seemed really weird to me how they played that game on defense.  I get it in the first half, as you expect Josh to be Josh and just start throwing because that's who he is.  But on that 8 minute drive in the 3rd quarter where we ran it almost every play, there's just no excuse for that.

 

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© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

 

6 - Calm the Crazy - I was a little nervous when Dodson and Rapp were making some questionable hits that led to penalties.  With the tempers flaring early, I was expecting some really dumb penalties that would bring Dallas back into the game.  However, credit to both of them, and maybe McD, but they found a way to clean that up and keep the intensity alive.  That was one of the most punishing defensive games I can remember in quite a while.  Every time a Cowboy touched the ball, they were getting hit immediately.  We didn't just beat them, we absolutely BEAT them.  For context, Dallas kept their starters in for a moral victory touchdown at the end of the game, because we destroyed the previous 3 loss team's confidence that badly.  Let that one sink in.

 

7 - Defense - I honestly forgot that Cooks was on the Cowboys until Dak missed him deep early in the game.  For a moment, I got nervous as I realized how the Cowboys were so tough to defend.  They have legit speed in both receivers, that make you play two safeties deep, which opens up the run; which Dallas has a great offensive line and backs themselves.  Even with that being said, we found a way to defend both.  Our line may not have been able to stop their rushing attack behind the line much, but they also didn't let them get much further.  We were able to force multiple third downs, which is when our pass rush kicked in.  Add to that a ball-hawking Poyer, Benford, and other swarming defenders.  I don't even know what to say about Floyd anymore.  He is just an absolute beast.  I really wish we could just give Von's contract to him.

 

8 - Phillips - To give credit where it's due, Phillips played a monster game.  I personally think Phillips has been overall ineffective and a bit of a liability this season.  Phillips has always been an emotional player to me, which is great when it works, but can also work against you.  In this game, Phillips was an absolute wrecking ball.  Dak is probably waking up with cold sweats now just thinking about it.  Phillips was able to take on multiple blockers on quite a few plays, which left Oliver, Groot, and Floyd 1 on 1 with blockers.  Guess how that went....

 

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© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

 

9 - McD/Beane - Props to both of these guys for both getting the pieces and utilizing them to their potential.  We held their offense to 10 points (3 real ones), without Jones, Milano, Tre, Hyde, and AJ.  I know there's a lot of cap concerns and replacing the older guys.  And yes, that Von contract worries me.  But to get this output without those main staples, half of which aren't getting any younger, shows that this team is not even close to being out of their window.  

 

10 - Going forward - If you cared to listen to the media today, there was one consistent theme you heard.  Keep the Bills out of the playoffs, because you don't want to play them.  The Bills and 49ers are considered the two hottest teams in the league and it's all coming together at the right time.  We are one Bass FG away, or 11 men on the field, from being in control of the 2 seed right now, which is crazy if you think about this season.  Again, props to McD for getting this Defense back to playing lights out.  Props to Brady for supporting Josh and creating another superstar in Cook.  And props to all the other unsung heroes (Knox, offensive line, Poyer) who are quietly having a strong second half and really helping bring it all together.

 

 

Off to handle our business and setting up an epic Week 18 game in Miami. 

 

Go Bills!!!

 

You can find all of Virgil's Articles in the, "A Few Thoughts...Category."

 

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