Image Credit: © Chris Pedota-USA TODAY Sports
One of the toughest parts about writing these is not knowing what the Bills plan was going in. There are so many plays where you assume one player missed their assignment when maybe they were the one who reacted first to cover up for someone else. That thought typically keeps my perspective in check, and I try to focus only on the play's end results or a specific engagement between players. Regardless, it's tough not to give in to the eyeball test. With that being said, I lead into #1 of our Jets scrimmage results.
1 - Klein - I was really impressed with Klein's game in place of Edmunds as he made multiple plays that stood out. One of my biggest complaints about Edmunds is that he doesn't make those game-changing plays often enough to make me want the team to commit to him long-term. On the very first series of this game, Klein almost made one of those plays. He crept up to the line after the ball was snapped, getting lost in the mass of blockers and making White think the middle of the field was open. As White set to throw, Klein stepped back into his zone and almost had an interception off his hands. With Edmunds, I feel like he would have stayed in the zone the whole time, discouraging the pass in the first place. Same end result, but Klein had the bigger play opportunity. Beyond that, Klein has some amazing solo tackles in space and shot the gap with speed for a tackle for a loss. Klein played like a missile waiting for his target, and I honestly hope to see more of him at MLB.
2 - Brieda - My fantasy team be damned; it's hard not to love the three-headed monster we saw yesterday. Brieda caught a beautiful pass on a wheel route for the first touchdown and then showed power and speed for a rushing touchdown later. He didn't get a lot of carries, but he made the most of them, possibly showing Motor and Moss that their spots in the split aren't secured. Speaking of Motor, he was frustrating with his unassisted fumble but also finally executed an outside zone run play (CALL THOSE MORE DABOLL). Overall, everyone got a rushing touchdown, but Brieda set the tone early and hopefully gets to see more touches. I also loved that Josh had him at the podium for the post-game while taking ownership for their turnovers (even if Allen's interception hit the ground. I mean, seriously?!)
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3 - Allen - Anyone else get the vibe that he just didn't care about coverage in this game and wouldn't be denied. He threw up multiple balls that just gave his receivers a chance. This was seen most with Diggs, even calling the same play back to back. Their chemistry is undeniable, and they feed off each other. With Diggs great play comes Allen confidence, and then everyone else benefits. All had some beautiful passes but also kept the fire on the sidelines when forced to punt. If there is a sugar-high Josh, this was "Don't ***** with me" Josh. He also had a really nice run that was negated by a BS holding call against Dawkins. Allen had some misses and wasn't perfect, which I only say because he is capable of it, but he was overall the MVP candidate we know he can be.
4 - Holding hands are daughters and sons
And their faiths are falling down, down, down, down
I have wished for so long
How I wish for you today
5 - GABE! - I don't think I realized how much I love watching this kid play until he showed up big in this game. I get that Sanders can squeak open deep, but Davis just straight blew by his cover guy and the safety. Davis also showed great concentration on a deep ball that was tipped around. I don't care how many snaps it cuts into for Sanders (who made an amazing one-handed catch against PI); we are a better team when Davis takes the top off defenses and keeps them honest. I don't know what the snap counts were, but Daboll needs to keep it going. Also, Davis had a few good blocks to help the run game, something Sanders also struggles with.
© Chris Pedota-USA TODAY Sports
6 - Secondary - What else can you say except Mike White is going to need trauma counseling after this game. Every single starting defensive back recorded a turnover, which the defensive line helped with tipped passes at the line. Of all the interceptions, Tre's may have been my favorite. Similar to Klein's almost interception earlier in the game, Tre was shadowing a mid zone and another player. However, once White released the ball, Tre showed off his closing speed and acted like the deep safety, pulling in the pick easily. Everyone played a part in this game, and Wallace played phenomenally, laying some hits in the process. Poyer's interception at the goal line was the final punch in the stomach, and it was just a great day overall as they slammed the book shut on the ascending Mike White story.
7 - McKenzie in Motion - It's hard to wonder how much the Bills pay attention to the online criticism because the McKenzie motion sweep was back on display in this game again, even scoring a Touchdown off it. As said all week, it's not that the play is unstoppable, but it's just one more thing the defense has to think about before pinning their ears back and going after Josh. McKenzie also had a great return game today, almost breaking one. Just another example of the 2020 gang getting involved again.
8 - Pass Protection - I can't say that I watched each offensive lineman in this game, but I did notice the extra help Daboll gave the front line. We kept an additional one or two guys in to block on a good majority of the snaps, which led to more time in the pocket. There was one breakdown play where a free DB came in from the strong size, and neither Knox nor the HB chipped him. I don't know how Allen didn't see him coming, but it was a solid hit on him that none of us want to see. Regardless of how it happened, the pass protection was there, and Allen easily put up over 300 yards. On a side note, it also felt like the receivers were getting deep quicker than normal. There were a few plays where Allen threw it up, and I was surprised to see how far downfield our guys had already got.
© Chris Pedota-USA TODAY Sports
9 - Defensive Line - I'm really curious to see the snap counts for this game and possible where they lined up, as it was tough to keep track of for this game. It looked like Oliver, who also played a statless great game, was lined up on the end a few times. AJ seemed to have his snap count increased, and potentially at the expense of Groot. Again, I'm not sure what the strategy was, and it's hard to complain about the outcome. We tipped quite a few passes, but the pressure was mediocre. Boogie absolutely leveled a guy in the backfield, which was my highlight of the 4th quarter. What I found the most interesting was when we decided to blitz. It seemed like we sent extra pressure on 2nd down the most, but we had some 3rd and longs where we only sent 3. Again, I can't argue with the result, but I was surprised we didn't go after White earlier more often. Side note, anyone disagree with the flag against AJ for roughing? I don't know what he could have done differently on that play.
10 - McD - While there is no excuse for last week's debacle, you have to give McD credit for having his team ready for this game. McD didn't mince words all week to the press and called people out as needed. Allen was pissed, Diggs had swag, and the trio ran angry. Poyer and Hyde had the secondary jumping, and Klein was shot out of a cannon. I know we played the Jets, but there are no easy wins, as we've learned these past few weeks. We have a decent stretch of games coming up against teams that show promise. McD needs to keep this going if we want to secure the one seed.
On to the Colts and the surprisingly solid Wentz and Pittman is sneaking up the receiving stat boards. Star is out against Taylor, arguably the best active RB in the game right now, but we are still the better team and need to get it done at home.
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