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A Few Thoughts about Washington Game, in no particular order


Virgil
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You know that feeling when you think you left your phone somewhere while out shopping?  There's a little bit of panic and self doubt as you wonder where you could have left it and you start strategizing how you will track it, recover your photos, convince the store it was stolen so you warranty covers it, yadda yadda yadda.  After hours of internal self-scrutiny, you reach your hand into your other pocket and find it, realize that only second have passed, and that wave of assurance rushes over you.  You remember that your other hand was full of groceries at the time, so you put it in the abnormal pocket, and there was never any real cause for concern in the first place.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Josh was simply in the other pocket.  

 

1 - Our Quarterback - Josh took a few steps back, looked downfield, then checked to the swing, before firing a bullet over Motor's head.  70 thousand fans all sighed and accepted that today was going to be more of the same from Allen today and hopefully the defense is still up to the task.  And then, just as quickly as that feeling grew, it was over.  Josh was back, and Josh was brilliant.  Josh was making throws on the run, across his body, while being tackled and all of them right on the money.  He showed touch on the deep ball, didn't throw into coverage unless only our guy could get it, and as many fans have said, brought 2020 Josh out again.  His best throw of the day was incomplete and largely due to the wind, which even affected long snaps to the punter.  Diggs broke free deep and Allen made the throw as soon as he saw the safety break.  As he threw it, Josh was off his feet while getting tackled high and low by two defenders.  The wind caught the ball in the air and drifted it away from Diggs.  Had the wind not been there, I personally believe Diggs makes that catch and Josh breaks the rules of physics again because no quarterback should be able to make that throw.  For me, I was back to counting on one hand all the throws he missed, watching him dance around incoming defenders with ease, and expecting every single throw to be a solid gain.  And with Josh coming back to form, all his receivers came back with him.

 

2 - Knox - For a player so up and down, it's hard to feel comfortable ever declaring him "fixed."  However, if there were a game for that, this is it.  Knox was an absolute stud on the field in every capacity as a tight end.  He blocked well, he found space well, he showed good hands, and he made a ridiculous catch from Allen that showed trust in the throw, field awareness, and just overall domination of a defender.  More impressively to me is where Knox was lined up.  Daboll did a great job of putting Knox on the line as a blocker and mixing up his routes versus blocks.  Knox would have two hands on the ground most plays, then sneak down the seem.  The touchdown was the little extra that makes you understand why Josh and the coaching staff keep giving him a chance.

 

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3 - Daboll - Many, including myself, have criticized Daboll's ability to mix in a rushing attack without neutering the passing attack.  Against Washington, Daboll seemed to find that mix perfectly.  The rushes came out of multiple formations and he effectively rotates Motor and Moss to utilize their strengths.  Motor wasn't overly impressive, but wasn't a hindrance.  Moss made the most of his carries and catches and also showed why the coaches leaned more his way at the end of last season.  I still hope they keep the rotation as they have different skill sets.  For the second straight week, the second level blocking was on point.  For a Washington Defense that is claimed to be very good this year, they had absolutely no answer for Daboll's game plan. 

 

4 - When she couldn't hold she folded
A dissident is here
Escape is never the safest path
Oh, a dissidence, a dissident is here, oh!

 

5 - The Hiccup - I don't know what else to call the 14 points scored by Washington before half.  They called a screen to the weak side just as we called a heavy blitz to the strong side.  This left Gibson with a wall of blockers, few defenders in front of him, and speed to get him the whole way.  Then, as if the wind wasn't obvious, no one noticed the ball almost spin backwards above the 10 on the following kickoff, allowing Washington to recover a very elaborate onside kick.  Washington capitalized on the field position and made it a one score game.  However, Josh got the ball back, kept working his magic, let Bass boom a monster field goal before half, and we never looked back.  I call it a hiccup because this game was completely dominated by the Bills.  If you remove that screen pass, Heinicke wouldn't have eclipsed 100 yards passing until the 4th quarter.  This was a game that ended on the first drive, but the hiccup just made it seem close for a moment.

 

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© Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

 

6 - Pass Rush - While there are so many things to focus on in this game, I would feel remiss to not address our season trend of a dominant pass rush.  Washington was able to neutralize our front 4 in this game, but we did manage to move the pocket a little.  Credit to Heinicke for being as mobile as he was to avoid the slight pressure we did create.  I specifically watched AJ and Groot get sucked up into 1 on 1 blocks with little success.  To be clear, our defense was dominant and our front 4 has overall been great, but it felt important to track their progress in their game as I know it's a point of optimism for many. 

 

7 - Williams - With four 1st round picks on the Washington defensive line and Chase Young being one of them, I was curious to see how our blocking assignments would go.  Apparently, eat your Wheaties and do your job was the plan.  Williams was a monster at right tackle and looked to be assigned to handle Young all by himself most of the game.  Young was able to get some momentum to the backfield, but Williams was able to direct his movement well.  Josh's jersey stayed clean all game and it was massively thanks to Williams being able to handle Young, thus allowing the rest of the line to focus on the other guys.  This is not to say Dawkins didn't have a great game too, but Williams had the much tougher assignment. 

 

8 - Stepbrothers - The law firm of Hyde and Poyer was open for business in this game as both had great interceptions.  Granted, the throws shouldn't have been made in the first place, but they were in position with speed and conviction each time.  These guys were all over the field in this game, leading a fantastic effort by the entire secondary.  You can see how they feed off each other and Poyer continues to be one of my favorite free agent signings of the last decade.  When the front 4 didn't have it today, the secondary said " I got this" and handled business.

 

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9 - Beeeezzzzz - Quietly having a double digit catch day, Beasley was living rent free in the Washington secondary all game.  Beasley was an absolute zone killer and consistent safety blanket for Josh, as he had zero issues finding him after making all his reads.  Beyond just the bail outs, Beasley had great YAC.  In a game where Sanders had two touchdowns and Diggs finally started getting into a rhythm, it was Beasley who seemed like the back breaker against Washington as he kept moving the chains and no one could seem to find him on the field besides Josh. 

 

10 - Edmunds - In a game where everything went well and almost every player seemed to have a highlight reel play, Edmunds was a concern for me again.  True to fashion, I am going to stop talking about Edmunds in post game thoughts going forward unless something major occurs.  What makes Edmunds stand out to me is big plays everyone around him makes.  Milano was great in coverage and you could see him cover his zone, keep the defender in the back of his eye, and make a break if thrown that way to bat it down.  Edmunds seems to react to everything without any anticipation.  He missed a few tackles and most of Logan Thomas' catches were in his zone.  Again, we had a great defensive effort, but I would like to start seeing Edmunds start making some plays that constitute his 5th year option and potential contract extension.  The idea of this defense with a play making middle linebacker is absolutely terrifying. 

 

There are so many thoughts I couldn't express about this game and I'm relying on a continuation of this dominance going forward to talk about them in the future.  I can't say enough about Milano on this team and how happy I am to see 2020 Josh on the field.  In a week where the Lions gave the Ravens a tough game (watch the Tucker kick if you haven't already). and the Chiefs lost again, the Bills look good at 2-1 with a strong defense and awakening offense. 


Go Bills!

 

BillsFans - Virgil

 

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17 minutes ago, Virgil said:
9 - Beeeezzzzz - Quietly having a double digit catch day, Beasley was living rent free in the Washington secondary all game.  Beasley was an absolute zone killer and consistent safety blanket for Josh, as he had zero issues finding him after making all his reads.  Beyond just the bail outs, Beasley had great YAC.  In a game where Sanders had two touchdowns and Diggs finally started getting into a rhythm, it was Beasley who seemed like the back breaker against Washington as he kept moving the chains and no one could seem to find him on the field besides Josh.
 


I loved seeing this. Josh's saftey blanket is as accurate a description as any. Need 4 yards? Beasley. Need 11 yards? Beasley. Need a connection for a first down? Beasley. Simply simpatico!

As always, terrific write-up, @Virgil

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Edmunds seemed all game long to be the 2nd guy to wherever the ball carrier was but rarely seemed to actually touch him.

 

Maybe that's by design & he's doing what he's supposed to, but it sure seems like it isn't and he isn't.

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50 minutes ago, Virgil said:

In a week where the Lions gave the Ravens a tough game (watch the Tucker kick if you haven't already). and the Chiefs lost again, the Bills look good at 2-1 with a strong defense and awakening offense. 

 

That Tucker kick should have been a 71-yarder. Not a lot of talk about it today, but Lamar somehow completed a 4th and 19, with no time outs left. On the ensuing play -- a quick out meant to get them closer -- the play got off almost an entire 2 seconds after the play clock expired. Tirico was the one who pointed it out to me on FNA. 

 

Oh, and great write up, as usual. 

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21 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Edmunds seemed all game long to be the 2nd guy to wherever the ball carrier was but rarely seemed to actually touch him.

 

Maybe that's by design & he's doing what he's supposed to, but it sure seems like it isn't and he isn't.

 

I commented at one point during the game that Ainolm made a great tackle of - Gaines, I think - while he was tackling the ball carrier.  

And yet, he still somehow leads the team in tackles for the game.  It's mystifying.  

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13 minutes ago, Crap Throwing Monkey said:

 

I commented at one point during the game that Ainolm made a great tackle of - Gaines, I think - while he was tackling the ball carrier.  

And yet, he still somehow leads the team in tackles for the game.  It's mystifying.  

 

I challenge tackles as a stat and it's not an official NFL stat.  If he's in a pile or near the tackle, he can get credit.  Most MLB's lead the team in tacklers, or the FS does if the team sucks

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1 hour ago, IDBillzFan said:

 

That Tucker kick should have been a 71-yarder. Not a lot of talk about it today, but Lamar somehow completed a 4th and 19, with no time outs left. On the ensuing play -- a quick out meant to get them closer -- the play got off almost an entire 2 seconds after the play clock expired. Tirico was the one who pointed it out to me on FNA. 

 

Oh, and great write up, as usual. 

If there ever was a need for a review, this is simple to do.  Not addressing it makes the NFL look like it is being influenced from the outside.  Get it right should be the mantra.

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4 minutes ago, Just Joshin said:

If there ever was a need for a review, this is simple to do.  Not addressing it makes the NFL look like it is being influenced from the outside.  Get it right should be the mantra.

 

Yep. They brought NY in to help cut down on mistakes. They should have seen this one.

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4 hours ago, Crap Throwing Monkey said:

 

I commented at one point during the game that Ainolm made a great tackle of - Gaines, I think - while he was tackling the ball carrier.  

And yet, he still somehow leads the team in tackles for the game.  It's mystifying.  

 

Yup.

 

The play that Poyer got dinged on, Edmonds knocked him off the ball carrier & proceeded to cause him to tweak his leg.

 

Have not been on the "he's terrible" bandwagon, but am starting to eye up a corner of it.  Really thought this would be the season he starts living up to the hype.  Guess not.

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29 minutes ago, Taro T said:

 

Have not been on the "he's terrible" bandwagon, but am starting to eye up a corner of it.  Really thought this would be the season he starts living up to the hype.  Guess not.

 

Yeah, took me all this time to jump on that bandwagon.  As is my way, I gave him a large benefit of the doubt until now, but when I jumped on that bandwagon, I committed to it wholeheartedly.

 

All the physical talent in the world, but he's just not getting the pro game.  

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2 hours ago, Taro T said:

 

Have not been on the "he's terrible" bandwagon, but am starting to eye up a corner of it.  Really thought this would be the season he starts living up to the hype.  Guess not.

 

Welcome to the club

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10 hours ago, B-Man said:

 

 

Great writeup

 

I think that we all share your concerns regarding Edmunds.

 

 

 

I’m not on that page at all.  All the little things get blamed on him but some of those are real reaches.  Early in the game Edmunds ran down a guy and stopped him short of a first.  Most MLBs don’t have anywhere near the speed to make that play.  
 

Would a team full of accountable winners like the Bills continue to vote Edmunds a captain if in their eyes he wasn’t contributing?
 

The rest of the write up I found on point.

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31 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

I’m not on that page at all.  All the little things get blamed on him but some of those are real reaches.  Early in the game Edmunds ran down a guy and stopped him short of a first.  Most MLBs don’t have anywhere near the speed to make that play.  
 

Would a team full of accountable winners like the Bills continue to vote Edmunds a captain if in their eyes he wasn’t contributing?
 

The rest of the write up I found on point.

 

Times like this, I remember that you eat crayons.

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3 minutes ago, Crap Throwing Monkey said:

 

Times like this, I remember that you eat crayons.

I just find everyone breaking down every nuance of imperfection with Edmunds being compulsory as odd.  We’d prefer Leighton Vander Doodle because we’re told he’s great?  

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3 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

I just find everyone breaking down every nuance of imperfection with Edmunds being compulsory as odd.  We’d prefer Leighton Vander Doodle because we’re told he’s great?  

It's part of the territory when you trade up in the first to pick up a guy in a devalued position, that you expect a handful of game breaking plays.  

 

Donte Whitner didn't deserve the hate either, but he never lived up to the opportunity cost of the wasted draft capital.  

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1 hour ago, 4merper4mer said:

I’m not on that page at all.  All the little things get blamed on him but some of those are real reaches.  Early in the game Edmunds ran down a guy and stopped him short of a first.  Most MLBs don’t have anywhere near the speed to make that play.  
 

Would a team full of accountable winners like the Bills continue to vote Edmunds a captain if in their eyes he wasn’t contributing?
 

The rest of the write up I found on point.

 

 

Edmunds has outstanding athletic ability, but subpar instincts. Because of that dichotomy, the level of performance you're getting from him can vary greatly from game to game, or even from play to play. Need a play made that's a little beyond the athletic ability of the average linebacker to make? Edmunds is your guy. Is there an Andy Reid on the opposing sideline, doing his best to outsmart your defensive coaching staff and defensive players? Edmunds is probably not the guy you'd want to bank on to win that mental chess match.

 

Has Edmunds lived up to his draft status? No, he hasn't. That's on Beane for drafting him too early. It's not like Edmunds drafted himself! Should the Bills use a first or second round pick on his replacement? I personally hope it doesn't come to that. With aging players such as Sanders and Beasley at WR, and an offensive line which could use some improvement, I think that for now the Bills need to make do with Edmunds even if he isn't everything they'd hoped for. But, if one of their late round picks becomes the next Matt Milano, then that makes Edmunds a heck of a lot more replaceable.

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