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Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans 10/3/21 - A Few Thoughts about the Texans Game, in no particular order


Virgil
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One of the more well-known comments heard in the NFL is "On any given Given Sunday....", referring to the idea that any team can win any game at any time. Fans see upsets all the time, and this Sunday was no different as a NJ Jets team was able to pull a win out against the Titans. However, sometimes Goliath is just plain Goliath, and they smack David down with a force that makes them question if the NFL is really the right career choice for them. On Sunday, over the course of multiple plays, series, and quarters, Bills players showed Texans players what it's like to have another grown man simply dominate them.
 
1 - Edmunds - If you've been reading along, you would know that I'm not sold on Edmunds as our MLB of the future and do not believe he is worth top 10 money when his current deal runs out. However, if Edmunds could replicate his performance against the Texans towards all future opponents, I would be willing to Venmo the money to the Pegulas myself. It would be easy to call out the interception Edmunds had as his highlight, but that's not the play that stood out to me. The Texans stacked the strong side alongside a few additional receivers. They called a toss to the halfback and mismatched blockers to Bills defenders. While everyone else got swallowed up in the play, Edmunds watched the blocks unfold, picked an open lane, and broke through for a great tackle about 2 yards past the line of scrimmage. This is the kind of play recognition, quick thinking, and decisive action I've wanted to see from Edmunds since he was drafted here.  Additionally, when covering the middle of the field, he was able to get his hands on a few balls for deflections versus tackling the player after the fact. Edmunds was a difference-maker on the field today, which is what your middle linebacker should be.
 
2 - The Replacements - Gene Hackman must've been wearing a McD mask because a lot of guys stepped up today in lieu of many key starters. Cam Lewis was all over the field today, including the backfield in run support. Jaquan Johnson did an amazing job filling in for Poyer and possibly sealed the shutout with a late-game interception. Basham started on the first series in what appeared to be a heavy line set and even recorded his first NFL sack! Ike was solid starting for Feliciano, and I'd argue they had their best rushing game of the season (sorry, Cody Ford). Klein was solid filling in for Milano (please be back for the next two games) and had a tipped pass at the LOS, which led to an interception. Overall, excellent job all around for guys making the most of their opportunities.

 

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3 - Not Today - It can be difficult at times to feel a hit from the stands or grasp the speed at which a play can happen. However, Ed Oliver had a stop in the backfield that left the crowd quiet. Oliver shed his block and destroyed the halfback in the backfield so quick that even his momentum ran away scared. This was the play many of us visually when we drafted Ed, and he also played a solid overall game. He showed great speed and relentlessness as he was chasing down plays all over the field. With Star excelling beside him, Oliver was left to feast.
 
4 - Here's the selfless confession
Leading me back to war
Can we help that... our destinations
Are the ones we've been before
 
5 - Defensive Line - The game ball for this game has to go to the defensive line as all of them seemed to make standout plays. Star had his first sack of the season after brushing his defender out of the way like a rag-doll. Hughes and Addison played the edges beautifully and were able to break down a few plays where the Texans were trying some quick screen throws. Groot was fairly silent but was decent in coverage off the line. If this line is able to play even a fraction of this good next week, our chances get incredibly better.

 

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6 - Knox - I'm not sure how many more games people need to see from this kid, but Knox seems to really be taking advantage of his third-year growth. Knox was a monster in this game and wide open a lot (I'll get to that later). His first TD showed some great run after the catch, while his other was a great play execution. Knox was again strong in run blocking and caught everything thrown his way. The tape of this game may cause opposing teams to have to account for him, which can only help Allen and the rest of the receivers find better connections. I look forward to seeing how this season ends for the Angry Run season winner.
 
7 - 3rd down/Red Zone - Again this season, the Bills are struggling to convert in the Red Zone and on 3rd downs. What makes this more alarming is how successful they were just last season. A lot of the drives don't have that rhythm to them that keeps the opposing defense off balance or even makes you confident as a fan. The QB sneak, which turned into an outside run, was a beautiful play by Josh, as was the TD to Knox. However, on the play before the Knox TD, Allen scrambled to his right (for what looked like a TD) and hesitated to throw to an open Knox earlier for a TD. Something is missing in these situations, and we are not going to be facing forgiving teams over the next two weeks. We need six instead of 3 if we hope to take either game. 
 
8 - Deep Seam - The Texans played quite a bit of Cover 2 against the Bills, and being in the fans showed me just how many deep passes we missed out on, leaving me with some concerns about Allen's downfield vision or confidence. Sanders is a monster at finding open holes in the zone. On a play that ended in a sack, Josh had Sanders wide open down the middle deep for a touchdown, but he either never saw him or didn't want to pull the trigger. To be clear, this isn't a situation where he was open for a quick second, or Josh was scrambling. Josh was clean in the pocket with no one near him, and I'd say Sanders was open for a full second or two. Even worse, Sanders did the same thing on the next play and was also missed. This is another area that I'm concerned about going into next week's game and about Josh's performance so far this season.
 

 

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© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

 

9 - Diggs - If you want to look at the impact a player can have on an opposing defense, look no further than the touchdown pass to Knox. Diggs was wide open about 10 yards in front of Josh, who pump-faked towards him. The entire secondary jumped towards Diggs on that pump fake, which allowed Knox to become that much more open. That's what a true #1 can do for your team. Even with that level of focus on him, he still managed to haul in a ton of passes and break the hundred-yard receiving mark. Diggs was able to get open deep, and anywhere else he pleased in this game. While it's been a slow start to the season, hopefully, this was a good tune-up game for Diggs and Allen to get ready for the Chiefs next week.
 
10 - Stadium Experience - I've mentioned some of these things after the home opener, but I had to walk around and verify things. After this terribly rainy game (twice in a month), I'm all in for a new stadium. For starters, Allen was terrible in the rain in throwing a first pass interception and missing guys by 5-10 yards. Even if the stadium is five years out, let's give Josh a home he can excel in the following ten years. Secondly, we need wider tunnels for people trying to walk around the stadium not to have to push their way through people waiting in line for food. With so many people trying to take cover from the rain, the tunnels were a nightmare. Lastly, and by far my biggest issue, is the food selection, availability, and signage. There are signs for food above almost every concession stand that isn't actually sold there. The beer area had four options, and none of them were Labatt Blue Light. I couldn't get an Italian sausage anywhere. I had to walk ten sections down to get pizza logs, and they were sold out by halftime.  Most of the concession stands have half of their menu covered up because the selection has been reduced so much. From what I could tell, fan food options are hot dogs (everywhere), pretzels (everywhere), chicken tenders (50%), pizza (50%), buffalo chicken logs (25%), pizza logs (20%), wings (5%), and then basic snacks. I have never seen such poor signage, availability, and stock in my entire history of going to stadiums for any sport or team. It's an absolute joke. 
 
 
We are on to the hardest part of our schedule, and I can't say I feel as confident as everyone else is. While our defensive line has been good, it was fairly neutralized by Washington. Allen was good against Washington but not great against anyone else. Our ability to convert on 3rd down or in the red zone is a huge opportunity. We need this game against the Chiefs, not only for the home-field advantage but to prove to our guys that they can beat them. They are our biggest mental obstacle, and all that stands in the way from fully believing we can win the whole damn thing. Josh needs to be on, the defense needs to swarm, McD needs to get big brother Andy out of his head, and Daboll needs to have some plays dialed up. Mafia... Mount Up!
 
Go Bills!!!

 

BillsFans - Virgil

 

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Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Football Team 9/26/2021- A Few Thoughts, in no particular order


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I am not confident about the next two games. I'd feel better if even one were at home, but it is what it is. We shall soon know if the Bills are bullies who prey on the weak, or bullies who can take out anyone.

Another terrific write-up, @Virgil!

Note: if anyone wants to continue the new stadium discussion, here is the Bills want a new stadium thread.

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3 minutes ago, Ann said:

I am not confident about the next two games. I'd feel better if even one were at home, but it is what it is. We shall soon know if the Bills are bullies who prey on the weak, or bullies who can take out anyone.

Another terrific write-up, @Virgil!

Note: if anyone wants to continue the new stadium discussion, here is the Bills want a new stadium thread.

 

I'm very nervous about both games.  I would settle for going 1 and 1, so long as we beat the Chiefs.  If we go 2-0 and 2020 Josh shows up for both, you will not be able to keep my optimism in check

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Just now, Virgil said:

 

I'm very nervous about both games.  I would settle for going 1 and 1, so long as we beat the Chiefs.  If we go 2-0 and 2020 Josh shows up for both, you will not be able to keep my optimism in check


I completely agree! If they win both... sky is the limit. Those are two teams that have been their nemesis the last few years, and they really must overcome them in order to win the AFC.

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Thanks so much Virgil 

 

My biggest take on Sunday vs the Texans for the O was balance and good ball distribution in bad weather conditions. Biggest take on the D in one word, stingy. I like where we are now and KC will tell us how well our O and D has evolved in the grand scheme of things IMO.

 

Thanks OP 

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21 minutes ago, Virgil said:

 

We are on to the hardest part of our schedule and I can't say I feel as confident as everyone else is.  While our defensive line has been good, it was fairly neutralized by Washington. 

 

Allen was good against Washington, but not great against anyone else.  Our ability to convert on 3rd down or in the red zone is huge opportunity.  We need this game against the Chiefs, not only for the home field advantage, but to prove to our guys that they can beat them.  They are our biggest mental obstacle and all that stands in the way from fully believing we can win the whole damn thing.  Josh needs to be on, the defense needs to swarm, McD needs to get big brother Andy out of his head, and Daboll needs to have some plays dialed up.  Mafia.....Mount Up!

 

Go Bills!!!

 

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Great write-up as always.

 

The pregame guys were talking about the lack of pressure in the Wash game, but Frazier indicated that it was part of the defensive game plan where they wanted the coverage to dictate the flow, since Heinecke is elusive in the pocket.  That changed for a less mobile Mills, and the results showed.

 

Agree on the 3rd down issues in the red zone early on.  To me it was on play calling and execution.  It almost seemed like the calls were trial balloons as opposed to being part of a coherent drive strategy.  After all, the Bills had no trouble getting into the red zone all day.

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Great job, @Virgil

Spot on as always.

 

For the stadium experience, are you not able to tailgate/eat beforehand? I understand the narrow hallways regardless, but I haven't eaten in that building since I was a kid in 1992. 

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11 minutes ago, Seasons1992 said:

Great job, @Virgil

Spot on as always.

 

For the stadium experience, are you not able to tailgate/eat beforehand? I understand the narrow hallways regardless, but I haven't eaten in that building since I was a kid in 1992. 


I typically make a point to not eat until the stadium because I like the sausage and Buffalo Mac and Cheese 

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Every time I get real close to giving up on Edmunds, he goes and has a game like he had yesterday. He needs to start stringing these types of games closer together. Otherwise, I just can't see the Bills picking up a new contract after next season.

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  I caught the end of Titans-Jets after the conclusion of our game.  The announcers indicated that the Titan receiving corp was depleted for that game putting it within reach for the Jets.  Very possible that the Titans will have this problem when we face them in two weeks.  We could pin our ears back going after Tannehill.  

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1 hour ago, Virgil said:

 

I'm very nervous about both games.  I would settle for going 1 and 1, so long as we beat the Chiefs.  If we go 2-0 and 2020 Josh shows up for both, you will not be able to keep my optimism in check

 

Part of me feels like this is a team who is about to get even with teams with whom they have a bone to pick. While I appreciate your take on the throws Josh didn't see or missed, I just watched this team do poorly in the redzone, fumble three times, and even start the game with a pick...and they still hung 40 on the Texans while pitching a shutout. If yesterday's defense shows up vs. the Chefs, it's going to be a great SNF game.

 

If we beat Houston by 7 or 10 points, I'd probably be more concerned. But the Pittsburgh game notwithstanding, they're not just winning the games they are supposed to win (Fish, WTFs and Texans), but being them quite handily.

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2 hours ago, Virgil said:

 

I'm very nervous about both games.  I would settle for going 1 and 1, so long as we beat the Chiefs.  If we go 2-0 and 2020 Josh shows up for both, you will not be able to keep my optimism in check

 

51 minutes ago, IDBillzFan said:

 

Part of me feels like this is a team who is about to get even with teams with whom they have a bone to pick. While I appreciate your take on the throws Josh didn't see or missed, I just watched this team do poorly in the redzone, fumble three times, and even start the game with a pick...and they still hung 40 on the Texans while pitching a shutout. If yesterday's defense shows up vs. the Chefs, it's going to be a great SNF game.

 

If we beat Houston by 7 or 10 points, I'd probably be more concerned. But the Pittsburgh game notwithstanding, they're not just winning the games they are supposed to win (Fish, WTFs and Texans), but being them quite handily.

The winner of the Bills/KC game could very well be the top seed in the AFC and have the right to host the AFCCG. Next Sunday's game, while it is just the next in line, it doesn't get any more important than this.

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5 hours ago, Virgil said:


I typically make a point to not eat until the stadium because I like the sausage and Buffalo Mac and Cheese 

Maybe time to make the adjustment and call an audible.

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This is another area that I'm concerned about going into next week's game and about Josh's performance so far this season.

 

I definitely wish we could have 2020 Josh back! Last year I was confident that, whatever might happen at other positions, we could expect elite play from our quarterback. I haven't felt that way this year. I don't know if any of his coaches may have changed. If they have, he or the team needs to get rid of the new guy and put the 2020 guy back.

 

From what I could tell, fan food options are hot dogs (everywhere), pretzels (everywhere), chicken tenders (50%), pizza (50%), buffalo chicken logs (25%), pizza logs (20%), wings (5%), and then basic snacks.

 

If you could make a list of things Buffalo is known for around the country, it would be a very short list. Chicken wings would be at the top. Wouldn't it make sense for Buffalo's best-known, most visible sports franchise to serve wings at all its stadium restaurants and food stands, not just 5% of them?

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13 hours ago, Foxx said:

 

The winner of the Bills/KC game could very well be the top seed in the AFC and have the right to host the AFCCG. Next Sunday's game, while it is just the next in line, it doesn't get any more important than this.

Chargers

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1 hour ago, Spartacus said:

Chargers

 

If you're familiar with the movie "Tin Cup," there's a scene where Kevin Costner's character -- who spends the entire movie trying to beat his nemesis, played by Don Johnson -- realizes Johnson isn't the one he needs to beat to win the US Open.

 

The Bills plan to get people like Rousseau to contain Mahomes is well documented, but the Chargers are the ones to keep an eye on based on the quality of play right now. They just ripped two NFL golden boys -- KC and da Raiders -- and if they beat the Browns next week, the rest of the NFL will start touting their new Josh Allen, deservedly so.

 

Herbert looks terrific for his second year. The only thing I find curious is he is physically built like Allen - an inch taller but same weight --  but he looks tiny when the pocket starts to collapse. 

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1 hour ago, IDBillzFan said:

 

If you're familiar with the movie "Tin Cup," there's a scene where Kevin Costner's character -- who spends the entire movie trying to beat his nemesis, played by Don Johnson -- realizes Johnson isn't the one he needs to beat to win the US Open.

 

The Bills plan to get people like Rousseau to contain Mahomes is well documented, but the Chargers are the ones to keep an eye on based on the quality of play right now. They just ripped two NFL golden boys -- KC and da Raiders -- and if they beat the Browns next week, the rest of the NFL will start touting their new Josh Allen, deservedly so.

 

Herbert looks terrific for his second year. The only thing I find curious is he is physically built like Allen - an inch taller but same weight --  but he looks tiny when the pocket starts to collapse. 


I agree the Chargers are strong and hope they win the division.  For me, it’s not that I believe only the Chiefs can beat them, it’s that they have a clear psychological advantage over our players and coaches.  THAT’s what I want to see us overcome.  

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23 minutes ago, Virgil said:


I agree the Chargers are strong and hope they win the division.  For me, it’s not that I believe only the Chiefs can beat them, it’s that they have a clear psychological advantage over our players and coaches.  THAT’s what I want to see us overcome.  

 

The Bills hold the NFL record for going to the most consecutive Super Bowls (four). Tom Brady and the Patriots are next on that list with three. No one else has more than two consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

 

The Chiefs have an active streak of two Super Bowl appearances. Someone needs to beat them in the postseason this year, and break that streak. Obviously I'm hoping that someone is Buffalo. But, if the Chargers and the Chiefs should happen to find themselves in a playoff game, I'll be rooting for the Chargers. Both because I'm anti-Chiefs, and because that active streak needs to be broken.

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32 minutes ago, Virgil said:


I agree the Chargers are strong and hope they win the division.  For me, it’s not that I believe only the Chiefs can beat them, it’s that they have a clear psychological advantage over our players and coaches.  THAT’s what I want to see us overcome.  

 

Agreed. For years I would wake up on Sundays when the Bills were playing the Patriots*, sit on the couch, and turn on the TV feeling like Andy DuFresne running into the queens in the laundry room at Shawshank prison. "Let's get this over with."

 

The last two KC games felt a little like that. While the AFCC game was painful, the regular season matchup was one I felt got away, but was lost to the mystery and phenom that is Patrick Mahomes.

 

My hope and sense is if KC's defense couldn't hold the Iggles to a single punt last week, they'll have their hands full with the Bills offense, assuming the game doesn't start with Sugar Rush Josh. It's one thing to hand the balls to the Texans on your first play, and handing it to KC.

 

 

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