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Are the Bills what their record says they are?


Arm of Harm
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I'm sure you've all heard the saying that you are what your record says you are. I don't always agree with that. For example, Dick Jauron's Chicago Bears team once went 12-4. A good, solid record. But all the breaks went their way, they won a lot of close games. In the postseason, they got totally dominated, destroyed, by Steve Young and the 49ers. They weren't who their record said they were. They were worse.

 

Or take a team like Eli Manning's New York Giants, the first time Eli led a team to a Super Bowl win. During the regular season they went 9-7, barely squeaking into the playoffs. They were a better team than what their record said they were.

 

This brings me to the subject of the Bills. Are the Bills worse than their record, much like Jauron's Bears team? Are they about as good as you'd expect from their record? Or are they better than their record?

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The Bills are what the record shows - unfortunately.  Not one dominate player on Defense and just Josh on the offensive side.  You need more to win the big/touch games!

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1 hour ago, Ann said:

 

 

There's truth to the above.

 

In a stat someone posted, the Bills were top 3 in quality of play, but the highest variation ever measured in quality of play. A very large variation between what they're like on their best day and what they're like when they're at their worst. You sometimes see that level of variation even within a single game. Look at the putrid first half against Tampa Bay, and compare that to the comeback in the second half. If the Bills could keep the average level of play the same, but just level it out a little, we'd very likely have more wins.

 

All this being said, I don't consider the Bills team a top 5 team at the moment. Meaning, I don't think they're top 5 in terms of how well they're playing football. But I could easily imagine them getting into that top 5 level if they fixed a few things.

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Do I think we're better than a 7-6 middling team? Yes. I guess just how much better is debatable. If the law of averages played out in those close loses that would put us at 9.5-3.5. Are we a 10-3/9-4 team? All things being equal, I think we are. For some reason this year our flaws are being magnified. Whereas we hid a good portion of them last year or were able to mask them.

 

The maddening thing with this years team is that if we play our best ball, we could win the Super bowl against any other team playing their best ball. We could also lose to any team for s stretch of consecutive games because our heads are not quite all there. There is still time to put it all together and get hot for the stretch run. I guess the question is whether we want to or not.

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A reasonable argument can be made that we're actually worse. In the last 8 games we're 3-5. We've only beaten one good team all year, and that was KC when they were in a slump. There's no way to wash away the humiliation of losing to the lowly Jags who otherwise have 1 win against the then 1-5 Dolphins. But for the win against the Bills the Jags would have the worst record in the NFL.

 

Nobody reasonably expected perfection, but good teams occasionally beat other good teams. Bills are 1-5 in that department. 

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6 hours ago, KD in CA said:

If you're 0-5 in one score games, that's not luck, that's a character flaw.   This coaching staff is earning an 'F' for this season.


I mentioned in the aftermath thread that that is the main difference between 2020 and 2021. The Bills are not winning any of the close ones. In 2020 they were 5/6 in one score regular season games, and after they lost to the Cardinals they went on a tear.

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I think the Bills are better than their record talent-wise, though what their record says they are performance-wise.  They have not beat a >.500 team this year.  They have not won a close game; all their wins are agains sub .500 teams by a wide margin score.

Their problems are rush defense (need a 1TDT and MLB) as well as Oline (interior 3 need replaced).  The skill positions range from very good to good enough to win with given the other talent around them.

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1 hour ago, Foxx said:

Is that chart saying the *Patriots underperformed expectations and could have 10.4 wins right now?  🤢


That chart is saying what we’ve always known.  God hates the Bills.

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8 hours ago, Ann said:

Unlucky Bills...
 

 


Great chart. However, I would not refer to what they’re measuring as “luck.” Rather, what they’re looking at is how many points teams are scoring and allowing, then calculating the number of wins they “should” have based on that. You then compare their actual wins to the wins you should have to get the differential. 
 

The Bills are a team with a lot of blowout wins and a lot of close losses. That doesn’t make them unlucky. It makes them inconsistent. They have it in them to play better than they did in those losses. 

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20 hours ago, KD in CA said:

If you're 0-5 in one score games, that's not luck, that's a character flaw.   This coaching staff is earning an 'F' for this season.

I like this view!  

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The Guy In Pants

Let's be honest, shall we? We have all watched other coaches do more with less. Two factions take the field on the weekends; the creators (coaches) and the implementers (players). One is to build the plan, the other is to implement the plan. 

 

To me, the players are better than the record indicates. The coaches are not. They've let their players down every single week. They're either not ready, miscalculated or make stupid in game decisions. The players have made some mistakes that haven't helped their cause but always when playing from behind in the first place. It starts with planning. Execution is always second. 

 

Coaches. The other white meat. I believe they are 100% to blame this year. I don't care about luck. I don't care about officiating. I don't care about 1 possession games. They're simply outcoached weekly. 

 

I am not sure how Chunks can sit in the box upstairs and be unable to find a way to utilize the offense to it's full potential. If I could write a fortune to put in one of his cookies; it would read: "Take your shit and go. Leave the rolls". Frazier and Clappy Bird are supposedly two of the best defensive minds. Perhaps they didn't get the memo. They can do better. 

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If this team gets into the playoffs they are going to be a tough out — but out they’ll go.  Maybe they will win one.  Their loss will be a close “woulda, should, coulda” game.
 

That’s what their record says they are.

 

 
 

 

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6 hours ago, The Guy In Pants said:

I am not sure how Chunks can sit in the box upstairs and be unable to find a way to utilize the offense to it's full potential. If I could write a fortune to put in one of his cookies; it would read: "Take your shit and go. Leave the rolls". Frazier and Clappy Bird are supposedly two of the best defensive minds. Perhaps they didn't get the memo. They can do better. 

 

I think Daboll will be gone after this year.  Frazier should be, too, but I bet he stays.

 

The way Frazier started off against the Bucs was if he never faced Brady; nickel and zone with a very conservative pass rush.  Brady ate that up as the score indicated at half time.  Though something changed in the second half, they went to man coverage and the pass rush became more aggressive, Milano was sent on delayed blitzes.  I think McD got more involved when he saw the game was slipping away.  The fact that Frazier started out with the plan he did is baffling, like he gives no thought to who the opponent is prior to the game.  I know that is not true, but it's hard to explain how the defense started off.  The damage was done in the first half and too much to overcome, though a valiant effort was made by Josh.

 

I agree that the players are better than this and the plans/scheme are a big part of the blame.  I wonder if the players see this and are getting frustrated with the position they are being put in against teams like Indy and TB.

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2 minutes ago, Core Four said:

 

I think Daboll will be gone after this year.  Frazier should be, too, but I bet he stays.

 

The way Frazier started off against the Bucs was if he never faced Brady; nickel and zone with a very conservative pass rush.  Brady ate that up as the score indicated at half time.  Though something changed in the second half, they went to man coverage and the pass rush became more aggressive, Milano was sent on delayed blitzes.  I think McD got more involved when he saw the game was slipping away.  The fact that Frazier started out with the plan he did is baffling, like he gives no thought to who the opponent is prior to the game.  I know that is not true, but it's hard to explain how the defense started off.  The damage was done in the first half and too much to overcome, though a valiant effort was made by Josh.

 

I agree that the players are better than this and the plans/scheme are a big part of the blame.  I wonder if the players see this and are getting frustrated with the position they are being put in against teams like Indy and TB.

 

The something that changed was shown during the game... McDermott stepped in.

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28 minutes ago, Ann said:

 

The something that changed was shown during the game... McDermott stepped in.

 

Agree.  The fact that McD had to step in indicates that the defensive plan was flawed from minute 1.  Not a good reflection on Leslie Frazier as a DC.  As an aside, he's expected to get HC interest?!

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