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A Few Thoughts about the 49ers Game, in no particular order


Virgil
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Any Bills fan would be justified in their trepidation going into last night's game.  This is a Prime Time, in front of a national audience, going up against a very good defense in the house of the hail-mary, as we reach the point in the season where playoff teams really start to separate.  This is a place we've been before and not brought out best performance with both the Titans and Chiefs.  What Bills team would come out of the tunnel?  What statement would we make.  Could we really be tied for 1st with the Dolphins after this game?  Trust the process...... 

 

1 - Process - Right before the half, Beasley caught a sideline throw where Poyer and the defense was watching his toes the entire time.  This might be something simple to many, but it showed me how much this team supports each other.  Many units spend their time on the bench talking to each other, reviewing footage, or talking strategy.  Our defense took advantage of their seats to a great offensive show.  After the game, Allen could barely get through his on-field interview because every player that walked past him made some form of comment.  This is, by far, the most complete and supportive Bills team I've seen in 20 years.  This goes beyond just offense and defense, this is everyone on the field looking out for and supporting each other.  They were a wrecking ball in a game where previous teams would have faltered to the pressure or early turnover.  To me, this is the process we keep hearing about.  This process is team culture, fun, winning, and support.  Great job McD.

 

2 - Allen - If Allen is going to be considered for the MVP, the 49ers game tape could very well be his promotion video.  I've mentioned this before, but you can tell when Allen is "on" and he definitely was tonight.  Allen was absolutely unstoppable this game and the post game quotes be the 49ers defenders confirmed they were helpless against him.  His throws were on the money and almost all of his incompletions came on throw-aways.  He had multiple throws on the run that were 10+ yards downfield and hit guys on the sideline where only they could catch them.  All of his touchdown passes were on the money and even the grass wanted to part of the Allen experience, as he wore is all over his helmet.  If you don't have time to watch the game, just watch the replay of his pass to Davis in the redzone, where he perfectly put the ball over the head of a linebacker and fit it between defenders, right onto Davis' numbers.  The only thing to really say about Allen after this game is wow, just wow.....

 

3 - Daboll - The players have to execute, but the play calls need to be solid as well.  The commentators talked about Daboll being in high demand for a head coaching job after this season, and I would have to agree with them.  Against a solid 49ers defense, this offense was absolutely unstoppable.  We didn't punt until the 4th quarter and there wasn't a drive where you didn't believe we couldn't score.  The mixture of runs, underneath routes, and perfectly timed deep passes left the 49ers defense in shambles.  Two of our touchdown passes were to wide open receivers.  That's play calling and playing chess versus checkers.  This is the type of offense that makes you worry about the opposing defense being able to keep up and should be interesting against the Steelers next week.

 

4 - All of a sudden up pulled a Cadillac and out stepped a can named Pete.

A diamond on every finger, he wore he wore a tailor made suit,

Black cigar, he wore a Stetson hat,

He wore a pair on cowboy boots,

Busted on through the door mad as he could be,

Don't mess around, I'll cut you down 'cause my name is Big Boy Pete.

 

5 - Diggs - Route running is one of those traits that many fans gloss over.  When you look at the box score, you see catches, yards and touchdowns.  What you don't see, and was on full display in this game, was just how good of a route runner Diggs is.  There was one play in particular that may have gone for 7 yards, but he absolutely broke the defenders ankles with his misdirection.  Every play that went to Diggs, the defender was a step behind.  While he didn't have a touchdown or go over 100 yards, he did break 1k yards for the season and appears to be on pace to break his individual season records.  Just a great overall game for him and it should be interesting to see where his season pans out statistically.

 

6 - Beasley - The Bills slot receiver was someone I was concerned would get overlooked in this new offense with the addition of Diggs and Davis seeing the field so much.  In the past, Beasley's been more of a security blanket and 3rd down target.  In this game, the offense got it's start going through Beasley.  You knew it was going to be a good offensive day on the seam pass for 30 yards on the first drive.  Not only did Beasley go over 100 yards in the first half, he also played very fast.  Like Diggs, Beasley was unstoppable on the field and had to make you feel a lot better about this offense in Smoke's absence.

 

7 - Blown Up - One complaint of the fans this season is the lack of disruptive defensive plays.  Ask and you shall receive, as we saw by quite a few guys on defense.  Both Johnson and Butler blew through multiple offensive line blocks to destroy the running back in the backfield.  Tremaine and Hyde had amazing goal line tackles that stopped touchdowns on those drives.  Tre snatched and interception on the goal line that was all muscle and field vision.  This defense came to play and everyone seemed to have a moment.  Well, maybe not Wallace....

 

8 - Knox - With Kroft a healthy scratch, the team made another gesture of confidence to Knox holding down the position.  This was the type of game that will keep that faith alive.  Knox wasn't a game changer, but did his job consistently on the field.  He made his blocks, he caught all the passes that came his way, and he did show off the athleticism that sets him apart from the other TE's on the touchdown dive.  This is now two weeks in a row where he's improved on his reliability and hopefully his confidence is growing to where we can see the fully potential he flashed in his rookie season.

 

9 - Opportunities - A personal pet peeve of mine is when you read a game recap that's 100% positive.  While this game was our best complete team effort of the season, I have to do my due diligence and call out some missed opportunities.  Wallace was second on the team in tackles, but mainly because he gave up quite a few catches.  I'm not going to blame him for the PI call, as that was bogus, but he still struggled the most of anyone on the defense.  Edmunds gave up his zone on the first touchdown pass as he creeped up on the line too much.  Our defense struggled against the up-tempo 49ers offense on a few drives, which is something that could really hurt us in big games going forward.  The Moss fumble against our own end zone can't happen and really would have hurt other Bills teams.  On the first 4th and goal, Bates didn't sell the block, which allowed the defender to cover him immediately off the line, which I believe was Josh's first read.  Lastly, while this is an unfair ask, I believe Diggs would have scored a touchdown had McKenzie been able to hold his block against Sherman on the inside screen pass.

 

10 - Linebackers -  You could argue this was the first game we had a fully healthy starting linebacker group, as Milano was 100% in practice, Klein seems to finally know his role with the team, and Edmunds isn't showing his hesitation on tackles.  One thing I found interesting was a play where Klein seemed to be calling the play and putting Edmunds in position.  I don't know if it was a one-off play, or if they've adjusted how the defensive play calling is being distributed, but it stood out in the moment.  The 49ers rushing attack was sub-par and the all three players did a great job playing close to the line.  This is a unit we need to perform well if this defense is going to continue it's upward trend. 

 

 

We are 9-3 (one bad pass away from 10-2) and on to another prime time game against the one loss Steelers in our home.  If you had any questions about how we might show up, they should be gone now.  This team should expect to win every game they play and they've earned that right.  This is a golden time for Bills fans and I hope you are all enjoying every moment.

 

Go Bills!

Edited by Virgil
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Great write-up, @Virgil!

It was a complete game. Perfect? No, but complete. The whole team played well, and except for the first drive where the play calling was a little meh before the 49ers stopped the Bills on 4th and 1, a well called game.
 

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Hey @Virgil, just as I say every week and hate to sound like a broken record but great writeup. I wish you would just suck one time so I can complain. That said, Is it just me or does Edmunds biggest issue seem to be if he makes the initial bad decision he cant turn quick enough on his feet to make up for it immediately? Was just an observation yesterday and wondering what you think or even if you have noticed. For instance when he gets behind the play his turning back into the play seems slowed a bit. 

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50 minutes ago, Fansince88 said:

Hey @Virgil, just as I say every week and hate to sound like a broken record but great writeup. I wish you would just suck one time so I can complain. That said, Is it just me or does Edmunds biggest issue seem to be if he makes the initial bad decision he cant turn quick enough on his feet to make up for it immediately? Was just an observation yesterday and wondering what you think or even if you have noticed. For instance when he gets behind the play his turning back into the play seems slowed a bit. 

 

I don't know honestly.  Once he commits, I think he commits into the pile or a blocker, of which there is no recovery.

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Whoa Virgil is here!!!  Awesome!!!

 

Agree with just about all of this... and I love what you started with.  After the game when Allen was getting interviewed I was just cracking up at all the players hootin and hollerin at him as they ran by; from Dawkins to Barkley.

 

Josh Allen is the 24 year old leader of this football team, and that's exciting because it means we could be set at the most important position in football for the next decade and a half.

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Josh had a great game obviously but I still have some concern with the frequency in which he fumbles or nearly fumbles.  He had a couple close calls again last night on top of the fumble he lost losing the ball but just a tick after he was down. This could have been a 2-3 fumble game.   There has been improvement but this is something he still needs to improve IMO.

Edited by Ninety-4
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@Virgil—now it’s a party!  
 

Thanks for bringing this topic over.  It was one of my favorite reads at the Place Beyond the Pines.  
 

One thought—do you have any commentary as it relates to COVID, the NFL, protocol, or the complete censorship of thought/word/deed on a football message board?  
 

🤔
 

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1 hour ago, leh-nerd skin-erd said:

@Virgil—now it’s a party!  
 

Thanks for bringing this topic over.  It was one of my favorite reads at the Place Beyond the Pines.  
 

One thought—do you have any commentary as it relates to COVID, the NFL, protocol, or the complete censorship of thought/word/deed on a football message board?  
 

🤔
 

 

Why do you ask?  I'm asking because that's really specific and is a hot topic on another board

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56 minutes ago, Virgil said:

 

Why do you ask?  I'm asking because that's really specific and is a hot topic on another board

I know. I sensed it was a hot button for you in prior posts on another board.  I have to apologize, I should have framed that better with some sort of sarcasm emoji.  

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10 minutes ago, leh-nerd skin-erd said:

I know. I sensed it was a hot button for you in prior posts on another board.  I have to apologize, I should have framed that better with some sort of sarcasm emoji.  

 

Ah, fair enough.  I thought that might be what you were referencing.  It's all good boss

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