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A Few Thoughts About the *Patriots Game, in no particular order


Virgil
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For the first time since I've started writing these, I find myself struggling to talk about new thoughts that haven't come up in previous weeks.  I've had a few weeks over the past few years where I had similar struggles, but that was when we could barely put any points on the board.  The struggles now are for a reason I didn't see coming.  What do I write about when there really aren't many opportunities on the team and we just keep steamrolling opponents?  How many times can you talk about how great Allen and Diggs are?  Even more-so, when such high performance becomes an expectation, is it even worth mentioning?  Either way, here we go.....

 

1 - The Burn - Going into this game, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that we were going to win this game.  People talked up the *Patriots dominance of the Bills and how close the last game was.  In talking about it with my father, the closest scenario I could come up with was a single score victory because the *Patriots scored late and we benched ours starters.  Many of us were waiting for this epic moment where we defeated the *Patriots to win the division and establish ourselves as the pride of the AFC East.  The problem is, if you can even call it that, we settled that weeks ago and before we even took the field.  To me, and I know there's a varying opinion on this, but the best thing we could have done is make this game completely irrelevant.  Yes, playoff seeding and playoff match-ups, blah blah blah.  But that's all icing on the cake.  That's after the fact concerns.  We played our week 16 game, on Monday Night Football, in Foxboro, against the *Patriots, and there wasn't even a concern for what the game results would mean.  Please let that sink in.  We, the Buffalo Bills, made this game not even matter.  However, we still went out and did what we've done the past few weeks and absolutely imposed our will. 

 

2 - Allen - One of the biggest knocks on Allen in his first two seasons was making throws across his body, into the middle of the field, and on his back foot to where he dangerously created a potential turnover.  Besides putting up over 300 yards and breaking the passing touchdown record, Allen's ascension can be described in two plays.  Allen rolls out to his right, throws completely across his body, and finds a wide open Diggs 15 yards downfield.  Later, Allen rolls to his left, barely stops and throws against his momentum 20 yards down field and perfectly into the covered hands of Diggs for a touchdown.  My point?  Allen didn't stop making those mistakes, he's perfected them and made them almost an expectation.  If Allen has a next level, the entire league should be very afraid.

 

3 - Diggs - Why?  Why would you talk trash to the NFL's leading receiver in receptions and yards?  In typical Diggs fashion, he was slow in the first half as the offense evaluated what the *Patriots were throwing at him.  I don't know if it was Jackson's trash talk or what, but Diggs subsequently put on an absolute clinic.  Diggs showed break away speed on his 50 yard TD catch and run.  He showed power on his double breaking tackle in the slot, to then walk into the end zone.  Lastly, he showed great hands on the previously mentioned "Allen" throw for his 3rd touchdown.  Diggs didn't just take back the receptions and yards lead, he made a statement in prime-time as to why he is one of the best receivers in the league.  Like Allen, to break these records before finishing the game and having a week left is nothing short of incredible.

 

4 - And 100,000 tons of steel, made to roll.

The brakes don't work and this grade's too steep, her engine's sure to blow.

And 100,000 tons of steel, out of control,

She's more a rollercoaster than the train I used to know.

 

5 - Offensive Line - For a line that hasn't played together healthy for an entire game, Allen's jersey looked awfully clean in this game.  By the end of the game, Allen only was hit one time, and had all day to throw.  The *Patriots showed numerous blitzes and brought more than 5 quite a few times.  Their results?  A whole lot of nothing.  This offensive line still has opportunities to run block early in games, but they show up at the end when it matters to close the game out and they overall give Allen enough time to do what he does best.  This unit has adjusted to injuries and a barrage of successful opposing team pass rushes.  Among all of that, this was still one of their best overall games, and that's saying something.

 

6 - Milano - Frazier said a few weeks ago that he didn't think Milano wasn't going to 100% for the rest of the season.  If this wasn't Milano at 100%, hide your children because he was a monster out there!  Milano played both coverage and at the line.  He has his obligatory destruction a halfback block into the quarterback.  He took up blocks that allowed other D-Lineman to get to the quarterback.  However, and to me this is the greatest sign of his strength coming back, he made multiple tackles in the flat and open field where he stopped the runner in his tracks.  He came at guys like a missile and took away the check down plays which the *Patriots normally heavily rely upon.  We need to find the money to bring Milano back.

 

7 - Poyer - While it wasn't a great look getting dinged up trying to lay a hit on Cam, Poyer also had a really solid game.  There were two play in particular where a pass was incomplete because of a perfectly timed his by Poyer as the ball arrived.  In typical Poyer fashion, he played all over the field and delivered multiple punishing blows.  Poyer being snubbed from the Pro-Bowl is a crime and I hope that motivates him to continue on his excellent performance into the playoffs.  Side note, when Marlowe came in, I don't know how Cam didn't fumble on his blitz.  Marlowe laid the wood on Cam.

 

8 - Special Teams - Besides Bass kicking a lot of field goals (sorry, we were to busy scoring touchdowns), this may have been one of our better Special Teams games of the season. The *Patriots did have a solid kickoff return to start the game, but there was a blatant block in the back penalty not called.  Beyond that, Bojo boomed his only punt, the fake punt was perfectly executed, Bass is right down the middle, and Roberts another huge kickoff return.  This unit doesn't get a lot of attention because they aren't needed, but to see them make the most of every opportunity is another reason why this team is poised to make a run.

 

9 - Knox - Going forward, all passes to Knox need to in traffic and away from his hands and center of body.  Knox continues to be an enigma as he dropped a wide open touchdown, but then proceeded to make two consecutive difficult catches.  Knox was great with blocking and made some great plays in the field.  The drops are killer, but he does seem to overall be getting better with the mental mistakes.  Fortunately, Allen is used to having to score multiple times on the same drive. 

 

10 - Class - One thing that really bothered me during the *Patriots 20 years of dominance was their complete lack of class in both running up the score and going after records.  In this game, while already have 38 points going into the 4th quarter, McD pulled the starters.  I don't believe for a moment that the Hoodie would have done the same.  The Bills easily could have score two more touchdowns with how they were playing and put up a similar blowout numbers that the *Patriots used to do to us.  That's not how McD works and I personally am grateful for it.  Like the hero against the bully in movies, the *Patriots just weren't worth it.  We didn't have anything to prove.  There was zero doubt who the superior team was and the Hoodie's visible frustration taken out on his phone was all we needed to see.  We walked off the field winners, with class, and having established dominance.

 

 

Absolutely dominating the *Patriots felt a lot better than I though it would.  I really thought the meaningless game against a broken Cam and Belly wouldn't resonate much with me.  I was wrong, very wrong.  When Diggs caught that 2nd touchdown, I yelled and jumped off the couch.  There's a lot of buried residual emotion towards the *Patriots and this felt like a cleansing.  We are 12-3 and a miracle catch away form 13-2.  Really think about that, considering the schedule we played.  This is real everyone. This is very, very real.

 

Go Bills!

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Nice write up, @Virgil.

 

I was reading a Patriot forum last night and someone complained the Bills were running up the score. I will say several other posters basically told him “shuddup” and disagreed pointing out the pulled starters. 
 

I am not sure the *Patriots deserved mercy, but the beat down was already complete, and the message was received, so why not be good sports and show some class?
 

 

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thanks for the write up @Virgil

 

watched a replay of the game last night and actually watched a portion of the SVP Sports Center afterwards just because i wanted to hear all the Bills accolades that you just knew were coming. he had ESPN commentator, Ryan Clark on and a lot of what he said rang true here. he said that these Bills are what the Chiefs were two years ago and that other teams should be very afraid.

 

there is no team we can't beat. i can't get over the change in my visceral reaction watching this team. instead of the long engrained expectation that we are going to blow it, somehow, someway... it is a joy to be able to not dread the game until the final whistle. the season since the break has been a stark beckoning to the glorious Super Bowl days.

 

good times!

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Great write up @Virgil. Agree on every point. Keep throwing the ball just within Knox's reach. Marlowe stepped up well. ST have been an unsung hero for weeks now. 

All that said, a little story. For 17 years we have had an outside maintenance guy come into the warehouse to change out dust mops and carpets. he is a diehard *Patriots fan. For years I hear, "The Bills suck. You don't have an NFL team. *Patriots build the team right. Marsha is the best. You guys didn't have a chance after the National Anthem was over". On an on and on.  The worse part about it was he was right every time. Yesterday he stopped into the office and I said good morning Mike. His reply....."Shut up, I don't want to hear it." Ahhhh, did that ever feel good! I didn't mention the game. I didn't mention the sweep. I just sat in the glory of his anger. It was beautiful. All that said, Get healthy Bills. Got a a lot of work between here and February!

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To your point #1, I give you my texts from before the game with a 49ers buddy.

Screenshot_20201230-081636_Textra.jpg.4a716aaf6ae1c2d2dd58039e5de167dc.jpg

I got what I was looking for. I wanted them to take a shot at the end zone at the end of the first half instead of kneeling though...

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9 hours ago, Virgil said:

Absolutely dominating the **Patriots felt a lot better than I though it would.  I really thought the meaningless game against a broken Cam and Belly wouldn't resonate much with me.  I was wrong, very wrong.  When Diggs caught that 2nd touchdown, I yelled and jumped off the couch.  There's a lot of buried residual emotion towards the **Patriots and this felt like a cleansing.  We are 12-3 and a miracle catch away form 13-2.  Really think about that, considering the schedule we played.  This is real everyone. This is very, very real.

 

Go Bills!


I had a very similar reaction to that play as well. The entire game I was just sitting on the couch with a pleased feeling. There was no yelling, or screaming, or stress... I was just pleased. Then, that play happened, and suddenly let out this half scream / half laugh that came from God-knows-where as Diggs turned up field. The dog ran out of the room in fear. And then I just sat there giggling while they celebrated in the endzone. 

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23 minutes ago, BuffaloHokie13 said:

To your point #1, I give you my texts from before the game with a 49ers buddy.

Screenshot_20201230-081636_Textra.jpg.4a716aaf6ae1c2d2dd58039e5de167dc.jpg

I got what I was looking for. I wanted them to take a shot at the end zone at the end of the first half instead of kneeling though...

You spelled billieve wrong.

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1 hour ago, mead107 said:

Fantastic like always. Great write up. 
Wonder how much longer phone throwing Bill cheater will coach? 

 

I honestly think if he can't get a legit QB next season, that will be his last.

 

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