Cleat Geeks

The Buffalo Bills Were Who We Thought They Were

Credit: Pro Football Focus

Well that didn’t take long to plummet back to Earth, now did it?

To be fair, if you have a semblance of sense about you, there’s no way in hell it could have been expected that the Bills would repeat their week 3 performance when they visited the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. And, to kind of gloss things over, they absolutely did not come close to that.

Credit: Democrat and Chronicle

A quick recap because honestly, there wasn’t a ton that happened: the defense played fairly well, the offense didn’t bother to show up and it was never really close. This will become a recurring theme throughout the season and tabling your expectations now is the only way to remain sane.

Now, to get a little deeper with it. First, the good. The defense had a pretty good performance on the whole. Giving up 22 points to an Aaron Rodgers-led offense is nothing to bat an eye at and with an NFL offense it’s enough to come within range of a win on a good day. With this offense, it isn’t. It’s just that simple. The pass rush has woken up the last few weeks, with a dominating performance in week 3 and a solid effort on Sunday. Sacking Rodgers is a very difficult thing to do because he’s smart and shifty and can avoid pressure well, not to mention he gets the ball out quickly. So a pair of sacks and 4 quarterback pressures is a good effort. Rodgers finished 22-of-40 for 298 yards, a touchdown and an interception. That’s not bad but it isn’t Rodgers numbers. The defense should feel good about their performance,

Credit: Packersnews.com

having only given up a pair of touchdowns on the day in addition to 3 field goals.

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: any time the Bills come close to winning a game, it will be undoubtedly because of this defense. There’s talent there and they’ve started to wake up after a pair of ass-kickings in the first two weeks. If they struggle, it’ll be game over. There are no arguments here.

As for the offense, there’s not much you can say other than “Josh Allen is a rookie and will do rookie things”. I should add “and this team is very bad”, but that kind of goes without saying right now. While I don’t entirely blame him for the lack of production, LeSean McCoy has fallen off a cliff. He had just 8 touches on the day and does not seem the same anymore. I don’t know if it’s injuries or age, but the one consistent part of the offense has evaporated.

Allen looked like a rookie. He finished 16-of-31 for 151 yards and a pair of interceptions. He made some very questionable decisions, but honestly, look at the defensive stats on the day. The Packers sacked him 7 times, hit him 11 more times. What quarterback is going to have a successful day facing that? The offensive line is a major detriment and any positives to come out of Allen’s performances going forward will be with that hanging around his neck. This offense cannot succeed with offensive line play like that.

Some will say this next line is incredible pessimistic, but I challenge anyone who’s watched the first 4 games to say otherwise with a straight face: the season is over. To be fair, the hopes weren’t real high, but this team will be lucky to squeeze out 5 wins at this point. The defense is not all-world and that’s the only way they’ll come close to winning games so long as the offensive line can’t protect Allen or open up holes for the running backs.

Take any signs of progress out of Allen as a huge plus and hope that the team can fix the line in the offseason. And there’s still a dozen games left, folks. Peace be with you.

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