CIRCLE THE WAGONS – THE BUFFALO BILLS ARE (3-0)!
BUFFALO BILLS FAST (3-0) START THE TALK OF THE NFL TOWN THRU 3 WEEKS!
Let’s face it folks, no sane person saw the Bills being (3-0) to start the season when they opened up with 2 Road games. But after almost blowing a 14-0 Halftime lead vs. the Bengals, the team got a very nice boost with it’s Offense going 78 yards after falling behind late in the 4th quarter 17-14. The Bills already had one amazing comeback in week 1 win vs. NY Jets coming back from a huge deficit to win late, and now they were forced to ask their young QB Josh Allen to drive down to at least tie the game up with a Field Goal. Without any long passes thru the air, Allen drove the team 78 yards in 7 plays to get the go ahead TD and then the Defense, that may well be the most underrated in the NFL, stopped the Bengals on their final drive to seal WIN #3.
There is a lot to like about this Bills team so far. We will throw out one negative though as this (3-0) start comes against opponents who are (1-8) so far, and really (1-5) since their 3 wins are against these same opponents, with the only win, a Giants win over Tampa Bay only by the fact the Bucs missed an insanely easy short FG late, or that record would be (0-9), or (0-6). The good news is that any NFL team starting (3-0) since 1990, has garnered a Playoff berth (78%) of the time. Add in the fact the Bills ahead will face the (0-3) Broncos, (0-2 as of this writing Monday afternoon Redskins), (0-3) Jets again at Home, Miami twice, (once in Bills land), and with teams like Pittsburgh win less, and Denver too, their overall chances look very good to make it to the Playoffs this season.
Things are different this year for the Bills who went out and shored up the Offensive Line to help protect Allen better then last year. They got some nice speedy wide outs too…giving him more weapons to pass the ball. We feel though that the biggest difference in Allen and the Bills Offensive success has been with limiting his deep ball passes so far. Coming out of Wyoming, he was seen as a “big arm” who could pass ball with ease 60+ yards downfield. In his Rookie season last year he completed only (52.8%) of his passes overall. He threw an incredible 20% deep downfield 20+ yards. No other QB passed it that far (15%) of the time. This year this Coaching staff got smart and changed the number. Although it’s still a bit high, (14.6%), it’s now down to 13th overall in that Department. What it’s done is kept Allen’s confidence higher, leaving him with less 3rd and longs, and more plays when they break down to use Allen’s legs to get the first down and keep the drives alive.
Let’s look at a prime example of the Bills late game winning TD drive Sunday to beat the Bengals. The drive started 78 yards from pay dirt and although a TD wasn’t needed, a FG would at least Tie the score back up, Allen led a 7 play drive without one long pass thru the air. First play short pass 7 yard gain. Next play another short pass turned into solid 49 yard gain to the Bengals 22. Next two plays were vintage Allen’s Legs as he scrambled on both plays for gains of 6 and 8 yards. A TJ Yeldon run for no gain, followed by another Allen run for 7 yards, and then a Gore rush for a 1 yard TD and the lead was back in the Bills hands again. This kid Allen showed no signs of fear and most of all he made no stupid mistakes to cost his team a chance at victory.
The Bills Offense isn’t great by any means, but they will get better as the season grows. The main way to stay in games is with solid Defense, and from my tape watching, this Bills Defense may be the most underrated in the NFL so far. They are allowing a tad under 300 total yards per game and solid vs. run (88 YRPG) and vs. Pass (211 PYG) too. Allowing only (15.7) points per game will keep you in every game for sure in this league. The Bengals scoring also doesn’t fully go against the Bills Defense. Bills QB Allen got picked off and the Bengals started at the Bills 22 after it, scoring soon after with a TD. This Bills Defense has no real superstars, but it’s one of the better all around combinations across the board we’ve seen so far.
The Bookmakers clearly misread this young team giving a TD after it’s first two wins, as they weren’t in that league to lay that so fast, but now we shall see how they play as the 7 point Underdog, as they host the Mighty Patriots at Rich Stadium on Sunday (Week 4). This young Offense will be really tested by a Patriots Defense that has yet to allow a TD all season. Not one. Can Allen keep his boys in that game to have a chance to steal an Upset win? We think the Bills Defense will be up for the Challenge playing at home in front of some very loud and crazed fans, just dying to finally be even close to the Patriots level again.
Don’t get too overconfident about this Bills (3-0) start, but also don’t see this fast start as a lucky fluke. This team is good enough to make the Playoffs in 2019.
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