I stand here..a beaten man. It is mainly because I'm hungover and I'm writing this while being on the company's dime (Work). So, apologies for being late with my recap. Also, I probably won't come through with any outstanding astute observations because I'm in a hurry. But let's start by saying this:
That loss sucked. Show me a team in the annals of profootball history where a team lost when they didn't give up an offensive TD and ran the ball for over 200 yards. It doesn't happen! It only happens here. #BECAUSEITSBUFFALO.
The season is starting to remind me of a bunch of giant "What ifs" when it comes to the trajectory of wins/losses.
What if EJ doesn't go down with an injury? What if the refs didn't suck? What if we actually knew what a ****** catch was in the NFL? What if there's not a flag on the McKelvin punt return for a TD return? Stevie's drop in the 4th quarter against the Pats. I can keep going..and going...and going..and going. Yeah, I can just rehash the last 25 years of my football life.
Anyways, we gotta just hope that this is all a learning process. The Bills are a very young team and let's hope 1-2 years from now we can say these were the baby steps for them becoming a great team. They have exceeded expectations for me and may be the best 3-6 team in Bills history. There's no hyperbole here, kids. They could be 6-3 or 5-4. Just..they have to learn how to finish.
---In the ongoing battle to find something to argue about on Twitter during Bills games, it seems like Nate Hackett's play-calling has been the catalyst for this all year. Let me just say this, I like Hackett. I think he's had to take chicken **** with the QB situation and try making it into chicken salad. He's had to deal with a ****** left guard situation, a 3rd string QB, and unhealthy running backs. He's pounded the ball when we all wanted them to do that from last year (See: EVERY SINGLE POST GAME LAST YEAR WHERE GAILEY RAN THE BALL 20 TIMES AND THREW IT 40. REMEMBER HOW WE WENT APE ****?).You have to give him credit for getting over 450 yards in total offense against a top 5 defense like the Chiefs.
However, I understand why some didn't like the 3rd down call on the goal line because you are putting your 3rd string QB in a pressure pack situation. It is Jeff Tuel. Not some established QB. On top of that, I hate the throw of a slant inside. You don't run that on a goal line situation because there's just too much traffic there and you need a perfect throw or a 1-on-1 situation. The saving grace here that can bail Hackett out is that Stevie Johnson was wide open. Could it be that the Chiefs knew it was a slant? I mean, Tuel made that progression pretty quick and was zeroed in on Graham. I saw that throw coming a mile away once he dropped back. If I can do it, so can the Chiefs.
In the end, I think it is a debatable call either way and I really don't have a definitive opinion on it. If there's anything definitive for me, it was that it was Jeff Tuel's fault first. I get where the detractors and supporters are coming from. Just, it sucks that it went that way. It really changed the game and would have given the Bills their largest lead this year. Just ****** sucks.
---Now, if you want to know what pisses me off about that sequence more? The two previous plays. You are running the football down their throat and for whatever reason, the Bills have had issues in goal line situations. No excuses. This is the 2nd time in the last 4 games they have had issues inside the 1-inch line. And for the love of God, run the QB sneak so we can get Jeremy White to shut up (Kidding). But seriously, run a QB sneak next time or put Marcell Dareus in as a lead blocker.
---I thought the defensive line played their best game this year. Sure, two sacks aren't going to make the advanced stats list, but they just controlled the line of scrimmage. They owned Alex Smith and held their own against arguably the best running back in the AFC. 4.3 yards per completion is a hell of an effort. Yes, Andy Reid had a bit of Chan Gailey in him when it came to not giving Charles the ball enough (17 carries), but overall, you can't fault the defense for their performance.
The Bills also did a hell of a job with shutting down the Chiefs passing game to their RBs. Heading into this game, the Chiefs RBs had 68 catches for 644 yards on the season. They only increased that by 15 yards and held Charles to just 6 catches for 6 yards.
--If you want to know how good this defense has gotten, consider how Alex Smith was 18-24 for 303 yards last year (16 yards a completion) against the Bills. Yesterday...he averaged 6.5 yards a completion and threw for just 124 yards. I know the Chiefs/49ers are different teams, but you can make the case that their skill guys are about the same in terms of impact. In other words, the Bills defense has grown leaps and bounds since last year. Just ask Alex Smith.
---I like Stephon Gilmore. But I don't think he's ready to be a #1 CB yet and a lot of fans have been jumping on his bandwagon without really judging his body of work. I've been on the Buffalo prospect bus before and I assure you, we tend to anoint kids after one or two games. Gilmore has the traits to be a hell of a CB in this league, but he's not there yet. Heading into this game, Gilmore had been targeted 8 times this year while giving up 150 yards and an opposing QB rating of 116.7. Last year, Gilmore gave up 736 yards and an opposing QB rating of 91.8 (Stat: PFF). Again, why is he an established #1 CB?
Yes, Dwayne Bowe is a freak and when you see that he had only 67 yards yesterday off 7 catches, you may think I'm being too hard on Gilmore. Yet, Bowe has been pretty quiet all year and then he comes in here and it just seemed like he was always opened and if he had a competent QB, he probably would have drilled us. Again, Gilmore is young and is on a learning curve, but he needs to start playing closer to the hype.
---I'll say it, if Thad Lewis, EJ Manuel or Ryan Fitzpatrick start this game, the Bills win going away. Also, I'd like to see any other team put up as good of an effort with their 4th string QB. I mean, Tuel wasn't even suppose to be on this team, he was suppose to be hanging out on the practice squad and throwing balls to Chris Hogan. Tuel started off the game hot, hitting on 5 of his first 7 throws for 112 yards and a TD. But after that 1st quarter, it was all downhill.
For the last three quarters, Tuel was just 13 of 32 for 117 yards and 2INTs. Of course, having drops by Scott Chandler and a bunch of other guys doesn't help (TBN had the Bills' WRs credited with 6 drops). In the end, what else can you ask for? Tuel was below average, yet, probably outstanding for what you'd want out of your 4th string QB.
---39 throws? Too many for me.
--Give the OL credit. I've been on them for the last month or so, but when you allow zero sacks off 39 pass attempts to a team that was on pace to set the record in sacks with a 3rd string QB...you get high praise from me. The Bills really controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
---The Bills have over 600 yards rushing against the Chiefs in their last 3 meetings. Yes, 600!!! 604 yards to be exact. WHY ON EARTH COULDN'T IT BE 605?!! Damn that goal line offense!
---Robert Woods was targeted 8 times yesterday. Heading into the game, he had only been targeted 12 times in his last three games. Tuelamania loves him some Woods, I guess?
---CJ Spiller is soooooo fricken good. I can't wait until that guy gets to 100%.,,and this is after he had over 9 yards a carry! In his last 24 games played, he has 15 games in which he has averaged over 5 yards a carry. In 7 of those games, he's had over 7 yards a carry. Wow.
Final Word: Bills.com just said EJ Manuel has been cleared by doctors. HOORAY!!