Week 8 Observations: Demons Exorcised.

 (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

When does “just” winning become not enough? 

  • This is more of a philosophical question regarding the general narrative surrounding this team. Do the Bills need to blow someone to show they are a contender? Well, that is for you to decide. But consider a couple things. Bills have three wins against what most would consider quality opponents right now, Miami, Los Angeles Rams, and Las Vegas. Bill Belichick is the greatest defensive mind of a generation and has still forced teams like Seattle and Kansas City into close games. Finally, it is okay to not be a Super Bowl contender right now because the Bills are in a driver’s seat of division with plenty of time (and talent) to get back to playing better football. Anything can happen once the playoffs start, and getting there in three of four years will be a major step in development of this franchise.  Whatever you take is, enjoy the wins and be nice to each other. It is not long ago the Bills had a 17 year playoff drought.

What is this offense?

  • After a red hot first four games, the offense has regressed to the middle of the pack. So what is this team? Can they drop 30 points a game? Or are we seeing a mirror vision of 2019?  Well let’s see how they stack up through 8 weeks 
Yards per game through 8 game 336372
Points per game through 8 game 19.7524.8

Even through four lackluster games, this year’s offense remains a step up from 2019. The main reason for the drop off in the last four games is the way teams are playing Josh. Last year teams could play close to the line of scrimmage, send extra pressure, and more often than not force Josh into a mistake. This year Josh showed he could be pressure so teams started playing five, six, and seven defensive backs. To get back on track Daboll will have to scheme up ways for Josh to be these coverages. 

Two headed run game finally appears.

  • The point of grabbing Zach Moss was to create a two headed monster in the backfield that can break tackles and make defenders miss. Through seven weeks the run game was nearly non-existent. With the return of Jon Feliciano the run came out and found their form in gashing the Patriots run after run to the tune of almost 200 yards.. Moss proved himself to be the downhill runner that the Bills have been missing for the last two years. The emergence of the running game could be the key to a return of a high scoring offense in the coming weeks.

State of the offensive line.

  • Just as the line got back their heart and soul in Jon Feliciano they lost perhaps their most important player in center Mitch Morse. The Ryan Bates hive was loud and proud Sunday calling for Bates to get more than one drive. Turns out that going to Ike Boettger was a smart move. Boettger played a very good game in which the Bills loved to the left side of the line.  Whether the Bills keep Feliciano at center remains to be seen. McDermott brought up the relationship between Feliciano and Boettger as a possible reason for the alignment. The center quarterback relationship is so important, with a week of practice Bills could change the alignment again for Sunday or roll out what worked Sunday. Also not to be forgotten, this is Morse’s 5th career concussion, thoughts are with his health above all and one would not fault him for walking away from the league after this season.

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