The Buffalo Bills fell to 2-4 this season after blowing a fourth quarter lead and losing to the Houston Texans, 20-13. Although this loss is hard to stomach, I do not believe the defeat was season defining. There were plenty of bright spots and a few lingering issues that eventually costed the Bills another game. I think that a game like this was necessary to hopefully force general manager Brandon Beane to acquire some offensive weapons to aid rookie quarterback Josh Allen. This loss, and the way in which the game was lost could result in some positive roster changes in the near future.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By this definition, it would be insane to believe that Nathan Peterman could see out the rest of the game and take his team to victory after Allen went down in the second half. As much as you have to feel for the guy, I think enough is enough, and not it looks like coach Sean McDermott is starting to feel the same way.
Continuing to roll Peterman out there, although in this case they had no choice, is detrimental to the success of the organization and is making the team a nationwide joke due to Peterman’s inability to perform at an NFL level. This is as good a time as any to finally cut ties with Nathan Peterman and move the franchise in the right direction. Time to stop the bleeding Mr. Beane.
In my previous articles, especially those I wrote the preseason, I talked about how I believed the Bills defense had the potential to be elite this season. I do not think it is crazy to think that this defense may be one of the top five in the league right now. After some early season struggles, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has this defense playing like a top tier defensive unit. Kyle Williams was one of the best players on the field yesterday, Tre’Davious White kept DeAndre Hopkins at bay for most of the game, and the linebacking core of Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds and Lorenzo Alexander are all playing like superstars.
Although Beane has made some mistakes, overall I think he has done an incredible job with this team. He and coach McDermott deserve a ton more credit then they have received for the way this team (especially the defense) has played over their year and change in charge of the Bills.
One of the many aspects on the offensive side of the ball that concerns me is the play calling by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. He came into Buffalo with a glowing resume, but has not impressed much at all with the product he has put out on the field over the last six weeks. There could be many reasons for this, such as the glaring lack of open receivers and overall lack of talent in skill positions on offense, but the playbook for the Bills currently seems to be at a flag football level. The play calling against the Vikings was stellar, and it is incredibly difficult to scheme players open because they would not be open if not for all sorts of misdirection due to them not being very good. However, watching other teams in the league complete passes with ease to receivers that are always opens and always catch the ball makes me wonder why we can’t do that in Buffalo. There is a multitude of free agents and fringe players on other teams that could be brought in and make an instant impact on the passing game. Regardless, the play calling can be much better and the offense is good enough to be scoring more than 13 points regardless.
The reality of the yesterday’s loss is that if the Bills had recovered the Deshaun Watson fumble near the two minute warning, the Bills win that game. Nearly all of the points the Texans scored were aided by special teams mistakes and silly penalties by the Bills. To play so poorly on offense and still be leading in the fourth quarter says a lot about how much potential this team has. The tough thing for GM Beane is finding the balance between giving up future assets to solve a current problem versus hoping the problems solve themselves without any action.
Hopefully, Beane will sign some impact players and maybe even make some trades to benefit the team now and in the future, which he has done a really good job of in his short career in Buffalo. I am much more optimistic about the Bills after two unexpectedly good performances in a row, and next weekend’s matchup against the Colts in another winnable game.