Buffalo Bills Week 3: Mysteries Remain

Photo from youtube.com.

Bills fans are still wrapped up in the mystery that shrouds their favorite football team.

In game one, the Buffalo Bills beat the New York Jets, providing much needed opening day joy, and temporary contentment.

Yet, there was little relief from the long-standing burden of pessimism for the FAMbase, as beating the Jets proved nothing in the court of public opinion as to the true greatness, or lack thereof, of the team and coaching staff for the new season.

Surely, game two of the season, a road trip to Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, would solve all of these riddles for the fans.

Well, yes…and no.

Mystery #1: Is the Defense – revamped, retooled, and under new guidance – improved?

Photo of DE Jerry Hughes from bleacherreport.com.

This mystery was whole-hardheartedly solved. This Buffalo Bills defense is good. The front seven have dominated the running game of their opponents so far, to allow an average of a measly 57 yards per game. Dominant.

The Defensive backfield, thought by many to be the absolute weakest link of the entire team coming into the season, has been outstanding, currently rated 6th best in the league, and helping the overall defense rank #2 in the entire NFL.

Mystery #2: Does the team have any wide receivers?

Game two confirmed that the team did not in fact have any wide receivers, until the very last drive of the game, when they suddenly appeared, as if an apparition.

Jordan Matthews actually showed his value before the last drive, picking up some key yardage earlier on.

But, Andre Holmes, and rookie Zay Jones, made their presence felt at the very end.

Did they ever.

Mysteries #3, #4, and #5: How good/bad is the Offensive Line – is the team dependent on LeSean McCoy – how good is Rick Dennison’s offense?  

Photo of RB LeSean McCoy from Syracuse.com.

To be fair, these linked mysteries remain. Facing the Carolina Panthers #1 ranked defense in just the second game of the season, may not have been a fair place to fully make judgement on each of these offensive mysteries. So, we wait on these.

And, in a truly frustrating act of scheduling madness, today, the #4 ranked Defense in the league, that of the Denver Broncos, visits New Era Field.

Good luck Offensive Line – Shady McCoy – and Rick Dennison’s offense. Chances are, these mysteries shall remain after this afternoon’s game.

Musings From Around the NFL

Teams that are raising eyebrows – in an exciting way: Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams.

Raising eyebrows – in a less exciting way: New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and the Arizona Cardinals.

Teams that are dominating: The AFC West, except for…

Team that has no luck at all: The Los Angeles Chargers.

Teams that are still unproven mysteries: The rest of the NFL

Fantasy Football Tips

Photo from NFL.com.

I probably should have mentioned this last week, that unless you happen to already own the players (in your year long league) that I discuss in this section of my weekly write-up, these tips are generally offered for your consideration for DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) play for each week’s respective games.

I try to stay away from chalk plays here, but this should be the week Le’Veon Bell breaks out for Pittsburgh.

I’m handcuffing Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen this week. Looking for a shootout with the Chiefs, and Allen draws a great DB match-up in this game.

Looking to save a little money in your line-up? Eagles RB Darren Sproles, or Raiders TE Jared Cook might offer up some value play this weekend.

On Defense? Ravens, Ravens, Ravens, but maybe their game has already started as you read this? Yes, there is an early game in London this week – Ravens and who else, Jacksonville.

Last Week

Screen shot photo from buffalorumblings.com.

So, last weekend, the Buffalo FAMbase moved down to Charlotte, North Carolina, or at the very least, went down to visit their relatives, ex-neighbors, or former teachers, bosses or family babysitters, to bring the BillsMafia experience to the south.

Depending on your level of team optimism, it was a valiant effort, or a team disgrace.

The defense, as it probably will often this year, kept the team in the game. The Offense, again, let everyone down…big time, at the very end.

It is not responsible fan behavior to say one play, in a game of hundreds of plays, cost your favorite team a victory.  But…whether you think the pass was slightly off the mark, or the receiver’s fingers were slightly too short, the outcome was slightly too disappointing.

This Week

Photo of LB Von Miller from ESPN.com.

The Denver Broncos bring their vaunted Defense and tremendously efficient young quarterback to Buffalo, to face the Bills highly ranked Defense and tremendously inefficient quarterback, in another afternoon game at New Era Field.

If Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison has been saving up any special plays, for an important moment in the season, perhaps he should consider bringing them out for this home game. The offense desperately needs to be successful this week. And yet, again, they face a very formidable defensive unit.

And so, look to the Bills defensive unit to attempt to save the day, if they can.

I don’t see it, though.

I see the Bills front seven bottling up C.J. Anderson well enough, but I see Trevor Siemian tossing a couple dozen well aimed 7 yard passes to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders all day long, with a couple of those being in the end zone.

I see the Bills Offense, bolstered by the home crowd, moving the ball better this week, only to rely on a couple Stephen Hauschka field goals as their points outlet.

I’m 1-1 on the season so far, a couple of too short fingers away from being 2-0.

Let’s hope I’m wrong again, this week.

Denver 17 – Buffalo 9

Read me next week.

Editor’s babble: Thanks to Rick Bates for getting us ready for the game. You can follow Rick on Twitter @MyHammock.

9 Replies to “Buffalo Bills Week 3: Mysteries Remain”

  1. Good morning…

    The defense will continue to get better and losing Dareus will be addition by subtraction. The secondary is brand new and will be more cohesive as they play more together.

    The O-line is still struggling as they learn the new blocking schemes and the lack of depth and Glenn’s continual ankle problem is worrisome.

    The Wr’s are talented but Dennison & TT have to find a way to get them involved in the offense earlier in the game. Plus, they have to find a way to stretch the field to open up the lanes for Shady.

  2. Was not expecting the Bills to win today. Honestly, I thought the Bills would lose 26-3, vice win 26-16.

    With the Bills beating a team they were expected to lose against, are they for real or is this another aberration as we’ve seen numerous times over the past 17 years? Next week will be a trust litmus test against the red hot Falcons. I’m not drinking the koolaid yet, but for now, I’ll enjoy this win.

    • It was a great surprise, and it’s been a nice week because or it. Will be interesting to see how it goes on Sunday!

  3. Noticing some patterns in the way they play that is very encouraging. They seem to play better / make good adjustments in the second half and are learning to finish games or make a good effort late in the game. So far they have beaten a playoff team and almost beat another playoff team on the road- mostly with their defense.
    The defense is amazing at bending really far but not breaking and making the big play and they have played really tough all three games.
    Taylor missed two wide open guys today but he also put together two decent passing attack drives and is learning to find the open guy (rather than not see him at all) and also throwing over the middle successfully.
    Special teams seems to be doing really well too- some very nice FGs made today as well as a decent punt return. I really enjoyed watching this game and it was exciting right up to the end.
    The other good news is that the entire AFC East seems beatable- including the Patriots who won today because the Texans choked at the end of the game.

  4. It’s too bad they unloaded Watkins or they might have had a shot at the post season. The D seams fairly legit. We’ll see how they stand up to a team like the Falcons.

    • I’m still ok with the Watkins trade. You have to remember what we got from it…and I think E.J. Gains helped make this victory possible. The D seems very legit. Yes, Falcons will be the test.

  5. So far, the Bills secondary is better than anything we’ve seen from the team over the past couple of years. They’re going to have a huge test this coming Sunday against Matt Ryan.

    There were a lot of surprises in yesterday’s NFL games. Jacksonville/Baltimore was a huge surprise. I didn’t expect New Orleans and Chicago to win either. The Jets getting their first win was a surprise (guess they are not the worst team in the NFL). Tennessee upsetting Seattle is another, but I’d say the surprise of the day (besides the Bills) are the Redskins as they put a whooping on the Raiders.

  6. steve the secondary was outstanding yesterday and they really threw the raiders fits in the second half when they started blitzing in obvious passing downs yet even when the secondary was single coverage they were still not letting the receivers get open. the results were a very frustrated trevor semeian who threw two picks.
    nice to see the coache’s area of expertise play out on the field. it was awesome!