Sunday, November 20th @ 1 p.m. ET
Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Weather: The Lake Erie Effect Snow Machine may be fully operational…
Latest line: Bills-9.5, over/under 47
I was there Sunday. The first 43 minutes were fun, the remainder of the game was our worst nightmare. It’s too painful to re-hash how it all went down. Best for our sanity to turn the page. It wasn’t a crazy notion that the Bills could wire the field, secure the #1 seed, win two home games, and sail smoothly into their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. The odds looked good on that proposition two weeks ago. Silly us. When is it ever easy or smooth being a Bills fan?
- Chiefs: Mahomes steadier than Josh so far this season.
- Eagles: It happens to EVERYONE in today’s NFL.
- Bills: Unfortunately point differential means little….
- Vikings: Jefferson may be one of the all time great WRs; also impressed by their coach and OL.
- Ravens: Playing well since narrow loss to Bills.
- Dolphins: shame on anyone who left them out of the top 10 last week.
- Cowboys: the Packers were home and very due.
- Giants: The schedule gets tougher eventually but not this week.
- Bengals: Burrow gets the nod over the Jets and Titans.
- 49ers: easy schedule remaining.
On to the Cleveland Browns. The possible snow storm might have been more favorable vs the Vikings and Justin Jefferson than vs the Browns and Nick Chubb, but we’ll see.
Josh Allen vs Jacoby Brissett should be a huge mismatch. Whether Josh’s head space can be back where it needs to be after a career low point Sunday remains to be seen. Maybe the injury obscured the need and opportunity to correct the mistakes from the Packers and Jets game. Our coaching staff has a lot to prove this week, especially in terms of getting Allen right. Calm Josh is the best Josh. Advantage Bills.
Running game weapons:
Nick Chubb is the best running back in the NFL. The Bills running game is like a box of chocolates. In terms of volume, think of the small sampler box. Advantage Browns.
Passing game weapons:
When do I start only considering Diggs and Davis in this category? Knox is a 6th blocker too much of the time. Cook and Hines are getting insignificant snaps and targets. The lack of production in the slot makes we wonder why two TE sets or a FB are almost never deployed? Diggs alone would be enough over the Amari Cooper led Browns. Advantage Bills.
The Bills did a good job against the run vs the Vikings until Dalvin Cook ripped off an 81 yard TD run that triggered an avalanche of horror. Dodson did better replacing Edmunds in the run game than in coverage. Cleveland is average at best. Even.
The Bills 2022 projected secondary: Poyer, Hyde, White, Elam. Against the Vikings: Hamlin, Lewis, Jackson, Benford. Bad week to face the best WR in football. We are developing incredible depth when/if we get three starters back. The Browns numbers against the pass have been middle of the pack. Without knowing the availability of our injured starters, call it even.
Tyler Bass looked good, and this unit in general is our most consistent of the three. Cleveland’s K Cade York seems to be on the same level and is having a better season so far. Ex-Bill Corey Bojorquez handles the punting duties. Even.
Blowing a 2nd straight double digit lead and losing a second straight game might mark the low point of the McDermott era, Kevin Stefanski has a Coach of the Year award on his resume. But the strange nature of the Browns’ season (waiting on Watson) makes me throw this category out this week.
Being third in the AFC East and currently seeded #6 as the preseason favorite better be enough motivation for the Bills. The state of Josh’s confidence and elbow are concerning. I-90 may be impassible for Browns fans who planned to come up for the game…but somehow the Mafia will make it to Orchard Park. Advantage Bills.
Bills 24 Browns 13
Weather may keep the score down. Thanksgiving Dinner will be much more enjoyable if the Bills right the ship the next two weeks before the heavy run of division games.
Photo from Great Lake Brewing.com.
THE PREGAME PLAN:
What better blend of Buffalo and Cleveland than Buffalo Chicken Pierogies?
We get a wide variety of Great Lakes Brewing’s offerings here; this week I am going with their Dortmund Gold Lager. At least your beer will be smooth and easy!
One of the most underrated bands of all time, the Kinks:
- Tired of Waiting; always feel that way after a bad loss
- Where Have All The Good times Gone: post bye blues
- Low Budget: our defense minus six starters
- Better Things: “I hope tomorrow you find better things”
Circle the wagons, Bills Mafia!
There’s plenty of unpredictable football to come.
Editor’s babble: May this week be better than the last. Many thanks for all of Joe Reagan’s terrific contributions to our blog. You can also find Joe on Twitter @joer869.
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