Normally I would start these out with a “Happy Week 2 Buffalo Authority Faithful!” or something along those lines but after last week’s curb stomping, I can’t help but feel that the sky is falling. I am not sure there were many Bills fans that thought Buffalo would improve from last years’ playoff bound team but come on! Who saw a 47-3 butt kicking to our favorite (and only) New York football team? I don’t know about you guys but every week 2 power rankings I’ve seen has Buffalo in dead last! Every. Single. One. Who knows, maybe they are. It was announced that Josh Allen will be starting for Buffalo this Sunday in the Bills home opener. I am not sure how I feel about this as it may be a premature decision here. Is Peterman the answer? I will say no and think he looks lost out there. Through three starts he has yet to finish a game. One due to injury, two due to poor performance. His stats through three starts are 16 for 42 for 147 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions. Yikes. Through three starts, his passer rating is a whopping 16.8. He ranks 224th out of 227th for passer rating among QBs who have started in the NFL since 2001. (Credit ESPN for that stat) He has no business being a starting NFL quarterback. You could make the argument he doesn’t deserve a job as a backup in the league. Who wants that coming in if their starter goes down? Having said all this, I still feel bringing Josh Allen in this early may be a mistake. This team wouldn’t succeed with Aaron Rodgers back there right now. Do we want to ruin the psyche of our biggest investment in Josh Allen? They’re going up against a great defense in the LA Chargers, followed by an arguably better defense in Minnesota. Anyway, I digress. Just some food for thought before we kick it into this week’s topic: Matchup of the Week, and if you think I am going anywhere besides Josh Allen vs. the Chargers pass rush, I’m afraid I have some bad news for ya!!
Josh Allen/O-Line vs. Chargers Pass Rush
For this matchup, the good news is, Joey Bosa will not play against Buffalo this week. While it is unfortunate when any player gets injured, as a fan of the Bills, this one will help their cause with their abysmal offensive line. Last season Bosa had 12.5 sacks which lead the team. Without him, the Los Angeles defense was still able to put up 31 sacks (meaning 43 total) So even taking Bosa out of last year’s equation, that is still close to two sacks a game. Just to quickly compare the Chargers defense to last year’s Ravens defense, the Ravens had 41 sacks in total on the year. Last week the Bills let up an alarming SIX sacks to that Raven D, three to Peterman and three to Allen. With how similar the Ravens sack numbers were to the Chargers, you have to be wary as a Buffalo Bills fan. The story last week was that this O-line is full of holes, too many to plug. This will continue to be the story until they show their team and fans something different. Anyway, as of now things look dreary for Josh Allen. He should be in a role where he has a chance to succeed and I don’t see that here this week. I would love to be wrong. Let’s go onto the defensive matchup of the week, shall we?
The Bills Defense vs. The Red Zone
This article may seem a bit pessimistic and I apologize for that. Normally I will try to pull out a silver lining in even the bleakest of situations. Last year it was easy to point to their defense to anchor this team. This year, after one week, we saw the Bills D let up 47 points. The Ravens made it to the red zone six times and came away with six touchdowns. That is essentially making where the red zone starts (the 20 yard line) the end zone as Ravens scored each time they made onto this part of the field. In my opinion the Bills D over achieved last year with a very impressive season. I do NOT think that they are as bad as last week’s numbers suggest though. The Bills defensive struggles can also be blamed on the offense failing to get a first down in the first half. Defense uses a lot more energy, shooting gaps, finding the ball and trying to make a play for 60 minutes. When a team is bringing their defense onto the field as much as Buffalo was last week, they will become tired quickly. While no defensive player will use this as an excuse, it does in fact play a factor. This week Buffalo needs to make sure they shut down the field inside the red zone. Letting up a touchdown on every red zone trip, tired or not, is a failure on the part of this Buffalo defense. Bend but don’t break. Anybody remember that cliché from last week? Fits perfectly here.
That’s it for me this week. Hopefully Buffalo can prove me wrong and show that one game (no matter how ugly) doesn’t define a season. What do you guys think though? Am I over analyzing one game? Everybody seems to overreact after one week of play, including me. I hope I’m wrong or this could be a long season. I think Sean McDermott is a good coach, maybe he can figure it out. (Better than I can anyway!) Follow me on twitter, @bblehar. Come yell at me if you think I was too negative after one game. More importantly, Go Bills!