Buffalo @ Green Bay: Highs and Lows

After a one week hiatus from one of the roughest starts in franchise history, the 2018 Buffalo Bills have returned to form.  While the defense did all it could to keep the Bills in the game through three quarters, the offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.  In fact, I wonder if the offense even got on the plane to make the trip to Wisconsin.  Here are my highs and lows from the Bills 22-0 loss to the Packers today.  Let’s see if you can spot a theme in today’s highs and lows…

Highs

Taron Johnson
Not only was the rookie solid in coverage, but he came up with a sack fumble early in the forth quarter.  In addition, he had 4 tackles.  Something to keep an eye on will be his durability, as he has been nicked up in 3 of the 4 games so far this year, despite being able to stay in the games.

Ryan Lewis
Rodgers and the Packers clearly had a plan to attack Lewis throughout the day.  Lewis was up for the challenge.  Late in the game, he had a forced fumble on a hit.  With the exception of the dropped pick-6, which would have cut the Packers lead to 19-7 in the 3rd quarter, Lewis played well in his second straight game.

Defense
The defense gave up 423 yards today and they are still earning an “up” from me?  You betcha.  Why?  Because Rodgers never felt settled in.  They held Rodgers and the Packers to 22 points at home.  And realistically, in today’s NFL if you are holding your opponent to 22 points you should win the game.  If the Bills offense was halfway competent, they would have had a chance to win today.  The defense played bend but don’t break today against a Hall of Fame QB, which is exactly what you need to do.

Lows

Offensive Line- ALL OF IT
I don’t know what else to say.  I am not sure any member of this offensive line would be a starter on any other line in the league.  This unit is constantly overmatched and you could tell from the first series when the Bills couldn’t convert a 3rd and 1.  No room to run, no time to throw, no business being on the field.  Add 7 more sacks to the total today.  But, that is who Beane and McDermott have decided to field week in and week out, so onward we go…

Josh Allen
Terrible.  Allen was awful today.  Erratic with the ball, overthrows, underthrows, just terrible.  It was his worst game as Bill, going back to the preseason.  Allen finished 16-33 151 with 2 INT and a fumble (which was probably one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in my life).  The ups and downs of a rookie QB in the NFL is a real thing.  Allen was praised a lot this week locally and nationally due to his performance against the Vikings and this week he might want to avoid the local and national news.

ENTIRE OFFENSE
Instead of continuing to go player by player, let me just stop the bleeding here.  After jumping out to the 27-0 lead in the Vikings (which was mainly due to prime field position) the Bills offense has not scored.  In fact, let’s take a look of this by game.

Ravens 1st half: 0 pts
Ravens 2nd half: 3 pts
Chargers 1st half: 6 pts
Chargers 2nd half: 14 pts
Vikings 1st half: 27 pts
Vikings 2nd half: 0 pts
Packers 1st half: 0 pts
Packers 2nd half: 0 pts

So the Bills offense hasn’t scored in 6 quarters.  Not ideal for winning.  Not ideal for much of anything.  The Packers hadn’t shut out an opponent in 8 years.  That changed today.

Final Thoughts

Well, the Bills are “who we thought we they were”, in the words of the late Dennis Green.  At least for the time being, the Week 1 and 2 Bills appear to be the “real” version of this team.  We all knew there would be growing pains this year and with the season a quarter of the way done, they sit at 1-3, which is on pace for 4-12.  My gut tells me they end up with about 5 or 6 wins, but the offense clearly needs a ton of work.  They can do all the work they want, but at the end of the day, if they don’t have the talent on that side of the ball then they don’t have the talent.  The schedule softens up a little bit over the next few weeks, let’s see if the Bills can take advantage.

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