Here’s why Rex Ryan should be given another year with the Buffalo Bills.
There are a lot of disgruntled members in the #BillsMafia right now.
But just think for a minute, going into the season, did you really believe the Buffalo Bills would be any better than 10-6 this season? With games against the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, a pair against the New England Patriots and a road matchup against the Oakland Raiders, probably not, right?
I’m an optimist, and even I thought 10-6 would be Buffalo’s ceiling. They’re currently one game off that pace.
Look, there’s a reason to be disappointed about the outcome of the 2016 season. Especially with all things considered. *A looming 17-year playoff drought*
However, this season wasn’t lost. The Bills are much less of a dumpster fire than some people believe and firing Rex Ryan would be a mistake.
First-round selection Shaq Lawson has made up for lost time in eight games this season, registering seven tackles and a pair of sacks. Mario Williams has nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in case you were wondering.
Buffalo seems to have hit on another pair of rookies in defensive lineman Adolphus Washington and cornerback Kevon Seymour, too. Washington has started 10 games this season, while Seymour has a pair of starts.
The Bills once again lead the league in rushing and have built the recipe for success on offense, scoring the third-most touchdowns this season.
Oh, and even after a dip in production, Tyrod Taylor has the 20th-biggest cap hit next season, if his option is picked up. There aren’t 19 quarterbacks that are better than Taylor in the NFL. While Taylor may have underwhelmed this season, he isn’t the problem.
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Not to mention, much of the season has been played without both Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods on the field at the same time. Remember last year’s Green Bay offense without Jordy Nelson? It struggled — and Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback.
Yes, Ryan’s defense has been a disappointment. I fully believed it would be much improved, but it has only gotten slightly better.
However, he has improved in a couple of categories.
Buffalo is on pace to finish as the eighth-best defense against the pass, after finishing 19th last season. Oh, and that’s with six safeties landing on the injured reserve this season, including defensive leader Aaron Williams. Not to mention Buffalo’s sacks are up from 21 a year ago to 38, which ranks third in the NFL.
But Buffalo’s rushing defense took a severe step back this season, falling from 16th to 27th. Having a pair of 200-yard rushers can do that to a defense.
The Bills haven’t improved on third down either. Sitting near the bottom third each of the last two seasons, third-down defense is an area Buffalo must improve at next season.
If Buffalo moves on from Ryan some severe ramifications could follow, especially on the defensive end. A move would cause a change in defensive schemes again, just like it did before the 2015 season. And if players aren’t in place to fit the next coach’s style, it will likely take more than a year to get them in the door.
Football is about continuity. Along the offensive line, between the quarterback and his wide receivers, within the front seven and on the coaching staff. It’s the reason you don’t see many trades during the season.
If Terry and Kim Pegula want to move on from Ryan, fine, but they better hit on their next head coach. With a few moves in the off-season, Buffalo can be close to contending for a playoff spot on an annual basis and it would be a shame to see Ryan’s work go out the window.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Rex Ryan deserves at least one more season — period.
What are your thoughts on Rex Ryan? Leave your comments below!