Buffalo Bills fans should relax, 7-3 doesn’t mean ‘The Sky is Falling’
By Scott Bryk
A 7-3 record for the Buffalo Bills – with 3-7 Denver coming up next – isn’t too shabby, but to hear some fans talk you’d think the team was crumbling.
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” This was the noise being created by Buffalo Bills fans after the Bills loss to Cleveland.
Pump the brakes.
Cleveland was the favored home team by Vegas experts making the Bills the underdogs. Vegas was right and the Bills were beaten. The Browns were to be a top AFC team this year. They had been loaded with collected talent.
Many predicted the Browns to go far in the playoffs. They simply have been massively underachieving up to this point this season. I am not certain why fans don’t realize the Bills are having their best season in 20 years at 7-3. They still have an easier schedule remaining, at least on paper. Prior to the season, the Browns game was penciled in as a big “L”. by many when going through the schedule. The Bills are right on target to continue to have a successful season.
According to many analysts’ predictions, the Browns were targeted as being a top team. That would qualify Cleveland as having a failed season prior to the Buffalo game.
Underachieving in a huge way could be said.
Buffalo, on the other hand, was predicted as being a 7-9 or 8-8 team by many. It would seem that they would be overachieving at 7-3 so far. 7-3 is a very good record to have while leaving Miami. The offense looked dominating which is what everyone has been calling for. The Dolphins had looked to be an oddly resurrected team prior to the game with Buffalo.
Many times offenses gain momentum as chemistry begins to gel as the season progresses. The Bills managed to win some games with come from behind drives. Some of those victories were smack in the middles of Josh Allen‘s early interception quandary.
Adjustments were made to reduce the interception trend. That may be one reason the deep ball from last year had gone missing in action. Correction. The deep ball still is there. They simply had been incomplete either by poor receiver execution or overthrown and under-thrown tosses by Allen.
With Allen throwing picks in abundance early this season, the coaches likely had tasked Allen with reducing the interceptions by not throwing the lower percentage passes. Allen has successfully taken the interceptions out of his game. In doing so, he may be overthrowing or under-throwing, unlike last season, to reduce the chances of the other team coming down with the ball.
I am by no means saying the Bills have a top-tier offense. They do have a top-five defense who gives them a chance especially with the weaker schedule this season. The proof is a 7-3 record. The Bills were not blown out by Cleveland. They were in the game until the very end. I would have really liked to see the Bills win.
If they connect on one deep ball or got adequate kicking, they walk away as the winning team as an underdog against a Browns team with a heck of a lot of talent. The Browns are not this horrible team that fans are accusing the Bills of choking against. Cleveland was the favorite to win. They have underachieved up to that point, but with the talent they have they simply need to clean some things up and they can resume meeting expectations.
Allen has done a remarkable job cleaning up the interception problem. He has been really shown that he has improved with the short throws. He has shown intelligence with sliding when he runs and avoiding the risk of injury. He has also neglected to always pull the ball down and run when clearly he has open receivers.
The end of the Cleveland game was not ideal in many ways. Coaching. Execution. kicking. Clock management. Many problems existed.
The sky is not falling. The Bills did not choke in Miami. They went in and did what was expected. They put a lot of points on the board. The offense shined.
We aren’t sitting here talking about multiple games screwed up at the very end. We aren’t waiting for the first comeback win or end-of-game miracle drive of Allen’s career. He has shown he can play at a high level in the 4th quarter. One game went to the other team in the closing seconds and it was the favored team at home. So they lost to the Browns as the underdog on the road. The Browns beat the hot Steelers. The Bills took care of business in Miami. The sky is not falling.
Devin Singletary is only getting better and will be more involved. As Allen develops he is making adjustments on his own as well as being coached up. If a team can be 7-3 while a quarterback is developing and has a great defense, he can slowly take certain flaws out of his game. If he can hit on an occasional deep ball like last year and protect the ball, chemistry will develop.
The Bills do have inexperience in other areas besides quarterback. They have a future stud at tight end in Dawson Knox and a game-changer in Singletary.
Kicking has been a bit sketchy at times since the second portion of last season. The kicking bounced right back after the Browns game. So did the quarterback play. The struggling run defense was lights out. Seven sacks? Are you kidding me? Wow.
The sky is not falling.
Instead of the Bills having Allen throwing all over the place losing games due to interceptions, they are having him learn while actually accumulating some wins. He can throw more risky passes after he masters reading defenses and other aspects of playing quarterback at this level. The team will likely surround him with more talent on his side of the ball next season. They have plenty of cap space for a trade, free agent signing or high impact draft selections. I would hope that would be an undisputed number one wide receiver.
They could easily call a game where he throws for over 300 yards each week. That desperation to have Josh Allen‘s personal stats better could potentially cost the team wins.
Teams throw for 300 yards with multiple picks and a loss at the end of the day often. I prefer letting him win some games as he works on areas needing improvement and he will slowly get to the 300-yard passing mark the successful way and not the way of gunslinging it nonstop while his efforts to reduce interceptions regresses.
Not one expert who liked Allen out of college said he would come in and be a pro-bowl player right away. He was not even the starter for week one of his rookie season and initially was going to sit and learn the NFL for his entire rookie season. Obviously Nate Peterman’s inability to play quarterback in the NFL changed the plan.
Allen is smart, big, strong, athletic, competitive, likable, has leadership skills and really appears to be coachable.
They manhandled Miami on the road and Miami is not win-less and gave Buffalo a fight the first time in Orchard Park. Some areas need improvement. The Bills will be greatly tested moving forward. They already have seven victories. They beat up Miami good. Of course, Miami, who has won only two games this year, was playing loose and carefree with no expectations and put some points up.
7-3 is solid. 7-3 is fine. The sky is not falling.