The Buffalo Bills are ready for their Wild Card game against the Houston Texans, and here are some things we definitely know.
This Buffalo Bills playoff berth is so very different than Brandon Beane’s first season sneaking in. Everyone was so excited to end the great drought that the actual results of the Jacksonville game seemed somewhat insignificant.
Now, I would not suggest the Bills are favored to advance far and contend for a championship this season. Obviously with that defense, beating anyone is absolutely on the table. That said, this season I think fans would be happy to get past the Wild Card round with the opportunity to make some noise after that.
Making the playoffs a couple of years ago was a team disassembling and rebuilding almost from scratch. Out of all of the attempted rebuilds this century at One Bills Drive, making the playoffs the first year of “The Process” seemed to be the least opportune time for ending the drought. So making the playoffs was ridiculously sweet. Maybe being able to succeed where others failed was based on the fact that they actually had a process.
Last season the breaking down to build things back up was in full motion. No one expected much as they were grooming a raw rookie quarterback without weapons and freeing up cap space. Making the playoffs this season is different. It is the early years of their rebuilt culture and talent pool. But these are no longer Rex Ryan’s players. This team has a core of players that this management staff gets full credit or blame based on results.
So this playoff would be viewed differently than the previous. Win one game and advance. If you can do more Buffalo, do it. Make us proud.
That said, according to many radio shows, the Bills arrived in playoff-land earlier than expected. They are ahead of schedule. As a fan, I disagree. I expected to make the playoffs this season or would be extremely disappointed. Now, do some damage. Then this offseason, this team needs to fix the offense so it scores more points, more often.
A big stud wide receiver would be on my wish list. Early in the draft please unless trade or free agency tackles the task instead. You know the drill…This is where I digress. Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week.
1. Tre’Davious White was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro. He is the first Bills cornerback since 1974 to be named that honor.
2. Houston-We-Have-A-Problem! Wide receiver Isiah McKenzie played in the secondary for the Bills defense throughout a couple of series against the Jets. Levi Wallace suffered a leg injury while making an interception early in the game. Minus an interception, Taron Johnson did similar later in the game. Exactly where that leaves the Bills secondary is a quandary. Tre’Davious White thankfully was spared being at risk as he was a healthy scratch.
3. John Brown, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary, and Dawson Knox were safely stored on the shelf with White. Why in the world Josh Allen would be risked out there for even one play without his starting cast is beyond my understanding. If it is simply more experience for Allen with preparation for an opponent, they could have had him prepare as the starter and then audibled at the very last minute going with Barkley.
Even all of the preparation as the starter is risking unnecessary injuries. They could have viewed it as a bye week since the game meant absolutely nothing to the Bills. Why any coach would expose their franchise quarterback to a Greg Williams defense, specifically when the starting weapons were mostly spared the risk, is an unneeded gamble.
Rarely do I say I do not trust the process, but this was one of the infrequent times I was confused. Josh Allen did not play long and he was replaced by Barkley injury-free. So I will stop with my opinions on this. Let us just hope that playing so many players on the defensive side of the ball which did not go as well as far as staying healthy, does not negatively impact the game in Houston.
4. Houston, you have a problem. The Buffalo Bills.