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I’ve been so busy believing the Buffalo Bills are good that I totally missed out on the fact that they suck. It’s a fine line between Super Bowl contenders and ‘you suck’, apparently, in my mind. I’m a terrific football analyst…
Now, I look back with rose/royal blue-colored glasses taken off and see Buffalo has beaten mostly teams that will be picking in the top five for next year’s NFL Draft and also defeated a Jacoby Brissett-led Patriots team. They almost beat Seattle that one time. Yeah!!! Buffalo is a team that’s ‘almost good’. You hate playing them because they’ll give you a run…but you’ll win in the end. I’m jumping off the Bills’ bandwagon and shoulder-rolling to safety.
I thought the Bills had this great defense. You know what – they don’t. Isn’t ‘defense’ why we think the Bills are dangerous? Sure, they look great against Brissett-Palmer-Keenum-Kaepernick-Dalton-Bortles (their six wins), but not so hot against others. Actually, not so hot in general…
Points allowed by Buffalo in their last six games: 28-41-31-12-21-38 (28.5 per game).
I should have just stuck with my ‘Rex Ryan is awful, and is headed towards a TV gig’ take that I started this season with. Rob Ryan is a disaster as well. Good riddance.
I’ve had a hard time buying into the Raiders because of their defense, but you know what – their D is better than the Bills’. The Raiders’ defense has been bad for much of the season, but is starting to get to the quarterback of late…and is holding opponents to lower scoring of late as well. In their last six games, the Raiders have allowed 16-24-20-20-32-24 (22.7 PPG). Not awesome, but not as bad as it was.
The Oakland story has been great, but I wonder what the story will be if they lose to KC Thursday night? They would go from #1 seed in the AFC to ‘best wild card team’ with little hope of passing KC in the division since the Chiefs will have a 2–0 season edge over them. If the Raiders win this week, I will be shocked and amazed. I’m pro-Raiders since the preseason, but I think the story is way out in front of itself at this point. Maybe I need to catch up to it…
— If you watched this game, you probably saw the end of Tyrod Taylor’s (18-35 for 191, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-30-1) career as an NFL starter. He just doesn’t know it yet. Taylor’s not a bad quarterback, but he’s not built for the future. He’s not Derek Carr or Dak Prescott, et al. Taylor was raised in the athlete-as-a-runner-at-QB era. Now, athletic QBs are honing their skills as passers right away. Taylor, like Rex Ryan, like Jeff Fisher, like Mike Zimmer, like about 90% of the NFL hierarchy, are out of touch and not built for the future. In this case, Rex Ryan is done as an NFL head coach after this season…and ‘his QB’ will be flushed down the drain with him.
Cardale Jones is built for the future…and I gotta believe a new coach is going to look there first, and Taylor will either groom Jones or be shipped out.
Because Tyrod Taylor is crumbling as a passer to finish 2016, you can’t bank on Sammy Watkins (3-38-0/9 targets). There’s hope, but there’s also a lot of FF concern. If the Bills lose this week and are ‘done’…Sammy is going on the shelf for the rest of the year. If not gone starting Week 15, then starting Week 16.
A lot of dynasty GMs hold Watkins in high esteem for the future. Nothing against him, but there’s like a million good-to-great WRs entering the NFL. Sammy Watkins is just another one of the tide rolling in. He’s not franchise-changing…he’s just really good. He’s dependent upon QB and coaching. We won’t know how talented Watkins is until he leaves Buffalo after 2017.
— Bruce Irvin (5 tackles, 1 sack) has finally woken up. Three straight games with a sack. Over his last three games he’s averaging 6.3 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 0.33 PDs per game.
— Amari Cooper’s (2-59-1/4 targets) numbers of late make Brandin Cooks seem like a fantasy MVP. In his last four games, Cooper is averaging: 7.9 FF PPG (11.90 PPR) on 4.0 rec. (6.0 targets) 48.5 yards and 0.50 TDs per game. Those are fringe WR3 numbers, not auto-top-10-ranking week-to-week numbers.
Teams are trying to take Cooper out and make ‘dropsy’ Michael Crabtree beat them. It’s smart.
— Latavius Murray (20-82-2, 3-23-0/5 targets) is having a great season, and finally the Raiders are leaning on him heavily. Early in the season, the Raiders were shuffling RBs in and out with no logic (to me). Now, it’s a lot of Latavius, as it should be…
19 or more carries in a game in three of his last four games.
6 TDs in his last four games.
3.4 catches per game the past five games…finally, being used as a superior weapon in the passing game that he is. Latavius is David Johnson-lite and is finally being used that way.