Three things on my mind as the Bills get ready to play the game after The Game…
I was on the field after the Bills knocked off the Chiefs. As much as they wanted to say otherwise, you could easily tell this win meant a whole lot more than just any other win. The players hooted and hollered all the way off the field. Said hooting and hollering continued for many minutes after the Bills had reached the locker room. That’s to be expected.
I just can’t see any way the Bills keep that high all the way into another game. There has to be some level of letdown. It doesn’t have to be a big letdown, but the way they felt after that Chiefs win is gone and not coming back. Maybe not until the Super Bowl.
I think there can also be a concern in this game about the Bills coming in overconfident. They could show up thinking “We just beat the Chiefs on the road… who the bleep is gonna contend with us?” They absolutely deserve to feel that way, but it could bite them.
I’m fully confident that Sean McDermott will, as always, have his team on an even keel and focused on the task at hand. He preaches not getting too high and not getting too low. It’s a lesson that took in the Buffalo locker room years ago and I don’t think that’ll change this week.
If last Sunday wasn’t just any other win, then this week isn’t just any other week. Normally, I’d say the chance of the Bills not having the right attitude for any game is zero. So, let’s just say that chance for this game is something greater than zero.
Remember The Titans
The Titans made two gigantic additions to the roster this year. One on each side of the ball. Julio Jones was supposed to open up the offense, creating three incredibly talented weapons for Ryan Tannehill. Bud Dupree was supposed to bolster the pass rush. This week should be only the third game where both players will be active. The other two games were a win at Seattle and a loss to the only unbeaten team left in the NFL (Arizona).
Dupree does provide Tennessee one of the key ingredients to slowing down the Bills offense: the possibility of rushing the passer with just the front four. Jones might give Tennessee the most talented group of top three weapons in the NFL. At the very least, they are the largest. It will be a unique challenge for the Bills defense.
I know this Titans team lost to the Jets and that’s absolutely a giant reason to doubt any thought of them contending against Buffalo. Jones and Dupree missed that game. That Titans team will not be the Titans team that will face the Bills Monday night.
Bring Back Bease
One of the talking points in Orchard Park this week was the lack of targets for Cole Beasley. He’s only had two passes thrown his way each of the last two games. Josh Allen said it was a game plan specific situation and I tend to agree.
I thought one of the concerns for the Bills this year was defenses crowding the short and intermediate zones, forcing Buffalo to throw over their heads. Over the last few weeks, Emmanuel Sanders and Dawson Knox have proven how poor a strategy that can be. Poor or not, when the Bills are pushing the ball down the field as much as they have been lately, that’s often going to make Beasley a bit more of a spectator. If only because Buffalo is gaining 50 yards on one throw instead of five. Allen’s 15 completions last week were less than all but two games in 2020.
I wonder if the Bills try and get Beasley back in the offense a bit this week. It might even be a result of Tennessee focusing a bit more on preventing the Buffalo deep shots. Brian Daboll is very good at taking and taking and taking what the defense gives. It would be logical to think whenever a Bills opponent responds to the deep ball success, that’ll be the week Beasley gets his touches back.
It doesn’t hurt to scheme up a few plays for him as well. This offense works best when everyone is excited and engaged. I don’t think Beasley is upset (his teammates don’t think so either), but it always makes you feel better as a receiver when you get a few balls thrown your way.
I did an exercise with a few of the media this week asking what games left on the Bills schedule they thought are reasonably losable, barring some total injury disaster. Most had similar answers. The Tampa game for sure. The Thanksgiving trip to New Orleans seems tricky just because of the primetime and holiday situation. Foxboro just because it’s Foxboro.
This game also made most lists and I understand exactly why. Not only is it a weird spot on the schedule with a monster win the week before and a vacation coming up the week after, but it’s also against a team that probably won’t fear the Bills just because they walk into the stadium. The Titans had no problems dispatching Buffalo and shutting down that high-powered offense last year. As has been often quoted of Micah Hyde this season, confidence is a helluva drug.
I am a little curious to see how those big wide receivers matchup with the Bills secondary. The Bills are a great cover group, but the calling card is working together to prevent receivers from getting open. Brown and Jones are options that can be open even when they’re not open. They’re just too big for many defenders a cover.
All that said, I can’t imagine this Bills offense not being able to score however many points they need. The Titans defense has been Kansas City level bad through 5 weeks and should be no match for Allen & Company, even if Dupree gets his stats. I think the Bills head to their bye with another high-flying win. Give me Buffalo 41-24.