The Morning After: Bills v. Raiders

Nelson and Chandler have given Bills fans plenty to be excited about thus far

While watching yesterday’s game one word kept springing to mind…resiliency. This team showed so much resiliency in the face of complete disaster that the whole country is going to take notice now. How many other team down 21-3 at the half would have been able to come back?

This team raised the bar on itself and as fans it makes us giddy. The days of accepting close losses or almost completed comebacks are gone. Make no mistake, just like last week this is only one game, but its one game that tells us that it’s ok to expect this team to make things happen.

The Good:

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick-In the first half of yesterday’s game Fitzpatrick was 11 of 19, and had already thrown an INT. His numbers were solid but not spectacular, so whatever he did during halftime he needs to do every week from here on out. In the 2nd half Fitzpatrick was close to being a man possessed, going 17 of 27 with 3 TD’s. That’s not to mention the final drive where he marched his team right down the field for the go-ahead TD. Fitzpatrick has 7 TD’s to only 1 INT on the year and he is making Bills fans forget all about the Suck for Luck campaign.

RB Fred Jackson-If we could ask Fred any question right now, it would be if he ever thought when he was at Coe College or playing in the IFL that he would one day lead the NFL in rushing yards? What a story he has become and what a leader he is for this team. Fitzpatrick deserves plenty of credit for this Bills start but if Jackson doesn’t move the chains and churn out tough yards these first two weeks we are not 2-0. In other words, just pay the man already.

WR David Nelson-Nelson had a career day for the Bills and it couldn’t have come in a bigger moment. With Easley’s heart condition leaving so much up in the air, there is a big time void to be filled in this WR corp. Nelson has done that so far displaying reliable hands and the ability to run good routes. The interesting thing is that yesterday we watched the NE/SD game right after the Bills game ended and the announcers talked all about the Pats use of Gronkowski and Hernandez at the same time. The Bills are doing a nearly identical thing with Nelson and Chandler.

Bills 2nd Half Offense-There are a few players you want to single out for their exceptional effort in yesterday’s game but in reality the entire offense deserves great praise for all that they did. Whatever changes Chan Gailey made at halftime showed up big time as the Bills came out and looked like a completely different team. Credit goes to the OL for blocking well, the RB’s for finding holes, and the WR/TE’s for getting open and making big catches.

The Average-

Defensive Line-Once again they did a wonderful job holding up at the POA and keeping the LB’s free from blockers but we need to start to see more. They need to get off blocks and start making plays, because we are beginning to see just how far below average our back 7/8 are (we’ll get to them in a minute). Dareus looks very good but he is only a rookie and needs more time. Williams while still effective has not been as dominant as he was this past season, and Edwards is a guy who you barely notice on the field. We don’t want to come off as selfish fans but as we get into AFC East play we need the guys to get better.

The Needs Improvement-

Defensive Back 7/8-We use the 7/8 because depending on what scheme we are in (Nickel, 34, 43) we have 7-8 players behind the defensive line. There is no excuse for how poorly they played again, and they are becoming a huge liability here. Nobody could cover Darren McFadden into the flat despite Oakland trying to run the same screen to death, and nobody apparently wanted to cover Denarius Moore. Moore’s TD catch to give Oakland the lead late was a thing of beauty but let’s be clear when you have bracket coverage on a WR, there is no way he should catch that ball. All these pass coverage issues become null and void if we could begin to generate any kind of a pass rush. We have2 sacks thus far this season and if that continues next week against a QB like Brady, we are going to be in trouble.

 Random Stat:

 Since BBD has been around the Bills are now 2-0, we are just saying…

 Last week is now behind us and while we will never forget the resiliency this team showed, next week is all about a different word, redemption. Bring on the Pats!


Tags: Bills, Fitzpatrick, Jackson, Nelson, Raiders

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