Let me start off by saying that I truly cherished the moment the Bills made it to the playoffs. I will always remember where I was the moment Andy Dalton threw that pass and Tyler Boyd weaved through the Ravens defense. I will remember the joy on every Bills fan face when it happened and I will also remember who I shared that moment with (a bunch of Dolphin fans). The fact that we have this newfound friendship and respect for the Bengals and Cincinnati cannot be overstated.
All of that being said, I am tired of hearing about it. We all know the story by now. There is no need to hear about it in every single Bills game this year. The reasoning for this is so that new storylines can be brought out to the light. The end of the playoff drought was last year, we move ahead to the 2018-2019 season and we evaluate the future in a new offense with a lot of question marks along with a defense with some new faces.
Let’s talk about the offense. Not a good start with Josh Allen under center. They tried to create play’s complimenting Allen’s strength which is throwing the ball to the moon. The problem was that the Bengals secondary was keeping up with our receivers the entire time and so there were not a lot of windows of opportunity. To make matters worse, our offensive line could not hold up against the Bengals front line. There was a moment where Geno Atkins picked up our guy Vladimir Ducasse like a bag of groceries and tossed him onto Allen. It was not a good look for our o-line as they allowed five sacks to get to Allen. Overall, it looked as though their defense completely shut down our offense with the exception of the run game which showed signs of promise especially with our third string running back Marcus Murphy. The second half showcased Nate Peterman as he came in and shredded the second stringers of Cincinnati. The second half showcased Nate Peterman as he came in and shredded the second stringers of Cincinnati. (I’m so impressed I said it twice.)
The only problems I saw defensively is that Vontae Davis was not having a good game. A lot of our defenders were not having a good game as they could not keep up with the Bengals receivers. They were outmatched in assignments and they could not get any pressure on Dalton. He had an ample amount of time to wait for his receivers to breakaway and toss the rock to them. The Bills defensive effort was good but not what you want to see in a bend don’t break style of defense.
My final thoughts, we should be ok on defense. With Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer as the last line of defense they can save some plays but the front four and the linebackers need to create more pressure on the quarterback.
Offensively, we have a big problem which starts on the offensive line and a big question mark which is on our quarterback. The o-line needs to figure it out by week one of the season which I think they will for the sake of whoever starts.
As for who should start, I think Allen should not be starting until week nine if we can’t help it. He still needs to be molded and our schedule in the first half is so tough that it would be a tough ask for a rookie to overcome that. I would like AJ to start but due to the injury it may have set him back in the QB battle. He would need more reps with the first string before we even think about starting him which brings us to Peterman.
I would not be shocked if he is named the week one starter and no one should be outraged by this. This is not a permanent thing, i just feel this would be the best temporary move until AJ gets acclimated with the offense and Allen is ready. Petey boy will have to learn to manage the game in the meantime and for the love of the football, not throw more than three interceptions.