Defense! Defense! And more Defense was the theme of Buffalo Bills Divisional Playoff game.
It’s the first time this season that the Bills defensive unit reminded me of 90’s unit lead by Bruce Smith, Darryl Talley, and Nate Odom’s. The game changing play was Taron Johnson’S 101-yard interception return for a touchdown It was the first defensive touchdown in the playoffs by a Bill since Jeff Burris had a 34-yard interception in 1996 against Tennessee and tied George Teague for the longest playoff interception in NFL history.
The Bills defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier put together a game plan to not only slow down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson but also force him to throw into coverage. Bills edge rusher Jerry Hughes said:“Throughout the week we had Isiah McKenzie play Lamar Jackson in practice and allowed us to simulate what we were going to see especially speed wise.The type of team we are likes to feed off each other and the crowd allowed us to get that added juice; We were able to hold the edge and force Lamar to make plays against us.”
Yes, the Bills made tackles and did not give up many yards after contact which was extremely good for them. It was the Bills Defensive Coordinator’s best game plan of the season and has added him to Head Coaching interviews which was announced first during my question to him last Monday on his phone.. Coach Frazier said: “Yes earlier today my representative was contacted by Houston Texans.” Bills Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier’s stock has risen and could be a possible option in Philadelphia as well. He deserves the opportunity after four years of high-quality defensive play by his unit. You must keep in mind the Bills are playing without a true nose guard in Star Lotulelei, after he opted out of the season and Bills General Manager Brandon Beane decided to go with the players they have and not bring in any free agent nose guards. That gamble continues to pay off with the under sized defensive front line using speed to make up for size. I thought this philosophy would have caught up to them against the Baltimore Ravens powerful and massive offensive line, but to their credit the Bills gave up some early yardage and made adjustments by putting nine players near line of scrimmage forcing Lamar Jackson to throw the ball.
The Baltimore Ravens need to follow the Buffalo Bills blue print for their QB to sign a top free agent wide receiver like an Allen Robinson to give Lamar Jackson a true number one receiver. Dez Bryant a shell of himself, Hollywood Brown, and Michael Boykin are not going to get it done.
Bills QB Josh Allen was 23 for 37 totaling 206 yards and one touchdown. Allen missed Gabriel Davis on two badly thrown balls and twice missed John Brown which should have been touchdowns. The Bills have gone two consecutive playoff games without a turnover which is the first time ever in Bills playoff history this has happened.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said: “Congratulations to the Bills; Obviously they played a very good football game in all three phases. They were mistake free and capitalized on their opportunities. At the beginning of the second half was a big one, then also the turnover. They did a great job. Sean, Leslie, and all their guys, congratulations.”
The playoff pressure and tension is getting the best of Josh Allen and Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll must call more running plays for him to calm down. The Kansas City Chiefs are 21st in league against the run and the Bills must run the ball in order to beat them on Sunday night. Brian Daboll is showing once again just an average offensive coordinator and continues to put the game on Josh Allen’s shoulders which could be a recipe for disaster.
I see a very exciting game with the Bills catching a slight break with Mahomes in concussion protocol and most importantly his turf toe which does not allow him to push off on certain throws. It seems things are shaping up in Buffalo’s favor. I would replace an injured Cole Beasley with newly acquired wide receiver Kenny Stills. It’s quite clear Beasley is playing on one leg and can’t be effective with his current injury. I see the Bills defense bending and not breaking, allowing offense to make some key plays by Allen/Diggs connection for a thrilling 28 -24 win. Bills are going to Super Bowl LV!!!!
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