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The Bills’ loss to the Bengals exposed flaws that we should have seen all along

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The things I care about

Bills have been exaggerated

This is similar to hindsight analysis. An easy possession or some people would say convenient excuse for Buffalo after a disappointing exit. Perhaps this is a fair response.

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However, the number of slate-holes the media has shot was demonstrated firsthand when Buffalo pencils in as the favorite Super Bowl title this season.

And I’m not just talking about being clarified on a Sunday afternoon. The matches have been telling us the harsh truth all season that we have overestimated this list.

Let’s start on defense. A unit that has not been doing well all year has been embarrassed against Bengals. You can certainly point to injuries. It was a minor, non-grant add-on problem by miller He was not available in the playoffs. The fact that Miller’s addition was necessary in the first place shows that the investments they made didn’t work out. It appears that Miller’s presence was indeed a necessity rather than a luxury.

If you were generous, you could have called Miller signing “the icing on the cake,” for the Bills’ defense. The rest of the classes did not hold. These guys weren’t bottom shelf ingredients either.

This highly resourced defensive line collapsed against an undermanned Bengals team. If you tell a non-NFL fan watching the game that one of the two teams has started three backups on the offensive line, they will never guess correctly.

This leads us to crime. The line has always been the weakest point of a recording unit. That showed itself consistently to finish the season, especially in Buffalo’s two playoff games.

You can overlook scroll protection or trigger blocking issues when you have talent in an elite skill position. Obviously, the Bills have not and never will. The Bills have two elite players in the Josh Allen And Stephen Diggs. This is it. Everyone bet on playing above their level. They lost those bets.

Gabe Davis It’s been evaporated by the power of fantasy board draft because people don’t watch the movies or don’t understand the players. This is harsh, but true. Davis broke out in the divisional round last year because the Chiefs defense disrupted area coverage and some players fell. There was plenty of evidence throughout Davis’ resume, on film and paper, that he wasn’t prepared for the ubiquitous WR2. It’s a really serious deep threat; Great on the corner, nine and later roads, but it’s not a reliable technician and doesn’t separate well enough in the short to medium areas. Davis was a third-day draft pick and thrived in a limited-overs role. This is where it should stay.

Isaiah Mackenzie He didn’t make the jump to full-time slot receiver after being a career kick returner/tool ​​man. The team signed Cole Paisley Back to the list at the end of the year. It didn’t go well. tight end Dawson Knox A solid player but faded from attack for long periods and had to pass to protect more than expected. Buffalo didn’t seem to want to put too much on the rookie Khalil Shakir. It was understandable, he was a fifth-round pick.

The running game is still a huge work in progress. They spent a lot of second day picks at the running back position but still haven’t found a special player. One cannot go out behind the line anyway. It would be nice to hand over some game plan to a quality comeback in these weather-affected playoff games. Bills can’t do that with a straight face right now.

Buffalo’s offense was way too far Josh Allen in chaos /Stephen Diggs To be great or go broke this year. The longer they asked Allen, a quarterback who may have been dealing with the aftermath of an elbow injury most of the year, the more mistakes he made.

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Josh Allen needs more help for the Buffalo Bills to take the next step in the playoffs.  (Photo by Brian M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Josh Allen needs more help for Buffalo bills To take the next step in the playoffs. (Photo by Brian M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Allen went on to super-champion status in the playoffs last year. When he hasn’t been that player for long periods of time this season, the team around him hasn’t been anywhere near a good enough level. It is objectively unreasonable to ask any quarterback, no matter how great, to be that player from start to finish in an entire NFL season.

And make no mistake, Allen is an amazing quarterback. One of the top five players in the league, without a doubt. He’s 26 and will have another crack at the Super Bowl before all is said and done. But only one team wins it annually.

This wasn’t the year for the Bills despite all the preseason hype because the roster simply wasn’t good enough and we should have seen it coming. Shown all year long. Sunday’s loss to the outclassed Bengals provided the highest exclamation point.

How do giants attack the offseason

The Giants took it on the chin in their playoff exit, outplayed by a superior Eagles team. The 2022 season was still a huge success by all accounts for a New York operation that was cutting players late in the offseason only to sign a rookie class and was supposed to head into a multi-year rebuild.

Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll had a lot on their plate last season just to get the Giants on the right track. They will again be busy with multiple big decisions to make about attacking on their own.

Daniel Jones And I will be Barkley It is set to reach free agency. It would be hard to imagine the Giants wanting to say goodbye to either after the seasons they’ve had on Daboll and Mike Cavka’s offense. However, the franchise tag is only available to one person.

If I had to guess, I’d imagine the Giants tagging Barkley and playing chicken with his deal as so many decade-old sophomores have aged so badly. That could invite an unpleasant situation with a locker room captain and a star-level player who certainly deserves to be rewarded.

Jones’ situation is also interesting. The Giants passed on his fifth-year option less than a year ago. And as much as those of us on the outside doubted he would have a season like this, so did the Giants. Now we can find out how much they want to bet on in the future. It’s hard to imagine Jones wanting to leave a system that has just revived its career, or that another team would now value him more than the Giants. There must be some kind of notKyler Murray Both parties can agree to hold an albatross.

Then there’s the matter of adding pieces around those two if they come back. Perhaps the Giants found a nice spinning piece in the Isaiah Hodgins to keep him in the spacious parlor for a long time, but otherwise this is a blank slate position. The free agent market does not offer many gems but Giants should be considered a quality destination if the trading market heats up.

Regardless of whether they’re both, one of them, or (unlikely) Barkley and Jones are no longer with the team, I think the Giants are in good shape. They have the main trainer and chart the ecosystem for the long term. How they go about building around that will be one of the most fascinating stories out there.

Things I don’t care about

pretend with Duck Prescott

The Cowboys quarterback and the team in general will always get the attention of the media. Often times this is raised or overridden.

when Duck Prescott He has what can only be described as an unacceptable game as he did in San Francisco, the criticism is due. Prescott was constantly making bad decisions, putting the ball in harm’s way, and the worst of things culminated in pathetic second-to-last things for Dallas. The defense played well enough to ensure the Cowboys won. It was a tough game, but the attack, especially the midfielder, let the team down.

The problem is what to do with this information. To overreact on both sides of the coin would be folly.

Prescott will be the quarterback on the team next year. Pretending otherwise is not downright realistic or serious conversation. Dak is a great starting quarterback and someone you can win against. The danger is in pretending to be anything else much longer than that.

As mentioned in the Billings section, teams often rely on their quarterbacks to fix everything; To raise the entire roster beyond each player’s individual level. This is certainly the case with Dallas.

The Cowboys entered this season with a player ready to make the leap to superstar status Sir Lamb He bet he would surrender. He did just that, but that was about the only stunt Dallas won.

I’m huge Michael Gallup A fan but asking a player still fresh from a late-season ACL tear to be himself and be a 1B future to Lamb in 2022 was ridiculous. It will be better next year but this year was almost lost. Rookie from the third round Galen Tolbert He never contributed and this team ended up giving big shots to TY Hilton And Noah Brown. Nobody is afraid of it, especially in the field.

Prescott will be entering his 30-year-old season in 2023. He’s right in the “is what he is” zone. There is a part of me that worries about entering territory where he writes checks that his arm can’t cash. He was never the most physically gifted pitcher from an arm strength standpoint. While it’s such a good handler before a snap, these holes can tighten quickly after a snap. This is a problem that quality defenses can settle for and non-vertical ways are exacerbated.

The Cowboys need to assemble a much better offense around him to win big games and not keep bumping into the same wall in the postseason. Let’s not pretend it’s simply impossible to get past that hurdle with Duck as the quarterback. However, let us not spend any longer in the fantasy land they will never pass Because from him.

No negative Jaguar

I don’t remember a team who could have felt better about losing a final than a team Jacksonville Jaguars.

Chris Collinsworth used the word “heal” to describe the work Doug Pederson had to do after taking over as head coach. This shows you the state this team was in coming off last season. Pedersen has clearly done this job and more.

No matter what the future holds Trevor Lawrence And where you would like to put him in the quarterback standings debates, the guy is back on track in his sophomore season. The Jaguars have a head coach and quarterback figured out. That goes a long way.

Not only that, but they held out against the Chiefs, losing by just seven points. Of course, that comes with a file Patrick Mahomes Asterisk for injury but they don’t have to walk into the offseason with disgust at being bested in a blowout or suffering through endless jokes like the Cowboys for an embarrassing final play. They can walk in the casual heads held high with nothing but hope and optimism after expectations have been greatly exceeded.

While every other team I’ve written about here should start plotting their way to add a difference maker to their passing game, the Jaguars may have already ticked that box.

I want to remain cautiously optimistic just about what Calvin Ridley The Jags will be having a long break from football. However, his recent Twitter activity suggests he’s been called in and hungry to get back on the field. There’s no denying that a player with class skills on the outside is exactly what Lawrence needs. The Jaguars aren’t far behind Ridley for the Super Bowl and I bet they make another passing addition – a true ball-wielding X receiver would be great – but we know for a fact that they’re dedicated to a receiver update. We don’t need to play assumptions.

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t made it to the Super Bowl, but they’ve already got a win for their young quarterback, and hope should abound throughout this block. They have a legitimate basis to envy.

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