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Monday Morning Breakdown

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Eric Wood | 10 opinions on Buffalo's third win of the 2020 season

Lee Smith (85) touchdown Cody Ford (70) spike Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Rams, September 27, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Bill Wippert
Lee Smith (85) touchdown Cody Ford (70) spike Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Rams, September 27, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Bill Wippert

1. Hot start for the offense

The Bills just came hot out of the gate. They punted the ball on their first possession, then scored touchdowns on their next four. They did it in such a variety of ways. They use the screen game really well; Devin Singletary was rushing the ball effectively. They moved the pocket on some of their passes, which is effective against a guy like Aaron Donald. They were extremely multiple, and I've been really impressed through three weeks with Brian Daboll's play-calling. How week-to-week he gets different guys involved in different ways, and they still stuck to their strengths. There was a lot of 11 personnel today, but they're being extremely multiple, even within some of the same personnel groups week-to-week.

2. O-line played well in the first half

To me, when you move sides on the offensive line in the NFL everyone just thinks, 'oh you're moving from guard to guard.' I thought Cody Ford, played incredible on Sunday. When you get in the right-handed stance all the time, and then you have to switch sides, it's very difficult and takes some getting used to. So, I was really impressed with the way Cody played in the game, especially with the quality of the opponent. He's going against Michael Brockers and Donald upfront. I thought the offensive line did a great job in the first half, especially when protecting Josh, and giving a ton of time for Josh on all of his throws. In the second half at times, and it came with penalties and lost yardage situations when they got into obvious passing downs, that's when you saw the Rams pass rush really heat up. That's where you saw Aaron Donald become really effective in the second half.

3. Great homecoming game for Robert Woods

Robert is a very, very tough football player and one of my favorite teammates I got to play with. I really have a ton of respect for his game. He was effective through the air today against the Bills, and effective running the ball. Sean McVay finds a variety of ways to use his personnel. He uses Robert Woods, mainly on short passes, running the football, screens, and uses his run-after-catch ability, and absolute toughness to be an asset for him.

4. Very questionable interception

To me, it's an obvious reception, and then a tie on the ground. I have no idea how they determined that it was an interception on the field. It just boggles my mind because there are more bang-bang plays than that throughout a football game. I do understand how difficult it is for the referees to do their job, but that one didn't seem to be one of those plays. The crappy part is, that's Josh Allen's one interception on the year. Yes, the Bills get the win and they don't care about stats, but we do, and I do. It's an interception that he shouldn't have had. When you're dancing around the pocket like that and you throw a heave like that, bad things can happen, I get that, but he didn't deserve it on that one.

5. Devin Singletary was effective

This is two games in a row for Singletary. Last game he was over six yards a carry, and this week he's was at five and a half. The Bills continue to find success in their passing game with Josh Allen, as he goes for over 300 passing yards for the third straight week. It's going to be more about the yards per carry with Singletary than it necessarily is about how many attempts and how many total yards he gets. If Singletary stays over that five yards a carry mark, that's going to be extremely good news for the Bills offense in staying balanced and keeping defenses honest throughout games.

6. Brown dinged up; others shined

The number of weapons that the Bills have offensively now is great. Gabriel Davis was targeted four times with four receptions for 81 yards. He's made tough catches all year. He also drew the pass interference at the end of the game. Cole Beasley produced 100 yards and on of the biggest catches of the day – the third-and-22 conversion. Josh Allen's got a rapport with a number of different receivers, which makes this offense extremely dangerous to go against.

7. Tight End find the end zone

Getting the tight ends involved, especially with Dawson Knox out was great. I love the fact that my old teammate and one of my good friends, Lee Smith got a touchdown. We celebrate a Lee Smith touchdown almost like we celebrate a lineman touchdown. Then we saw Tyler Kroft get two touchdowns after being plagued by injuries since signing with the Bills. It was great to see him step up in a big spot and come up with a huge catch at the end of the game to win it. It just shows that you have another effective receiving threat at the tight end position.

8. Another comeback for Josh Allen

Allen's postgame comment was 'I just wanted it more' and you see that he wants it so bad and he's competing with every ounce of energy and passion he has in his body. He avoids free rushers, and he's scratching and clawing to the end of every play. He also plays really well in the fourth quarter. His quarterback rating goes up in the fourth quarter, in the red zone, and on third downs through his career. So, Josh thrives in high-pressure situations, and I was nervous watching the game from my couch. It seems like he has no nerves running the show at the quarterback position for the Bills in those situations.

9. Concerns about the defense

I played for the Rams offensive line coach Aaron Kromer when he was with the Bills. He's had a big influence on the run game for Sean McVay. What they were able to script up with the number of motions they ran –  they ran jet sweeps, reverse fakes, and they were constantly giving the Bills window dressing. This is the stuff that messes with the defender's vision and Downhill runs from Darrell Henderson gave Buffalo trouble. They were gashing the Bills, and I give credit the Rams offensive line, they did a good job staying with their blocks. While it's a great scheme, if anyone just flat out beats the linemen, the defenders make those plays. The Rams had the highest percentage of play-action in the NFL last week. And so, the safeties were staying high at times to try to avoid the big plays over the top.

10. Buffalo's 3-0 record

It's a great start for the Buffalo Bills. They handled business today against a really good team, and they're off to a great start. We assumed that this team would perform well early in the season. You had a lot of continuity, and a lot of returning starters, and members of the coaching staff around the organization. You thought that after the Covid-19 changes, that this team was built for that. We still had to see with your own eyes. Was Josh Allen going to make the necessary strides without OTAs, and without preseason games? Or with some of these new weapons, Diggs and Davis, were they going to be able to gel with Josh? You have some new pieces along the defensive line, and there were some question marks. So, sitting at 3-0 to start the season is a great feeling for this organization and the fan base. And keep this in mind that recently nine out of 12 teams that started 3-0 made it into the playoffs, so that's something to look at as the season moves along.

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