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Monday Morning Breakdown

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Eric Wood | 5 opinions on the Bills eighth win of the season

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds rushes Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers, November 29, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Sara Schmidle
Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds rushes Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers, November 29, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Sara Schmidle

1. Bye week favors Sean McDermott

Being 4-0 following a bye is a big deal. In Sean McDermott's first two years when he took over, the Bills were not as dominant as they have been these last two years. I think it says a lot about how methodical he is in his approach to always analyzing, self-scouting and anytime you give him extra time to prepare he's going to utilize that time. This week, in particular, he talked about improving the rush offense and improving the rush defense. They showed in the game that they improved both, the Bills were 27th in the league in rush offense and they rushed for 172 yards. The Bills were 28th in rush defense and held them to 74 yards. Those are big-time improvements and then I think it's also worth noting that McDermott started his NFL coaching career working under Andy Reid. He is known as one of the best post-bye week coaches in the league with a record of 18-3. And give McDermott credit, he is currently one of four active head coaches that are unbeaten after a bye.

2. Offense learned to adjust on the fly; defense made the Chargers one dimensional

Early in the game, I think the Bills realized offensively that their plan for protecting Josh Allen wasn't working the way they thought it would. They left Joey Bosa one-on-one a lot and he exposed some blockers and caused holding penalties. So, what the Bills started doing is they called screens, draws and then simply ran the football from under center at times. I thought the attack by Brian Daboll was excellent, and the guys executed it well. Devin Singletary goes for over seven yards a carry and Zack Moss goes for over six yards a carry and when you can get that efficiency from both backs, that's how you can overcome a minus-two turnover margin in the game. Then defensively, it just seemed like the attitude and the focus was on stopping the run, and they did a great job of making the Chargers one dimensional.

3. Joey Bosa – the best pass rusher the Bills have faced all season

When Uchenna Nwosu and Melvin Ingram were declared out for the game, I believe that the Bills should have devoted a little bit more attention to Joey Bosa. But give the Chargers credit as well, they found ways to bring pressure away from Bosa so it was really hard to slide the line or double team him. The Chargersbrought enough defenders that the running backs couldn't simply chip on every play. They also moved Joey Bosa around a little bit, which allowed him to make more plays and attack more matchups. It wasn't like he simply lined up over Daryl Williams or Dion Dawkins the whole game. Bosa lit up the stat sheet with 3.0 sacks, six tackles for a loss, five quarterback hits, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery. This is the best pass rusher that the Bills have faced this season, and I think it'll be a learning experience for this group because Brian Daboll has faced plenty of good pass rushers throughout his career.

4. Addressing the turnover issue

The Bills can't turn the ball over the way they did today and expect to be successful. It's very unlikely to consistently get wins with a minus-two turnover margin. The Bills can't rely on being able to deal with that week in and week out, so taking care of the football is a must. You had the one bad throw by Josh Allen which is unacceptable when you're leading in the fourth quarter. You got to love Josh for never wanting to quit on a play, but there are times where he has to. Devin Singletary fumbled when they were two scores up, and he already had the first down, so he's got to secure the football better. Then Mitch Morse comes back in this week and maybe it's an issue with Josh going back and forth between him and Feliciano, but you can't have center-quarterback issues and Mitch said that after the game.

5. Run of national games should help the Bills prep for the playoffs

COVID-19 issues will once again throw a change into the Bills schedule. The last time this happened, the Bills did not play well at Tennessee. This week, the Bills will play San Francisco in Arizona due to new regulations in Santa Clara County. The Bills will be better prepared this time around and Sean McDermott will make this team learn from whatever affected them so negatively against Tennessee. With the amount of non-Sunday games, the rest of the year, that'll be great for this team as they start preparing for the playoffs. The Bills went one-and-done last year in the playoffs, and the further they go along the playoffs, the more games that they're going to play that probably aren't Sunday at 1:00 pm. There's only one per weekend and you have multiple playoff games per weekend so all the games but one every week is different than Sunday at 1:00 pm. So, getting out of their rhythm of simply preparing for the 1:00 pm kickoff every week, should benefit them for the playoffs.

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