I admit I was weirdly worried about this game. Maybe its because we haven't lost on the road since Nam. Maybe its because we brought the JV squad to upstate NY. Either way, it didn't matter. The Bills are dead. The AFC East is dead. The AFC is about to be dead. Then the rest of the league.
Tough two weeks for Buffalo at the QB position. One week you bench Tyrod for something called a "peterman" which I believe is Native American for "he who throws to the other team." Then this week Tyrod gets his job back only to hurt his knee on basically the first play of the game and he appears to be done for the season. Oh well.
On the other side of the field Tommy was 21-30. Fine. He had 253 yards. Fine. Zero tuddies. Not fine. One pick. NOT FINE. God damnit Tom. Damn you. I know you guys are sick of me bitching about the MVP when I should be worried about the bowl, but this one is ours for the taking. Wentz played like dog shit on Sunday night. Don't even get me started on that BUM Russell Wilson, he is not a threat. We can get this one. I said at the beginning of the year I would allow 2 picks. We're at 4. I'm not happy obviously, but if it stays there I will live. If it stays there we can get MVP. Any more it's going to be a tough sell. And yes I'm aware this was a bullshit interception considering there were 8 cases of PI committed on Gronk while this pass was in the air and it never should have counted. I still don't care. The ball should never leave Tom's hands and end up in the hands of the other team. I don't care if he's tossing one of them a signed ball for their office after the game. It's not acceptable. Make Hoyer do it.
The oline was shaky yesterday. I was very glad to have Andrews back. I was still forced to tape my eyelids open and watch Ted Karras play football for two plays like some Clockwork Orange style torture, but having the sickly, undersized, dumpling from Georgia back was a welcome sight. We still had to deal with Flemming at RT but he was essentially invisible which is all you can ask of him. Cannon better have had his foot amputated with how long he's been out, and then to hear Waddle couldn't tough it out either, I was concerned. I spent all morning ready to watch Flemming do that thing where he stays in his stance like we didn't just snap the ball while D ends fly by him untouched all day. I'm sure there were a few hiccups, but I can't recall anything egregiously bad from him.
The biggest culprit might have been Thuney. I think Thuney and Mason are some of the best guards in the league. Usually I think our oline sucks and Tom makes up for it, plus guards are such an unheralded position, so it's weird to try to shower praise on them. But Mason is a phenomenal run blocker, and Thuney is flying up the list of draft picks I was livid with that turn out to be so solid. But Tom was sacked three times in the first half and I'm pretty sure Joe was responsible for two of them. And they always seem to come in the red area forcing us to settle for a FG. I don't know how many times we have to say it. Those are four point plays and they are going to matter in the playoffs. You know what everyone says, a clean pocket = a tuddy rocket.
DIDI continues to be a revelation. It really does take a full two years to be "back" from an acl injury. You saw it with Welker. You saw it with Tom. And it's even more exaggerated with a player like DIDI. (*Gulps as he thinks about Jules next year*) DIDI ripped off 92 yards on 15 carries and looks explosive. Really my only concern with him is that he's turning into Bud Kilmer's work horse who does all the grinding to get to the goal and is never rewarded with a tuddy. We need The Mox to call an audible at the line and get this kid into pay dirt.
Instead all the tuddies go to Burk, who had a day of his own. 78 yards on 12 carries and two tuddies. He's a machine lately. He gets tough yards and he makes people miss. Sweet Feet White saw a major uptick in snaps this week too, which made me happy. He didn't do a TON stat wise, but he needs to stay involved. A few times we had him and Burk in the backfield in that Pony formation that I love so much. I remember seeing it three times for sure, and I believe they were all on third downs that we converted. It's borderline impossible to use two linebackers to cover both those backs. Without a viable second tight end I feel so strongly that this is the formation that will carry us home. I'm very close to getting My Little Pony dolls and dressing them in mini Burk/Sweet Feet jerseys.
If someone could do me a huge favor and tell our receiving core we have games on Sunday that would be dope, because it does get difficult to win when none of them show up. Flip Dorsett wasn't even targeted. Dola had 2 for 34 (including one PURE toe tap conversion up the sideline) and The Chef had 2 for 17. It's hard for me to come at Cookie right now after the games he's been putting together, but again I have high expectations for him. How many times to do you see Antonio Brown going for 2 grabs??? I know Gronk ATE yesterday (I will get to him at the end), and there's only one football and all that jazz. Plus Tom did miss him on that 3rd and long on the first series that resulted in the Tom/McDaniels blow up on the sideline which would have made his stat line look a little better. But I simply reject that DinDin can play an entire game and catch 2 passes. Is he not open? Because Tom's favorite receiver is the open one. Or is it a game plan thing? No matter what the dumb ass excuse, I don't like it and I don't believe it. It's like telling me you went to an open bar and only had two vodkies. It's embarrassing and it's a waste. The kid can be a game changer. Give him the ball.
The health of the defense was a big topic for me yesterday. We got Eric Rowe back. He played 15 snaps while giving Gilmore a breather. Honestly I haven't missed Rowe as much as I thought I would. I'd rather him healthy and an option, than hurt and unavailable obviously, but he's going to have to earn his time back. We also got the real Malcom Brown back. He led the team in snaps at the d line with 44 and it's games like this where it's hard for me to call him a bust. I know he was a grist rounder. I know we all want him to be Big Vince Jr. But he finished second on the team with 7 tackles, and threw in half a sack. His gap control is fantastic. The way he can be engaged in a block, have a running back blow through a hole right next him, and he just sticks out an arm bar and stops the runner in his tracks is a thing of beauty. Our line is nothing to write home about, but this year at least he is the anchor I want tattooed to my left ass cheek.
Van Noy has been a warrior for us all year in terms of snap count, and the fear was he would miss this game due to the knock he picked up against Miami. He did play, but only 15 snaps. After he picked up a sack in the second half I saw him limping his way to the sideline and I don't think he came back. I have to believe that was just precautionary, but I guess we have to wait and see if he can go this week in practice. If he can't then I have a question for Bill. How dare you? Why are we playing people in games that mean nothing when they aren't ready, only to lose them for longer. (See Bennett, Mary) New rule, If Van Noy's calf muscle is hanging by a thread and we are playing a regular season game against the dredges of the AFC east YOU LEAVE HIM HOME. It's appalling to say, but with the true king High six feet under, we can't lose Kyle Fucking Van Noy. Now I'm going to go take a shower.
Quick thought on the corner backs. They are dope. It's nuts to think about the shit show that was our secondary at the beginning of the year. I wanted Gilmore dead. Not cut. Dead. Couldn't figure out for the life of me what Bill saw in him. I wasn't gonna say anything, just like I don't say anything when my boy brings home a troll from the bar. You just look away and hope he does better next weekend. That's where I was at with Gilmore. Well I don't know what kind of fairy god mother he found but someone cast a spell and made him a hard 10. Him and Malcolm have their slips up, as does everyone who plays that position. Butlers moronic holding penalty on 3rd and 10 yesterday comes to mind. But overall they have improved drastically and they are the lock down duo I wanted them to be this summer. I can't wait for the Pitt game to see how they do against an elite set of wideouts.
Now lets all have a good laugh at Buffalo over Eric Fucking Lee. HAHAHAHAHAHA. He was on your practice squad 2 weeks ago you idiots! What's he up to this week you ask? Only walking into your house, playing 57 of 60 snaps on D at starting End, and racking up 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and a back breaking interception. BaaaaaaaaaaHAHAHAHAHA. That's gotta sting. My biggest fears were confirmed when MY BOY Trey Flowers was ruled out with his rib injury. I still think it was a one week thing, but having to start Wise and Lee against a mobile quarter back and an electric running back was not high on my to-do list. Wise, who I love, isn't quite ready to be the GUY yet like Trey, and he lost contain a few times, but I thought both of them rose to the challenge. If Lee can get into a little rotation at end here down the stretch it will be one of the best pick ups since Justin Verlander wheeled Kate Upton.
Ok thanks for sticking with me this long, I'm ready to talk about Gronk. His game was incredible. After a slow first half he finished with 9 grabs for 147 yards. He had some huge third down conversions. And that one iso up the right sideline which was slightly under thrown but he simply jumped up and BEASTED Tre'Davious White was a beautiful thing. Gronk always seems to show up when he goes home to Buffalo. But he was flagged 4 or 5 times, which is not something that can happen. Some were legit like a false start, and some were complete bullshit like the offesnive PI to open up the second half.
I think even Patriots h8ers can admit that Gronk is forced to play by his own rules. He gets called for OPI more than anyone in the league, and he gets mauled on basically every route he runs. They say you could call holding on the oline every play if you wanted. Well you could call DPI every time Gronk releases from the line. It's a joke. And it must be frustrating. On Tom's pick, Gronk was held, then held again, then there was DPI, and I think there was a 4th DPI when White shoved him before the ball got there. Then it was intercepted. No flag. Gronk snapped. Gronk smashed. He got flagged, and probably should have been tossed. I was reading that if the refs had correctly tossed him there, he probably doesn't get suspended next Sunday. Obviously that would have been way better. I'm not that worried about him missing the Miami game, in fact I think he could use the rest, but it badly dings his chances of reaching his performance incentives.
I've heard a lot of different takes on this play. The Bills are freaking out. Some analysts are freaking out. I honestly don't think it was that bad. White has a concussion, which sucks and is not a laughing matter, but it was a dick play. That's all. It wasn't a dirty play. Gronk isn't a dirty player. He was fed up and lost his cool and drilled a guy when he didn't have to. I'm sure he'll get an ear full from Bill, but no one is more mad at Gronk than Gronk. Maybe the league should realize that every man has his breaking point and they should start calling a fair game against Gronk and he will break less spines in the future. I can only watch so many episodes of Chicago Med before I have to tell the wife I'm sleeping on the couch. This was no different.
I love when you see an old friend you haven't seen in forever. The conversation is flowing, so much to talk about, you reminisce about old times, and when you finally leave you think 'what an awesome meeting.' Then if you see them again a day later its the worst thing ever. Nothing to say. All the reasons you haven't spoken in 4 years come back to you. It's a nightmare. That's how I feel about playing the Dolphins again. Didn't I just deal with you shit heads? Go away.
Hey Dwayne Allen, nice 37 snaps and 1 catch. Gonna need you next week big guy. Fuck