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***Official Buffalo Bills Thread 2020 Version***


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I did.  i had a child go from not even a toddler to a freshman in college with this team stumbling around in the wilderness.  This day was big for us.

I'm starting to suspect that being known as a Bills fan is starting to undermine my colleague's assessment of my own professional competence.  I think that for them, it's kind of like finding out that

Guys. The Bills are playing next week. The drought is over. The Bills are going to the playoffs.

Just now, Steve Tasker said:

In the past 4 weeks, Josh Allen's QB rating is worst in the NFL on passes thrown past 10 yards.  The weather hasn't helped and they've played some stingy defenses, but this offense has certainly cooled down quite a bit.

The Seahawk defense was bad vs a mobile QB in Murray, rarely blitzing, but good versus the immobile SF QB. The weather is looking good. I expect fireworks from both sides.

How has the Bills defense been?

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25 minutes ago, SoBeDad said:

The Seahawk defense was bad vs a mobile QB in Murray, rarely blitzing, but good versus the immobile SF QB. The weather is looking good. I expect fireworks from both sides.

How has the Bills defense been?

Not good. Most especially against the run though.

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4 hours ago, Steve Tasker said:

In the past 4 weeks, Josh Allen's QB rating is worst in the NFL on passes thrown past 10 yards.  The weather hasn't helped and they've played some stingy defenses, but this offense has certainly cooled down quite a bit.

This only accounts for this last week obviously, but I think both the Chiefs and Jets were sort of along the same lines but maybe not quite as extreme:

54 of 55 non-kneel down plays the Patriots had 6+ defensive backs on the field.

On almost a third of Buffalo’s offensive plays the Pats had 7 DBs(!!!) on the field.

KC and the Jets ran pretty heavily in favor of nickel and dime sets as well. Teams recently are selling out on defense to stop Allen from throwing deep.

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2 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

This only accounts for this last week obviously, but I think both the Chiefs and Jets were sort of along the same lines but maybe not quite as extreme:

54 of 55 non-kneel down plays the Patriots had 6+ defensive backs on the field.

On almost a third of Buffalo’s offensive plays the Pats had 7 DBs(!!!) on the field.

KC and the Jets ran pretty heavily in favor of nickel and dime sets as well. Teams recently are selling out on defense to stop Allen from throwing deep.

I saw this same stat earlier this morning.  a) That's pretty amazing.  I don't think I've ever seen a team defend the Bills that way, ever.  b) Good for Daboll for sticking with the run game and not out-thinking himself.  We can both think of lots of previous offensive coordinators who would have insisted on airing it out anyway.

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I’m still not totally sure exactly how good the Bills are, but they’re certainly fun! Ultimately they’re probably as good as Allen is each week. 

On defense, can’t wait for Milano to finally get healthy. I feel like he will make a big difference and make them at least respectful when he’s back and healthy.

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2 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

I’m still not totally sure exactly how good the Bills are, but they’re certainly fun! Ultimately they’re probably as good as Allen is each week. 

I think this is probably about right.  

I know our defense just gave up 34 points, but this was a really good performance by that unit.  Most of Seattle's points (not all of course -- see that stupid bomb) came courtesy of outstanding plays by a superlatively good offense as opposed to anything bad that we were doing.  I still worry that our defense is going to eventually put us into a game where our offense has to play flawlessly to win.

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3 minutes ago, The Duff Man said:

A few references to Allen’s injured shoulder, not something I had heard about the last two weeks. 
 

Kudos to the Bills if that was a thing and they kept it quiet. Maybe they are who we thought they were weeks 1-4

Also reported he lost his grandmother last night but decided to play today. 

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Kind of interesting that the Bills ran the ball a ton last week to win and passed a ton to win this week. I kind of like that they showed they could switch it up and do what they need to do on offense and find what works to win.

Josh Allen is the first QB in NFL history with 2 games of 400 yards, 3+ TDs and 0 INTs in two separate games in one season (entire rest of league has 3 of those games total this year).

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The Steelers And Bills Have Been Historically Lucky So Far. The Chargers … Have Not.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-steelers-and-bills-have-been-historically-lucky-so-far-the-chargers-have-not/

This analysis is just by-the-numbers, not looking at how the games were played, injury luck, etc.  But if your wins are close and your losses are big, that does produce this kind of skew.  

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The story on BillsMafia donating to a local children’s hospital in honor or Josh Allen‘a grandmother is pretty incredible. In less than a week they’ve donated $483,000.00. Allen was so moved he donated $17k to make it an even half mil. Pretty cool.

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11 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

The story on BillsMafia donating to a local children’s hospital in honor or Josh Allen‘a grandmother is pretty incredible. In less than a week they’ve donated $483,000.00. Allen was so moved he donated $17k to make it an even half mil. Pretty cool.

How do you make a donation (as part of BillsMafia)?

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12 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

The story on BillsMafia donating to a local children’s hospital in honor or Josh Allen‘a grandmother is pretty incredible. In less than a week they’ve donated $483,000.00. Allen was so moved he donated $17k to make it an even half mil. Pretty cool.

I think it’s time Terry and Kim stop worrying about their super yacht for a moment and match this donation.  

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15 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

The story on BillsMafia donating to a local children’s hospital in honor or Josh Allen‘a grandmother is pretty incredible. In less than a week they’ve donated $483,000.00. Allen was so moved he donated $17k to make it an even half mil. Pretty cool.

This rulez so hard. Cheers to the mafia for doing this. 

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9 minutes ago, themeistersinger said:

Buffalo Bills CB Josh Norman tests positive for COVID-19

https://www.nfl.com/news/buffalo-bills-cb-josh-norman-tests-positive-for-covid-19

Ugh.  Horrible news when flying out to Arizona.

3 other guys including Kroft, Wallace and Marlowe were deemed to be close contacts and are also out tomorrow. Dane Jackson will likely start at the 2nd CB spot. I think he’ll be ok, but what’s really bad is the Cards run the most 4 WR sets of any team, so being down that many CBs is really not good.

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I think the Bills likely lose this week. Their defense did a great job against Lamar Jackson last year, but that was with Matt Milano healthy and playing. Without Milano, I just don’t see Buffalo being able to contain Murray well enough. Klein had a nice week last week, but between his inability to run sideline to sideline and Edmunds’s tendency to read things too slow and get caught up in blocks, I just don’t see Buffalo being able to stop Arizona enough times.

Final prediction: Arizona 35, Buffalo 24

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16 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

I think the Bills likely lose this week. Their defense did a great job against Lamar Jackson last year, but that was with Matt Milano healthy and playing. Without Milano, I just don’t see Buffalo being able to contain Murray well enough. Klein had a nice week last week, but between his inability to run sideline to sideline and Edmunds’s tendency to read things too slow and get caught up in blocks, I just don’t see Buffalo being able to stop Arizona enough times.

Final prediction: Arizona 35, Buffalo 24

Don’t discount the ability of Allen to win a shootout.

Edited by JetMaxx
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I’m not saying Josh Norman was a bad signing, but other than the big fumble he caused (legitimately a huge play), he has struggled in coverage in the limited amount he played, been injured most of the time, and now has Covid and caused several other starters/key backups to miss a tough game. Kevin Johnson opting out this year may have been a bigger opt out than people have treated it.

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22 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

3 other guys including Kroft, Wallace and Marlowe were deemed to be close contacts and are also out tomorrow. Dane Jackson will likely start at the 2nd CB spot. I think he’ll be ok, but what’s really bad is the Cards run the most 4 WR sets of any team, so being down that many CBs is really not good.

Seems like a bad FF day for Nuk owners. I assume Tre will be on him, so Murray should be going after the guys with practice-squad DBs covering them.

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A lot of Bills fans seem salty about the last play and want to blame the Bills. Frankly, it just seems like an awesome and somewhat flukey play by Hopkins rather than anything they did poorly.

Sort of the same with Allen’s INTs. They weren’t great throws and there is certainly some blame there, but they were also both tremendous plays by the Cardinal defenders as well.

IMO, the two worst plays that hurt the Bills were Singletary’s dropped screen pass and the 12 yard punt. Those were both terrible plays with no excuse that cost the Bills on the scoreboard.

And man, just think about all of the injuries the Bills dealt with. Missing Milano, their #1 TE, their #2 and #3 CBs, their Big Nickel, their LG and Center (pushing their RG to Center and putting in a backup RG), and then lost their #3 CB and John Brown during the game as well. 

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I was having a hard time at first putting my finger on why yesterday's loss didn't bother me all that much.  The lazy explanation is that I'm a Bills fan and I've become numb to gut-punch losses, but that's not really it.  What makes yesterday's game different is that it's the only wrenching, Billsy loss I can think of in which the Bills didn't actually do anything wrong.  

Think about all the other entries in our personal House of Horrors.  Wide Right.  The Music City Miracle.  The Dallas game.  The Leodis McKelvin game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Ronnie-Harmon-Dropped-That game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Stevie-Johnson-Dropped-That game.  The Pittsburgh JV Squad game.  And so on.  In all of those games, one or more Bills players made a critical error at a critical time that sealed defeat.  (The loss to Pittsburgh's B-team that knocked us out of the playoffs was a complete team effort and it would be unfair to single out any one player, but suffice it to say that the Bills were their own worst enemy that day).  Each of those games was right there for the winning if only our players had been kind of competent at football. 

Yesterday was totally different.  First of all, we actually drove down the field, didn't play for the chicken-#### field goal, and confidently punched in the go-ahead TD.  Previous Bills teams -- led by a parade of QBs ranging from mediocre to laughable -- would have thrown turned it over, taken a back-breaking penalty, settled for a FG attempt that gets blocked, or otherwise sabotaged themselves.  This team has shown a knack for turning up in clutch time, and they did again yesterday.

The defense proceeded to keep Arizona in check.  They gave up some yards in the middle of the field, but that's fine.  On the final play of the game, which everyone knew was going to the end zone, the Bills of old would have let somebody get free behind the defense, or commit pass interference as time expired (see the Just-Give-It-To-Em game).  This team didn't do that!  They actually triple-covered the intended receiver, and not with three scrubs off the bench.  If Bills fans were allowed to pick three guys off the defense to cover Hopkins, we all would have picked Tre, Poyer, and Hyde, and that's exactly who the Bills put on him.  That pass couldn't have been defensed any better and probably only gets completed maybe one time in twenty.  Unfortunately for us, yesterday happened to be that time.

It still sucks of course, but it's kind of refreshing knowing that there really wasn't anything anybody could have done about it.   

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10 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

A lot of Bills fans seem salty about the last play and want to blame the Bills. Frankly, it just seems like an awesome and somewhat flukey play by Hopkins rather than anything they did poorly.

Perfect timing.  I was typing up the same basic idea as you were posting.

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8 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I was having a hard time at first putting my finger on why yesterday's loss didn't bother me all that much.  The lazy explanation is that I'm a Bills fan and I've become numb to gut-punch losses, but that's not really it.  What makes yesterday's game different is that it's the only wrenching, Billsy loss I can think of in which the Bills didn't actually do anything wrong.  

Think about all the other entries in our personal House of Horrors.  Wide Right.  The Music City Miracle.  The Dallas game.  The Leodis McKelvin game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Ronnie-Harmon-Dropped-That game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Stevie-Johnson-Dropped-That game.  The Pittsburgh JV Squad game.  And so on.  In all of those games, one or more Bills players made a critical error at a critical time that sealed defeat.  (The loss to Pittsburgh's B-team that knocked us out of the playoffs was a complete team effort and it would be unfair to single out any one player, but suffice it to say that the Bills were their own worst enemy that day).  Each of those games was right there for the winning if only our players had been kind of competent at football. 

Yesterday was totally different.  First of all, we actually drove down the field, didn't play for the chicken-#### field goal, and confidently punched in the go-ahead TD.  Previous Bills teams -- led by a parade of QBs ranging from mediocre to laughable -- would have thrown turned it over, taken a back-breaking penalty, settled for a FG attempt that gets blocked, or otherwise sabotaged themselves.  This team has shown a knack for turning up in clutch time, and they did again yesterday.

The defense proceeded to keep Arizona in check.  They gave up some yards in the middle of the field, but that's fine.  On the final play of the game, which everyone knew was going to the end zone, the Bills of old would have let somebody get free behind the defense, or commit pass interference as time expired (see the Just-Give-It-To-Em game).  This team didn't do that!  They actually triple-covered the intended receiver, and not with three scrubs off the bench.  If Bills fans were allowed to pick three guys off the defense to cover Hopkins, we all would have picked Tre, Poyer, and Hyde, and that's exactly who the Bills put on him.  That pass couldn't have been defensed any better and probably only gets completed maybe one time in twenty.  Unfortunately for us, yesterday happened to be that time.

It still sucks of course, but it's kind of refreshing knowing that there really wasn't anything anybody could have done about it.   

I actually saw someone on Twitter complain and say the Bills should have had a taller guy like Tremaine Edmunds back to defend the Hail Mary :lmao:

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I was having a hard time at first putting my finger on why yesterday's loss didn't bother me all that much.  The lazy explanation is that I'm a Bills fan and I've become numb to gut-punch losses, but that's not really it.  What makes yesterday's game different is that it's the only wrenching, Billsy loss I can think of in which the Bills didn't actually do anything wrong.  

Think about all the other entries in our personal House of Horrors.  Wide Right.  The Music City Miracle.  The Dallas game.  The Leodis McKelvin game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Ronnie-Harmon-Dropped-That game.  The I-Can't-Believe-Stevie-Johnson-Dropped-That game.  The Pittsburgh JV Squad game.  And so on.  In all of those games, one or more Bills players made a critical error at a critical time that sealed defeat.  (The loss to Pittsburgh's B-team that knocked us out of the playoffs was a complete team effort and it would be unfair to single out any one player, but suffice it to say that the Bills were their own worst enemy that day).  Each of those games was right there for the winning if only our players had been kind of competent at football. 

Yesterday was totally different.  First of all, we actually drove down the field, didn't play for the chicken-#### field goal, and confidently punched in the go-ahead TD.  Previous Bills teams -- led by a parade of QBs ranging from mediocre to laughable -- would have thrown turned it over, taken a back-breaking penalty, settled for a FG attempt that gets blocked, or otherwise sabotaged themselves.  This team has shown a knack for turning up in clutch time, and they did again yesterday.

The defense proceeded to keep Arizona in check.  They gave up some yards in the middle of the field, but that's fine.  On the final play of the game, which everyone knew was going to the end zone, the Bills of old would have let somebody get free behind the defense, or commit pass interference as time expired (see the Just-Give-It-To-Em game).  This team didn't do that!  They actually triple-covered the intended receiver, and not with three scrubs off the bench.  If Bills fans were allowed to pick three guys off the defense to cover Hopkins, we all would have picked Tre, Poyer, and Hyde, and that's exactly who the Bills put on him.  That pass couldn't have been defensed any better and probably only gets completed maybe one time in twenty.  Unfortunately for us, yesterday happened to be that time.

It still sucks of course, but it's kind of refreshing knowing that there really wasn't anything anybody could have done about it.   

Overall, I would say I was extremely impressed with how the defense played - they were severely short handed, and only found out about it hours before leaving town, with no chance to practice and make any adjustments as would have happened if guys got injured last Sunday.  The Cardinals are a legitimate offense playing at home.  The defense did a lot of things right.

However, I would not call that perfect defense of the pass.  Even allowing that Deandre Hopkins is almost certainly the best contested-catch receiver in the NFL, so no shame in being beat by the best.  First, White would have been better off going for the knock-down than the pick.  In his defense, a knock down would have given the Cards a chance to reload since there were 2 ticks left while an interception ends the game, so going for the pick was not completely dumb.  Second, Hyde and Poyer should have been playing the receiver, not the ball.  Get your hands underneath it and rip it out, not on top to try to knock it down.  The guy in front of the receiver should play the ball, I think the guy behind should be playing the receiver, and especially the third guy coming in late should be playing the receiver.

I am encouraged that McDermott was so upset about the ending that he had to take an hour to cool off before talking to the press.  He was focused on what could we have done differently, not oh well, it's Deandre Hopkins and he made a great play, what can you do.

Some games, it's a shame somebody has to win.  This week it was a shame that somebody had to lose, as these are two quality teams and both teams did a lot of things right.  I'd agree I am not as upset over this loss as I was over some on the list mentioned above.  Hopkins really did make a fantastic play.  Learn and move on.  Our destiny is still in our hands.  That hasn't happened in mid-November in ages.  And now there's two vaccines that appear to be 90% effective or better.  Always look on the bright side of life.

 

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Just got back from Arizona, visited family over the weekend.  We originally had tickets to the game, which were cancelled, and I'm kinda glad after that result.  Was nice to kinda unplug and not have to deal with the cesspool of r/buffalobills game threads and the like.

Like the rest of the group, I'm having trouble getting overly upset about the result.  Arizona is a good team, Murray and Hopkins are good players...sometimes, stuff like that is gonna happen.  NFL games can turn on one play - for example, a favorable pass interference call against the Rams or a late fumble from Cam Newton.  Them's the breaks.

But I saw mostly encouraging play.  The Bills kept Arizona's passing game in check for 59:49 while missing 2 of their top 3 outside corners.  Guys like Taron Johnson playing pretty much every single down.  Josh Allen didn't have his best day, yet still accounted for 330+ of offense, 3 TDs, and led yet another incredible late-4th-quarter comeback drive.  

My only real issues with this team right now are (1) what is wrong with this defensive line, and (2) why can't they run the football?  There was a point in the late 3rd where I literally just said to the television "just stop ####### running the ball".  Every time someone other than Allen ran it, it was a 2-yard loss.  And the D-line...what's the deal?  Harrison Phillips is a healthy scratch.  AJ Epenesa can't even get on the field.  I have no idea if Ed Oliver is playing well, I can't really tell.  This team spends the most money on the DL in the league and this is the result?  A couple of decent-but-past-their-prime edge rushers, a bunch of JAGs up the middle, a top 10 pick who we can't even really tell if he's good, and 2nd/3rd round picks who can't even get on the field.  What the hell has happened here?

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20 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

A lot of Bills fans seem salty about the last play and want to blame the Bills. Frankly, it just seems like an awesome and somewhat flukey play by Hopkins rather than anything they did poorly.

Sort of the same with Allen’s INTs. They weren’t great throws and there is certainly some blame there, but they were also both tremendous plays by the Cardinal defenders as well.

IMO, the two worst plays that hurt the Bills were Singletary’s dropped screen pass and the 12 yard punt. Those were both terrible plays with no excuse that cost the Bills on the scoreboard.

And man, just think about all of the injuries the Bills dealt with. Missing Milano, their #1 TE, their #2 and #3 CBs, their Big Nickel, their LG and Center (pushing their RG to Center and putting in a backup RG), and then lost their #3 CB and John Brown during the game as well. 

I saw a good take that the main breakdown on that play was the DLineman (Addison?) going for the splash play sack instead of just staying in front of and containing Murray. Makes some sense to me. 

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15 minutes ago, Steve Tasker said:

Just got back from Arizona, visited family over the weekend.  We originally had tickets to the game, which were cancelled, and I'm kinda glad after that result.  Was nice to kinda unplug and not have to deal with the cesspool of r/buffalobills game threads and the like.

Like the rest of the group, I'm having trouble getting overly upset about the result.  Arizona is a good team, Murray and Hopkins are good players...sometimes, stuff like that is gonna happen.  NFL games can turn on one play - for example, a favorable pass interference call against the Rams or a late fumble from Cam Newton.  Them's the breaks.

But I saw mostly encouraging play.  The Bills kept Arizona's passing game in check for 59:49 while missing 2 of their top 3 outside corners.  Guys like Taron Johnson playing pretty much every single down.  Josh Allen didn't have his best day, yet still accounted for 330+ of offense, 3 TDs, and led yet another incredible late-4th-quarter comeback drive.  

My only real issues with this team right now are (1) what is wrong with this defensive line, and (2) why can't they run the football?  There was a point in the late 3rd where I literally just said to the television "just stop ####### running the ball".  Every time someone other than Allen ran it, it was a 2-yard loss.  And the D-line...what's the deal?  Harrison Phillips is a healthy scratch.  AJ Epenesa can't even get on the field.  I have no idea if Ed Oliver is playing well, I can't really tell.  This team spends the most money on the DL in the league and this is the result?  A couple of decent-but-past-their-prime edge rushers, a bunch of JAGs up the middle, a top 10 pick who we can't even really tell if he's good, and 2nd/3rd round picks who can't even get on the field.  What the hell has happened here?

Phillips I think just isn’t the same after his torn ACL. I think that coupled with the needed Covid call ups lead to Phillips being inactive. Oliver is rumored to have been dealing with an injury a lot of the year. Who knows. And Epenesa has been playing better lately but got hurt early.

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6 hours ago, Steve Tasker said:

for example, a favorable pass interference call against the Rams or a late fumble from Cam Newton.  Them's the breaks.

I was just thinking when I was out running this morning that this week's game is why no Bills fan anywhere should have apologized for beating the Rams.

Honestly, one of the best things you can do for your own mental health as a fan is bookmarking favorable calls and weird bounces of the ball that go your team's way.  We had two turnovers on Sunday, for example, that supernaturally found their way into our defenders' hands.  If the ball bounces to an offensive player on the first one or hits the turf on the second one, we're probably never in position to win the game regardless, or at least it's tougher.  This just helps me keep things in perspective -- their fluke play came at the very end, while ours were buried in the middle.

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We knew it would be a hard schedule, but when you take out the two Jets games, the next easiest game they have played is the Pats!

9-1 Chiefs

7-3 Titans, Rams, Seahawks

6-4 Phins, Raiders, Cardinals

This is the easiest stretch of schedule they will have all year.  Need to take care of the Chargers, Broncos and 49ers  

 

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59 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

If you don’t read this amazing article from Tyler Dunne’s new site, I’m not sure you can call yourself a real Bills fan.

Just amazing stuff on Josh Allen, how close the Bills were to drafting Mahomes, etc. 

I saw this earlier today -- fantastic read. 

I nearly exploded with rage when I learned that everybody except Marrone wanted to trade up for Kalil Mack.  How that guy continues to be employed in the NFL is a mystery.

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https://www.rotowire.com/football/player.php?id=13498

Cody Ford suffered a torn meniscus in practice and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season as a result, Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN.com reports.

ANALYSIS
Ford had been bothered by an ankle injury prior to the Bills' Week 11 bye, but this new knee issue will keep him sidelined until 2021. The Bills get center Mitch Morse (concussion) back for a Week 12 matchup against the Chargers, but Ford's absence impacts their depth along the offensive line.

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