Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bills 23 Ravens 20 Reaction & Bills Browns Preview


Good Lord what an epic sports week upcoming. The Bills play on Thursday night, the Tribe play on Wednesday night and Friday night (ideally). Heck, even the Sabres season opens up this week, although this post won't preview the Sabres. I will leave that preview to Andrew Schrum. This post will react to the Ravens win and take a look ahead at the Browns game tomorrow night.

Bills Ravens Reaction

I will start by providing my slightly delayed reaction to Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills were the better football team Sunday. If you followed my Twitter rant from Monday, you already know my thoughts on this game. The Bills beat the Ravens because they were better, not because "Joe Flacco played his worst game as a pro". Give me a break. Kiko Alonso made a great play on Flacco's 5th interception. Yeah, it was a tipped ball, but it was still a great interception. Some people may say Kiko's first interception was lucky because Flacco threw it right to him. How about giving Kiko some credit for being in the proper position. Aaron Williams' 2nd interception was a great athletic play in the end zone. Jim Leonhard's interception was another great play on a tipped ball. The Bills defense played great and made plays, as it did against Carolina and New England. It wasn't a fluke, it was a good performance by a defensive unit and they deserve credit for the Bills beating the defending champions.

Joe Flacco is an average quarterback. He should certainly not be making the amount of money that he is making. He can throw a bomb and won a Super Bowl because of his ability to throw a bomb, but other than that, he is average. John Harbaugh and his coaching staff had a terrible game as well. It is somewhat amazing to me that this coaching staff won a Super Bowl. The Ravens completely abandoned the run game in the 2nd half. Why? It was 20-14 with half of the 3rd quarter remaining. The Bills just allowed 150 yards rushing to Bilal Powell and the Ravens may have two running backs better than Bilal Powell. Inexplicable. In total, Flacco threw 50 passes and the Ravens ran the ball 9 times. Harbaugh also coached scared. Down 6 in the 4th quarter, the Ravens opted to kick a short 24 yard field goal rather than try and score the touchdown to take the lead. According to advanced stats, the Ravens probability of winning actually would have been higher had they gone for it and not converted than it was after making the field goal. With 4:04 to go in the game and you need a touchdown to take the lead and you are at the 6 yard line, you go for the lead, every time. Why kick the ball away and depend on your team getting the ball back. That is just coaching scared.

Some also are making the argument about the Bills only winning by 3 despite all of the Ravens mistakes. Well, Baltimore was lucky they lost by only 3, the Bills weren't lucky to win by 3. Every single significant borderline call went the Ravens way. Jim Leonhard forced and recovered a fumble in Ravens territory. This was called a fumble on the field and was overturned. Deep in their own end, EJ Manuel hit Chandler on a long 25 yard pass. This was called a catch on the field and also overturned. EJ Manuel hiit Robert Woods for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone. This was called a touchdown on the field and was overturned. Three big calls OVERTURNED. This never happens and cost the Bills at least 7 points. Further, the Bills butchered a few situations, including the end of the first half. They had 3rd and 1 in field goal range, ran and got stuffed as usual, decided to go for it and got called for thing you know they are punting. Just awful. Further, Nate Hackett making me lose faith more and more every week. His play calling is ultra conservative & predictable. When the Bills were up 23-20 in the 4th quarter they faced a 3rd and 11 with under 3 minutes to go. The Ravens had 1 timeout left. The Bills elected to run a draw that got stuffed. Why not throw there and try to win the game? We saw from the Carolina game that time still wasn't a factor. This was a scared coaching decision that I hated more than any other during the game. Try and win the game...period.

Oh...and one more thing...I predicted the result of this game EXACTLY. I know football.

Bills Browns Preview

In what all of a sudden has become a mildly interesting game the Bills will take on the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland Thursday night. The Bills are coming off a big win against the defending champs and the Browns are coming off back to back wins against the Vikings and then the Bengals, whom many tabbed as a Super Bowl contender. What has sparked this Browns reincarnation? Well, there are two things...the trade of mediocre 2012 first round pick Trent Richardson for a 1st rounder & the benching of Brandon Weeden for Brian Hoyer. Hoyer has 5 touchdown passes through 2 games & is averaging nearly 300 yards per game. He has also thrown 3 interceptions in the two games, which could be an issue against the Bills ball hawking defense.

The unit that scares me for the Browns is the defense. Through 4 games, the Browns defense is 4th in yards allowed and 8th in points per game allowed. On the contrary, the Browns offense has struggled. They rank 24th in yards per game and 29th in points per game. The key matchup Thursday night will be Steve Johnson vs. Joe Haden. Johnson claims no one can cover him and he proved that in a BIG way against Baltimore...with 1 catch for -1 yards. Haden just held AJ Green to 51 good luck SJ.

The key for the Bills as usual is to establish the run to make life easier for EJ Manuel. The Bills are 2nd in the NFL in rush yards thus far, however, they have also had the most attempts. If you watched any Bills' games this year, you would agree that they are not running the football with any efficiency. Spiller has been about 1% as good as he was last year. Jackson has been better but still not great. Spiller is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, which is awful compared to last year. Making matters worse is he is hurt and not sure if he will even play.

On the defensive side of the ball, it is looking like McKelvin will be a game time decision. Byrd practiced with the defense, but odds are good he won't play. Looks like the Bills will be facing the red hot Brian Hoyer with Rogers and Williams at corner (WIlliams is banged up too). The Bills secondary is in shambles, but Kiko is healthy & that may be all that matters.

This is going to be a low scoring defensive struggle. The lack of time to prepare plus the injuries/young players for both teams will probably lead to a sloppy game. I love the Bills +4 this week as the Browns may be the worst opponent they have faced thus far. Bills 20 Browns 10 and yep, the Bills will be 3-2, who would have thought?


  1. no one wants to predict a loss to the browns.

  2. Ill say 16-15 browns

  3. 3rd & 11, the opponent has 1 timeout, we didnt convert anything over 3rd & 7 going into this game....

    and u wanna throw.....esp when u just talked about how good our D is....which won the game,,,

    Youre a joke