The Bills showed they aren't as good as we thought they were in loss to Titans

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is sacked by Tennessee Titans linebacker Harold Landry
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 1 year ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The Buffalo Bills were dealt their first loss of the season, falling to the Tennessee Titans in lopsided fashion on Tuesday night. Obviously it’s important to never overreact too much to one game in the NFL, but Tuesday’s defeat revealed flaws that have been apparent the whole time.

The Bills simply aren’t as good as many hyped them up to be, and I don’t think the regression necessarily stops here. There are large question marks surrounding this team, and Tennessee only illuminated what was already lying beneath the surface.

They’ve faced a soft schedule

The easiest explanation for the Bills’ 4-0 start is that they had a cakewalk of a schedule. Their first two wins came against the Jets and Dolphins, and they barely beat Miami. The only impressive win they have this season was over the Rams, and that took a very controversial pass-interference penalty on fourth down to not blow a once-massive lead.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, it’s about to toughen up considerably. Three of its next four games are against the Chiefs, Patriots, and Seahawks. Then at the end of the season there’s a stretch where the Bills have to play the 49ers, Steelers, and Patriots again in a span of four games.

They’ve got a gauntlet coming up, and they won’t be able to make nearly as many mistakes during it. Josh Allen went back to his pre-2020 form on Tuesday with two interceptions, and if he doesn’t get it cleaned up they aren’t going to be able to compete with the league’s truly elite teams.

The Bills’ defense is a lot worse

Buffalo’s defense isn’t as good as it was last year, and it isn’t particularly close. The secondary is especially weak, and they’re giving up the fourth-most passing yards per game of any team. They’re now starting Josh Norman at outside corner thanks to the injury to Levi Wallace, and Norman showed on Tuesday that he’s thoroughly washed.

The pass-rush is nothing to write home about and neither is the run defense. They gave up 42 points to the Titans, 23 to the Raiders, 32 to the Rams, and 28 to the Dolphins. You’re not going to win a championship giving up those kinds of totals on a regular basis, and the only team that wasn’t able to consistently move the ball on them was the lowly Jets all the way back in Week 1.

I trust Sean McDermott schematically, but with the talent they lost this offseason and now all the injuries, I don’t think this unit is going to magically get much better anytime soon.

The bottom line

I think everyone got a bit ahead of their skis with their over-the-top praise of Allen and this Bills team. They got off to a hot start against a couple of bad teams, and are now crashing down to Earth. The schedule is about to get very difficult and there are major question marks on defense, so I think things could get worse before they get better for the Bills.

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