With a near full complement of healthy players on offense last Sunday, the rejuvenated Bills smashed the Dolphins into chum and dashed most playoff hopes for Miami and their hard-nosed, hard-headed new coach, Dan Campbell.
The band got back together for the Bills and it’s a completely different team. Who knew?
And most reasonable thinkers did as well.
You cannot win with a backup QB, as well as your best two WR and half your run game. You just can’t. And the Bills utilized the smash and dash of their two headed monster backs, Shady McCoy and Karlos Williams, to sushimi the Fish. So effective were the dynamic duo that they almost gained the exact number of yards, one getting 110 and the other 112, and which is which didn’t seem to matter.
Shady McCoy is finally nearly healthy for the first time and guess what? He looked like Shady McCoy and exploded, breaking the game open with an electrifying 48 yard dart to the goal line and shiv to the heart of the Fins and their fans.
The “deranged rhino,” Karlos Williams returned from the concussion protocol to knock the Dolphins out. Karlos is averaging 6.6 yards a carry, which seems like 666 for enemy defenders. The smash and dash combo of Shady and Karlos is scary good, and the Bills became the first team in NFL history to have two 100 yard rushers and a 150 yard WR in the same game thanks to Sammy Watkins.
But smash and dash wasn’t only evident on the ground. The Bills pounded the ball down the throats of the Fins in the run game and then threw in a dash of the aerial attack which caught Miami floundering.
Watkins flat dominated. On his rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ juggling act 63 yarder, he completely lost the ball in the sun, and at the last second miraculously reached his hands out to where he thought it would land, felt it hit his fingertips and then saw it enough to tap back to himself for an ungodly catch. Listening to him describe it was mind boggling. Watkins also dove and made a spectacular reception that the officials just called incomplete because they didn’t believe he could catch it. He then iced the Fish and game by setting up Pro Bowl corner, Brent Grimes, after watching the last three years of film and noticing Grimes would often lean to the inside on certain routes. Sammy Swat baited Grimes on inside moves even on running plays the first third of the game, and then double moved him for the TD on a 3rd and 14 play that Tyrod Taylor recognized, too.
Taylor, also back after two weeks on the shelf, dribbled his first pass and then the ball never hit the ground the rest of the afternoon. He dashed for a few first downs breaking out of the pocket and then smashed the Dolphins into submission with two absolutely perfect bombs when needed. TT is incredibly efficient, rarely turns the ball over, is a field general in every sense of the phrase, and expertly carved the Fins into sushi.
Most NFL observers pegged the Bills for having the worst QB situation in the entire league before the season started. Tyrod Taylor is now fourth in the NFL in passing, first in completion percentage (at a near all time NFL 71.8% record rate) and second in yards per completion, one of the most important and telling stats.
The offensive line, also getting two injured players back (see a trend?), was solid and sometimes spectacular on singular plays that broke the game open. Known for receiving and running, Robert Woods, Charles Clay and Shady McCoy shined in blocking. Greg Roman had a terrific game plan, and then called the same running play 15 times, which the depleted and defeated Dolphins never stopped. Richie Incognito is playing at an All Pro level, one of the best free agent acquisitions in the entire league after not one team would give him a chance a year ago. Richie has a right to be screaming from the bully pulpit but decided to just let his play do the talking and the league is hearing it, resoundingly loud and clear.
The often porous and much maligned defense gave up only 17 points. The 2014 Bills D we all yearn for gave up 18+ a game. Fans, including myself, have screamed all season for Rex to just let our fearsome front foursome just do what they do best – and yet it was a Rex wrinkle, putting Mario inside and Hughes at LDE instead of RDE, that caused the play of the game – Hughes strip sacking Bennyhill and recovering the fumble in one motion, a truly spectacular play.
Leodis McLovin also returned to action, immediately made an impact despite letting up one long pass, the only significant reception of the game, and looked surprisingly at home at safety. Ryan Tannehill’s dink and dunk offense made Bills fans drink and doubt, but all those yards produced precious few points. And by the fourth quarter, Karlos the Jackal returned to smash the snot out of the Dolphin blowholes after the Bills OL blew huge holes in the Fins defensive line.
Miami’s season all but went to sea and the Bills playoff fever just got a dash of red bull.
They will need it. The Veterans Day break and four day work week has both the Jets and Bills reeling in order to be ready in time – and the Nike Red color rush and national TV audience promises to be quite vivid.
As if they needed more hype. Rex Ryan is returning to New York and immediately got the media in a blather by named IK captain and right in Geno Smith’s fat face. Of course, no one on the Jets cared, the non issue became clickbait for writers and bloggers obsessed with Rex, and created more false outrage than I can remember.
But it’s also the return of Fitzy and Chan to play the Bills, who did their level best to infuriate Bills fans while employed by the team, and have another chance tomorrow night.
The hype couldn’t be bigger. It’s a must win for both teams in the murky AFC playoff picture. So come on down to Busby’s to see the smashing Bills dash by the gangrene and puss that aka the NY Jests.