Buffalo Bills Week 1 Thoughts & Week 2 Preview - 2021 NFL Season
Writer: Alex James
Editor: Brandon Caputo
Photo Credit: JAMIE GERMANO/ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
Well folks, the first week of the NFL season is officially in the books. Half of NFL fanbases will be more than happy with their teams showing while others are shaking their heads wondering what went wrong. Bills Mafia fits in the latter of this equation, with a less than satisfactory performance at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, blowing a lead in the 4th quarter and falling short to the Steelers 23-16.
Photo Credit: Mark Mulville
Critics across social media and Western New York have labelled the performance of Week 1 in one of two ways; ‘humbling' and a learning experience the team will build from, or ‘cataclysmic’ and a scary precedent of what this season may entail if things aren’t fixed. But let’s be realistic here, it was ONE GAME against a great Steelers defence that continues its defensive prowess from last season.
There’s no need to panic (albeit most of us are because let’s face it, were Bills fans and we don’t know any better).
Credit: https://www.youtube.com/user/CoolKevinG/videos via CBS Sports
While most people are focusing on the negatives of the team and individual performances, let’s look at the positives that we can build-off for Week 2. First, we led for 48 minutes of the game, thanks in big part to our defence and providing us every opportunity to win the game. We held the Steelers run game to 75 yards (25 of those yards came from one play). We also held the Steelers to under 200 receiving yards, for which they had to throw to 8 different players. If anywhere we should place judgment on the Bills, then our defence has improved drastically from how they started last season.
On offence, with the limited time Allen had in the pocket, he still threw for 250 yards while being sacked 3 times and fumbling once. The run game as a whole produced over 100 yards, with Singletary putting in 79 of those on a 11 touches. Could running the ball more open the game up for the offence? I guess will see in week 2.
Areas of improvement for the Bills going forward will be red-zone success, limiting penalties, and 4th down conversions. The Bills went 1-4, a major surprise after the 60% touchdown conversion rate last year in the red-zone. Next, a more disciplined side will be massive in reducing penalties with the Bills racking up over 88 yards on 8 flags (3-30 holding calls on one drive specifically). Lastly, the Bills went 1-3 on 4th down conversions, with some of those decisions to go-for-it ’iffy’ calls for Bills fans. But again, let’s trust the coaching staff as they’ve led us this far and usually call the right plays in the given moment.
Game 2 Preview
Photo Credit: https://dolphinseer.com/2020/09/16/buffalo-miami-preview-week-2/
Of course the week following a loss is rougher then normal, but the best way to overcome this is looking ahead for what’s in store for Week 2. The Bills travel to Miami for a 1 o’clock kickoff against the Fins on Sunday.
The rivalry between these teams is a fun one and always circled on Bills Mafia calendars. The Bills have won 5 straight games against their southern rivals and are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
However, the Dolphins pulled off an unexpected victory in Week 1 against the Patriots and will be looking to build off that on Sunday. As of Wednesday, the Bills injury report shows Gabe Davis missing practice, while Lotulelei, Milano and McKenzie being limited. It’ll be interesting to see if Moss is a healthy scratch again for a second straight game or if he can work himself back in the lineup.
I think the Bills win this game by double digits, scoring on the majority of red-zone opportunities, and showing more discipline with regards to penalties (especially on the O-line). This game is a testament to prove to the rest of the NFL that this team is for real and to be feared going forward.
Prediction: Bills 31 - Dolphins 17.
Circle the Wagons,