Bills zoom into AFC’s driver’s seat, Chiefs reach crisis and more


The Buffalo Payments take their place because the NFL’s crew to beat, whereas Kansas Metropolis faces an id disaster and uphill battle to make the NFL playoffs.

The Buffalo Payments’ second has arrived.

After dominating the two-time defending AFC Champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on Sunday night time in blowout vogue inside Arrowhead Stadium, Buffalo has cemented its place within the NFL’s catbird seat.

It begins with quarterback Josh Allen, who seems the a part of a legit MVP candidate. It continues with a protection that’s bordering solely a traditionally dominant degree of play by the primary 5 video games, and a head coach who has garnered all types of recognition. Finally, these Payments appear to have all of the items in place to raise the wait of probably the most passionate fanbases in sports activities and make an actual run at a Lombardi Trophy.

On Sunday night time towards the Chiefs, Allen had the form of career-defining efficiency that left BillsMafia diving by tables with pleasure 981 miles away all night time lengthy.

Allen handed for 315 yards with three touchdowns, as eight totally different Payments caught a cross, whereas stretching the Chiefs’ secondary skinny. And Allen even added a dashing rating.

“What I like for Josh Allen,” former Buffalo Payments linebacker Lorenzo Alexander tells FanSided. “Is after having a substandard recreation for him, towards Pittsburgh, he’s been in a position to bounce again and actually play nicely. He’s connecting on a few of these deep passes, that he took some huge steps with final 12 months.

“He’s not enjoying hero ball. When issues get out of kinds, he generally is a man who crosses that line to being reckless, however he’s in a position to now reign himself again in. He’s rather more intentional and conscious of what he must do … Even working within the recreation towards Kansas Metropolis, it regarded like the sport plan was for him to take off a bit bit extra, however when he received what he wanted to get, he received down. When there was an alley for him to get hit, or probably get hit, he dove, so he wouldn’t take an enormous shot. All these little incremental issues that generally go unnoticed, I’ve seen him do at a a lot increased degree, and with rather more consistency.”

Allen’s landing passes on Sunday night time have been on 35, 53, and eight-yard completions the place the fourth-year quarterback didn’t simply take what the Chiefs protection gave him, however uncovered to a nationwide viewers  simply how damaged Kansas Metropolis’s secondary is in the mean time. He additionally flashed simply how lofty his and Buffalo’s ceiling is correct now.

 

Within the 2018 and ’19 drafts alone, the Payments added Allen, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, cornerback Taron Johnson, offensive sort out Cody Ford, tight finish Dawson Knox and others. In the meantime, Buffalo mined Greg Rousseau with the No. 30 general choose in 2020, who was named AFC Defensive Participant of the Week.

Beane’s imaginative and prescient has produced a roster that leads the NFL in scoring offense (34.4 factors per recreation), scoring protection (permitting simply 12.8 factors per recreation), and has outscored opponents 156-41 over the previous 4 weeks, culminating in Sunday night time’s 38-20 shellacking of the Chiefs.

“I actually really feel just like the Payments are constructed for this,” Alexander says. “They’re on the proper second having gone by a few of these powerful losses, have an incredible mixture of veteran and younger gamers. They usually have an incredible tradition that folks actually purchase into, to the purpose that when issues go mistaken, they will return to one thing to get them again to the place they have to be.”

The Payments have the expertise and the star energy on either side of the ball to contend, however McDermott is the tradition driver who has turned Buffalo’s program into one the remainder of the league hopes to emulate.

“He’s true to who he’s,” Alexander says is what makes McDermott particular. “He has a approach about going about doing issues. He was clearly round two nice coaches; Andy Reid and Ron Rivera, however he’s made that program his personal, he’s not making an attempt to be these guys. He’s humble, he’s receptive to criticism and asking for folks to have enter, and he takes these concepts earlier than transferring ahead with what he believes is finest for the crew.”

Underneath McDermott, the Payments are 42-27, have gained a pair of playoff video games, and so far this season have the within monitor on home-field benefit all through the AFC playoffs come January.

That form of success doesn’t occur in a single day, or by chance.

“He’s not a coach who believes he must be served by all people else, he’s all about serving,” Alexander explains. “Whether or not it’s at observe, and somebody wants a tackling dummy, or somebody to present a sure look on a play, he’s going to leap in there and assist. If there’s towels on the bottom within the locker room, he’s going to go and choose them up.

“Which may not equate to wins, nevertheless it establishes a tradition to the place you’ve got superstars and egos, and a man on the high who leads with humility and repair. It’s powerful for a participant to stroll in there and suppose that they’re working the present, or need to act out. I feel Sean’s tradition is conducive to making a profitable setting. It’s all about doing all of your job and serving the fellows round you.”

It’s much more troublesome to win within the NFL when groups place a goal in your again each week and ship their finest recreation towards you each Sunday. That’s the place the Payments now occupy, albeit with the NFL’s No. 30 ranked remaining schedule and a slate of opponents with a meager .397 profitable proportion the remainder of the way in which.

The Payments’ destiny, and the fortunes of BillsMafia simply would possibly come all the way down to Allen’s means to forged out Buffalo’s greatest demons of all; the ghosts of Jim Kelly, Thurmon Thomas, Don Beebe, Andre Reed and the remainder of the Nineteen Nineties Payments who got here up brief in 4 consecutive Tremendous Bowls.

“He can win a Tremendous Bowl,” Alexander says of Allen. “He has the flexibility, and the expertise.”

Chiefs staring id disaster, unsure future proper within the face

The Chiefs, on the receiving finish of Buffalo’s beatdown, now discover themselves looking at 2-3, and for the primary time within the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes period trying to find an id.

Kansas Metropolis trails the Los Angeles Chargers within the AFC West by two video games, having already misplaced to Justin Herbert and Co. at Arrowhead. In addition they have defeats towards Buffalo and the Baltimore Ravens, so profitable tiebreakers is perhaps powerful.

That’s, if they will survive the NFL’s second-toughest remaining schedule and make a playoff push in any respect.

“They will’t maintain shedding all these video games, sooner or later you set your self thus far behind that you simply make it that a lot more durable to get again,” Alexander explains. “Particularly with what number of nice groups there are within the AFC … Defensively, there are issues they will right. I don’t suppose they’re damaged, they’re simply not making performs and never executing. In opposition to the Payments, a few of these errors have been psychological busts, they have been task points.

“They’ve by no means been an incredible protection, they all the time benefited from Patrick Mahomes. They must cease turning the ball over, as a result of they aren’t scoring 40 factors per recreation anymore. I feel in the event that they play higher complementary soccer, they will battle their approach again in, as a result of they’ve the form of offensive expertise on the market that’s powerful to match up towards.”

Mahomes has now tossed six interceptions, exceeding his whole complete for the 2020 season, and matching his 2019 mark, simply underscoring an uncharacteristic begin to the season for the 2018 MVP.

The place do the Chiefs go from right here? Can the problems which have led to extra losses by 5 weeks than they suffered all of final season be mounted? FanSided spoke to a number of league sources, NFL executives, and scouts, to get their ideas on the reigning two-time AFC Champions who discover themselves on the ropes after the season’s first month.

“I wouldn’t panic simply but,” a league supply tells FanSided. “They’ve most likely had one of many hardest begins to the season of anybody throughout the NFL. They’ve performed 4 playoff groups, and their solely dangerous crew was the Eagles.”

Whereas the schedule makers did the Chiefs no favors, the highway doesn’t precisely get a lot simpler from right here. Kansas Metropolis’s remaining opponents boast a .594 profitable proportion.

“They’re going to search out themselves preventing for the AFC wild card,” an AFC scout tells FanSided.

Via 5 video games, towards the Browns, Ravens, Chargers, Eagles, and Payments, the Chiefs are permitting a league-high 7.1 yards per play, and opponents are averaging 32.6 factors per recreation. Even Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, et al., haven’t been in a position to bail out Steve Spagnuolo’s embattled unit, averaging 30.8 factors per recreation.

If Allen had little concern within the pocket and will sit comfortably again there for many of Sunday night, whereas passing 315 yards and three touchdowns, what precisely will Cowboys MVP candidate Dak Prescott, or Aaron Rodgers do towards the Chiefs protection?

“They will’t cease the run or cowl proper now,” the scout says. “Buffalo received no matter they wished.”

Additional, what is going to Herbert do for an encore on Dec. 16, after already tossing a career-high 4 touchdowns and going off for 281 yards yards in an exciting Week 3 comeback?

There may be definitely alternative forward for the Chiefs, who’ve the expertise of postseason runs and figuring out what it takes to play in and win a Tremendous Bowl. However, would possibly have to steal at the least two of the aforementioned video games towards playoff caliber competitors, and run the desk towards the Giants, Raiders, Broncos, and Steelers with the intention to make all of that that have matter.

“I don’t suppose there are any fast fixes for the Chiefs,” the scout says. “Jones being wholesome helps. However, it’s going to take an infusion of younger expertise to get it proper. That may’t occur in-season.”

Podcast

Quotable

“Clearly, a bit bit sore after. Anytime you hit it on somebody or a helmet or no matter, your hand can change into fairly susceptible. I broke my ring finger on my proper hand, I tore ligaments in my center finger, tore ligaments in my pointer finger, ripped my thumb virtually aside one time so that is simply, you understand, hopefully one thing I can work by fairly shortly. It’s a bit bit sore however nothing I’m not used to. I’ve definitely had worse.”

– Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, by way of Professional Soccer Speak, by way of the Let’s Go! Podcast

Brady was seen strolling off the sector from Tuesday’s observe together with his proper thumb and wrist bandaged. Ordinarily, that may be noteworthy two days earlier than a Thursday night time recreation.

However …

Final week, Brady additionally had his wrist and thumb bandaged. And proceeded to cross for 411 yards and 5 touchdowns towards the Miami Dolphins final week. The Philadelphia Eagles, Brady’s opponent Thursday night time, allowed Mahomes to toss 5 touchdowns to 1 interception two weeks in the past, six days faraway from being carved up for 238 yards and three Prescott touchdowns on Monday Evening Soccer.

Brady’s damage would possibly degree the enjoying subject, a bit, however the Buccaneers enter averaging 33.4 factors per recreation to the Eagles’ 23, whereas Philadelphia’s protection is surrendering 24.8.

In keeping with WynnBET, the Buccaneers are a landing favourite on the highway, and Brady thumb damage or not, most likely should be.

Week 6 finest guess

In keeping with WynnBET, the Los Angeles Rams are 10.5-point favorites over the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

New York might be with out large receiver Kenny Golladay, will possible be with out working again Saquon Barkley and could possibly be with out quarterback Daniel Jones, if he doesn’t clear the concussion protocol sooner or later over the subsequent 4 days. In the meantime, the Rams have a championship-caliber roster, Matthew Stafford is enjoying at an MVP degree, and is perhaps essentially the most balanced crew in essentially the most aggressive division in soccer.

Take the Rams, swallow the factors.

Ultimate thought

Jon Gruden needed to go.

Gruden’s resignation following emails over the previous 20 years that got here to mild by way of reporting within the Wall Road Journal and New York Occasions confirmed essentially the most abhorrent facets of Gruden’s character. It additionally sadly illustrates how a lot work nonetheless must be finished to snuff out racism, homophobia and misogyny.

There was no approach Gruden may face Carl Nassib, the Raiders’ defensive finish and the NFL’s first openly-gay participant,after writing Jeff Fisher “shouldn’t be pressured to draft queers,” following the Rams’ number of Michael Sam.

Gruden has no place being the face of, nor main one of many NFL’s 32 franchises if he believes Roger Goodell is a “clueless anti soccer pussy,” or if he’s comfy sharing photographs of topless ladies with former Washington normal supervisor Dennis Allen.

The NFL has definitely had missteps in the way it has dealt with racial equality, however there’s little probability Black gamers inside Gruden’s locker room may battle every Sunday for his or her head coach, figuring out he referred to as for Eric Reid to “be fired,” after he took half in protests in the course of the pre-game enjoying of the Nationwide Anthem towards racial injustice.

Reid and Colin Kaepernick first took a knee 5 years after Gruden’s first racially tinged e-mail trade with Allen and different high-powered influential figures within the NFL and enterprise communities.

Gruden’s emails got here to mild as a result of they have been a part of an investigation into the poisonous work tradition of the Washington Soccer Staff. This makes it simple to marvel what else is perhaps hiding within the trove of communications.

“I feel the subsequent step that the league must take is being proactive in ensuring that the coaches that they rent, the gamers that they draft, the group that they kind are being inclusive,” former Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive finish Ryan Russell says, by way of CNN. “Are being supportive and are held to that customary not when issues come to mild however on a regular basis.

“That’s accountability, doing the precise factor when nobody is wanting. The integrity degree is what’s being challenged right here.”

Gruden isn’t a sympathetic determine. He shouldn’t be a trigger celebré.

The NFL has the chance to maneuver ahead, to root out the nonsense that Gruden espoused, no matter how pervasive it is perhaps, and who shares his opinions of individuals of shade, of gays, or of ladies.

Doing what is critical to take action would possibly chip The Protect.

However, in the long term, it may foster the form of inclusivity and acceptance the league has been making an attempt to market itself as for the previous two seasons.

Most significantly, the NFL may take the lead for the remainder of the company world to lastly come to grips with the discrimination that’s occurring throughout all ranges of society.



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