The Buffalo Bills had a no-good, very bad day last Sunday in their 29-25 loss to the New England Patriots. It was a game they should have won several times over, but they didn’t. Now, the key is to not allow one putrid performance to snowball into more than one loss. To do that, they need to knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Thursday Night Football. Once again, Buffalo enters as a massive favorite. The Bills are 8.5-point darlings, per several sports books. As we’ve learned, that isn’t worth the code it is written in. Without further ado, here are my top five storylines to watch as the Bills return home to take on NFC South foe Tampa Bay on Thursday Night in Orchard Park.
Can the Bills Stop Thinking
If you’re a sports fan between the ages of 30 and 50, you have seen the movie The Sandlot… more than once! In that movie, there is a scene where Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez tells Smalls to stop thinking and just play the game. I need to see if Josh Allen and company can – maybe more importantly, are allowed to – play some freaking football.
This one might best serve Bills Mafia, who is in a frenzy this week after three straight lackluster performances. The offense ‘only’ scoring 25 points against the Patriots is a sticking point for fans, and the team should be worried about the defense allowing 29 to a Mac Jones-led attack. The short week will force us all to get over last Sunday and the team to refocus quickly.
Stop The Bleeding
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the Bills are over a touchdown favorite to win this game. That doesn’t mean much as they were strong favorites to dominate the last two games and win the last three. They’ve gone 1-2 and haven’t dominated anyone. A win against the Bucs doesn’t cure all that is ailing Buffalo, but it will certainly be a nice bandaid for a wound that can be categorized as a surface laceration that may become a chainsaw gash if things go sideways.
First-overall pick Baker Mayfield is now the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mayfield and Allen, the seventh overall selection, will forever be linked as two of the four quarterbacks who went in the top ten of that draft. Even the idiots who said the Bills screwed up massively and would need to defy logic and math for Allen to be a success have to admit he has had a better career than Mayfield, but it won’t stop the discussion Thursday Night.
I know the Bills are missing several massively important players on defense. You don’t need me to go over the names again, but this team still shouldn’t allow 29 points to Jones and his Pats. Buffalo is allowing the 13th most points over their last three games at 21 per. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but with scoring down this season, 21 points per game is a bottom half of the league number. This next part will sound crazy to some of y’all because I write for Cover1, and a vocal minority believes we only care about analytics, but I don’t care what the advanced metrics say; ALLOW FEWER POINTS!