Corey Giacovelli from Buffalo Rumblings was kind enough to answer five questions I had about the Buffalo Bills prior to the game against the Chargers this Sunday. Corey also asked me five questions about the Chargers, which you can take a look at here.
What went wrong last week? Was that just a Week 1 aberration, or do you foresee that being the norm this year while the Bills look to build for the future?
Corey: We all wish we knew what went wrong last week but unfortunately that is how the game goes sometimes. The feeling going into the game was it had the potential to be bad but we didn’t think it was going to be that bad. Honestly, I think it was just an aberration because after a certain point you are just trying to finish the rest of the game without any injuries even if that means making the final score 47-3. Going forward I am not expecting them to win a majority of their games but I am at least expecting them to be competitive in a majority of them as they build towards the future.
Are you pleased with the decision to start Josh Allen over Nathan Peterman, and what are your expectations now he’s gotten the starting job?
Corey: I am pleased with the decision to throw Allen into the fire. Our immediate reaction after the Raven’s game was that it was the offensive line’s fault that Peterman did not succeed but when you look back at the tape there was a lot of receivers open to throw to before the pocket collapsed around him. Now granted, it has to do with his primary read and all of that but when Peterman did throw the ball it did not look good at all. We all know Allen has a rocket arm and will let it fly which is why expectations can remain low with him. You can not get much worse than what happened week 1 so just go out there and have fun and gain that experience that will help you in the future.
On paper, the Bills offense doesn’t seem to be loaded with talent. If they’re to hurt the Chargers this Sunday, which player is most likely to do the damage?
Corey: I do not think it will come down to one player doing all of the damage for the Bills on offense but rather a combination of Josh Allen and LeSean McCoy. In the game last season McCoy did have success early but once Peterman started to turn it over throw after throw, he became a non factor. In week 1, Shady could not do what he does best as soon as the first drive because there was nothing going on in the passing game so the Ravens played against the run. For McCoy to be able to do his thing you need Allen in the passing game so that the defense has to be honest. If the passing game is missing again then the Chargers will just load the box to stop McCoy daring Allen to beat them with his arm.
Defensively, the Bills don’t look a terrible unit, but they gave up 47 points to the Ravens last week. What went wrong there, and do you expect a stouter showing against the Chargers?
Corey: The defense did have some good stops early in the game but the problem was the offense was not letting them rest constantly going three and out. The secondary on the team is very talented with Tre’Davious White leading the charge back there. We even saw the front four get pressure on Flacco which is something the team was lacking last season. Where it went wrong was the linebackers. They are young back there with rookie Tremaine Edmunds and second year player Matt Milano. What we saw was the Ravens using hard play action getting those young players to bit and hitting the tight end throughout the course of the game. If they can stay honest and not bite on the fakes the defense can do better.
How are you feeling about this game, and could we get a prediction?
Corey: I am scared going into this game haha because we have no idea what to expect. It is the home opener with our chosen rookie of the future making his first career start. Both teams know what is at stake given the bleak outlook of teams making the playoffs after starting 0-2. What this game comes down to is the opening drives by both teams. I am not asking for Allen to lead the team down the field for a touchdown right off the bat but at least come out with a rhythm and maybe one or two first downs just to have something to grow on. Likewise for the Bills defense, set the tone early against the Chargers to give everyone that confidence and keep the crowd in it. For a prediction I will go with my brain instead of my heart and give this one to the Chargers 21-17.