Until the waning moments of the last series, when Sean McDermott still had a strategic timeout to burn to make sure the officials didn’t make a terrible mistake that could cost the Bills a playoff victory (the umpires made everyone’s mistake. ways, and also claimed they stopped playing on their own), there wasn’t a time when the advantage that the Bills quickly evaporated on Saturday felt inevitably doomed.
Perhaps that’s a personal perception: as emboldened as the Bills Mafia may have become during the team’s rise to prominence in the AFC, it would be understandable if old fears and visions of catastrophic and unfathomable losses tend to linger in the psyche of the players. longtime fans, while the rest of us idiots who chose the team to win seven games are late to the party, but it’s been hard to shake the collective memories of this franchise when it comes to the 2020 Bills. and beyond. There is a palpable elasticity in bad and mediocre teams that oozes from television. Potential customers are never insurmountable. What is working for you right now is never permanent. (See: Wild Card Weekend Last Year). That’s why most of the league’s middle-class franchises are still indisputably middle-class.
But what we saw on Saturday was a kind of culmination; an acknowledgment that there may not have been a better, faster and stronger franchise rebuilding in modern NFL history than the Buffalo Bills have done under their current head coach and general manager (Brandon Beane). With McDermott, his defense, his quarterback, and his coordinators, it all feels buttoned up the way a good Patriots team feels buttoned up. If anyone were to argue that he was the heir apparent to the Belichickian throne at the top of the AFC East, it’s a thought that sounds a lot less ridiculous this afternoon than the day Buffalo announced the hiring of McDermott in January 2017.
Since then, the work of the franchise has been amazing. It took a late 2016 roster that went from her destructive boastful head coach, who seemed to imagine nebulous concepts of toughness and determination over a calculable and tight-fitting strategy, and turned her into one of the best defenders in the game. sports year. in and out of the year. They traded No. 7 in the 2018 draft, took the crudest of the best quarterback prospects of the year, and converted him from a 56% passer in Wyoming (in a polite conference with a best-of-breed scheme). his bronco game. style) into one of the most unstoppable players in the game. Every year in the NFL, Josh Allen’s bad shot percentage has dropped by at least 4% as his attempts skyrocket. His passing on target percentage, which nearly surpassed 80% in 2020, has also improved each year in the NFL (as have less revealing metrics like completion percentage, touchdowns, and touchdown-to-interception ratio). One could legitimately argue that other than Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, no quarterback in the NFL was more efficient or devastating to opposing offenses, which is an incredibly long road from, say, 2018, when he’s in a situation. Similary. rating scaleAllen was much closer compared to Blake Bortles and Sam Darnold.
Look around the administrative landscape of the NFL and take a moment to realize how extraordinarily rare it is to find a defensive coach smart enough (and with enough personality and prestige) to hire a good enough offensive coach to spearhead that. type of QB development. Think how few and far between headquarters there are that may routinely float McDermott players like Matt Milano and Jordan Poyer, the defensive tandem that invaded Zach Pascal and ripped the ball out of his arms late in Saturday’s game in a play that should have ended game if it weren’t for a moment of scratching his head from referee incompetence. Those are coveted players by a head coach who knew how to use them. For the rest of the world, they were relatively shipwrecked. The former, a fifth-round linebacker considered too small and slow to stand out at the NFL level and who became one of Buffalo’s most versatile and productive defenders. The latter, a safety officer who, on the eve of signing with the Bills in 2017, was considered the 69th best safety in the league by Pro Football Focus and is now perpetually mentioned among the league’s elite.
Then think about the time out and how rare it is when that coach can also deftly handle situations in the game. It could be argued that McDermott’s use of timeout alone compared to Frank Reich’s on the Indianapolis sideline changed the entire landscape of the game.
And with all that, think about what is possible for the future. Think how much better the Bills are than we expected three years ago. Think about what we can see when he hosts another playoff game next week. Think three years from now.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.