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Bulldog

Bulldog: Trusting the Bills



We talked about this on Friday.  Could you trust these Bills, the new if not entirely improved Bills, to go to Miami and bring back a road win?

Forget trying to figure out how good a win it would be.  That requires you to figure out just how good Miami is and I'm not really all that sure how to do that.  Their quarterback threw the sort of interception in the first half, an un pressured floating garbage fire of a throw, that cost his team points and maybe a touchdown.  It's the kind of throw that would give me pause in any rush to anoint Ryan Tannehill as the next great AFC East quarterback.

But the Dolphins have a better record than you and are a year farther along on the rebuild road with a coach and QB that have been in place for a season.

The Bills meanwhile, feel like their rebuilding efforts are on hold for now.  An injury to EJ Manuel has me feeling like I'm not really sure what exactly to do with these games.  But they do still play them and there are still things worth watching for, like whether or not the Doug Marrone Bills can button up a game in which they stake themselves to  14-0 lead on the road.

The answer?  Well they blew their lead and looked like they weren't going to be able to mount much of anything on offense.  That's when the defense showed up late.  Rather than wilting in the Miami heat, the Bills D saved their best for the 4th quarter.  Mario Williams and Kiko Alonso snuffed out one Miami possession near midfield with a sack and a good tackle respectively.  Then, following a three and out by the Bills backed up near their own end zone, Mario showed up again.  This time with a strip sack that Kyle Williams recovered.  

An enormous play by Mario Williams and the Bills are set up but not quite home.  They need to run clock and Fred Jackson, who earlier in the game looked like he'd ruined his knee, maybe for good this time, showed up to make it happen.  10 yards for Jackson on a 3rd and 4 set the Bills up to run some clock and kick what would prove to be the game winning points.  

They still made you at least a little bit nervous by giving up a long kick return which left the Dolphins with a more than reasonable chance to get in field goal range.  But the pass rush continued to make things tough on Tannehill and 3 passes fell incomplete leaving Miami with only a Hail Mary of a chance.  Again, Mario Williams pressured Tannehill, who scrambled around just enough to elude the rush and chuck the prayer to the end zone that fell incomplete.

This is a nice, nice win.  Again, I'm not sure the Dolphins are any better than just one of the many NFL teams that make up the vast middle class, so do what you want with that.  Here is what the Bills did Sunday.  They won a division road game with Thad Lewis playing quarterback and their great looking backfield hobbled by injury.  They got huge impact plays from Mario Williams with the game on the line.

I won't bore you with a rehash of my they're making progress post from last week, but it gets a little bit easier to say that when you watch your team win.  They battled, they didn't wilt in the heat like decades worth of Bills teams before them.  Their highest paid and often maligned defensive player made huge plays with the game on the line.

And unlike last week, they got a win to bring back home.  

Good for them and good for you too.  You don't have to try to hard to believe these Bills really are different.
 

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Miami
People : BulldogFred JacksonKiko AlonsoKyle WilliamsMario WilliamsRyan TannehillThad Lewis
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