Here are five things we learned from the Buffalo Bills’ 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC divisional round:
Not a Super Bowl team
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Bills quarterback Josh Allen chuckled and brushed off a question earlier this season when he was asked about his team’s offense not looking like a Super Bowl one.
As much as Bills Mafia ate up his response of “OK” to the question and statement, it’s not wrong now. A Super Bowl offense and team… makes it to the Super Bowl. Buffalo didn’t even get to the AFC Championship so we learned… they were not a Super Bowl team, unfortunately.
This core didn’t get it done
Tremaine Edmunds #49 of the Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Due to the business side of football, the core of this Bills team is set to change.
Not only does the team have importance pieces that are set to hit the open market, there are dollars and cents coming into the fold. Namely, quarterback Josh Allen’s extension kicking in.
According to Spotrac, Allen’s cap hit jolts from $16.4 million to $39.8M. That’s going to hamper the team and general manager Brandon Beane more now.
While there is an aspect of worry attached to that, it’s not wrong to think change could be good.
The Bills made it to four-straight Super Bowls and everyone looks back at the franchise at that time and thinks they did not get the job done. There is no shame in thinking the same about this core of players.
In terms of the finances, it’s not about adding more, it’s about decisions that have to be made this offseason, players like linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, safety Jordan Poyer and running back Devin Singletary could all be gone.
Play in the dirty areas isn’t good enough
Trey Hendrickson #91 of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Von Miller made the Bills a lot better. Once a guy like that goes down, it hurts.
Aside from him, Buffalo hasn’t had many other “hits” regarding players lining up in the trenches on either side of the ball.
Offensive linemen Dion Dawkins and Mitch Morse have their good days. No one considers them elite.
Same with anyone on the defensive line. The closest player to Miller’s level would be Ed Oliver. Without Miller, Oliver took a step back.
The Bills need to learn how to correctly fill out these areas on the field this offseason… regardless of financial difficulties they might have.
The Bengals had the edge in these areas against the Bills, and in terms of being outcoached.
Allen, Diggs, and who?
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
“Playoff Gabe” did start to show up in recent weeks. He had a great sideline grab against the Bengals and if Allen had more time to throw the ball, maybe Davis has more production against Cincinnati.
However, for most of 2022 and certainly down the stretch, the Bills didn’t have much in terms of playmaking option behind their No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs. Davis underwhelmed for most of the regular season and options behind him weren’t much better.
Making matters worse for this receiver room was losing to the Bengals. They’re a deep and talented group and that was on display for everyone to see while they crushed Buffalo.
Asking ‘what if?’ stinks
Von Miller #40 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
Asking “what if” so and so could have happened plain-old sucks.
What if the Bills just had those bounces go their way or things were a little different? Could it have been a season of destiny?
We know asking those questions after such a promising start to 2022 is an awful feeling.