With the Jets getting set for their first matchup of the season with the rival Buffalo Bills, I was able to ask Corey Giacovelli a few questions on the state of the team.
1. It’s well known around the league that this Bills offense is easily the league’s worst and one of the very worst in recent history. Beyond the obvious issues at quarterback, what other problems have the Bills had offensively?
It comes down to two other main problems. The first is the offensive line which has played questionable at best. The only guy we have going for us is LeSean McCoy but he can’t do anything when he has two guys in front of him as soon as he gets the ball. The other is the wide receiver group who has had difficulty gaining separation at times. This is the worst possible combination because with minimal time to throw in the pocket, you have to throw it to guys who are tightly covered resulting in interceptions more often than not.
2. What have you been able to gather on Josh Allen so far? Obviously he has not played much and when he has, he’s struggled mightily. Have his injury issues and performance drastically impacted his long-term promise, or do fans and the organization still have patience and faith in him?
Most fans feel that this injury may be a blessing in disguise because we knew Allen had a lot of room for growth. We do not want him getting beaten up all game behind a suspected line. His main problem has been dealing with pressure, he has had difficulty seeing a blitz and shifting the protection in response to it. He has the arm there is no doubt about that and can make throws, he just needs to develop reading defenses and then the pieces should fall into place.
3. The Bills have done a respectable job on defense in spite of their offensive struggles. The offense has handed the defense the worst average starting field position in the league (by far), yet the defense ranks better-than-awful at 22nd in points allowed per drive. On the whole, how would summarize the performance of this defense?
The defense has been playing great but there is no offense to back them up. Games against the Texans, Patriots, and even the Packers, the defense held explosive guys in check and minimized the points put up on the board to an extent. There has just not been an offense to put points on the board and instead goes three and out which puts the defense right back on the field so most of the points that come in these blowout have been in the second half when the defense has nothing left.
4. What is the outlook like for Sean McDermott? In spite of the team’s obvious rebuilding state and decimated roster, has he taken any heat for the team’s struggles this year?
Sean McDermott is currently two sides of a coin. On one side he has developed his defense that he is known for and has drafted talented players that have been performing in only their first or second season in the league. However, on the flip side we have seen a lack of urgency to fix the offense and the repeated rhetoric of “they will get better” when in reality they have to address that need immediately with new guys. Character wise he is the right man for the job but if he doesn’t follow through next year then that is the time when he will be placed on the hot seat. Right now he is remembered for two things, ending the drought, and starting Nathan Peterman.
5. Is the long-term outlook the franchise promising, or are there enough question marks to quell any hope of improvement that usually comes out of a season like the Bills are having?
I do feel that the team does have a promising future if and only if they fix the needs on offense. We have the cap space this off season to fix the line and will still have money to give the Allen weapons in the passing game but it will depend on his development as well. The defense I am not worried about due to the success of all the young players who are mostly in their rookie deals but this team will only go if the offense goes.