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The Way I See It... From the Desk of Ed Kilgore

Bills Blast Steelers 38-3

It’s understandable some fans and media folks have been questioning certain aspects of the Bills offense under new Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey, and the questions are twofold: how can the Bills improve their running game to take some of the pressure off Josh Allen, and why is the yardage per play down a bit this season opposed to a year ago?


In blasting the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3 at Highmark Stadium the Bills provided some answers but not all.  The Bills running game was deceiving, as the Bills finished with 120 yards on the ground.  Allen’s 42 matched Devin Singletary’s 42 and rookie James Cook added 31 including a 24 yard TD. Not many yards, but that came on a combined 15 attempts for a 7.7 average.  The rest came from Allen’s big arm.  This is where the answer to the question about yards per play was just answered perhaps.


Gabe Davis is healthy again, and his explosive talent is one thing the Bills quality depth can’t replace. With Davis healthy, the Bills can strike from anywhere.  ANYWHERE.


On the game’s first series, the Bills received on a blustery day in Orchard Park and immediately found themselves inside their own two yard line when Taquan Jones, subbing for Isiah McKenzie, botched the catch but did recover at least.  It quickly became 3rd and 10 and the Bills were going into a 20 mph breeze.  You’ve got Josh Allen, right? You gotta love this boldness.  Dorsey goes big, the oline holds, and Davis makes a cut and goes deep.  Allen lofts a perfect strike that Davis takes in stride as the play covers 98 yards for a 7-0 lead.  Davis would later make an amazing catch for a 62 yard touchdown.


For the game, which Allen was able to enjoy from the sidelines much of the 4th quarter, Allen had 424 passing and four TD’s with one pick, with the bulk of this coming in the first half as the Bills built an insurmountable 31-3 lead. The Bills racked up a mind boggling 552 yards of offense, averaging over 10 yards per play. To be fair, the Steelers certainly miss TJ Watt and safety Terrell Edmunds, but the Bills have been dealing with key injuries as well.


Depth.  That’s what Bills GM Brandon Beane continues to stress, and the Bills depth is impressive.  5th round pick Khalil Shakir, who wasn’t even dressing for earlier games, had 3 catches for 75 yards, including a 24 yard TD from Allen.  He also returned a kickoff 33 yards. Rookie RB James Cook had four carries for 31 yards including an impressive 24 yard TD run. With Tremain Edmunds out, Tyrel Dodson was all over the field with 11 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. Rookie CB Kair Elam had his first NFL interception, and safety Damar Hamlin, who played college ball at Pitt, was a 6th round pick a year ago and he filled in quite well for Jordan Poyer with 6 tackles and some strong coverage.


Hard to forget to mention Stefon Diggs, because his 8 grabs for 102 yards and a TD were a key component as always.


It’s worth mentioning that rookie qb Kenny Picket, despite not having any TD passes and one interception, showed me and others he’s got the right stuff to be a darn good NFL quarterback. He stared down the Bills pass rush and finished with 34/54 for 327 yards, although much of that came when the Bills were sitting on a big lead.  He’s a feisty competitor  too, getting into it with Bills D lineman Shaq Lawson late in the game.


Cudos to coach Sean McDermott for having his team focused on the Steelers, who were 14 ½ point underdogs.  The Bills are no doubt well aware their next game is at Kansas City in a week. The Chiefs lose a day because they host the Vegas Raiders Monday night, and they know they can’t afford to look ahead either.


The Bills, at 4-1, are atop the AFC East again with the Dolphins and Jets now 3-2 and the Patriots 2-3.  The Chiefs game next week is only week six, but somehow it seems MUCH bigger than that.  Can’t wait!




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