Bills’ Joe Brady has a classy message as he claims its an “opportunity to win”…

Bills Interim Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady addresses the media on January 1st, 2024. Topics include Stefon Diggs’ production, play calling, getting Stefon Diggs the ball, distribution of the ball, competing against a tough Patriots team, playing through adversity, and facing the Miami Dolphins for the division.


The returns of DaQuan Jones and A.J. Epenesa

In Week 17, the Buffalo Bills secured a pivotal 27-21 victory over the New England Patriots, improving their record to 10-6. This win set the stage for a crucial Week 18 Sunday Night Football clash against the Miami Dolphins, with the AFC East Division title at stake. Despite facing challenges during the season, the Bills had an opportunity to claim their fourth consecutive division title.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills

Notably, edge rusher Von Miller was a healthy scratch for the first time in the season, possibly due to a lack of consistent production despite being physically fit. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph joined the inactive list, and DaQuan Jones made a comeback after recovering from a pectoral muscle injury sustained in Week 5. Additionally, defensive end A.J. Epenesa returned to the lineup following a rib injury against the Kansas City Chiefs three weeks earlier.

Examining the offensive snap counts from the Bills-Patriots matchup, quarterback Josh Allen played 97% of the snaps. Despite a challenging game for the offense, with Allen completing 15-of-30 passes for 169 yards and an interception, he showcased his running prowess with two rushing touchdowns. The offensive line, though healthy, faced difficulties, allowing New England’s only sack on the first offensive play. Wide receiver Gabe Davis led pass catchers in snaps, but the struggles extended to Stefon Diggs, raising questions about the team’s game plan. Tight end Dalton Kincaid continued to impress, setting a rookie record for receptions in a season.

On the defensive side, cornerback Rasul Douglas played 100% of the snaps and emerged as a significant contributor since joining the team in Week 9. Douglas led the league in takeaways and scored a pick-six, contributing to the crucial win. Linebacker Terrel Bernard played 100% of the snaps, leading the team in tackles and displaying notable playmaking abilities. DaQuan Jones’ return to the lineup had a positive impact, allowing Ed Oliver to return to his disruptive play style. With Von Miller sidelined and A.J. Epenesa back, the defensive line rotation provided a glimpse of its potential for the future.

In terms of special teams, there were notable concerns, with the opening kick-return touchdown being a glaring issue. Special teams coach Matt Smiley’s performance came under scrutiny, considering the Bills’ ranking of 22nd in special teams DVOA (-0.9%), a significant drop from their first-place ranking in the 2022 NFL season. Addressing these issues was seen as crucial for maximizing the team’s potential, especially in terms of field position. As the Bills approached the postseason, the health and availability of key players, along with strategic improvements in special teams, were identified as key factors for success.

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