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Three questions: Assessing Joe Brady's debut and the degree of difficulty for Bills defense


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Three questions on our mind after the Bills’ 32-6 rout of the New York Jets Sunday at Highmark Stadium:

What do we make of Brady’s debut?

Brady got back to doing a bunch of the things the Bills were doing well the first month of the season under fired coordinator Ken Dorsey.

The Bills kept the Jets’ defense off balance by changing personnel groups more frequently than in the previous month. They took a little more load off the shoulders of quarterback Josh Allen by staying balanced and preventing the Jets’ dominant defensive line from teeing off on the quarterback. In the first half, there were 26 passes called and 17 runs – a good ratio. They used more pre-snap motion to help give Allen a read on the defensive coverage.

It also was good to see the schemed-up TD passes for Ty Johnson and James Cook. To be fair, Dorsey schemed up some TDs in the red zone this season, as well.

Obviously, it is too early to make a call on Brady. Tough games await. The other big thing that went right: The Bills committed just one turnover, on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half.

How sustainable are the positive elements?

A lot of the offensive developments should be sustainable. James Cook got 20 touches. Heck, yes. Let’s see 15 or more touches for the Bills’ running back every week. Dalton Kincaid has been a remarkably steady security blanket for Josh Allen. Khalil Shakir’s emergence the past month is encouraging. The offensive line has been mostly good, even in the Bills’ defeats.

We’re not so sure about the defense staying on a roll. The next three games are against offensive juggernauts – Philadelphia, Kansas City and Dallas. The defense will have to play close to its best to keep any of those three teams to 24 points. The Bills’ defensive line dominated a banged up Jets offensive line. The next three offensive lines the Bills face are among the best in the league.

Does Burrow injury give Bills fans a glimmer of hope?

The Bills still need to go 5-1 or 4-2 the rest of the way to make the playoffs. The fact Burrow went down with a torn ligament in his right wrist only makes the Bills’ close losses this season more maddening. Just imagine if the Bills hadn’t lost a close one at lowly New England. They’d be 7-4 and arguably their second biggest playoff roadblock – the Bengals – would be out of the way. They’d be staring at an AFC playoff picture with only one behemoth to fear – Kansas City. No, the Bills wouldn’t be assured of the AFC East title. Yes, Miami remains formidable. But one big worry would be out of the way.

If the Bills can pull an upset one of the next two weeks, then fans can start having more serious dreams of the playoffs.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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