1 – What’s next for Buffalo’s young wide receivers
The Bills took another step forward in their youth movement on Tuesday, releasing veteran wideouts Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes.
The decision to part ways with both Benjamin and Holmes will allow Buffalo to see what is has elsewhere at receiver. Throughout the rest of the 2018 campaign, the Bills will likely give a large number of snaps to their young wideouts, giving them the opportunity to prove that they should be part of Buffalo’s core moving forward.
Isaiah McKenzie and Robert Foster have already received this opportunity, and they’ve both made the most of it. Since joining the lineup in Week 10, McKenzie has picked up 111 yards on 12 offensive touches. Foster has reeled in six passes for 226 yards over the past three games.
Not to be forgotten in the team’s young receiving corps is Zay Jones, who is currently experiencing a breakout sophomore campaign. Through 12 games, Jones has caught 41 passes for 459 yards and four touchdowns, leading the team in all of those categories.
Rookie Ray-Ray McCloud may see an increase in playing time through the final four games of the season, as well. McCloud has caught four passes in a limited role.
With an average age of just 24.2, Buffalo’s receiving corps is young and inexperienced. That number, however, does not account for the unit’s talent and hunger for success. Playing with an athletic quarterback who is able to extend plays with his feet, don’t be surprised if the Bills’ young wideouts are able to impress throughout the remainder of the season.
2 – Josh Allen nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week
Buffalo’s Week 13 matchup with the Dolphins can perhaps best be described as ‘the full Josh Allen experience.’
The rookie put his unbelievable talent level on display in the loss. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, finishing the game with a quarterback rating of 71.7. Allen also rushed for 135 yards in the contest, breaking his own record for most rushing yards by a Buffalo quarterback in a single game.
Allen had shown flashes of brilliance throughout his first six starts, but in Week 13, he seemed to string these flashes together more frequently. He came up with big plays when needed, keeping Buffalo in the game until the final minute.
Though Allen and the Bills ultimately came out on the losing end of the contest, the signal caller has earned national praise for his performance. He has been nominated for the NFL’s “Rookie of the Week” award in Week 13, his first time being nominated.
Allen is going up against Phillip Lindsay, Dante Pettis, Saquon Barkley, and Derwin James for the title. Lindsay is perhaps Allen’s biggest competition, as he rushed for 157 yards and two scores in Denver’s 24-10 win over the Bengals.
If you’d like to vote for Allen and help him bring home his first “Rookie of the Week” award, you can do so at this link.
3 – Daboll on how opponents will account for Allen’s mobility
Despite his elite athleticism being one of his most talked about traits in the lead up to the 2018 draft, teams haven’t been able to handle Josh Allen’s mobility through his first seven starts.
The Buffalo signal-caller has rushed for 389 yards and four touchdowns this season, trailing only Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson in rushing yards among quarterbacks.
Though one would expect teams to account for Allen’s mobility and design creative ways to keep him inside the pocket, that simply hasn’t happened thus far. In fact, the rookie has improved as a rusher as the season has progressed. He ran for a season-high 99 yards in Week 12 before blowing that total out of the water in Week 13, picking up 135 yards on the ground.
As teams gather more film on Allen as a rusher, however, they will start to think of ways to contain him. Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll knows that opponents will better account for Allen’s mobility moving forward.
“Yeah, I think you’ve always got to take that into account each week when you have a mobile quarterback,” Daboll said. “And there’s various ways that teams… they can rush him a certain way, they can spy him. You always try to do your due diligence and watch games that defenses have played mobile quarterbacks to see if there’s a different plan that they have in place.
Containing Allen, however, is more difficult than it sounds. Some teams simply don’t have a player who is fast enough to keep up with Allen in the open field, or that is strong enough to take the 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback down.
Daboll admits that it’s nice to have a player as unique as Allen at his disposal.
“But there’s no question about it that he’s got a good skillset in that regard,” Daboll said. “I think you always have to be prepared for that.