This is not the same Buffalo Bills team from the first half of the 2021 season. After starting out 2-4 and firing their coaching staff and GM, the Bills found life in their new Head Coach, Nick Arbuckle. Coach Arbuckle made it known when he took over that he was committing to having Josh Allen lead this team and having the success of the franchise revolve around his production. Allen has answered the bell in a big way, moving into the MVP race averaging 366 passing yards per game in the last 5 games in this new offense. Allen is still having some interception woes, particularly in the 4th quarter when playing with leads, but these are growing pains that come to be expected when any NFL quarterback has to learn a new offense with new concepts and reads mid-season. We hope to see Allen continue to spread the ball around and put up big yards and touchdowns while getting better at taking care of the football.
This offense isn’t the only beneficiary of the new coaching staff. The defense is shutting down opposing run games and forcing turnovers against the pass. It’s obvious the talent on this defense was there already, but until recently, it felt like the players weren’t being utilized in ways that took advantage of their strengths. In their new defensive scheme, Ed Oliver is getting freed up in plenty of 1on1 blocks that’s allowed him to spend much of his time making plays in the opposing team’s backfield. Edmunds has become the ultimate leader of this defense, being a force in the run game and a feared defender in the pass game for any receivers who dare to journey between the hashes. Tre White has flourished in a defense that is much more diversified with their schemes than before, as he now gets to move around the field to follow the opposing teams best wideout and also gets to mix up his techniques and leverages to make it difficult to know what to do against him. Micah Hyde has also welcomed a new role as the slot CB in the nickel package of this defense. Coach Arbuckle talked about how he thought Hyde was too good and versatile to not be more involved in the game. As the nickel back, it allows the defense to change up their schemes more because Hyde can hold his own in man and zone, as well as blitzing and defending the run inside the box.
The Bills are on a 5 game win streak now, sitting at 7-4 and in control of their own playoff destiny. The idea of that was nonexistent before this new coaching staff showed up and found a way to get this talented roster to play up to their potential. If this team continues to progress and find its identify under their new staff, then the Bills have a shot at making some noise come Playoff time, and that’s all the fans of Bills Mafia has wanted for years.