This week, most outlets will focus on lessons to be learned from the teams reaching the final four. But what about the four teams that failed to advance this past weekend? What questions face those franchises? I am asking them directly.
Buffalo Bills. Who are you?
Buffalo’s performance against the Cincinnati Bengals should create something of an existential crisis.
They were a significant favorite. They were home, in front of some of the best fans in the sport. They even got weather. And they didn’t show up. But what is most surprising is just how unsurprising that was. The Bills were terrible a week ago against the Miami Dolphins, and just about any quarterback but Skylar Thompson would have beaten them.
Who are they? What is their offense? What is their defense? This team, as the season progressed, became nothing more than “Josh, go make a play” and that’s not a successful organizational template. Nobody needs to be fired. The roster doesn’t require significant alterations. But an identity on both sides of the ball needs to be established if this team hopes to find themselves playing beyond divisional round weekend.
New York Giants. Do you understand how far away your roster actually is?
Brian Daboll has become the toast of the town in New York City. He is also 3-6-1 in his last ten games.
Daniel Jones, according to WFAN and CBS’ Boomer Esiason, is looking at a potential contract totaling $130-140 million. He also pitched to a quarterback rating of 53.8 against the Eagles on Saturday.
The Giants overachieved in 2022 but that overachievement should be understood in proper context. Their roster is not remotely close to competing for championships. Saturday night in Philadelphia should have illustrated that for Joe Schoen. Did it?