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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Articles tagged: Buffalo Bills

Report: Three teams are favorites for JJ Watt

JJ Watt

J.J. Watt is still considering his free agent destination, but it appears that a handful of teams have positioned themselves as favorites.

ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton reported Wednesday that the Titans, Packers, and Bills have established themselves as the favorites for Watt. Clayton later clarified that other teams remain in the hunt, but are not the favorites.

Watt clearly favors contenders, as the three favorites all reached the postseason in 2020 and two of them played in their conference championship games. There are several other key factors Watt is said to be considering as well.

One thing is certain: you can expect Watt to take his time in making his final decision.

JJ Watt sends Bills fans into frenzy with bizarre tweet

JJ Watt

JJ Watt seems to be really enjoying his first experience with NFL free agency, and even his tweets that seemingly have absolutely nothing to do with football are now creating panic among fans.

On Tuesday, Watt tweeted what seemed like a very basic science lesson.

There’s nothing wrong with a three-time Defensive Player of the Year educating his millions of followers on the structure of a cell, right? Of course, the assumption from many was that Watt was dropping a hint about his free agency.

What hint would that be? No one really knows. One of the more popular theories is that Watt was indicating he could sign with the Bills, as the Mitochondria Research Society is located in Buffalo.

Watt knows anything he tweets is going to wind up under a microscope (pun intended). He already openly said that free agency has been wild, and he sent a hilarious tweet earlier this week about picking his next team.

There is reportedly mutual interest between Watt and the Bills, but he is being pursued by at least a dozen teams. For what it’s worth, his wife seems to have made her top choice known.

JJ Watt reportedly has mutual interest with this AFC contender

JJ Watt

JJ Watt is already considering his options as multiple teams and players recruit him, and we now know of at least one AFC team that has a legitimate shot at signing the star defensive lineman.

The Buffalo Bills are one of a dozen or more teams that have interest in Watt. ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin reported on Wednesday that the interest is mutual.

That is hardly a surprise, as Watt is prioritizing joining a team that has a chance to win the Super Bowl in 2021. Buffalo reached the AFC Championship Game this past season, and Josh Allen firmly established himself as an elite NFL quarterback. The Bills should be right back in the mix next season.

Watt would also be a good fit for Buffalo’s defensive scheme, as they have quality depth up front with Jerry Hughes and former top-10 draft pick Ed Oliver. The Bills rotate a lot of players on their defensive line, which would help keep Watt healthy and fresh. That is something he will likely place an emphasis on at this point in his career.

One of Buffalo’s best players already began recruiting Watt with a great tweet last week, which you can see here. Watt indicated on Wednesday that he is overwhelmed by all the attention he has received, so it may be a while before we have a strong idea of where he is going to end up.

These teams have reportedly shown interest in JJ Watt

JJ Watt

As expected, it did not take long for J.J. Watt to attract significant interest after being released by the Houston Texans.

ESPN’s Ed Werder revealed that nearly a dozen teams have registered their interest in Watt as of Friday night. Among them are the Steelers, Browns, Bills, and Titans.

All four of these teams made the playoffs in 2020, so it’s clear that Watt and contenders have mutual interest. Watt will also have plenty of recruiters, with players on a couple teams reaching out already.

Watt had five sacks in 16 games last season. The 31-year-old should still have plenty to offer a contender, and plenty of teams clearly feel the same way.

Sean McDermott shares his big regret from Bills’ loss to Chiefs

Sean McDermott

The Buffalo Bills were unable to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, and Sean McDermott wonders if one of his decisions to kick a field goal may have contributed to the loss.

The Bills kicked two field goals in the red zone. The first was a 20-yarder in the second quarter that cut Kansas City’s lead to 21-12. Buffalo then kicked a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the lead to 24-15. After the game, McDermott admitted he regretted taking the field goal both times.

“If I had to do it over again, I’d probably go for one of them,” the Bills coach said, via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques.

Buffalo lost the game 38-24. You could easily make the argument that touchdowns are essential against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but the first field goal made more sense than the second. The first one came with just 11 seconds left in the first half, and the Bills received to start the second half. Had they gotten no points there going into halftime, that could have been very deflating.

The second field goal was the real back-breaker. Rather than going for it on 4th-and-3 at the Kansas City 8-yard line, McDermott opted to cut the Chiefs’ lead to nine. Kansas City then scored a touchdown in four plays on its ensuing possession to take a 31-15 lead and never look back.

McDermott definitely should have gone for it in at least one of those situations, and probably both. But did those decisions cost Buffalo the game? Probably not. Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur can’t say the same about his horrible field goal decision.

Kurt Warner defends himself after blaming weather for Ravens’ loss

Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner seems to believe the best team did not win Saturday night’s Divisional Round playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, and the Hall of Fame quarterback has come under fire for his controversial take.

After the Bills defeated the Ravens 17-3 in Buffalo, Warner said on NFL Network that he wished the two teams could have played indoors. He obviously felt the windy conditions favored the Bills, and he would prefer if weather were taken out of the equation.

“Can we just play every playoff game inside?” Warner said, drawing groans from his colleagues. “I know that’s a part of football. I don’t like when we come to the biggest moments of the season and the elements become a part of the mix. I want the best team to be able to advance and all the elements to be the exact same for every team.”

As you might expect, Warner was torn apart on Twitter. He stood by his opinion, however, and said weather should not be a factor in the playoffs.

There are many reasons Warner’s take was a lousy one. For starters, the Ravens play in an outdoor stadium in Baltimore. It’s not as if they’re a dome team, so they should be accustomed to playing in less-than-ideal conditions. More importantly, the Bills were the better team during the regular season and earned home-field advantage.

Teams that play home games in a dome are typically better in that environment than outdoor teams, and vice versa. That’s why it is important to earn home-field advantage, and it may be even more crucial this season.

With a very limited number of fans permitted to attend games, weather and a familiar environment may be the only reward for the team that is seeded higher. The Packers are also more comfortable playing in rough conditions in Green Bay, and they deserve to have that advantage as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Warner’s Rams teams were known as the “Greatest Show on Turf,” so it’s no surprise he dislikes playoff games in bad weather. The Ravens made crucial mistakes like this one, which is why they only managed three points. Weather may have been a factor, but both teams had to deal with it.

Referees get call wrong on key fumble review in final minute of Bills’ win

Bills Zach Pascal fumble

The Buffalo Bills got robbed in the final minute of their AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

The Colts had the ball down 27-24 and were facing a 4th-and-10. Philip Rivers completed a pass to Zach Pascal for a first down, but then something happened. Pascal went to the ground but was not touched, so he got up. He appeared to be stripped of the ball by the Bills, who recovered the fumble.

The ruling on the field was that Pascal was down.

The Bills called a timeout just so the referees could review the play. Even though the replay showed the Bills stripped Pascal for what should have been a fumble, the refs said the call on the field would stand.

That allowed Indy to maintain possession, though they were unable to advance the ball into field goal range and lost after a Hail Mary pass attempt fell incomplete.

Bills plan to give Josh Allen huge contract extension

Josh Allen

Josh Allen has had a breakout season for the Buffalo Bills, and it certainly appears as though he’s going to be rewarded for it.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Bills are expected to approach Allen to discuss a “massive” contract extension for their quarterback. Rapoport reports that the Bills could even make Allen the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

Allen has two years remaining on his rookie deal when factoring in his fifth-year option.

There’s no doubt that Allen will have earned a huge deal if and when he gets it. The third-year quarterback has exploded into the elite tier in 2020, throwing for 37 touchdowns and 4,544 yards. The Bills went 13-3 under his leadership and won their first AFC East championship since 1995.

We’ve seen what the going rate is for top-tier quarterbacks. Allen might not get that, but he’ll be very well taken care of.

Andrew Cuomo not attending Bills playoff game after fans petition

Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not be attending Saturday’s Buffalo Bills playoff game after fans protested his possible presence.

Bills fans have been crying to have some fans allowed to attend games this season, which has been the Bills’ best showing since 1991. Cuomo finally relented and said 6,700 fans could attend the team’s home playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Cuomo originally said he planned to attend the game (all attendees must test negative for COVID-19 before attending).

However, a Bills fan started an online petition to “Ban Andrew Cuomo from Buffalo Bills Stadium playoff games.”

The petition organizer said in his reasoning: “So Cuomo is going to attend our playoff game after telling us that we can only attend at less than 10% capacity? If he thinks he has more right to a seat in that stadium over people who have waited over 20 years for this opportunity, then people better be there to protest his entry. This is OUR team! This is OUR home. We don’t want you here.”

As of the publishing of this story, nearly 44,000 people had signed the petition.

Cuomo now says he needs to work on a speech and that’s why he won’t attend. Maybe he just got the message from Bills Mafia loud and clear.

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin via CC-BY 2.0

QB Chad Kelly to work out for Bills

Buffalo Bills

Chad Kelly’s journeyman NFL career may be taking him to a rather sentimental place.

Kelly will try out for the Buffalo Bills, according to Field Yates of ESPN. That is the same franchise where his uncle, Jim Kelly, became an icon during an 11-season NFL career.

Chad Kelly was once a highly-rated quarterback prospect, but ended up being a seventh-round draft pick in 2017. An off-field incident ended his career with Denver and led to a suspension. He spent 2019 with the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bills, of course, have a long-term quarterback in Josh Allen. Kelly would be little more than a potential depth option. Still, there are a lot of people who’d love to see the 26-year-old come to Buffalo and play for the team that his uncle led to four Super Bowl appearances.