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Diving into the playoff struggles of the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys

(Photo courtesy of “Bill’s quarterback Josh Allen is upset after losing to Bengals.”

Tanner Hume
connector editor

In the 2022-23 NFL Divisional Round, the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs by the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.

The Bills and Cowboys seemed poised for a run at the Super Bowl, but fell just like the Los Angeles Chargers when they blew a 27-0 lead in the previous round. So what exactly led to the downfall of these two teams? Sit back, relax and buckle up because this is going to be long.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills were as dominant as could be, had a great season, and won the AFC East Division again. Their season, like Cincinnati’s, was a game shorter than the rest of the league and that was due to a tragedy that struck during a Week 17 matchup in Cincinnati when safety Damar Hamlin headed in after a routine hit on the field Cardiac arrest suffered just six more minutes into the first quarter. The game was canceled as it should have been and thankfully he is doing very well in his recovery.

The Bills hosted Cincinnati for the divisional round in snowy weather, and their defense was unable to contain the Bengals’ offensive power. Despite their best efforts, the Bills were defeated 27-10 and eliminated from the playoffs in a year when many people predicted they would make it to the Super Bowl.

First and foremost, the biggest problems were on the defensive side of the ball, with quarterback Joe Burrow driving downfield with ease and breaking up defenses in the style the Chiefs and Patriots had achieved in the regular season. The Bills’ offense also struggled to get past the Bengals’ defense as they kept getting shut down. In a way, their offense was swallowed up as the offensive line allowed constant pressure to reach quarterback Josh Allen.

The Bills began their offseason by firing their safety coach, Jim Salgado, and so far that’s the only change that’s been made. The Bills need to make some changes on both sides of the ball this offseason if they want any more chances of making it to the AFC Championship Game next season.

Dallas Cowboys: Oh, cowboys, how do you keep making yourself look as comically incompetent as possible. Last week it was a win over Tampa Bay in the wild card round, where kicker Brett Maher kept missing extra point kick after extra point kick. When they faced San Francisco this week, it was like learning nothing from the end of the competition last year.

Here’s the final play: running back Ezekiel Elliott was the center who snatched the ball, all blockers were out on the right, then quarterback Dak Prescott takes the snap, Zeke is flattened like a pancake, forcing Prescott to trip his receiver , who had to jump up to grab it and was then tackled promptly and immediately. Game over, season over.

Their problems are not on the pitch (except with Brett Maher, of course) but in the coaching. Head Coach Mike McCarthy and Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore are seemingly brainless after being hilariously eliminated by the 49ers two years in a row; Last year the Cowboys last game was a quarterback tie with no timeouts, they couldn’t stop the clock after Dak went down because they made a mistake and thought they could see the ball without a referee.

The plan here to fix this team is very simple: fire Mike McCarthy, promote Kellen Moore, and get a competent offensive coordinator. Also, give Dak more offensive weapons and repair defenses by building them around linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs. If they can fix those issues, they might have a chance to make some noise next season. Otherwise they are the NFL version of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. “How about the cowboys?”

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