'And, despite McCoy’s struggles, the player in the Bills’ fans crosshairs was quarterback Tyrod Taylor, now 16-15 in his 31 starts for Buffalo since being acquired in a trade with Baltimore in 2015.'
Archives for September 19, 2017
'"I don't know that you can say it that way. That's a different statement," Dennison said when asked why the team is having such a tough time getting the ball to its wideouts. "We haven't completed as many balls to the wide receivers. You know, we're trying to get the ball, spread the ball around, do whatever we need to do to move the ball. We didn't execute very well early on – 57 minutes, as you said. We just didn't move the ball very well. It wasn't just the wide receivers."'
'Two games into the season, fans are clamoring for Peterman after seeing enough of Taylor. Peterman could have been better Sunday than Taylor, who was 17 for 25 for 125 yards. He threw for just 74 yards before the last drive against the Panthers' loose defense. He failed to complete a pass longer than 15 yards in the game.'
'Already, you can hear Bills fans clamoring for rookie Nathan Peterman while pleading for McDermott to pull the plug on Taylor. Certainly, the kid could have been as effective as Taylor, who was 17 of 25 for a measly 125 yards. He completed just three passes to his wide receivers and had just 74 yards passing before the final drive. He didn't complete a pass longer than 15 yards in the game.'
'What do you suppose is their opinion of Tyrod Taylor?'
'McCoy skewered the Jets in Week One with outside zone-scheme runs. Those runs weren't prominent in the game plan this week for good reason. Carolina's linebackers flow too fast to the sideline to get beat outside. The Panthers also have a star defensive tackle tandem in Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei who clog the middle.'
'The explanation from McDermott on Monday: "Yeah, you know, those can go either way. What I was looking at there really was real estate. I felt like we had some real estate, a significant amount, to cover. I felt like if we could get the ball into the medium red zone area and then get it down to taking one more shot, so I wanted to make sure at that point we could save the timeouts if we needed them.'
'Yeah, I know what we’re looking at, I mean I feel the frustration out there. I thought we got into a rhythm at times, other times we didn’t. We’re looking at everything, some of the deep shots we had up, called up down the field didn’t work out the way we wanted them to and then we get into a rhythm to start the second half. We get into a rhythm in the two minute obviously, and made some plays, so there are some good things going on, that said, at the end of the day, 3 points–it’s hard to win games in this league when you’re scoring three points. We’ve got to look at a lot of things and we’re going to do that this week.'
'Taylor was under pressure on 34.3 percent of his dropbacks and completed 3 of 6 passes for 22 yards in those situations.'
'McDermott stuck true to his philosophy of rotating players on the defensive line, as both Eddie Yarbrough and Ryan Davis saw their playing time increase from Week One. The heat in Carolina certainly could have been a factor. Ditto for the lopsided time of possession in favor of Carolina in the first half.'
'McCoy’s 9 yards rushing represent his fourth-lowest total in any game of his career, and his fewest in a game since his 2009 rookie campaign. This marked the first game in his career in which he had at least 10 rushing attempts, but was held to fewer than 10 yards.'
'Yarbrough was an undrafted free agent and, at 24 years old, is on his second NFL team. In college, he was a highly productive pass-rusher. At Wyoming, he registered 39.5 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks in his four-year career. While he was buried on a talented pass-rushing unit in Denver before coming to Buffalo, Yarbrough has the requisite athleticism to become a useful edge-defender in the NFL.'
'As the Bills marched down the field while trailing 9-3, this flag dealt a crushing blew to their chances to win the game late. It was a questionable call at the very least, as Holmes did not seem to extend his arms – he and the Carolina cornerback simply got slightly tangled at the top of the comeback route. Also, the flag was thrown noticeably late. It came on a 10-yard gain that would've set up Buffalo in a first and 10 situation on the Panthers' 22-yard line with 0:53 seconds remaining. Instead, the Bills had the ball at their opponent's 32-yard line and faced first and 20.'
'So when Bills receiver Zay Jones found himself in a similar position Sunday, failing to catch a fourth-down pass from Tyrod Taylor in the final minute (although the pass was a little overthrown and the Bills still would've needed to punch it into the end zone with nine seconds left), Johnson wasted no time offering encouragement to the rookie.'
'“If you were at this game live, I’m sorry,” Bleacher Report’s Richard Janvrin wrote. “This could be the case all season for the Bills: No offense but a solid defense.”'
'DE Jerry Hughes: Let's talk about that spin move Hughes put on Matt Kalil. That deserves its own wing in the Albright-Knox. Hughes was an absolute beast, finishing with six tackles and two sacks that went for a total loss of 24 yards. Is there anyone happier to be back in a 4-3 scheme? Even when he didn't get the sack, Hughes harassed Cam Newton. The website Pro Football Focus credited him with four quarterback hurries.'
'If you thought Tyrod Taylor had trouble moving the ball against Carolina, just wait for next Sunday. The Broncos owned the NFL’s best defense in each of the last two seasons, according to the analytics website Football Outsiders. They ranked fourth last season in total yards allowed and first against the pass (185.8 yards per game), which is why the unit is nicknamed the “No Fly Zone,” thanks in large part to the cornerback duo of Talib and Chris Harris. Then there’s Von Miller, who ranks second in the NFL in sacks since entering the league in 2011, trailing only J.J. Watt. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips did leave for the Rams after coach Gary Kubiak retired from coaching this offseason, but the Broncos promoted from within, elevating secondary coach Joe Wood.'
'The game had a 36.1 rating on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate. It peaked at a 43.0 in the final minutes when the Bills were driving for a potential winning touchdown that never happened.'
'The show began with a review of the prior game, and it was underlined that fans should appreciate the quality of the Carolina Panthers defense to stymie the Bills' offense. Donald Jones in particular highlighted surprise that the Bills attempted to base their run game into the teeth of the Panthers' strongest aspect – the defensive tackles. Audio from postgame was heard throughout the show, as well as a great explanation by Donald Jones on the corner route on fourth down.'
'We knew the 2017 Bills were going to be improved on defense (one TD allowed in the first two games), and the only question was going to be could the offense hold up its end of the bargain? We were given some evidence Sunday on how that might play out. The defense will keep the Bills in most games, and the offense, sadly, probably won’t be able to take advantage.'
'“No, Tyrod is our starter,’’ McDermott said. To be clear, Taylor is your starter? “Yes, clarity, Taylor’s the guy. Not making a change,’’ McDermott said.'
'The only team ranked below the Bills were the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a promising Week 1, the Jaguars were blown out by the Tennessee Titans.'
'"I have complete confidence in him," Dennison said. "I thought he did some good things even though he did some bad things. He did some good things. He managed the team when things weren't going well but kept us in the game. Some people might have gone south. He kept us all rolling. Had to make some plays with his feet when things weren't there. And he's coachable. You tell him to do something, he'll do it right. He'll fix it."'
'The Bills only went up 7 percent in value, according to Forbes. The franchise is worth $1.6 billion, and the biggest factor holding the team back might be the lack of a new stadium. Forbes estimated that the Falcons’ new stadium increased the franchise’s value by 19 percent.'
'"Those can go either way," McDermott said. "What I was looking at really there was real estate. I felt like we had some real estate, a significant amount, to cover. I felt like if we could get the ball into the medium, red-zone area and then get it down to take one more shot, so I wanted to make sure at that point we could save the timeouts if we needed them. If you look at the film, you would see what I was seeing during the game was Tyrod and the routes were close enough I felt like that we could get back and get the play snapped."'
'Tyrod Taylor attempted three passes that traveled more than 15 yards in the air. In the first half, nine yards was the farthest one of Taylor's passes traveled in the air. The lack of a deep passing game is a bit alarming.'
'Tyrod Taylor completed a high percentage of his passes, but many of them were drop-offs and short passes. Buffalo's longest reception against the Panthers went for 15 yards. The Bills showed no ability to stretch the field against Carolina and future opponents will quickly learn from how the Panthers defended Buffalo.'
'And finally, perhaps the most confusing statement was the way Dennison describe the play of Taylor, stating Taylor “kept us in the game,” despite not scoring a touchdown.'
'While the number for the passes to wide receivers simply isn’t there, neither are the numbers on first down. Buffalo ran 20 first-down plans and averaged 2.5 yards-per-play on first down. Of those 20, four went for negative yardage while only six gained five or more yards.'
'"Just overall, you know, just better execution," McDermott said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win and next time I expect us to win. That's what we're looking for moving forward. It's that belief and the execution. You hope you're not in that situation, you hope you're ahead of it at that point of the game and that's where we're trying to grow as a football team."'
'“It was an empty formation and we play in quarters. And James, in my opinion, got a little nosy,” said Wilks, sternly. “He allowed that No. 1 receiver to occupy. He drove on the comeback, which we don’t do in that situation. Thomas (Davis) should have pushed through, which he was, and James should have stayed deep with (safety) Kurt Coleman (playing the seven route) inside out, James should have been outside-in and it really should have been an interception.”'
'FYI: Bills coach Sean McDermott addressed his team’s quarterback situation Monday, reiterating his faith in Taylor despite Sunday’s lackluster offensive performance. “We all need to play better and it starts with me as the coach,” McDermott said, per the team’s Twitter account. “Tyrod is our starting quarterback and I expect him to respond this week.”'
'The Bills performed so poorly in the first half against Carolina that offensive coordinator Rick Dennison acknowledged he didn't have an opportunity call some of the 15 plays he scripted for the Panthers.'
'Tolbert is right about all of it. The Panthers are very good, and the Bills have to be better on offense. Unfortunately, it doesn't look the latter is going to happen until the passing game elevates from a high school level.'
'You'll notice that the Cowboys ($4.8 billion) are nearly worth more than the Bengals, Lions and Bills combined ($5.1 billion).'
'Well, we all do. The quarterback, myself, all parts of this football team need to do a better job. Really you say, ‘Hey, regardless of the outcome, we’ve got to continue to get better’ and that’s true. That’s what you do in the process of developing as a football team. All parts of us need to improve.'
'"Full confidence in Tyrod Taylor. Played well in game one, and we have to get better going forward as a team."'
'"Our game plan is going to be similar every game of the year. Wouldn't say game plan was ultra-conservative, we just didn't execute."'
'The Bills ended the half with six yards passing. Six. Yards. Passing. In the NFL. I mean what else can you say but woof?'
'This is good and bad news. The good first. The team's value actually went up from last year, but the bad news because we're the least valuable team in the league.'