Archives for October 1, 2017
'"Many people don't know how critical it is," Vermeil said, "to be 100 percent focused each week on the challenge at hand to win another football game on Sunday.'
'During the 17-year playoff drought, they have won 44 road games. Only 11 of those wins came against teams that finished the season with a winning record. Only three of those opponents won a playoff game that season.'
'Players took Trump's description of those who knelt as a "son of a b—-" and said they should be fired as an attack, and the backlash was swift. The Buffalo Bills held a team meeting last Saturday night with the intention of doing something together as a team, but not surprisingly couldn’t come to a consensus.'
'Falcons 30, Bills 17.'
'Exhibit A in that regard is Marcell Dareus. The new front office inherited the worst contract in football, and despite saying all the right things about trying to get Dareus on the bus … blah, blah, blah … do you really think they are happy with him on the roster? There are certain players with contracts that are too tough to move on from right away, and Dareus is one of them.'
'Atlanta has a good cornerbacks and fast linebackers. Buffalo will need to outmuscle the Falcons on the ground, particularly with the inside zone plays and cutback runs. Get the fast linebackers flowing to the outside and slash behind them up the field. Get guard Richie Incognito into the second level, blocking the Falcons' smallish defenders. Chicago powered Atlanta with two tight end sets in the opener and had some success. Controlling the clock against a high-powered offense is critical.'
'Just like the Bills, Atlanta is an outside zone running team. Just like the Bills, Atlanta's pass scheme plays off the zone run game. The difference is Atlanta has All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. Atlanta loves to run play-action to the right, then throw back to the left to Jones (11) on a short slant. He's a huge target, and it's next to unstoppable.'
'Enter the NBA, which reached out to offer to help the Bills and other NFL teams that had their charter deals canceled. Thanks to a lease deal it cut with Delta for most of its 30 teams, the NBA has access to a fleet of modified 757s, known as VIP jets that are designed to move sports teams and entertainers. Normally, a 757-200 has about 160 seats, but the VIP version has 71, with three levels of first-class accommodations front to back. Twenty-eight are sleeper seats that fully recline, 12 are club seats that partially recline, and 31 are domestic first-class seats.'
'Taylor was barely antsy in the pocket or too quick to leave it against the Broncos. Partly because of that, unsurprisingly, he had one of his finest games (if not his finest) as Buffalo's starter.'
'While basically all of Watkins' figures eclipse Matthews' at this juncture, the identical yards per target figures do stand out. They've been equally as efficient when the football's been thrown in their direction through three games. Interesting, too, is that Matthews has been more of the big-play wideout than Watkins. Before 2017, Matthews averaged 11.9 yards per catch in his career, while Watkins' average was a hefty 16.1.'
'Biggest loss: 28 points, in a 31-3 defeat on Dec. 27, 2009.'
'Claiming to be the largest organization of Bills supporters outside of New York, the Bills Backers of Atlanta count more than 2,000 members. This weekend, they’re welcoming Bills fans from throughout the Southeast – and Buffalo, of course – to join the party.'
'Unrelated to the original Buffalo Sports Garden on Elmwood Avenue, the bar on Southwestern Boulevard in Orchard Park has space for about 100 people and draws close to that when the Bills are on the road. For home games, BSG gets a steady crowd throughout the day, including fans coming from nearby New Era Field.'
'Tailgate forecast: Sunny, breezy, on the cool side. Temps: 58-62 rising to around 70 by noon. East wind: 8-16.'
'“An extremely talented group with the Super Bowl run last year and it seems like they’ve picked up where they left off ‘X’ amount of months ago,” he said. “It was a test for us last week, it’ll be another test for us this week and one that we have to continue to respect the process so that we’re ready to go come Sunday.”'
'How does a team recover from losing both starting corners? But here we are: The Bills rank ninth in the NFL against the pass, first in scoring defense, and have yet to allow a touchdown through the air.'
'The Falcons (3-0) come in as one of the National Football League’s two unbeaten teams (Kansas City is the other). They rank fourth in the NFL in yards gained (388 per game) and fifth in average points scored (29).'
'“Of course it’s important, you have to be able to do both, run and pass,” Dennison said earlier this week. “We just keep working on our techniques and fundamentals … make sure we get (players) in the right spot. We have a lot of faith and confidence in our guys up front and our ball carriers.'
'Tyrod Taylor has been impressive again in 2017. Much of that has to do with the damage he can do on the back of the Buffalo running game with play-action passes. Taylor's passer rating when using play-action is 144.1 — the best in the league — while his passer rating on plays without a run fake is 84.7. Taylor has a yards-per-attempt average 4 yards higher when using play-action and is completing 78.9 percent of his passes.'
'Falcons 26, Bills 20.'
'Cowherd believes the majority of these teams are unwatchable as they have defensive coaches at the helm.'
'Atlanta has allowed only 85 yards per game via running and that ranks eighth in the league. However, the passing game leaves optimism for Taylor as the team allows 245.7 yards through the air through the first three weeks. That ranks 21st in the NFL.'
'"I'm feeling good," the former Huffman High School standout said on Wednesday. "We're going to take it day-by-day and see how things go. Just trying to get used to the braces I have now and get my feet under me. Just trying to check the soreness and keep moving forward."'
'The Bills visit the defending NFC champions at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.'
'He’s been doing so quietly, but starting tight end Charles Clay has been the most dependable option on the offensive side of the ball since the start of the season.'
'Florio’s take: The Bills have been playing better than expected, and the Falcons could easily be 1-2. But they performed well in their new stadium, and they’re back for their second regular-season game there. The Julio Jones back injury could be a problem, but if he plays this one ends up being not necessarily easy but nevertheless a fourth win.'
'Before his time with the Bills, fullback Pat DiMarco spent four seasons with the Falcons. A member of Atlanta’s Super Bowl team, DiMarco will make his return to the ATL this Sunday. Only this time, he’ll be rocking a different uniform.'
'Play-by-Play: Greg Gumbel.'
'“I love it. Those guys come down and they are not afraid to jump in the box and get their heads dirty. They are scraping in the run game with us, I have nothing but respect for safeties, corners, and anybody on the football field who is willing to just throw it out there on the line,” Hughes said.'