Archives for October 2, 2017
'“I was just letting the media know that it’s time to talk to the winners," he said while giving credit to the Falcons. "I’m just having fun with it. … They’re a good team. You can see the success they’ve had over the years. They fight hard until the end. We got some breaks today, and we still need to finish better on offense. Overall, we played well as a team, and we won."'
'"It says that we can compete and play at a high level," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "But at the same time, we still can't start drinking the Kool-Aid. We've still got to respect the process, understand we've got to continue to work the way we were when we were underdogs. That's kind of the mindset of this team – blue collar, just keep grinding games out and finding ways to win."'
'"I love that about this team, man," McDermott said. "I love it. The coaches and team, everybody at One Bills, that's who we are. They're a gritty, resilient group and these guys, they just love to play together. They love to play together. It's fun to watch them prepare."'
'“I’m hitting the ball well, and just everything is coming together,” Hauschka said after hitting a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ 23-17 win over the Falcons on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “It feels great. I knew I was capable of these types of things, and the mind is powerful. I’m just trusting myself, believing in myself and having fun out there.”'
'After quarterback Tyrod Taylor found Matthews in the end zone to give the Bills a 7-3 lead in the second quarter, the receiver, without missing a beat, pretended the football was a Nintendo cartridge, blew into it, jammed it into a make-believe console and began miming the act of playing a video game.'
'The CBS broadcast said word from the NFL in New York was that they "couldn't definitively say that Matt Ryan regained control" of the ball.'
'Going in the tank? Pinch yourselves, but the Bills might be going to the playoffs. The perception changed radically when they walked into shiny new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and beat an unbeaten Falcons team that nearly won the Super Bowl last February.'
'It's hard to predict what will happen from here. It would be just like the Bills to go lose at Cincinnati next weekend. But one thing beyond dispute is this Buffalo team is much better than expected, a playoff contender under a first-year head coach who has his team playing at a high level.'
'In each game, the Bills created their own opportunities and caught some officiating breaks. Forces have not been conspiring to undermine the Bills.'
'Robert Jones got into some fiery back-and-forths, mocking people's appearances and last names, using terms such as "sissy" and "mama's boy" and offering face-to-face meetings in Buffalo.'
'Bills tight end Charles Clay was the offense's MVP, catching five passes for 112 yards. Jordan Matthews scored his first Bills touchdown on a scrambly 9-yard Tyrod Taylor toss in the second quarter.'
'If their 3-1 record fails to convince critics that they can win on any given Sunday, the Bills' 23-17 victory over the Falcons on the road certainly should do the trick. The Bills answered yet again with their most impressive road win since … since this whole dreadful playoff drought began.'
'LeSean McCoy finished with 76 yards, his highest total since gaining 110 yards in the season-opener against the New York Jets, on 20 carries. McCoy certainly was more effective than he was in gaining a combined 30 yards in the last two games, but the Bills have plenty of room for improvement on the ground. Still, it matters that they stuck with running the ball and on a day when their defense was coming up big, it significantly contributed to the outcome.'
'"It’s something that we believe in," Clay said. "We’re not protesting the flag, military, it’s about social justice and systemic oppression. That’s basically what it’s about, trying to change the ways of the world. Be a positive change. I know a lot of people look at it negatively, but if they really sit down and understand what’s going on, I think that they would believe."'
'“Big shoutout to the Detroit and Buffalo defenses,” said Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who now serves as an analyst for NBC’s “Football Night in America,” on Twitter. “They keyed huge road wins for their teams today.” (Detroit defeated Minnesota, 14-7, on Sunday.)'
'Player of the game: Safety Micah Hyde. His two interceptions were one of the highlights of another solid defensive effort."
'Zay Jones absolutely has to make the catch on a ball he dropped in the second quarter. A perfect throw from Tyrod Taylor would have put the Bills in Atlanta territory after Buffalo went ahead 7-3, on its previous drive. Instead, Buffalo punted the ball away and the Falcons drove for a touchdown on the ensuing possession. The Bills traded up for Jones to make plays like that.'
'Hughes was too quick around the other edge for left tackle Jake Matthews and hit Ryan's forearm. There was no whistle, and White scooped it up and sprinted, unchased, to the end zone. Hughes gave Matthews problems with speed-rushing much of the game.'
'Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were good. They combined for 222 yards on 33 touches. Last week they put up 227 on 33 touches against Detroit. But the foundation of the Atlanta offense is built on Freeman's outside zone rushing. He averaged 5 yards a carry against Detroit. He managed just 3.2 a carry on 18 attempts against the Bills. He never got around the corner. Coleman caught a 39-yard pass with Lorenzo Alexander in coverage. But the Falcons' dynamic duo caught only six passes on the Bills, and that play was the only one for more than 14 yards.'
'Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was selective but had great timing in blitzing Atlanta's Matt Ryan Sunday.'
'The Bills loved the matchup and went to Clay early and often. The Bills had 182 passing yards and Clay accounted for more than 60 percent.'
'Sean McDermott has his team believing. The Bills are a close-knit bunch, and the coach gets a lot of credit for that. McDermott did lose a challenge in the first half, but at that point with three timeouts, it was probably worth taking a chance since nobody really knows what a catch is. The decision to take a delay of game on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line could have been heavily criticized had the Falcons won. As it is, it was a strange play. It worked out, though.'
'And this came after two controversial calls went in the Bills' favor: Tre'Davious White's fumble return for a touchdown and Micah Hyde's second interception – both of which, on other days, may have been ruled incomplete passes.'
'Was it a fumble or an incompletion? Jerry Hughes hit Ryan as he threw, but the quarterback's hand appeared to still propel the ball forward while it was in his possession. Yet the play was allowed to continue and was held up on review.'
'Zay drops another one: Taylor threw Zay Jones a catchable pass on third and 7 before the Falcons' touchdown drive, but Jones couldn't hold onto the ball as he went to the ground. He entered the game with three catches on 12 targets this season; Taylor threw him four passes in the first half but they didn't connect on any.'
'Bills punter Colton Schmidt and the special teamers have bailed McDermott out of some uninspiring calls this year, and this was another example. The field-goal attempt would've been long, but they were in a dome with a chance to take the lead on the road, knowing that Steven Hauschka connected from 49, 53 and 55 yards a week ago.'
'“When you are going against a great quarterback like Matt Ryan you have to make him uncomfortable. I thought we did that at times. I thought we could have done more of it. It is never enough against a quarterback like this. Anytime a quarterback like this has the ball in his hand on the last drive it is touch and go. Our guys stood up, it was gut check time and they did a great job.”'
'No one knelt for the home Falcons. Three Miami Dolphins knelt before the game in London against the Saints.'
'Thornton, Wright, Clay, Tolbert and Jones were among the dozen members of the Bills who took a knee last week against Denver. Worthy is making his season debut after missing the first three games of the year. The five players who stood after taking a knee against Denver were Lorenzo Alexander, LeSean McCoy, Jordan Matthews, Ryan Davis and Johnson. Defensive end Shaq Lawson, who knelt last week, is inactive against Atlanta because of an injury.'
'Also out for the Bills against Atlanta are: Guard Vlad Ducasse, running back Joe Banyard, tight end Khari Lee, wide receiver Brandon Tate and left tackle Cordy Glenn, who was previously ruled out because of injuries to his left foot and right ankle.'
'It was a huge performance for the defense, and it came down to a stop on fourth-and-1 from the Falcons 10 when Ryan threw incomplete to Taylor Gabriel in the right flat.'
'Well, four weeks into 2017, the Bills are laughing at everybody, and that is certainly their right because they’ve proven all of the naysayers wrong. They already have three wins, and that’s good enough for sole possession of first place in the AFC East thanks to another wonderful Patriots home-field loss Sunday.'
'“It’s a great win, but there’s no statement wins in Week 4 of the NFL season,” the always even-keeled Williams said. “We’ve got a long way to go and we’re just going to continue to work and get better. We’ll take them as they come.”'
'Sean McDermott has the Bills fully engaged and buying into everything he’s teaching. He has his team ready to play every week, and they rarely make the dumb mistakes that haven’t often derailed previous Bills teams. Rick Dennison discovered that throwing the ball downfield can be useful, and he smartly found ways to get Charles Clay deep a few times. On defense, Leslie Frazier has turned the Bills into a smart, fundamentally sound group that doesn’t wilt in the big moments, and makes big plays when they are there to be made. Tremendous job.'
'Start with a complaint persistently issued by lifelong Bills fans: “they never seem to get a break.” Buffalo got a ton of them on Sunday, of which four were enormously important.'
'Atlanta wide receiver Justin Hardy’s game-tying touchdown reception with seven minutes to play was the first TD pass surrendered by the Bills this season.'
'It’s tough to say enough about the Bills’ secondary. Micah Hyde had a pair of interceptions, and Tre’Davious White returned a fumble for a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Bills held Matt Ryan to 5.8 yards per attempt.'
'Clay had Buffalo's edge rushers ranked 27th in the league, linebackers 24th and, as previously mentioned, the cornerbacks and safeties as dead last in the league. The only unit to fare well in Clay's preseason rankings was Buffalo's interior defensive line (6th). Overall, Buffalo's defensive rankings had them 30th in Clay's projections before the start of the season.'
'"It changed a little bit," Bills safety Micah Hyde said. "All week we had been game planning around (Julio Jones). With him going out of the game, it kind of freed things up for us. Then when (Mohamed Sanu) went out, we sort of had a sense of 'We need to step on their throat.'"'