Archives for October 8, 2017
'“Every part of your life has to be in line to play well. To have balance in your life and to be able to be comfortable where you are and have a good relationship with all of your teammates and have a good culture, all of that goes hand and hand.”'
'They were unbeaten at 3-0, flying high to Ohio. It was the height of Ryan Fitzpatrick's time in Buffalo. He was lighting up the league and was featured in a Sports Illustrated story about the NFL's "Fitzmagic" craze.'
'Bills 24, Bengals 23.'
'I'm impressed by how the Bills look so far. Nobody expected them to be 3-1 at this point. They are one Tyrod Taylor-to-Zay Jones missed connection away from being 4-0. Regardless of what happens against the Bengals, the Bills come out of next week's bye with three of their next four games at home, and the road game in that mix is against the New York Jets, whom the Bills defeated on opening day. The Oakland Raiders look far more manageable Oct. 29 if EJ Manuel is at quarterback.'
'This will be another significant test for the Bills' first-round rookie cornerback, even though he will be matched on the Bengals' top threat only some of the time. The Bills' cornerbacks play sides rather than match up on specific receivers. The Bengals' star moves around, so he will see E.J. Gaines and Leonard Johnson, as well. The Bengals figure to feed Green. He caught 10 of 13 passes thrown in his direction against Green Bay two weeks ago. He was targeted only seven times last week against Cleveland, but it was a blowout and the Bengals didn't need him.'
'Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has taken a couple deep shots per game on first-down plays per game this season. His pass protection has been inconsistent, and the first-down, play-action fake gives him a bit more time. This one went for 50 yards to star A.J Green against Houston in Week Two, despite the fact the Texans essentially had Green triple-covered in a three-deep zone.'
'Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo. In the last two weeks, he was clearly targeted from the very start by Denver’s Trevor Siemian and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. Each time, White not only held his own, but he wound up holding the thing the quarterbacks previously had in their hand: The ball. White, the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month for September, intercepted Siemian and knocked down four other passes. Against the Falcons, he picked up a Ryan fumble and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. White plays with the poise and savvy of a long-time veteran. He carries himself with a great deal of confidence, but maintains the team-first philosophy that Sean McDermott wants his players to have.'
'Tolbert's stats this year – 34 carries for 119 yards, two catches for 14 yards – project out to a season in which he would have 136 carries for 476 yards, eight catches for 56 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Last year, Mike Gillislee had 101 carries for 577 yards and nine catches for 50 yards, with nine total touchdowns. Everyone knew the Bills were going to take a step back when it came to production from the backup running back when Gillislee left.'
'"I'm enjoying it," Alexander said. "I knew it was going to be a change for me. I knew I wasn’t going to have as many opportunities to rush. But if we continue to progress like we’re going defensively, I don’t care if I have 50 more tackles than I did last year and maybe four or five less sacks. That doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about winning games and getting to the playoffs."'
'Currently, Leslie Frazier's unit boasts a red-zone DVOA of -24.2 (negative is better for defense), the second-best in the NFL. Splitting that, Buffalo is third in red-zone pass defense DVOA and 13th in red-zone run defense DVOA.'
'"You can replace Dalton," the billboard read, referencing the Bengals' quarterback. "You can't replace Harambe."'
'The Sunday morning tailgate party will be held in a free parking lot under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge in Covington, Ky. Chili, wings, and Sahlen’s hot dogs with Weber’s mustard will be served, along with whatever is cooking on the hood of the famous Red Pinto. Tailgaters will be able to take a $1 shuttle ride to Paul Brown Stadium for the game.'
'Defensive line coach Mike Waufle loves working with Hughes, and he said his numbers don’t do his performance justice. He has three sacks, but he has been a nightmare for opposing offensive lines to deal with. Last week against the Falcons, for instance, Hughes had one sack and it resulted in a forced fumble and a touchdown for Buffalo, plus he had five other pressures on Matt Ryan.'
'Which Andy Dalton will show up? The Bengals quarterback is a wildly polarizing player. There are some observers who think he’s been a career-long mediocrity, and other believe he’s been a solid NFL quarterback for most of his six-plus years in the league. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle, and this season, he has been the very definition of polarizing.'
'This will be the 31st regular-season meeting, and the Bills lead the series 16-14. For a stretch between 1989-2010, the Bills won 10 consecutive games against Cincinnati, their longest winning streak over one team ever, and also the longest losing streak for the Bengals against one team. Buffalo did lose three in a row when Andy Dalton arrived in Cincinnati, but Buffalo won the most recent game, 16-12 in 2016. Oddly, Buffalo is 4-1 in five games at Paul Brown Stadium.'
'“They have a lot of challenges. Everybody knows they have (wide receiver) A.J. Green, a guy who can take the top off a defense. They’ve got (wideout Brandon) LaFell who does a lot of things underneath. They’ve got a lot of weapons, the three-headed monster running back (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard and rookie Joe Mixon) as well. They’re doing a lot of things well, and as soon as they got that new offensive coordinator (former quarterback coach Bill Lazor), they’ve been scoring a lot more points. You have to take the first two games out of it, and just watch what they’ve been doing the last two.”'
'“You have to continue to trust the process and stay focused,” he said. “I’ve been a part of teams that have started 6-2 and not made the playoffs … it can happen and turn on you quickly. That happens when guys lose focus or start reading the press clippings, start making everything become routine and not being committed and trying to figure out ways (to) get better and really dissecting their own game. We all have a little bit of weakness in our game from week to week that teams try to exploit the following week.”'
'Every week, Northtown Auto has a billboard aimed at the Buffalo Bills' next opponent. In Week 5, Buffalo will take on the Cincinnati Bengals, so Northtown Auto decided to make a reference to Harambe, a gorilla that was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a three year old boy fell into his exhibit back in 2016.'
'The Bengals have been rock solid on defense. With Vontaze Burfict back, Cincinnati has not been an easy team to run it. The pass defense is the strength of this group, however. The Bengals are second in the league in opposing quarterback rating. Tyrod Taylor will be without top wide receiver Jordan Matthews in this game, so the Bills could struggle to move the ball through the air.'
'"I can just tell you that there was zero shock in Buffalo watching him play the last few weeks," Breer said. "The guys who are there, who have coached him, who have played with him, are not surprised at all from what they've seen. In fact, I'll tell you what one source in Buffalo said to me about him. 'Loved to blame everyone else, he sucked last year. We were all surprised when he got a big deal. Not a competitor. He has no dog in him.'"'
'But people forget that Frazier’s defenses also ranked in the top eight in yards allowed three times when he was Vikings defensive coordinator. They also led the league in run defense twice.'
'Mabin's promotion to the active roster comes with the Bills listing three defensive backs as questionable to play. Starting cornerback E.J. Gaines is nursing a groin injury, while backup Shareece Wright has a back injury. Staring safety Micah Hyde is dealing with a knee injury.'
'QB Tyrod Taylor passed for TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ rating.'
'Reluctantly, I take the Bengals to win the game — even after selecting the Bills to win on the latest episode of the Bills Beat podcast. The difference between now, and when we recorded it on Thursday afternoon, was that the injury status to starting cornerback E.J. Gaines was not known. '
'“It’s great to have the support, especially from a great town and great organization like Buffalo. Those guys and gals are amazing. I just work hard and play my best game for them."'
'Ultimately, this is going to be a physical, close football game. That favors the Bills because that's exactly the type of game Buffalo has been winning this season. The Bills are accustomed to pulling out close games, which only adds to the toughness Sean McDermott has brought to Buffalo.'
'Sunday, Oct. 8 at 1:00 p.m. E.T.'
'“I’m here to do one job and that’s to play cornerback for the Buffalo Bills, so I’m preparing the same way I’ve prepared in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 even though I wasn’t up,” Mabin told Buffalobills.com. “It’s my job to know our defense. It’s my job to know their offense.”'
'Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes has been downright dangerous all season. With three sacks in four weeks, Hughes has proven to be a quarterback’s nightmare. The Bengals will certainly have their work cut out for them when trying to contain this pass rusher.'
'“They don’t do a ton of stuff, it’s just that they’re really good at what they do. There are some areas where you prepare, and you don’t know the plan half the time because they are moving around and doing different things. These guys are just sound and they are playing really well,” Dalton said.'