'Through five games, quarterback Tyrod Taylor has had only 24 completions for 316 yards — an average of 13 yards per reception — to his wide receivers with a mere four TDs and that won’t get it done in a pass-happy league.'
Archives for October 9, 2017
'The crowd of 52,367 at the 65,535-seat stadium appeared to be considerably less than the announced turnout.'
'The Bengals tried, repeatedly, to give them a second road win in a row and the Bills simply refused to take it.'
'“Just trying to take what the defense was giving us,” coach Sean McDermott said when asked after the game whether there was a concerted effort to keep Taylor in the pocket. “We’ve got to take a hard look at the film and learn from it as coaches, as players, and use it to our advantage moving forward.”'
'The receivers were the problem. The Bills' wideouts are a marginal group to begin with, perhaps the worst in the NFL. They were further compromised with Jordan Matthews injured. And when their top receiver, Charles Clay, went out with a knee injury in the first quarter, they were in deep trouble, indeed.'
'Since the NFL started tracking targets in 1992, the lowest percentage of passes to Bills wideouts happened in 2011, when they fielded a roster with the likes of Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, Donald Jones, Naaman Roosevelt, Derek Hagan and Ruvell Martin.'
'They were hearing all sorts of national and local media types (like this type) praising them for a 3-1 start and having the look of a contender. The Bills' defense, which had three takeaways, definitely gives them that look. Their offense? Abysmal.'
'Credibility damage: After grabbing the NFL's attention with last week's victory at Atlanta, prompting many (including me) to call them a contender, the Bills turned right around and laid a big egg against a bad opponent. You can say the Bills were too banged up to succeed, especially after their best offensive weapon, tight end Charles Clay, left the game early with a knee injury. But the Bengals had three turnovers – more than enough for the Bills to come out on top even after Tyrod Taylor's ugly fourth-quarter interception. They couldn't. Now, the Bills, at 3-2, are tied for first in the AFC East with the New England Patriots and New York Jets.'
'But too many times, Taylor took the sack. Too many times, he didn’t feel the pressure behind him. Too many times, he made the wrong call in the pocket.'
'There are a handful of players the Bills simply cannot afford to lose this season. Tight end Charles Clay is on that list, but unfortunately for the Bills, that’s what happened. Clay suffered a left knee injury late in the first quarter after being tackled by Bengals safety Shawn Williams at the end of a 24-yard gain. If Clay’s injury is long term — and seeing him carted off wasn’t a good sign — the Bills will be down to Nick O’Leary, Logan Thomas and little-used Khari Lee at tight end. That’s trouble.'
'If Clay’s absence is long term – McDermott said after the game that “it’s still under evaluation” – the Bills will be down to O’Leary, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee at the position.'
'Who’s going to catch passes? Top wide receiver Jordan Matthews is expected to miss the next couple of weeks after having thumb surgery. If tight end Charles Clay, who suffered a knee injury Sunday, has to miss time, the Bills would be without 46 percent of their season receiving yards … just like they were in the second half against Cincinnati, when they gained 39 yards through the air. Zay Jones has the most yards of active wide receivers, with 66 in five games. Andre Holmes is second with 35. Is this a bad time to mention they really could’ve used Anquan Boldin?'
'What must Tyrod Taylor be thinking right now? How frustrated must he be that the team traded away Sammy Watkins and chose not to re-sign Robert Woods this offseason, sending him into a potential contract year with a group of receivers who look like they belong in the CFL right now? The Bills’ passing attack is painful to watch. Taylor completed three passes to wide receivers Sunday. After tight end Charles Clay went out, the Bills accomplished next to nothing through the air, save for a nice TD grab by Brandon Tate. That Tate is even in the game is a sign of just how dire things are at receiver right now.'
'Let's face it: Even with Jordan Matthews and Clay, the Bills' cast of receivers is among the bottom four in the NFL (with the Jets, Browns and 49ers) if not the worst in the league. Matthews is out indefinitely after thumb surgery.'
'The Bengals' six-time Pro Bowler got the better of the battle against the Bills' No. 1 draft choice. Green caught seven passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 13 times. One could argue the Bengals should have targeted him more, given the fact the Bills were without starting cornerback E.J. Gaines and then lost slot corner Leonard Johnson to a hamstring injury in the second quarter.'
'The Bengals' quarterback made a sharp, 20-yard throw to Green. Bills rookie Tre'Davious White was in tight coverage, but the pass and catch were too precise. Green added 29 yards of run after the catch to get to the Buffalo 4. Cincinnati scored on the next play to take a 17-13 lead, which held up the rest of the fourth quarter.'
'Part of that low total was their inability to convert on third down. The Bills were 6-for-18 on third down Sunday and were 4-for-13 in a loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.'
'That drive showcased the Bills' lack of offensive firepower and was emblematic of their disappointing day. The Bengals added a field goal later and Tyrod Taylor threw an interception on the Bills' following drive, dropping them to 3-2 at the bye week.'
'The Bills created turnovers on the Bengals' first two possessions of the third quarter, both at Green's expense. Jordan Poyer intercepted a pass that bounced straight off Green's hands on their first drive, and Lorenzo Alexander forced a fumble on the next drive, which Poyer recovered.'
'Hyde was able to haul in a tipped pass after Andy Dalton threw too high for A.J. Green. Hyde's fourth interception marked a new career high for him after logging eight in the last four years with the Packers.'
'The early 7-0 deficit marked the Bills' largest of the season. They answered with a 31-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the quarter.'
'“Just keep working, keep working. That’s what you do. Keep working, you learn from the tape, and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to learn, and play better, and we’ve got to coach better. It’s what we do."'
'The Patriots, Jets and Bills tied atop the AFC East, just like we all predicted.'
'But an injury to top receiver Jordan Matthews and a heavy rainstorm during Sunday’s game didn’t make things any easier against the Bengals for Jones, who dropped another ball in the first half today.'
'That led a fan in the stands to attempt to toss beer on Tate. He missed, and wasted his beer, too.'
'When you’re on your Bachelorette Party but can’t miss the Bills Game!'
'Taylor completed 20 of 37 passes, but they went for just 167 yards, and he threw his first interception since opening day on the final possession that effectively ended the game.'
'You could point to a variety of reasons why the Bills lost to a Bengals team that really didn’t deserve to win anymore than Buffalo did and, at times, seemed hellbent on giving the game away with three turnovers and several other gaffes. But the overriding reason for this defeat is that the Bills cannot throw the ball.'
'The Bills had so many opportunities where they could have taken control of this game, and they basically failed at every turn. Two third-quarter turnovers resulted in only three points, and a big punt return by Brandon Tate in the fourth also yielded only a field goal. The defense wasn’t great (388 yards allowed), but that was the unit that kept this a close game. It was about 10 times better than the offense which simply couldn’t get anything done with 221 total yards. It’s bad loss to a team that was highly beatable, but the good news is the Bills are still tied for first in the AFC East at 3-2.'
'“It’s frustrating,” he said. “At the end of the day, when we create three turnovers, we have to find a way to get the ball in the end zone … it’s a tough loss.”'
'Tre’Davious White came into the game leading the league in pass breakups. But this test against A.J. Green was too much to handle at times. On the Bengals’ first drive, Green got behind White for a 77-yard touchdown. White bounced back, though. He played lock down defense for the new few quarters before Green got behind him for another big play that set up a touchdown. Those two catches went for a total of 124 yards and proved to be costly.'
'It's admirable and even somewhat necessary on a day like Sunday for Taylor to say that. He hasn't often taken full blame, but he's now 1-11 in games in which he attempts 30 or more passes. He's 2-16 in games in which the Bills trail by four points. He had the ball in his hand with a chance to win the game twice in the fourth quarter. One of the drives started at the Bengals' 12-yard line, and the Bills settled for three points. The other drive ended with an interception on the third play.'
'"Really nothing," safety Jordan Poyer said. "I truly believe that Tre White is one of the best corners in the NFL. It's A.J. Green. Those guys get paid too. White's one of the hardest workers I've been around. As a rookie, just seeing his growth throughout OTAs, throughout training camp until now. I believe he's one of the best corners in the league. He'll learn from his mistakes. We all will."'
'"Whether it's myself, the reads or a lineman not getting a block or it's a holding call, all those things come to affect us in the running game," McCoy said. "It's not just one particular thing; it's a whole. It's myself and the guys up front. We've got to get it going on a high level, so all the excuses with the wide receiving corps, and this and that, I think, sure, they could help us out as far as taking shots (down the field) and making plays, but from our end, it's us up front and in the backfield. We've got to find a way to get it done."'
'The Bills' high-priced tight end was struggling to put weight on his left leg and had to be carted to the locker room.'
'Tyrod Taylor was under pressure a lot on Sunday, but he also had quite a few missed opportunities. The Bills' quarterback probably had a few chances to scramble on plays, but seemed determined to stay in the pocket. This led to sacks where Taylor didn't feel the pressure around him and some incomplete passes. The quarterback had the chance to be the hero late, but sailed a 3rd down pass for an interception. Taylor moved to 1-11 when attempting over 30 throws in the loss. Taylor can't seem to shine in the big moments.'
'Hughes was sensational in Week 5, earning high marks as both a pass rusher (84.5 pass rushing grade) and in run defense (95.7 run defense grade). The veteran out of TCU tallied six total pressures on 30 pass rush snaps (four hurries and two hits) and all four of his tackles constituted as stops (a stop is a solo tackle that results in a "loss" to the offense given the situation).'
'“Just keep working, keep working. That’s what you do. Keep working, you learn from the tape, and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to learn, and play better, and we’ve got to coach better. It’s what we do.”'
'The six Bills player who decided to kneel last week were wide receiver Kaelin Clay, cornerback Shareece Wright, running back Mike Tolbert, defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and cornerback E.J. Gaines. Gaines and Worthy were inactive for the game against the Bengals.'