Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week Four: Amari Cooper vs. Vernon Hargreaves Among Week’s Marquee Matchups

September 18th, 2014
Amari Cooper will be one of the top prospects to watch this week when Alabama plays Florida. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

Amari Cooper will be one of the top prospects to watch this week when Alabama plays Florida. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

I cautioned last week that college football Week 3 was when we could see some letdowns. That rang true as USC, Virginia Tech, and Louisville all lost to unranked opponents while No. 6-ranked Georgia fell to No. 24 South Carolina. As more and more conference games are featured on a weekly basis, the importance of avoiding letdowns is at a premium for Football Bowl Subdivision teams wanting to find themselves in the playoffs at season’s end.

An improved slate of games in Week 4 presents some exciting matchups for NFL hopefuls. Putting quality game tape out for scouts is imperative for players looking to be selected in the 2015 draft. There are many players with opportunities to do that this upcoming week.

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C.J. Spiller, Sammy Watkins, Dominant Defense Lead Buffalo Bills to Win Over Miami Dolphins

September 14th, 2014
Against the Dolphins, Sammy Watkins played like a No. 4 overall pick should. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

Against the Dolphins, Sammy Watkins played like a No. 4 overall pick should. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Capping off what might go down as one of the greatest weeks in franchise history, the Buffalo Bills outplayed the Miami Dolphins on offense, defense and special teams on Sunday to secure a 29-10 victory and improve their record for the season to 2-0.

Aside from the team’s struggle to score touchdowns in the red zone, just about everything else went right for the Bills on Sunday. Solid play by all three of their units, combined with some costly mistakes for the Dolphins special teams, allowed Buffalo to control the field position battle throughout the game.

Football is a matchup-oriented game, and this was a matchup, against a team the Bills swept last season, that favored Buffalo from the beginning. While the Bills ranked second in the NFL in sacks in 2013, the Dolphins gave up the most in the league and have an offensive line of five new starters still coming together as a unit.

Yet while the pressure generated by the Bills defensive front in this game was one key factor in Buffalo’s victory, there are also plenty of other positives to take away from the Bills’ latest triumph over their division rival.

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2014 NFL Week 2: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, Live Analysis

September 14th, 2014
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (No. 99) and slot cornerback Nickell Robey (No. 37) had reasons to celebrate their play Sunday. (Photo: Robert Mayer — USA Today Sports)

The Bills swept the Dolphins in 2013. Can they extend their winning streak over Miami to three? (Photo: Robert Mayer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Final thoughts:

Buffalo was dominant in their home opener over the Miami Dolphins winning 29-10. Offensively, EJ Manuel was efficient for the second straight week, and while the running game struggled, C.J. Spiller was able to rip off one long 47 yard run.

Miami came out in the second half behind 9-0 and made some terrific adjustments. After Miami scored on their first possession of the second half, Buffalo responded via special teams. Spiller returned a kickoff 102 yards. After two or three impressive drives, Miami fizzled out.

Sammy Watkins was the star of the game among Buffalo’s playmakers. He was targeted 11 times and caught 8 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. It was Watkins’ first NFL touchdown and first 100 yard game in his young career.

On the line, Seantrel Henderson performed well against Cameron Wake. He received TE help but did had a terrific game.

Defensively, Buffalo’s line recorded sacks and batted passes. It was a terrific performance from the front four.

Nigel Bradham looked outstanding in his first game of the season and had quite a few impressive hits. The run defense held Miami to 80 yards rushing.

All in all, a great week for the Bills. Next up? The San Diego Chargers.

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Fan’s Perspective: Buffalo Bills Memories to Continue with New Owners Terry and Kim Pegula

September 12th, 2014
Thanks to new team owner Terry Pegula (center), the Bills' future in Buffalo is secure. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

Thanks to new team owner Terry Pegula (center), the Bills’ future in Buffalo is secure. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

I bought a jar of Cheez Whiz on Tuesday for the first time in years.

News had just broken that the Buffalo Bills reached a sale agreement with Terry and Kim Pegula to become the second owners in the team’s history.

The Pegulas were the favorites all along to be chosen as the next owners of the Bills, but nothing was definite… until Tuesday.

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Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 3: USC’s Leonard Williams Emerging As One of Nation’s Best 2015 NFL Draft Prospects

September 11th, 2014
Leonard Williams' standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he's a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams’ standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he’s a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

By Saturday morning, every team in college football will have taken the field. The season is in full swing. Oregon and USC secured big early-season victories this past weekend over Michigan State and Stanford, but most teams have yet to face a formidable conference opponent.

Even though Week 3 doesn’t offer the marquee matchups of previous weeks, every game counts and NFL scouts are always watching. This is a week highly ranked teams need to guard against a letdown loss.

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