Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bills’ Category

Updated Buffalo Bills Depth Chart and 53-Man Roster Projection With Two Preseason Games to Go

Monday, August 18th, 2014
Mike Williams has seemingly established himself as a starting wide receiver this preseason. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

Mike Williams has seemingly established himself as a starting wide receiver this preseason. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

It’s time for the Buffalo Bills to start thinking about cutting their roster down to size.

Their preseason is more than halfway over, as they have played three exhibition games and only two more to go before the regular season begins. On Aug. 26, the Bills will have to trim their roster from 90 players to 75. Just four days later, the Bills will only be able to have 53 players—the regular-season limit—on their active roster.

In two weeks, the Bills will only have 53 players on their active roster. Over the course of their contests against the New York Giants (Hall of Fame Game), Carolina Panthers (Aug. 8) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Saturday), it has become more clear who those 53 players should be, and which of those players should be leading the depth charts at their respective positions.

After the team’s release of its first unofficial depth chart prior to the Hall of Fame Game, I took my first stab at projecting who the team’s 53 players would be after its final cuts. Going into Week 3—arguably the most important and telling week of the preseason—some depth charts have been reconfigured and four players who were previously left outside now look like they will be sticking around.

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Takeaways: Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2014 NFL Preseason Week 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
EJ Manuel and the Bills offense controlled the ball Saturday night but had trouble finding the end zone. (Photo: Jason Bridge — USA Today Sports)

EJ Manuel and the Bills offense controlled the ball Saturday night but had trouble finding the end zone. (Photo: Jason Bridge — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The Buffalo Bills fell to 1-2 in the preseason after dropping Saturday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 19-16. A lack of sound situational football, particularly on offense, kept the Bills from winning despite some positive play from their defense. The Bills only punted twice in 13 offensive series, while they controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes and ran 35 more plays on offense, but they only scored one touchdown.

The biggest positive of the game for the Bills came in escaping with no major injuries, including No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins, who left the game in the first quarter with a rib injury but was reported to be “fine” by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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2014 NFL Preseason Week 2: Live Analysis of Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
(Keith Srakocic, AP)

The Bills and Steelers will face off in preseason action after holding joint practices this week. (Keith Srakocic, AP)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Buffalo Bills 19-16 after Shaun Suisham’s gimme field goal to end the game.

The game itself started poorly for the Bills. Ben Roethlisberger threw for two touchdown passes while EJ Manuel was efficient, but unwilling to throw the ball down the field. The starting offense was able to move the ball very well against the Steelers, but the starting offense couldn’t punch the ball in for a touchdown. Manuel and company settled for six points and were stopped twice on 4th down in the first half.

Manuel’s backups, Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel, didn’t exactly look great either. The two combined to go 6-of-15 for 66 yards and an interception. Both quarterbacks were able to scramble successfully at times, but overall neither impressed.

Defensively, the Bills once again looked dominant against the run. Pittsburgh was held to 35 yards on 18 carries. The biggest weakness of the 2013 Buffalo Bills, has been one of the team’s biggest strengths thus far in the preseason.

Landon Cohen continued his dominant play in the preseason by blowing up a running play for a loss and also recovering a fumble recovery and rumbling down field for 59 yards. He’s been extremely quick off the snap and will be very difficult for this coaching staff to cut. It should be noted that Alan Branch didn’t enter the game until the midway point of the 4th quarter, so the veteran may be at risk of being cut.

Late in the game, Cyrus Kouandjio, Buffalo’s second round pick, entered. At the end of the game he missed two consecutive blocks that led to Jeff Tuel sacks. The second led to a strip sack which gave the Steelers the ball at Buffalo’s one yard line. Kouandjio will make the roster as he was Buffalo’s second round pick, but his play has been disastrous thus far.

The best news of the evening is that Sammy Watkins’ injury is not serious. Early in the game, Watkins was hit in the ribs. He left the game and did not return. Various media outlets reported that the injury was not serious.

With two preseason games remaining, Buffalo’s starting offense needs to score touchdowns and build confidence to enter the regular season. EJ Manuel played better at home in 2013, so hopefully that trend will continue with the final two preseason games.

 

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Buffalo Bills Running Backs: Who Should Be the Present and Future?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
The early success of Bryce Brown this preseason shows that the Bills have plenty of options at the running back position. (Photo: Sam Sharpe — USA Today Sports)

The early success of Bryce Brown this preseason shows that the Bills have plenty of options at the running back position. (Photo: Sam Sharpe — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

For most teams, assembling a solid one-two punch of running backs with complementary skill sets is a key factor to offensive success. The Buffalo Bills have done even better, as they have built a four-deep stable of backs that is arguably the deepest and most talented in all of the NFL. The combination of C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon gives the Bills four ballcarriers that are capable of being feature backs or at the very least, solid complimentary backs for most NFL teams.

What are the Bills supposed to do with all of this talent at running back this season and beyond? Here’s what we do know: The Bills want to run the football and when you think they are done running the football, they want to run it some more. Last season, the Bills led the entire league with 546 rushing attempts, 37 more than the next closest team. With an influx of running back talent and power-blocking offensive lineman, it certainly appears the plan is to run the ball as much if not more this season.

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Progress Report: Can the Buffalo Bills’ Rookie Offensive Linemen Win Starting Jobs?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014
After an impressive start to his preseason, Seantrel Henderson could contend for the Bills' starting right tackle job as left tackle Cordy Glenn returns from illness. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

After an impressive start to his preseason, Seantrel Henderson could contend for the Bills’ starting right tackle job as left tackle Cordy Glenn returns from illness. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The Buffalo Bills selected three offensive linemen in the 2014 NFL Draft: Cyrus Kouandjio, Cyril Richardson and Seantrel Henderson. It appears that all three have the opportunity to carry significant roles as rookies this season. Along with veteran guard Chris Williams, the Bills added four linemen this offseason that are expected to find their way onto the 53-man roster.

Having already played in the Hall of Fame Game against the New York Giants and on Friday against the Carolina Panthers, the Bills have had two preseason games and will still play in three more, which gives the players more opportunities to demonstrate what they are capable of on the football field. Kouandjio, Richardson and Henderson all currently project as backups, but could they work their way into the starting lineup as the preseason progresses? We can take a look at what each of them has done so far and how each could fit into the team’s plans up front.

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