Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bills’ Category

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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Takeaways: Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers, 2014 NFL Preseason Week 1

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Sammy Watkins made his first three catches as a Buffalo Bill on Friday night as the Bills passing offense made progress. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard — USA Today Sports)

Sammy Watkins made his first three catches as a Buffalo Bill on Friday night as the Bills passing offense made progress. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills went into Friday night’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers with one distinct advantage: while the contest was the first game action of the year for the Panthers, the Bills had already strapped on the pads Sunday night for the Hall of Fame Game against the New York Giants. The Bills parlayed that advantage into a 20-18 victory.

The team can some pride in its win, but it shouldn’t take any time to celebrate. Preseason victories, though better than losses, are essentially meaningless. There are still many things the Bills need to be doing better to consistently win games in the regular season. However, there were some promising areas of progress in Friday’s game, especially in the play of quarterback EJ Manuel and the Bills offense.

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2014 NFL Preseason Week 1: Live Analysis of Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers

Friday, August 8th, 2014
After averting a disastrous interception with a pass interference penalty, EJ Manuel made two plays to lead the Buffalo Bills to their first victory of the season. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills will take the field on Friday night to battle the Carolina Panthers in the preseason.(Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills held on late to defeat the Carolina Panthers 20-18.

Buffalo has plenty to feel encouraged about following the game. First, EJ Manuel rebounded from his first preseason game and looked confident against Carolina. He finished 9-of-13 for 96 yards and looked to stretch the field. Manuel found Chris Hogan for a 32 yard gain and Mike Williams for a 28 yard pass. He wasn’t perfect as he did stare down his receivers at times, but it was a positive step in the right direction.

Buffalo’s running backs also performed well against the Panthers. Buffalo’s top four backs ran 28 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Brown looked elusive but didn’t shy from contact. Anthony Dixon also looked very athletic and grinded forward for some tough yards.

Sammy Watkins also recorded his first three receptions against the Panthers. I’m guessing he won’t appear on “Overreaction Monday” on ESPN this week.

The starting defense also looked great against the run. It’s only the preseason, but it’s encouraging to see how strong Buffalo’s defense looks against the run based upon their struggles in 2013.

All in all, the Buffalo Bills looked solid on both sides of the ball.

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