Buffalo Bills Report Card: Week 11

November 16th, 2014
Chris Hogan's play was one of the only bright spots for the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

Chris Hogan’s play was one of the only bright spots for the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Paul Banach

In a span of just five days, the Buffalo Bills’ playoff hopes went from soaring to now nearly impossible. After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, their latest blow came in a Thursday night loss, 22-9, to the Miami Dolphins. The Bills got outplayed in the second half on both sides of the ball, and couldn’t overcome a couple questionable penalties called against them.

On offense, the struggle continued as Buffalo has now gone nearly two entire games (since the team’s opening drive of its 17-13 loss to Kansas City) without a touchdown. The normally stout defensive unit had an off performance as well, as it had trouble stopping the Dolphins’ quick passing game.

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Buffalo Bills Lose to Miami Dolphins Because It’s Tough to Win When You Can’t Score a Touchdown

November 14th, 2014
Not much went well for Kyle Orton and the Buffalo Bills offense against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. (Photo: Brad Barr — USA Today Sports)

Not much went well for Kyle Orton and the Buffalo Bills offense against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. (Photo: Brad Barr — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills offense started its second half of the season hot, scoring a touchdown on its first possession of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Buffalo hasn’t reached the end zone in nearly 115 minutes of football since.

Already ranked 26th in the NFL in touchdowns per game—and dead last in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage—coming into the week according to TeamRankings.com, the Bills offense reached a new low in futility on Thursday night as it failed to score a single touchdown in a 22-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins that leaves Buffalo, now 5-5 for the season, in a spot from which it is highly unlikely to make the playoffs.

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Continued Red Zone Struggles Define First Half for Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

November 13th, 2014
The red zone offensive gameplan still isn't working for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

The red zone offensive gameplan still isn’t working for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Coming into Week 11, the Miami Dolphins ranked 30th in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage, according to TeamRankings.com, while the Buffalo Bills ranked dead last.

After one half between the teams Thursday night, it doesn’t look like those percentages will be improving.

The Bills and Dolphins each reached the red zone on their first two offensive possessions Thursday night—a total of four drives that expired more than 26 minutes of the first-half clock—and none of them ended with touchdowns.

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Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, 2014 NFL Week 11: Matchups to Watch and Keys to the Game

November 13th, 2014
Jerry Hughes and the Buffalo Bills' pass-rush will look to replicate its success from Week 2 on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

Jerry Hughes and the Buffalo Bills’ pass-rush will look to replicate its success from Week 2 on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Playoff hopes will be on the line for both teams Thursday night when the Buffalo Bills meet the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium (8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network).

The AFC East rivals enter their Week 11 game at 5-4, tied for ninth in the AFC with the San Diego Chargers, and therefore need to make up ground in the wild card race, as both teams are a full two games behind the New England Patriots in the division.

Thursday’s losing team, which will fall to 5-5 and won’t have a head-to-head tiebreaker over Thursday’s winner, is going to be poorly situated for making a run at a playoff berth.

When these two divisional foes met in Week 2, the Buffalo Bills dominated the game and won, 29-10. Much has changed, however, for each of these teams in the past eight weeks. The September matchup gives the Bills reason to be confident that they can achieve victory over Miami again, but they must recognize the new challenges that could come in trying to become just the fourth road team to win on Thursday Night Football this year.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: LSU OT La’el Collins

November 12th, 2014
La'el Collins projects as one of the 2015 NFL draft's top offensive line prospects. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

La’el Collins projects as one of the 2015 NFL draft’s top offensive line prospects. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

At the beginning of the 2014 college football season, there were three offensive tackles that found themselves at the top of many early draft rankings. However, all three have dealt with their own issues and their draft stocks have fallen.

Cedric Ogbuehi, who is following in the footsteps of recent top-six overall draft picks Texas A&M tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews (who have struggled so far in the NFL) has struggled in pass protection. Iowa’s Brandon Scherff has a history of injuries. Stanford junior Andrus Peat has shown that he may be a developmental project and a product of his system than an NFL-ready tackle. These players’ lackluster 2014 seasons could lead to another offensive tackle, LSU’s La’el Collins, shooting up draft boards.

A senior at LSU, Collins has experience playing both guard and tackle in college. According to LSU’s official athletic website, Collins measures in at 6’5″ and weighs 321 pounds. He originally started off at guard until his junior season, when he slid over to left tackle, where he has played the last two years.

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