Posts Tagged ‘2014 Season’

Buffalo Bills Report Card: 2014 Season-in-Review

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Mario Williams was one of the NFL's best defensive ends once again in 2014. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

Mario Williams was one of the NFL’s best defensive ends once again in 2014. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Paul Banach

The Buffalo Bills put an exclamation point on their first winning season since 2004 with a 17-9 victory over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. in Week 17. The big win not only raised the Bills record to 9-7, but it snapped what had been a 15-game losing streak for Buffalo while playing on the road against New England.

A majority of the Patriots’ best players were on the sidelines by the second half of the game, which can be expected for a playoff team in the last week of the season. With that in mind, we look past the Bills’ season finale and back at the entire 2014 season for this week’s team grades.

As if you weren’t already aware, the defense was able to create havoc all year and really anchored this team, which led to excellent grades for many of its players. On the other side of the ball, the offense as a whole struggled most of the season, even though some players were able to finish up with good overall marks.

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Kyle Orton Retiring After One Year as Buffalo Bills Quarterback

Monday, December 29th, 2014
After one season as Buffalo Bills quarterback and 10 NFL seasons total, Kyle Orton is retiring from the league. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

After one season as Buffalo Bills quarterback and 10 NFL seasons total, Kyle Orton is retiring from the league. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

If you were distressed over the possibility of Kyle Orton being the Buffalo Bills quarterback once again in 2015, those fears can now be put to rest. The 10-year NFL veteran announced his decision to retire from the league Monday.

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Debate: Could Kyle Orton Overtake EJ Manuel as the Buffalo Bills’ Starting Quarterback This Season?

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Should Kyle Orton get a shot to start for the Buffalo Bills this season? Ryan Talbot and Dan Hope debate. (Photo: Jayme Kacin-Oncea — USA Today Sports)

Should Kyle Orton get a shot to start for the Buffalo Bills this season? Ryan Talbot and Dan Hope debate. (Photo: Jayme Kacin-Oncea — USA Today Sports)

This August was supposed to be the preseason of progression for second-year Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel. Instead, he led just two touchdown drives in five games—and both of those came against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive unit composed entirely of backups—and continued struggling to find any rhythm with the Bills’ first-team offense.

Despite his underwhelming rookie season and persistent lackluster performance this summer, it remained presumed throughout training camp and the preseason that Manuel was the Bills’ only option to start. Neither Thad Lewis nor Jeff Tuel, the two quarterbacks who had been with Buffalo since last season, gave any hope of being an upgrade under center. That perception has started to change, however, since the Bills signed veteran Kyle Orton on Saturday.

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Kiko Alonso’s “Significant” Knee Injury Could Affect Entire Buffalo Bills Defense

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

After a phenomenal rookie year, Kiko Alonso is expected to miss the Bills’ entire 2014 season with a knee injury. (Photo: Melina Vastola — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

On the field for every Buffalo Bills defensive play in 2013, Kiko Alonso won’t see a single snap in 2014.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley announced Tuesday night that linebacker Kiko Alonso, the Pro Football Writers of America’s choice for Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, suffered a knee injury while working out in Oregon.

“We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it might be significant,” Whaley said of Alonso’s knee injury in his statement.

Both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport have reported that Alonso has a torn ACL. Should that be the official diagnosis, Alonso will almost certainly be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Literally an every-down player as Buffalo’s middle linebacker in 2013, Alonso was set to move to weakside linebacker this season as the Bills move to a 4-3 based defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. What almost certainly wasn’t going to change, however, was Alonso’s status as the star and leader of the Bills’ linebacker group.

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What Will 2014 Buffalo Bills Defense Look Like with New Coaches, Existing Personnel?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

What will the Buffalo Bills defense look like under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in 2014? We can take a look back at 2013 for some ideas. (Photo: Tim Fuller — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Outside of a few key players, the only constant for the Buffalo Bills defense since 2011 has been its inconstancy. As the Bills go into the 2014 season with their fourth defensive coordinator in as many seasons, that will continue to be the case.

Unlike the previous two seasons, however, this year’s change came not because the Bills defense needed it, but because it was really good. Mike Pettine was hired as Cleveland Browns head coach after just one seasons as Bills defensive coordinator, in which the Buffalo defense ranked second in the NFL in sacks, tied for sixth in the league in takeaways, 10th in total defense and as the league’s fourth-most efficient defense by Football Outsiders.

In total, the Bills lost five members of last year’s defensive coaching staff to the Browns, but they did a great job restacking the deck. In new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson and linebackers coach Fred Pagac, the Bills added three highly-respected defensive minds with a combined 48 years of NFL coaching experience.

With the coaching shuffle finally complete in Buffalo (at least it seems to be), the new Bills coaching staff should already be at work constructing Buffalo’s defensive scheme for 2014.

What will that defense ultimately look like?

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