Posts Tagged ‘AFC East’

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

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

Sunday, 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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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: Week 17 Live Game Thread

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

LeGarrette Blount gashed the Bills for 334 total yards Sunday. (Photo: Winslow Townson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Final Thoughts:

Three hundred thirty-four yards. How on Earth does a professional football team give up 334 yards to one player? It’s difficult, but the Bills pulled off the feat on Sunday. Was it a squirmy player like Julian Edelman? No. What about a jack of all trades like Shane Vereen? Not him either.

LeGarrette Blount, a 250-pound bruising running back, was the man who accounted for the yards. Blount had 24 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He also accounted for 145 yards on two kick returns Sunday.

It’s inexcusable regardless of the elements. For as much praise as defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has received, he also needs to be held accountable for the rushing yards his defense gave up this season. Overall, Pettine did more good than bad, but the run defense needs to be looked at and upgraded in the offseason.

As for the kickoff returns, that falls on special teams coordinator Danny Crossman. When the Bills hired Crossman, I remember Lions fans jumping for joy. After one season, I see why. Marrone’s hiring of Crossman was by far his worst hire. Marrone and Crossman might be friends, but there is no reason for Crossman to return in 2014.

The game itself wasn’t great for the Bills, but they did themselves no favors. The Patriots fumbled the ball four times on Sunday and each time New England recovered the ball.

Offensively, mistakes did the Bills in.

Thad Lewis did a nice job against the Patriots, especially considering the elements. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown. His biggest gaffes were an early fumble and a bad quarterback sneak. The Bills did score a field goal after the fumble, so Lewis only had one really costly play.

Spiller and Jackson accounted for 165 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Bills.

Mistakes by Buffalo’s wide receivers and tight ends were most costly for the Bills offense on Sunday. Scott Chandler had a big drop in the first quarter that would have converted a first down and put the Bills in field goal range. T.J. Graham, the team’s leading receiver on Sunday, had a pass bounce off of his mid-section on a 4th and 2 play.

In the offseason, Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett need to work on Buffalo’s red zone offense. The team was held to far too many field goals this season.

The 2013 Bills season is in the books with another 6-10 record. The team had a strong draft and made some good moves in free agency and through its trade with the Indianapolis Colts for outside linebacker Jerry Hughes. If the team can repeat that process in 2014, the Bills have a chance to emerge as a playoff contender.

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Buffalo Bills Play Best Football of the Season in Week 16 Win vs. Miami Dolphins

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Kyle Williams and the Buffalo Bills defense had seven sacks Sunday. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

For the most part, everything seemed to be in the Miami Dolphins’ favor going into their Week 16 game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Coming off a Week 15 victory against the New England Patriots, the Dolphins were 8-6 and in serious contention for an AFC playoff spot. The Bills, meanwhile, were 5-9, had been eliminated from AFC playoff contention in Week 15 and game into the game without three key injured starters, including starting quarterback EJ Manuel.

The Bills and backup quarterback Thad Lewis, however, had the Dolphins’ number this season. In Week 7, while Manuel was sidelined with an LCL sprain in his right knee, Lewis got his first career win as an NFL starting quarterback when Buffalo clawed out a 23-21 victory over the Dolphins in Miami. On Sunday, with Lewis back in the lineup again and Manuel sidelined with a left knee sprain, the Bills had an absolutely dominant effort, a 19-0 shutout in their final home game of the season.

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First Downs and Flags: Buffalo Bills Bounce Back vs. Division Rival New York Jets

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Marquise Goodwin continued to perform well as the Buffalo Bills passing offense had one of his best games of the season Sunday. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: John Maher

The Buffalo Bills went into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets coming off their worst showing of the season in a Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After nothing had worked well against the Steelers for the Bills offense and quarterback EJ Manuel, all eyes were on the quarterback and the Bills offense as it was set to go against a strong New York Jets defense in the Bills’ first AFC East rematch of the season.

The Jets beat the Bills 27-20 in Week 3, but Sunday’s game went much differently, with the Bills blowing the Jets out for a 37-14 victory. Things did not look good for Manuel in the days leading up to the game as the Bills’ top two receivers, Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson, were ruled out with injuries. This left second-year T.J. Graham, rookie Marquise Goodwin, inexperienced Chris Hogan and underused Marcus Easley to serve as Buffalo’s receiving corps Sunday.

Even with those injuries and swirling gusts at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills scored their highest point total of the season Sunday.

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