Posts Tagged ‘Live Game Thread’

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 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Week 15 Live Game Thread

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

EJ Manuel only has two more opportunities to win a road game. Sunday’s game against Jacksonville may be his best chance. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The proverbial monkey is off of EJ Manuel’s back. Manuel won his first road game of the season, leading the Bills to a 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills moved to 5-9 on the season with two divisional games remaining.

Manuel looked bad in the first quarter, but improved as the game wore on. He finished the game going 17/24 for 193 yards two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one interception. Manuel also added 37 yards on the ground.

Buffalo’s running game was also solid today against the Jaguars. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller combined for 30 carries for 147 yards and fullback Frank Summers added 4 carries for 14 yards.

In the receiving game, Robert Woods was the star of the day catching five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Scott Chandler was the second leading receiver with 54 yards on five receptions. The aforementioned Summers added a 1 yard touchdown reception late for the Bills.

Stevie Johnson was noticeably absent as he caught one pass for four yards.

Defensively, the Bills made another no name running back look great as Jordan Todman rushed the ball 25 times for 109 yards. Todman also added 44 yards on four receptions.

Chad Henne had an up and down game going 21 of 36 for 237 yards while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. With 3:21 remaining in the game, Henne threw an interception to Stephon Gilmore in the end zone.

Buffalo added five sacks and forced three fumbles, one of which came as Denard Robinson was approaching the end zone.

While the victory means little in the grand scheme of things, it was nice to see Manuel get his first road win of the season. His quarterback play has more twists and turns than a roller-coaster, but today Manuel played well enough for the Bills to get the victory.
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Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 14 Live Game Thread

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

EJ Manuel will attempt to win his first game on the road in 2013 against Tampa Bay. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Final Thoughts:

There’s not much to say about Buffalo’s pathetic performance today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Offensively, EJ Manuel had his worst outing of the year. The quarterback threw four interceptions and attempted to dink and dunk his way down the field. While Manuel wasn’t at fault for all of his interceptions, Manuel’s up and down season season hit a new low today.

Buffalo’s offensive line didn’t do Manuel and the Bills any favors either. Manuel found himself getting hit quite a bit as the Buccaneers sacked him six times. Multiple lineman were called for penalties on the day, including Eric Wood who was the weak link on the line. Wood’s biggest gaffe of the game was getting called for holding on a screen pass that C.J. Spiller took 83 yards for the touchdown. The holding penalty was especially bad as Spiller was past the player that Wood decided to hold.

Spiller and Jackson didn’t receive much help from the line and each struggled in the run game. Spiller was held to 22 yards on 11 carries and Jackson saw five carries for 12 yards.

Defensively, the Bills did a fairly good job in the second half. Unfortunately, the first half was a different story. The defense gave up an 80 yard run to Bobby Rainey on his first carry of the day and a wobbly 38 yard pass found itself in Vincent Jackson’s arms for another big play touchdown.

While those two plays were especially bad, the defense did pretty well the rest of the way. Tampa Bay had excellent field position all game thanks to Manuel’s interceptions, Leodis McKelvin’s muffed punt and many stalled drives.

For the game, Mike Glennon was held to 90 yards passing and Rainey was rather ineffective for the remainder of the game (21 carries for 47 yards).

The loss at least gives closure to any Bills fans holding out hope for a playoff appearance. Buffalo is now 4-9 and looking for it’s first road win under EJ Manuel.

 

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Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Week 10 Live Game Thread

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

C.J. Spiller should see heavy rotation against the Steelers run defense, one of the NFL’s worst. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills had their worst game of the season on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Buffalo struggled to move the ball until the Steelers went into a prevent defense to end the game. The 23-10 loss moves Buffalo to 3-7 on the year.

Buffalo was pretty much out of the playoff picture entering the game, but this loss sealed the deal. The Bills need to focus on developing their younger players in their final six games.

Today, Buffalo’s biggest problem was their offense. EJ Manuel, making his first start since Week 5, looked out of sync all game. He finished the game going 22 of 39 for 155 yards. Manuel didn’t attempt to stretch the field much during the game, and in many situations he lead his receivers into hard hits. While Thad Lewis may keep the Bills in more games, Buffalo needs to see what they have in Manuel heading into the 2014 season.

Buffalo’s running game wasn’t much better today, but that’s mostly due to the fact that the Steelers stacked the box due to Manuel’s ineffectiveness. Fred Jackson had 55 yards on 12 carries and C.J. Spiller added 23 yards on eight carries.

Defensively, Stephon Gilmore had his roughest outing of the year as he struggled to keep up with Steelers receivers. Roethlisberger wasn’t great but he found a way to complete 18 of 30 passes for 204 yards. In the run game, Le’Veon Bell and Jonathan Dwyer both had success at times.

Overall, today was a game where nothing went right for the Bills. Don’t expect next week’s game against the Jets to be sold out after today’s effort.

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Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints: Week 8 Live Game Thread

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Doug Marrone made a return to New Orleans to face the Saints. (Photo: Brad Mills — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Bills lost 35-17 to the Saints to fall to 3-5, but the team challenged New Orleans. Drew Brees’ stat-line looks impressive, as he went 26-of-34 for 332 yards and five touchdowns. That said, Buffalo’s defense made Brees uncomfortable as he was sacked four times during the game and pressured consistently.

Even in the face of pressure, Brees made impressive throws that moved the chains or in many cases, went for touchdowns. Brees is a franchise quarterback in the NFL and simply played like one today.

In terms of run defense, the Bills stuffed New Orleans for the majority of the game. This is one positive the Bills can take from the game.

It’s never great to give up 35 points, but one score came on a blown coverage, a second on a deep prayer and their first touchdown came after Thad Lewis’ second fumble in Buffalo territory. Overall, the defense impressed me today and a lot of the mistakes they made can be corrected.

Offensively, Thad Lewis made too many mistakes for the Bills to win, but as wrestling announcer Jim Ross would say, “He’s tougher than a $2 steak.” Lewis took multiple hard hits, including two to his helmet. After the first play of the game, I personally believed that Lewis would not be returning. Lewis took a hard shot to the ribs and stayed down for a while following the play. Thad Lewis isn’t a long-term answer at starter, as that’s E.J. Manuel’s job, but he’s one heck of a backup quarterback going forward.

Lewis isn’t the only tough player on Buffalo’s offense. Both Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson played through pain today and deserve to be praised for their efforts. Other players that stood out today were Marquise Goodwin who showed off great hands and Scott Chandler who had a very up and down day. In terms of receiving, Chandler played well, but his blocking led to a free shot on Lewis as well as a holding call that negated a touchdown.

Up next for the Bills are the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Mark it down folks, if C.J. Spiller plays, the Bills beat the Chiefs next week.

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