Posts Tagged ‘Midseason Review’

Looking Back to Move Forward: Storylines of the First Half of the Buffalo Bills’ Season

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

There have been many impressive young players for the Buffalo Bills this season, but none more promising than middle linebacker Kiko Alonso. (Photo: Ron Schwane — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

Sitting at three wins and five losses at the midpoint of the season, the overall numbers might not seem to be working in the favor of the Buffalo Bills, yet it seems clear the Bills are generally moving in the right direction. Of the team’s five losses, three of them were by seven points or less — including two on game-winning field goals — and one, against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5, came when undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel was the only option to finish the game at quarterback after EJ Manuel suffered an LCL sprain that has kept him out ever since.

The new coaching staff led by Doug Marrone, and general manager Doug Whaley, have acquitted themselves well. Even with a losing record, there is more reason for optimism with the Bills than there has in the past. But, as I learned in history class: if you don’t study your past, you’re destined to repeat it, which means it’s time to look back at the Bills’ first half and see what mistakes they can learn from to make positive progress.

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Making the Grade: Which Buffalo Bills Have Rumbled and Stumbled in the First Half of the 2013 Season?

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Kyle Williams has been a star of the Buffalo Bills defense this season. (Photo: Derick E. Hingle — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills have reached the midpoint of their season and have a 3-5 record. The record itself is somewhat deceiving of their season to date, as the Bills have given every team they have played a competitive game.

Part of the credit for Buffalo’s competitiveness belongs to the team’s coaching staff, especially defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Bills defense has kept the team in many games thanks to the pressure Pettine has dialed up, which has led to sacks and turnovers.

On the other side of the story, Buffalo is starting to close the gap on other teams when it comes to talent. The Bills have added talented players to their roster via the draft and free agency in the past two seasons, while they still have some returning veteran talent including defensive tackle Kyle Williams and running back Fred Jackson, who are the hearts and souls of the defense and offense, respectively. For the first time in years, the Bills seem to have many talented players on both sides of the ball.

Four of the best and four of the worst players on the Bills through the first half of the season are detailed below, as determined in part by each player’s cumulative grades for the season from Pro Football Focus (a subscription is required to access their grades database). Grades are based upon a scale where zero is considered to be average, and players earn positive or negative points based upon their success in completing their assignments or impacting the play on individual plays.

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