Posts Tagged ‘Nathaniel Hackett’

Monday Reaction: Coaching Let Down Buffalo Bills as Much as EJ Manuel in Loss to Houston Texans

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Doug Marrone and the Bills coaching staff need to reconsider their offensive strategy after Sunday's loss to the Texans. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

Doug Marrone and the Bills coaching staff need to reconsider their offensive strategy after Sunday’s loss to the Texans. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Josh Cornwall

Sunday afternoon was the first time in a long while I have not been able to watch a Buffalo Bills game live. Sitting at an outdoor wedding reception for a friend, phone on lap and scrolling for occasional game updates isn’t the most ideal way to keep track, but nonetheless gets the job done in the short term.

I began to make the three-ish hour trip back to my home in the Boston area right after Manuel’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, with the hope that the Bills would find a way to pull out a seemingly sloppy contest in Houston. A short 30 minutes later, stuck on I-84 in Connecticut, the bad news trickled out of the local ESPN Radio syndicate that a late EJ Manuel interception sealed a six-point win for the Texans.

Losses against teams the Bills should be able to beat are always tough to take and the two-hour stewing over the remainder of the car ride was full of angry thoughts regarding the status of the offense.

When I flipped on NFL Game Rewind on Monday morning, my expectation was to have my reactions to ESPN Gamecast be affirmed by bad throws and missed plays. My Twitter feed was full of EJ Manuel-related angst—mine included—and typical bad-loss hot takes only generated by fans of a beleaguered franchise. My expectation was to see an absolute mess of a game, but the mistakes weren’t aren’t as unfixable as the angry sports fanatic in me wanted to believe.

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Baby Steps for Buffalo Bills in Week 15 Win vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

EJ Manuel had three total touchdowns and led the Bills to their first win since the bye week against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. (Photo: Melina Vastola — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills (5-9) are not going to get any overwhelming praise for winning against the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) Sunday. Their win came against a team that still ranks among the league’s worst, and even so it didn’t come easily, requiring two late holds by the Buffalo defense to preserve a 27-20 advantage.

Nonetheless, any win is a good win at this point in the season for the Buffalo Bills.
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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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Discussion: What’s Wrong With the Buffalo Bills Offense?

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

EJ Manuel and the Buffalo offense are struggling this season. (Photo: Charles LeClaire — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills’ hopes of making the NFL playoffs in Doug Marrone’s first year as head coach have been all but eliminated after Buffalo fell to 3-7 with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and the poor play of the offense has been the biggest reason why. While the appearance that the unit is going nowhere fast became clear when the Buffalo offense mustered just three points and 147 yards of offense in the first 55 minutes of the 23-10 loss to Pittsburgh, the Bills have left many close games on the table this season thanks to their offensive failures.

Both sustaining drives and finishing drives has been a problem for the Bills, whose offenses has been one of the league’s least efficient. They rank 28th in the NFL by scoring on only 27.8 percent of their offensive drives, and 29th in the NFL with only 4.7 yards gained per offensive play, according to Pro Football Reference. They rank 30th in the NFL with touchdowns on only 42.9 percent of their red-zone opportunities, and 27th in the league in offensive touchdowns with 18 in 10 games, according to TeamRankings.com.

While the defense has had its ups and downs as well, it has held its own for the most part, allowing just 24 touchdowns in 10 games. While there have been 23 points scored against the Bills in each of their seven losses, there have only been more than 27 scored against the Bills twice. The defense’s worst performance came when it allowed five touchdowns to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 — in two of those losses, against the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills’ opponent scored multiple non-offensive touchdowns.

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First Downs and Flags: Bills Lose Third Straight in EJ Manuel’s Lackluster Return

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Not much went well for the Buffalo Bills offense on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo: Charles LeClaire — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: John Maher

Quarterback EJ Manuel made his return for the Buffalo Bills, after missing the past four games due to a LCL sprain in Week 5, to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.  After watching practice squad promotion turned starting quarterback Thad Lewis play for three games, and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel start in Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Bills fans were excited to see Manuel back on the field.

Coming into this week, the Bills stood at 3-6 and were looking to make a second-half push for the playoffs if they could start with a win against the Steelers.

On paper, the Bills held statistical advantages on both sides of the ball.  On offense, the Bills rank seventh in the league with 140.7 rushing yards per game, while the Steelers rank 29th with 127.2 rushing yards allowed per game. On defense, the Bills rank second in the NFL with 33 total sacks, while the Steelers have allowed 36 sacks, tied for the NFL’s most through Week 10.

The Bills defense exploited this advantage, finishing the game with four sacks on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and nine total tackles for loss, but the Bills rushing offense struggled, finishing the game with 95 yards on the ground, their third-smallest number this year.

The story of the game, as Dan Hope explained in his postgame column, was the dreadful performance of Manuel and the entire Bills offense.

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