Posts Tagged ‘Playoffs’

Strong Defense, Next Five Games Hold Key to Playoffs for Buffalo Bills After Win vs. Vikings

Monday, October 20th, 2014
The Buffalo Bills are in position to potentially make a playoff run, but coach Doug Marrone knows improvement is necessary. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

The Buffalo Bills are in position to potentially make a playoff run, but coach Doug Marrone knows improvement is necessary. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Josh Cornwall

After seeing on ESPN Gametracker that the Buffalo Bills had turned the ball over three times in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings—only seeing live the Bills’ fourth turnover when Kyle Orton fumbled on a strip sack—I headed back to my apartment just north of Boston with the radio turned off, hoping as a fan of the Bills that they would somehow mount a miraculous comeback. I snuck a peek at my phone at a rest stop on the Mass Pike and saw the game update “FINAL: MIN 16 – BUF 17.”

It’s almost hard to believe that there were reasons for Bills fans to be happy or even quasi-happy about the outcome of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. While the Bills ended up victorious when Sammy Watkins caught a game-winning touchdown from Kyle Orton with just a tick left on the clock to give Buffalo a 17-16 win, questions remain about the team’s ability to contend for the playoffs this season.

How are the Bills supposed to feel after a game like that? What are the expectations for the final nine games? Have they changed?

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Why the Buffalo Bills’ Big Move for Sammy Watkins is Worth It

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Buffalo went big for Sammy Watkins and expect the move to pay immediate dividends. (Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

On Thursday night, the Buffalo Bills did something out of the norm. They traded up.

In the team’s history, the Bills have only traded up two times from their first-round slot to get a player of their choosing. Both times, the move was for a Clemson wide receiver getting drafted. In 1982, Buffalo traded up for WR Perry Tuttle; in 2014, Sammy Watkins got the call.

Trading up is a dangerous gamble in the NFL, but this trade made sense on multiple levels.

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Beyond the Blame Game, Loss to Atlanta Falcons Shows Buffalo Bills Don’t Belong in Playoffs

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Scott Chandler’s fumble cost the Buffalo Bills a chance to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, but it was far from the only reason for Sunday’s loss. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

While the Buffalo Bills have lost eight games, including two in overtime and four by seven points or less, it seems no loss this season (at least judging off the tweets in my timeline and in my mentions) has been a tougher pill for Buffalo fans to swallow than the team’s 34-31 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

This sentiment from the Bills fan base comes understandably, both because of the implications and manner of the loss. As the defeat drops Buffalo to 4-8 on the season, it puts a stake through the heart of the Bills’ slim playoff hopes. But the loss might be an especially tough pill to swallow because this was not a game Buffalo lost decidedly, but rather let slip away on the verge of victory.

As has been the case in many losses this season for the Bills, late-game penalties and mistakes proved costly. But it is unfair and inaccurate to pinpoint blame for Buffalo’s loss, and furthermore its failure to make the postseason, on those responsible for calling those penalties and making those mistakes.

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Breaking Down the 9-Way Race for the 6th AFC Playoff Spot

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The Buffalo Bills’ Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers could be a deciding factor in the AFC wild card race. (Photo: Charles LeClaire — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

At 4-7 and trailing in the AFC East by four games, making the playoffs isn’t supposed to be considered realistic for the Buffalo Bills.

While there have been 10 NFL playoff teams since 2007 with seven or more losses, only five of those teams have been wild card teams. And there is certainly a big difference between teams who finished the year 9-7 or even 8-8, and expecting the Bills, who have not won consecutive games yet this season, to put together a significant winning streak to secure a playoff berth.

Coming out of Buffalo’s Week 12 bye, however, the possibility should not be ruled out. And that isn’t just blind optimism from a Bills perspective. In the American Football Conference, in which only five teams have winning records, there are still nine teams with a realistic of being the AFC’s second wild card and sixth playoff team.

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Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets: Week 11 Live Game Thread

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson may have a heavy workload based upon the forecast for today’s game. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills dominated the New York Jets on Sunday to improve to 4-7 as they enter their bye week.

Buffalo’s defense gave Geno Smith nightmares on Sunday and the Jets quarterback finished the day 8 for 23 for 103 yards and three interceptions.

Jairus Byrd recorded two of the interceptions and Da’Norris Searcy returned Smith’s third interception for a touchdown.

Smith also lost a fumble after getting sacked by Kyle Williams. The Bills sacked the Geno Smith four times on Sunday and pressured him multiple times. It was Buffalo’s best defensive performance of the season.

Offensively, the Bills struggled to move the ball on the ground with their running backs. Fred Jackson led the team with 34 yards on 12 carries. C.J. Spiller only had 6 yards on 13 carries.

Whereas the Bills struggled on the ground, EJ Manuel found himself having his best game as a pro. He went 20 of 28 on the day for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Manuel was accurate all day and had deep passes go for touchdowns to T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin. The pass to Graham was underthrown, but T.J. stopped and made a great play on the ball. Goodwin’s catch was perfectly thrown and caught in stride by the speedy receiver.

Buffalo also had contributions on the ground or in the passing game from Frank Summers, Scott Chandler and Chris Hogan.

On special teams, Dan Carpenter was excellent kicking in tough conditions. Carpenter went 3 for 3 on kicks of 40 yards or more. Brian Moorman wasn’t as great punting averaging 33.3 yards on six punts. His average was brought down by a two yard punt after Moorman dropped a snap.

The Bills may not have been perfect on Sunday, but it was pretty close. The Bills enter their bye week 4-7 and 2-2 in the AFC East.

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