Posts Tagged ‘Playoffs’

Can the Buffalo Bills Beat the Green Bay Packers? What Must Happen

Saturday, December 13th, 2014
If the Buffalo Bills are going to win Sunday, they're going to have to find a way to stop this guy. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch — USA Today Sports)

If the Buffalo Bills are going to win Sunday, they’re going to have to find a way to stop this guy. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

It’s not a good week for the Buffalo Bills to desperately need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

While the Bills can be glad to return home, still owning a winning record and still sitting just one game back of a wild card spot, their final game in Orchard Park this year comes against the Green Bay Packers, who own the NFL’s longest active winning streak at five games.

No team in the league has been playing better than Green Bay. The Packers have won nine of their last 10 games, a span in which they have outscored their opponents by 14.4 points per game on average.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been both the catalyst and backbone of the Packers’ success. Having thrown 35 touchdowns this year versus just three interceptions, while he leads the league with 8.78 passing yards per attempt, Rodgers has emerged as the clear-cut choice—barring a shocking collapse—to be the NFL MVP for this season.

Rodgers and the Packers offense, which leads the league with 32.5 points per game, has looked nearly unstoppable, especially in recent weeks (they’ve averaged 40.2 points per game over the course of their active winning streak). If anyone is equipped to slow down Green Bay, however, it might be the Bills, especially with the advantage of playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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Buffalo Bills in the Playoff Hunt, But Odds Remain Against Them

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Doug Marrone's Buffalo Bills are well within the race for a wild card playoff berth in the AFC, but they still face a very tough road to the postseason. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

Doug Marrone’s Buffalo Bills are well within the race for a wild card playoff berth in the AFC, but they still face a very tough road to the postseason. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Josh Cornwall

Defense has been the name of the game for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. Nothing changed much in a 26-10 comeback win over the Cleveland Browns on the final Sunday in November. The Bills kept their dream of making the playoffs alive and forced their opponent to bench a starting quarterback for the second consecutive week—a trend that probably won’t continue next week in Denver. Once again Kyle Orton reverted to the Mr. Hyde version of himself, but was bailed out by arguably the Bills’ strongest defensive performance of the season.

It’s hard not to be excited following a Week 13 win with some relevance. The fact that it’s been 12 years since Buffalo has been 7-5 after 12 games is both exhilarating and nauseating. A league built upon the foundation of parity has not extended its gift of occasional good fortune to snowy Western New York for quite some time and getting caught up in the hoopla is to be expected.

I also would not fault anyone for being sourly pessimistic about the Bills’ playoff hopes, despite a mark many fans should be happy with to this point. After all this is the Buffalo Bills, a team who has not made the postseason since 1999, we are talking about.

For two big reasons, 2014 is unlikely to be the year the Bills finally break the Curse of Doug Flutie.

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Buffalo Bills Dominate Turnover Battle to Finish First Half of Season with Win vs. New York Jets

Sunday, October 26th, 2014
Aaron Williams' interception was one of three thrown by Geno Smith and one of six Jets turnovers on Sunday. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan — USA Today Sports)

Aaron Williams’ interception was one of three thrown by Geno Smith and one of six Jets turnovers on Sunday. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Winning the turnover battle is one of the surest recipes for winning football games. Winning the turnover battle six to zero paves a clear path to a blowout victory.

That plus-six turnover margin paved the path to a 43-23 victory for the Buffalo Bills over the New York Jets on Sunday, and has put the Bills, who sit 5-3 at the halfway point of their season, in position to contend for a playoff spot in the second half of the year.

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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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