Inside The Bills

Are we in for a slow start?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 2:10 pm

By now most Bills fans are aware that Buffalo’s offense has been slow in getting into a rhythm at the start of games. Their opponent today, however, has found it even more difficult to finish early drives with points.

The Chargers are one of two NFL teams yet to score on an opening drive this season (also Chicago). Los Angeles is 0-for-9. Meanwhile the Bills are tied for third fewest in the league, with just six total points on opening possessions.

The Bills have scored only nine first-quarter points, which is an NFL low. The Chargers have scored 21 points in the opening quarter of games this season, which ranks 28th.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Punters could be busy today

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 1:20 pm

The Bills and Chargers have both had their share of inefficiencies on offense this season. That’s partly why Buffalo made a quarterback change this week in going with rookie Nate Peterman. Whether Peterman can improve the functionality of the offense remains to be seen. But more often than not this season both Buffalo and Los Angeles have had to turn to their punters with drives stalling.

Below is the bottom third of the NFL teams that punt most often. Both the Bills and Chargers rank in that area with the Bills 25th and the Chargers last in the league. Half of L.A.’s drives end with a punt, almost double that of the league leader, New Orleans, who only punts on drive 28 percent of the time.

PERCENT OF DRIVES ENDING IN PUNT, 2017

20 – Cleveland Browns            43.5 (47/108)
21 – New York Jets               43.9 (54/123)
22 – San Francisco 49ers         44.9 (53/118)
23 – Baltimore Ravens            45.3 (48/106)
24 – Houston Texans              45.5 (51/112)
25 – Buffalo Bills               46.5 (47/101)
26 – New York Giants             46.7 (49/105)
27 – Seattle Seahawks            46.8 (52/111)
28 – Cincinnati Bengals          47.1 (49/104)
29 – Indianapolis Colts          47.2 (58/123)
30 – Chicago Bears               48.5 (49/101)
31 – Miami Dolphins              49.0 (50/102)
32 – Los Angeles Chargers        50.0 (51/102)
NFL Average                 40.8 (1370/3361)

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The difference between 6-4 & 5-5

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 12:24 pm

The Bills currently sit in the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with seven games to play. A win over the Chargers today would certainly improve their chances. To see just how much, we looked at the odds for making the playoffs for NFL teams since 1990 and found a sizable difference between starting the season 6-4 as opposed to 5-5.

If the Bills win today and improve to 6-4, their chances of reaching the playoffs is just over 61 percent. If they lose however, their likelihood of reaching the postseason drops to just over 27 percent. It’s a difference of 34 percent.

Playoff Percentages Since 1990
Based on Season Start, Through 10 Games

Start       Made Playoffs
10-0        100.0% (12/12)
9-1         100.0% (28/28)
8-2         96.6% (56/58)
7-3         82.6% (90/109)
6-4         61.3% (84/137)
5-5         27.6% (35/127)
4-6         8.0% (12/150)
3-7         0.0% (0/93)
2-8         0.0% (0/70)
1-9         0.0% (0/28)
0-10      0.0% (0/9)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rivers cleared to play

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2017 – 6:34 pm

An independent neurologist has cleared Chargers QB Philip Rivers to play Sunday against the Bills. 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Is more better for Shady?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2017 – 10:30 am

There’s an old saying about running backs. Some have maintained that the more work they get the more effective they are. The phrase makes sense knowing that if a back keeps getting the ball, it’s because the run game is successful. That wears an opposing defense down and the big runs become more and more frequent. In 2017, it hasn’t been a banner year for LeSean McCoy, but his play holds true to this maxim.

As seen in the table below, in the games when McCoy has had more than 20 carries, his yards per carry average is among the best in the league.

McCoy has only gone over 20 carries in a game three times this season, and has just a total of 12 rushes. But as is typically the case the long runs show up late in the game when the opposing defense has been worn out. In fact, McCoy’s longest carry of the season came at the end of the Oakland game when he had a season-high 151 rushing yards on a season-high 27 carries.

So it’s a small sample size and obviously time and score plays a role in whether an offense is running more than it’s throwing late in games, but McCoy is third-best in the league after 20 carries this season.

MOST YARDS PER RUSH, CARRIES 21+, 2017
(minimum 1.25 rushes per team game)

1 – Leonard Fournette, Jax         7.32 (139/19)
2 – Jordan Howard, Chi             6.39 (147/23)
3 – LeSean McCoy, Buf              5.08 (61/12)
4 – Kareem Hunt, KC                4.83 (58/12)
5 – Todd Gurley II, LAR            4.56 (73/16)
6 – Jay Ajayi, Mia-Phi             4.14 (91/22)
7 – Ezekiel Elliott, Dal           3.81 (160/42)
8 – Le’Veon Bell, Pit              3.60 (216/60)
9 – Adrian Peterson, NO-Ari        3.58 (86/24)

NFL Average                    4.28


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Posted in Inside the Bills

QB Rivers questionable for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2017 – 4:10 pm

There’s still a chance the Bills will face the Chargers without their starting quarterback. Philip Rivers is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills. 

Rivers practiced fully on Friday for a second straight day, so there’s a good chance he’ll play, but he has to clear the concussion protocol. 

OUT

Joe Barksdale, T – Foot

DOUBTFUL

James Onwualu, LB – Quad

Hayes Pullard, LB – Neck

QUESTIONABLE

Philip Rivers, QB – Concussion

Chris McCain, DE – Quad


Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn, Tolbert out; Clay, Hughes, Matthews ques

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2017 – 2:31 pm

The Bills will again be without LT Cordy Glenn on Sunday. He along with Mike Tolbert and John Miller have been declared out for Sunday’s game in L.A.

Meanwhile WR Jordan Matthews, TE Charles Clay and DE Jerry Hughes are all questionable for Sunday. All three players were limited in practice Friday. 

The good news is WR Zay Jones and CB E.J. Gaines will return to the lineup. K Stephen Hauschka will also be fit to play Sunday against the Chargers. 

OUT

OT Cordy Glenn – foot-ankle

G John Miller – ankle

FB Mike Tolbert – hamstring

QUESTIONABLE

WR Jordan Matthews – knee

TE Charles Clay – knee

DE Jerry Hughes – shin


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-17

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2017 – 11:33 am

A two-game road swing coming up for the Bills. Buffalo has to stay ahead of the Wild Card pack. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you like the change at quarterback?

John Africano
@afman3333

CB: I think the lack of functionality on offense with Taylor prompted the need to see if Peterman can make the offense function more effectively. I think there’s a good chance it could happen with Peterman because his greatest asset is he’s a rhythm passer who gets the ball out on time. In a timing-based offense that’s crucial.

Getting the ball out in rhythm should take the pressure off the offensive line, which has struggled at times to provide a clean pocket for Taylor, who has a propensity to hold the ball longer. It should also at least keep a defense a bit more honest so they can’t completely gang up on the run game, which has been suffering without a consistent passing attack.

Buffalo’s offense had declined every single week in third down conversion percentage and last Sunday was the bottom at 18 percent. They simply needed better on that side of the ball.

 

2 – Chris,

Do you see the bills trying to add a tight end? I believe that Gary Barnidge is still available. Why haven’t we taken a look at him again, considering the interest we had during the offseason?!

CB: You’re right he is still available. I’m not sure what would stand in the way of him signing with a team if they reached out to him. That being said, with Peterman entering the lineup, I think Charles Clay stands to see an even greater uptick in production knowing that Peterman’s greatest strength is getting the ball out on time.


3 –
Chris,
I know Coach McDermott has been mentored by such head coaches as Andy Reid  and Ron Rivera. Can you tell me if Coach McDermott calls plays on either offense or defense? If so is it all plays, some plays, few plays? Or does he leave that work to his coordinators? Thanks for the great job you do.
Eric in Port Kent

CB: Coach McDermott leaves play calling up to his coordinators. He’s on the head set and like any head coach, weighs in when he needs to, but for the most part trusts his staff. As a first-year head coach he felt it was important for him to focus on all the decisions that a head coach has to make during a game and let his assistants handle calling plays.

I’m sure there have been instances where he might tell OC Rick Dennison when the offense is driving that he’s got two plays before a third down comes up, meaning they’ll go for it on fourth down if they don’t convert on third down. Or whether they’ll go for it on fourth and goal.

It’s also likely that he may offer a suggestion or two at halftime regarding adjustments. But beyond that his assistants run their respective sides of the ball.

 

4 – Chris,
Almost every time Zay Jones gets passed to it always an incomplete pass. What’s wrong with him, is he just off, or not confident. Like the touchdown he missed in Denver that Holmes caught… or the pass vs the Panthers that he could have caught. What’s up with him? He should be reliable.

Anthony

CB: I think Jones was struggling earlier in the season, but he’s made some strides with his game since then. Rookies battle everything from the NFL learning curve, to their own self-doubt. I think a lot of his issues earlier in the season were in his own head.

This guy caught almost 400 passes in his college career. He’ll be a contributor for this team for years to come. I think you’ll be much happier with the second half

 

5 – Chris,

Do you think we will see Kyle Williams, Lorenzo Alexander and Richie Incognito back in 2018? I know they are all old (for NFL players) but they are also consistently making big plays. If not, how do you think Brandon Beane will prioritize replacing them vs. drafting skill position players like WR, DB for next year’s draft?

Braden Lipman

CB: I think the future of all three are very much up in the air. Kyle has already once contemplated retirement. Alexander and Incognito will still be under contract, but I do expect the club to address the linebacker position in a big way in the offseason via the draft and possibly free agency as well.

Offensive line is an area that could use an influx of young talent, which began this season with Dion Dawkins, but there are a lot of position groups that need to be addressed this coming offseason.

This will be the first full offseason for Beane and McDermott as a tandem, so it’s a bit difficult to discern how they rank position importance.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rivers goes full; DT Mebane limited for Chargers

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 8:42 pm

Chargers QB Philip Rivers was a full participant in practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. 

The Chargers did add defensive tackle Brandon Mebane to the injury report. He was limited with a hamstring injury Thursday. 

DID NOT PARTICIPATE 

Joe Barksdale, T – Foot

Chris McCain, DE – Quad

James Onwualu, LB – Quad

Hayes Pullard, LB – Neck

LIMITED PARTICIPATION 

Brandon Mebane, DT – Hamstring

FULL PRACTICE

Antonio Gates, TE

Corey Liuget, DT – Toe

Adrian Phillips, S – Hamstring

Spencer Pulley, C – Knee

Philip Rivers, QB – Concussion

Denzel Perryman, LB – Ankle


Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynn thinks Rivers will play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 4:01 pm

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that his QB Philip Rivers will practice again today (Thursday) on a limited basis, but remains in the concussion protocol. When asked if he thinks Rivers will play Sunday against the Bills, Lynn gave the indication that he will.

According to ESPN.com Chargers beat reporter Eric Williams, Lynn said the following.

“We think he’ll play, but that’s up to the doctors,” Lynn said. “That’s not my decision.”

Rivers hasn’t missed a game since 2005, but does have to pass a couple of more tests to complete the concussion protocol and be medically cleared.

 

 


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Hauschka doesn’t practice; Hughes, Matthews limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 3:51 pm

The Bills kicker was a new addition to the injury report Thursday, as Stephen Hauschka did not participate due to a right hip injury. The severity of the injury is not known, but presumably if it was serious the club would make a move to add a kicker to the roster. Also added to the Bills injury report Thursday was G John Miller, who was limited with an ankle injury.

The good news for the Bills is it looks like they’ll have both of their starting cornerbacks in the lineup on Sunday when they face the Chargers. E.J. Gaines was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, but on Thursday he went through his first full practice in almost a month.

Jerry Hughes was also back practicing after missing Wednesday’s session. Head coach Sean McDermott was encouraged by Hughes’ progress.

“He did good. He moved well, better than I originally thought going into practice, so it’s a good sign,” McDermott said.

Jordan Matthews remained a limited participant in practice for a second straight day with a knee injury. Charles Clay returned to practice as a limited participant after sitting out Wednesday.

Here’s the full injury report for Thursday.

 

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle
K Stephen Hauschka – right hip
G Richie Incognito – rest
FB Mike Tolbert – hamstring

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
TE Charles Clay – knee
DE Jerry Hughes – shin
WR Jordan Matthews – knee
G John Miller – ankle

FULL PRACTICE
CB E.J. Gaines – hamstring
WR Zay Jones – ankle


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Peterman puts in another good day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 2:19 pm

For Nate Peterman day two with the starting offense went just as well as day one on Wednesday. Head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that his rookie QB is putting good days together in preparation for Sunday.

“He’s done a good job,” McDermott said. “He’s worked hard like we would expect and like he’s done in all the other weeks. I thought a good practice Wednesday as well as Thursday.”

Peterman is making his first NFL start on Sunday at Los Angeles.

 

 


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Rivers limited in practice

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2017 – 9:23 pm

Chargers QB Phillip Rivers was limited in practice on Wednesday. He’s still in concussion protocol, but the fact that he’s practicing is a sign that he’s close to completing the protocol. 

Here’s a look at the Los Angeles injury report. 

 DID NOT PRACTICE

Joe Barksdale, OT – Foot

Antonio Gates, TE – Rest

Chris McCain, DE – Quad

James Onwualu, LB – Quad

Hayes Pullard, LB – Neck

LIMITED IN PRACTICE

Corey Liuget, DT – Toe

Adrian Phillips, S – Hamstring

Spencer Pulley, C – Knee

Philip Rivers, QB – Concussion

FULL PRACTICE

Denzel Perryman, LB – Ankle
 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones practices fully, Gaines limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2017 – 3:12 pm

There are a couple of Bills players who missed last week’s game who are close to making a return. WR Zay Jones practiced fully on Wednesday while CB E.J. Gaines was limited. But the hope is both will be back in the lineup this week.

“I’m optimistic,” said Jones. “I’m just going to stay on the program I’m on right now. Practice today was a step in the right direction. I’m very encouraged about that. The training staff is doing a great job of just getting my legs back underneath me. I’m excited to just get back out there.”

Barring a setback, Jones is expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday in Los Angeles, which would be a good thing for QB Nate Peterman. Jones and Peterman established a good rapport during their week together on the same team at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, only to continue it through the offseason and training camp with the Bills.

Gaines meanwhile was limited. The cornerback practiced on a limited basis all of last week, but didn’t make it to the game. The hope this week is he’ll be able to increase his workload each day leading up to Sunday.

Jordan Matthews was also a limited participant with a knee injury.

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Lorenzo Alexander – rest
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle
DE Jerry Hughes – shin/calf
RB LeSean McCoy – rest
RB Mike Tolbert – hamstring
DT Kyle Williams – rest

LIMITED
CB E.J. Gaines – hamstring
WR Jordan Matthews – knee

FULL PRACTICE
WR Zay Jones – ankle

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills & ADPRO Sports HS Coach of the Week

Posted by Kelly Baker on November 14, 2017 – 6:07 pm

The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2017, to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer, through the High School Coach of the Week program. Throughout the 2017 high school football season, the Bills and ADPRO Sports will recognize 11 coaches from both the Buffalo and Rochester regions on buffalobills.com. The winners will be selected by a committee of high school football experts from each region.

The Buffalo Region Coach of the Week winner for Week 11 of the 2017 season is Eric Rupp, head coach of the Lancaster Legends. On Saturday, Nov. 11, Lancaster took on the Aquinas Institute of Rochester in the Far West Regionals. The Legends, who came into the contest undefeated, managed to stay perfect against a tough Little Irish squad. Holding Aquinas to just 57 yards of total offense, Lancaster’s defense got the job done. Senior quarterback Ryan Mansell led the way for the Legends on offense, connecting with wide receiver Max Giordano for a touchdown in the first quarter. With the 9-0 victory, Lancaster has improved to 11-0 on the campaign and will advance to the NYS Semifinals to play Cicero-North Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

The Rochester Region Coach of the Week winner for Week 11 is Derek Annechino, first-year head coach of the Aquinas Institute of Rochester Little Irish. After defeating Pittsford for the Class AA Section V title, Aquinas moved on to play Lancaster. Coming into the game at 9-1, the Little Irish defense put together a solid performance. Junior defensive end Caron Robinson recorded 11 tackles, six for a loss, and senior free safety Casey Hochheimer recovered a fumble. Finishing the season at 9-2, Annechino and the Little Irish will look to pick up where they left off next season.

Check back on Buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to the John Murphy show each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. Good luck to all of the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills

Glenn, Jones, Hughes, Gaines all day to day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2017 – 3:26 pm

Bills head coach Sean McDermott didn’t have any specific updates on any of Buffalo’s injured players, including those who did not suit up on Sunday. He used the same designation for Cordy Glenn, E.J. Gaines, Jerry Hughes and Zay Jones.

“Day to day,” McDermott said of the group. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who are day to day.”

That doesn’t shed much light on whether Glenn or Gaines will be full practice participants on Wednesday. Both players practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday last week. Hughes suffered a shin injury in Sunday’s game.

Jones did not practice at all last week due to an ankle injury.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Benjamin leads all WRs in playing time

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2017 – 8:44 am

The Bills newest wide receiver didn’t get too many chances to make an impact on Sunday’s game. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t on the field a lot. Here’s a look at his playing time in his Bills debut compared to the other receivers on the roster.

As seen below, Benjamin logged the most time on the field at the receiver position with 41 snaps for 85 percent participation. The Bills only ran 48 plays Sunday. Unfortunately Benjamin, after being targeted three times on the opening drive, wasn’t targeted again until four minutes left in the game.

Playtime percentage WRs
Kelvin Benjamin – 41 snaps (85%)
Deonte Thompson – 39 snaps (81%)
Jordan Matthews – 36 snaps (75%)
Andre Holmes – 9 snaps (19%)
Brandon Tate – 3 snaps (6%)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2017 – 6:41 pm

There weren’t any that were pretty on Sunday in the stat column, but there were some stats that were eye popping. Here’s a look if you dare.

Number of 3-and-out possessions for the Bills – 5
Number of scoring possessions lasting 3 plays or fewer for the Saints – 2

Time of possession
Saints – 41:23
Bills – 18:37

Average yards per carry
Mark Ingram – 6.2
Alvin Kamara – 8.8

Number of rushing touchdowns allowed by Bills – 6 (a franchise record)

Red zone efficiency
Bills – 1-2 (50%)
Saints – 5-7 (71%)

Punts
Bills – Colton Schmidt – 6 for 45.3 gross average
Saints – Thomas Morstead – 0


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Saints inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2017 – 11:39 am

The Saints are down starting S Kenny Vaccaro, but both starting offensive linemen who were questionable are starting in LT Terron Armstead and G Larry Warford. 

QB Taysom Hill

S Kenny Vaccaro

DE Hau’oli Kikaha

C Cameron Tom

OT Bryce Harris

WR Austin Carr

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The difference between 6-3 and 5-4

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2017 – 11:20 am

Buffalo sits at 5-3 at the midway point of the season. If they can post a win, it’ll be the first time since 1999 that they began a season 6-3 through their first nine games. That was the last time they made the playoffs. Here’s a look at the difference being 6-3 after nine games and 5-4 after nine games in terms of odds to reach the postseason.

If Buffalo wins today they’ve got a better than 73 percent chance of reaching the postseason based on success rate since 1990. If they can’t emerge from today’s game with a win, their chances of reaching the postseason plummets almost 25 percent.

Playoff Percentages Since 1990
Based on Season Start

Start   Made Playoffs
9-0        100.0% (15/15)
8-1         100.0% (35/35)
7-2        90.1%  (73/81)
6-3        73.2%  (93/127)
5-4        49.0%  (76/155)


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