Inside The Bills

Bills game Sunday could see a time change

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 2:47 pm

The Bills season finale at New England has a chance to be flexed to later in the day Sunday, and it hinges on the outcome of tonight’s (Monday) game between Denver and Cincinnati.

If Cincinnati beats Denver the Bills game against the Patriots Sunday will remain a 1 pm kickoff. If Denver ends up winning tonight then Sunday’s game at Foxboro will be moved to a 4:25 pm kickoff. The move is part of the league’s flex scheduling system.

The hook here is home field advantage in the AFC playoffs between the Broncos and Patriots.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills still determined to finish above .500

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 9:58 am

The Bills playoff hopes have been squashed with their loss at the hands of the Raiders Sunday. With one game to play in a stadium where they have never won, the players are determined to finish with a winning record at 9-7.

“Win,” said Nigel Bradham when asked where the team goes in the wake up an upset loss. “We’ve just got to win it and finish the season strong, 9-7. I mean you don’t want to be 8-8 so at least we can go out with a win on our shoulders and go into the offseason and have a lot of momentum coming in next year.”

“We get paid to do this so we better show up and act like it. That’s what I expect of us,” said Fred Jackson. “We don’t take weeks off because we have nothing to play for so to speak. We have everything to play for. We’re a bunch of prideful guys and we have an opportunity to go win a football game. That’s what guys are going to show up and do and they’ll show up and work just like we have every other week.”

“I know my teammates are going to play hard no matter what. I don’t want to have any guys think that just because we’re out of it that we’re not going to play hard,” said Aaron Williams. “I don’t like New England. I’m sure they don’t like New England. They don’t like us. I want to win. It’s still a positive season. I mean I’m pretty sure the predictions for this year were 4-12? Whatever it was it wasn’t a winning record so I want to go out with a bang with a winning record and get ready for next year.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Players feel sting of missed playoff opportunity

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 2:58 am

It’s as close as the team has been to the postseason in a decade, so for all of the players on Buffalo’s roster it was an opportunity in Week 16 that the Bills wanted to capitalize on. When Sunday’s outcome did not yield the result they needed, the sting of missing another postseason cut deep.

“You play for a chance to get in the postseason and we didn’t get that done,” said Fred Jackson. “There’s going to be a lot said about us as a team. Nobody is more disappointed than us in this locker room. We have a lot of fans that follow us and support us and they want it bad too. This still sucks anytime you get eliminated. Everybody in this locker room is let down and disappointed.”

“We’re trying to move this organization up the ladder and when we lose a game like this and we have a chance to get ourselves in better position for the playoffs it definitely hurts,” said Corbin Bryant.

“Your dreams get crushed. It’s a nightmare,” said C.J. Spiller. “No words to describe it. The playoff hopes are over.”

“There are really no words at this point for how disappointed I am just for myself and the way we played in general,” said Aaron Williams. “I feel like we just didn’t come out and play. We had the playoffs this year and we let it slip away.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Big 3rd down play eats at Graham

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 2:57 am

The Bills had the Raiders in a 3rd-and-22 situation down by two points with five minutes to play. The offense had just finished a seven-play, 83-yard drive going with an up tempo, no huddle approach that was working. If the defense could get off the field, the offense needed only a field goal to take the lead on the scoreboard. It didn’t happen and it left veteran CB Corey Graham pointing at himself.

Derek Carr with no one open downfield initially left the pocket and moved to his right and uncorked a deep throw downfield for the tall and lanky Andre Holmes. Graham was right with him along the Bills sideline, but somehow Holmes wrestled the ball away from Graham to make a 51-yard reception at the Buffalo 30-yard line.

“It’s a big play. The ball was just thrown up for grabs, he just threw it up. If I could do it over, I would go for a pass breakup,” Graham said. “Instead I went for an interception and misjudged it, so it is on me. I think we did enough to win the game, if you take away that play. There were a lot of plays that didn’t go our way out there today. I’m not going to say one play (lost the game), but that was a big one.

“If I make that play, they punt the ball, we’re down two and we’re got an opportunity to win the game. I put it on my shoulders. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t hold them and we couldn’t find a way to get a victory.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Missed tackles gave Raiders extra yards

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 2:57 am

Buffalo’s defense has been great at keeping big plays to a minimum for the opposing offense this season, but on Sunday the Raiders had a pair of 25-yard runs and a pair of 50-yard pass plays. The team’s defensive players felt the main culprit was missed tackles.

“We definitely had a lot missed tackles because we had them right there in the backfield on almost all those zone runs it probably would’ve been a tackle for loss or one yard gain and it was right there and we didn’t finish the plays and missed the tackles,” said Nigel Bradham.

“There were a couple of inside runs where we might have gotten caught in a run blitz or we weren’t in our gap, somebody wasn’t there,” said Kyle Williams. “The thing more than anything was missed tackles, the whole game.  From beginning to end. It wasn’t an issue of getting moved out of your spot, it was just a lot of times just missing tackles.

“They made plays and when you give up big plays like that a lot of times it can lead to missed tackles. I would hate to see the count we had.”

Those four big plays all led to points for the Raiders. The drives in which those plays were made resulted in two touchdowns and a field goal for 21 of Oakland’s 26 total points in the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson: They beat us physically

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 9:51 pm

The Bills were handed a crushing loss in Oakland Sunday ending their playoff hopes. As veteran RB Fred Jackson saw it, the game was more about what the Raiders did to the Bills physically than anything else.

“In the NFL every team is capable of beating every team and they came out and they beat us today,” said Jackson. “We’ve got to give them credit. You can’t say that it was us, it wasn’t us. We just didn’t get the job done. They made plays, they beat us up physically and we didn’t respond. And anytime you get beat physically it’s hard to win a game.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Hayden active for Oakland

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 3:03 pm

Starting CB DJ Hayden is going to play today. He was questionable. The Raiders were already down starting CB Tarell Brown and his backup Chimdi Chekwa. Here are the rest of the inactive players for Oakland for today’s game against the Bills.

WR Denarius Moore
WR Vincent Brown
CB Chimdi Chekwa
G Tony Bergstrom
T Menelik Watson
TE Brian Leonhardt
DT Stacy McGee


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 2:55 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for today’s game against the Raiders in Oakland.

CB Ross Cockrell
RB Bryce Brown
LB Larry Dean
LB Randell Johnson
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
TE Chris Gragg
WR Deonte Thompson


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Special teams edge tilts heavily toward Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 2:30 pm

More often than not the Bills have won the special teams battle in their games this season. On paper Sunday’s game might present the most lopsided matchup of special teams for Buffalo this year.

Oakland ranks last in the league in opponent average drive start at better than an opponent’s own 33-yard line. For their offense the situation is no better. Their average drive start on offense ranks ranks last in the league as well at less than their own 24-yard line.

Part of that has little to do with special teams. Oakland has the sixth-most giveaways this season with a total of 27. That combined with just 11 takeaways gives the Raiders the worst turnover differential in the NFL at minus-16. Bills head coach Doug Marrone addressed the Raiders’ special teams in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment presented by Tim Horton’s on Buffalobills.com.

“A lot of it is with the turnovers,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone of Oakland’s field position issues. “That’s the first thing that you look at. The second part is the opportunities. They have 30 more punts than we have this year. When you give teams in the NFL that many opportunities someone is going to take advantage of it.”

And take advantage they have. Opponents are averaging almost 12 yards a return on Oakland punts making the Raiders the second-worst punt coverage unit in football. It explains why the Raiders have given up nine punt returns of 20 yards or more, which is the most in the NFL this season.

Raider opponents also have the highest collective kick return average in the league at a fat 31.9 average per return. A little more than 94 percent of the time Oakland opponents return a kickoff for more than 20 yards, more than 25 percent about the league average.

This despite the fact that the Raiders have the seventh-best touchback percentage in the league (62.2%) with veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

Perhaps most surprising is the unit is coached by former Bills special teams coach Bobby April, who had some of the best special teams units in football during his time coaching in Buffalo (2004-2009).

Suffice to say that Buffalo return man Marcus Thigpen is likely to have his share of opportunities today.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

BENRUS Best Dressed Week 16

Posted by Dallas Miller on December 21, 2014 – 1:59 pm

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As the winner of BEST DRESSED, Kyle Orton receives an olive BENRUS H-6 Watch, and a black & waxed canvas olive Brigade back pack – perfect holiday gifts! Follow @benrususa and use the hashtag #HolidayswithBENRUS for a chance to win some of the latest gear.  BENRUS watches, sunglasses, duffel bags and backpacks are available for purchase at www.BENRUS.com.


Posted in Inside the Bills

OT Henderson knows Khalil Mack all too well

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 1:12 pm

Bills rookie right tackle Seantrel Henderson has faced more than his share of quality pass rushers this season. Over the past few weeks he’s flourished against the likes of Cameron Wake, Calvin Pace, Von Miller and Julius Peppers. This week he faces perhaps the pass rusher with whom he’s most familiar in Khalil Mack.

Mack and Henderson were both drafted this past spring. Mack was fifth overall while Henderson waited until late on day three before the Bills took him in round seven. But during the pre-draft process both were training at the same facility in Florida.

“I know Khalil,” Henderson told Buffalobills.com. “He and I worked out together down at Tom Shaw training academy. Khalil is a great pass rusher. He’s got good size and is real strong too. That combination that he has is just… it’s just like any other week I’ve got to get ready and compete and match my intensity with his and just play my game.”

I asked him if tried to remember back to the days when they would go one-on-one against each other during pass rush drills at the training center, to recall what moves he seemed to rely on the most.

“That’s crazy. When we were watching a little earlier today I was kind of thinking about it,” said Henderson. “Like I said, for his size he’s real fast off the ball. He’s got a lot of strength. He can get around the corner and come back inside.

“He’s got a lot of moves so I’ve just got to compete with him each play and match his intensity and just get after it. I think it’s just going to be an effort thing. You can’t give up with him because he’s just going to keep going.”

Henderson said he expects there to be a lot of talking in the trenches today. That’s because in addition to Mack he also knows Raiders rookie DT Justin Ellis out of Louisiana Tech who was taken by Oakland in round four.

“I think there will be a lot of talking throughout the game,” he said. “But that makes the game more fun.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills valuing their respect, not caliber of foe

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 10:11 am

A lot of outside observers look at Sunday’s game between the Bills and Raiders, and after facing an AFC power in Denver and an NFC power in Green Bay in back-to-back weeks, wonder how Buffalo will get up for a 2-12 team. What a lot of the younger players on the Bills’ roster have come to learn this season from the vets that were added to the locker room, is that the opponent doesn’t matter nearly as much as the respect a team needs to earn around the league.

RB Boobie Dixon has helped to explain that to a lot of the players on the offensive side of the ball, who may not have realized that if the focus is on what they do in terms of preparation and execution then the caliber of the opponent can be almost immaterial as they saw in the win over Green Bay.

“It’s about the respect. We want our respect,” said Dixon. “We want the world to respect the Buffalo Bills, and respect the blue. That’s what we like to call ourselves, the bad boys in blue. We want the world to respect us. Sometimes when we turn on the TV, we don’t feel like we get that respect. That’s what it’s about, and that’s what it’s going to continue to be about until we get our point across.”

The players also know that the respect may not be fully achieved until they’re a playoff club.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins: Raiders a sneaky team

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2014 – 3:40 pm

Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins has played in all of 14 games in his NFL career. While he might still be an inexperienced NFL player, he knows a sneaky team when he sees one. In his mind that’s just the kind of team they’re playing Sunday.

Watkins and his teammates refuse to be influenced by Oakland’s 2-12 record. When they look at some of the teams they’ve hung with and in two cases beaten Watkins says it’s easy to play them just as hard as any other opponent.

“They’ve beaten good teams,” said Watkins. “They’ve beaten Kansas City, San Fran—we’ve got to come out and be ready. They’re a sneaky team. They’ve been playing good ball, they haven’t been finishing teams. I watched film on defense—they got a good defensive line, they’re linebackers fly around, their cornerbacks, they’re going to challenge you, they’re not just somebody you’re going to run by for 90-yards, they’re going to compete.”

Of course with Oakland shorthanded at cornerback this week with starter Tarell Brown out, his backup Chimdi Chekwa out and fellow starter D.J. Hayden hobbled and questionable for the game, they may not challenge Buffalo’s wideouts as much as Watkins anticipates.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills expecting physical run game from Raiders

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2014 – 1:35 pm

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr gets a lot of the pub, but Buffalo’s defenders are not going to follow the headlines. The Oakland game tape is telling them something different, and if they want to shut down the Raiders attack they’ll have to begin with the run game.

“He’s still trying to find himself for the most part,” said Marcell Dareus of Carr. “But their offensive line, their running game is still strong.  They’re going to try to run it down our face and just try to do the best they can with it. They have some big guys up front, real physical, real physical running backs, we’re just going to have to strap it on and be ready to go again.  They’re going to try to run the ball.

“They’ve got the run game trying to start going for him to help him out and take pressure off him,” said Nigel Bradham of how the Raiders are trying to complement Carr offensively. “We’ve just pretty much got to make them one dimensional and pressure the quarterback like we have the whole season.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Raiders secondary to be shorthanded

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2014 – 11:13 am

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The Oakland Raiders pass defense is one of the few areas where they perform admirably ranking eighth in the league. But they could be without both starting cornerbacks in Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Starting RCB Tarell Brown is out with a foot injury and starting LCB DJ Hayden is questionable with a back injury. Hayden was limited all week in practice and is expected to be a game time decision.

Both of Oakland’s backup cornerbacks are also hurt. Brown’s backup Chimdi Chekwa is out with a hamstring injury. Only rookie T.J. Carrie is a good bet to play, but he is dealing with an ankle injury. He’s listed as probable.

All told the Raiders will go into the game two healthy corners, both of whom are third stringers.

Here’s a look at the full injury report and the player status for the Raiders for Sunday.

OUT
CB Tarell Brown – foot
WR Vincent Brown – groin
CB Chimdi Chekwa – hamstring
TE Brian Leonhart – concussion
WR Denarius Moore – knee/ankle
T Menelik Watson – foot/ankle

QUESTIONABLE
DL C.J. Wilson – knee
CB DJ Hayden – back

PROBABLE
QB Derek Carr – Rt thumb
CB TJ Carrie – ankle


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nigel Bradham’s BOSE playlist

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 20, 2014 – 10:01 am

This year BOSE, the Official Sound of the Bills, is going to bring insider access to fans by showing fans what songs Bills players listen to on game day.  For 12 weeks during the 2014 season, a different Bills player will be featured in the Player Playlist, presented by BOSE.  For the final installment, it’s Bills LB Nigel Bradham.  Check out the songs Nigel will be listening to on Sunday to get him pumped up before he takes on the Raiders.

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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Nike uniform of Week 16

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 19, 2014 – 4:00 pm

Each week Nike presents the Uniform of the Week where you’ll see a photo of the combination your Buffalo Bills will be wearing on the field.

The uniform combo for the Week 16 game between the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders will be the team’s white jerseys on royal pants. Shop for your own Nike jersey by clicking here

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Here is the Bills uniform combinations in 2014:

Week 1 at Chicago Bears: White / White

Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins: Throwback White / White

Week 3 vs. San Diego Chargers: Blue / White

Week 4 at Houston Texans: White / White

Week 5 at Detroit Lions: White / Blue

Week 6 vs. New England Patriots: Blue / White

Week 7 vs. Minnesota Vikings: White / White

Week 8 at New York Jets: White / Blue

Week 9 bye

Week 10 vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Blue / White

Week 11 at Miami Dolphins: White / Blue

Week 12 vs. New York Jets: Blue / White

Week 13 vs. Cleveland Browns: Blue / White

Week 14 at Denver Broncos: White / White

Week 15 vs. Green Bay Packers: Blue / Blue

Week 16 at Oakland Raiders: White / Blue


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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills

Avril deal set market for Hughes?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2014 – 1:53 pm

With the Seattle Seahawks signing DE Cliff Avril to a four-year contract extension the market for the offseason might be set for impending free agents at the same position, like Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes.

Hughes, who is a half sack away from posting back-to-back double digit sack seasons, is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The Seahawks handed a pass rusher who has a similar game to that of Hughes a four-year extension worth a reported $28.5M over four years to Cliff Avril with $16M guaranteed.

Avril is a player who has been productive longer than Hughes. He has 52 sacks in his seven seasons. He’s also two years older (28) than Buffalo’s edge rusher (26).  With similar body types and similar games it’s logical to think that Avril’s deal will at least set a preliminary mark for offseason deals for free agent pass rushers like Buffalo’s Hughes.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller, Searcy, Gilmore all probable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2014 – 1:44 pm

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The Bills added C.J. Spiller back to the roster on Friday and his status for Sunday’s game is positive after participating in practice on a limited basis all week.

Spiller is listed as probably along with a host of other Bills players, most notably Da’Norris Searcy, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury. Fellow S Duke Williams is also probable coming off a concussion suffered in last week’s game. CB Stephon Gilmore is probable too.

Chris Gragg is the only Bills players with a designation of less than probable. He’s questionable for Sunday’s game in Oakland.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Marcus Thigpen WR Foot LP Probable
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP Probable
Jarius Wynn DE Knee LP Probable
Chris Gragg TE Knee LP Questionable
Da’Norris Searcy S Hamstring LP Probable
Stephon Gilmore CB Shoulder LP Probable
Duke Williams S Concussion LP Probable
Boobie Dixon RB Chest FP Probable
CJ Spiller RB Shoulder LP Probable

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Forbidden love at Ralph Wilson Stadium

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on December 19, 2014 – 11:19 am

forbidden-love-blogWhen Jordan Eliason bought two tickets to last Sunday’s Bills-Packers game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, he never thought it would cap off the biggest few days of his life.

He thought taking his then-girlfriend Michelle to watch her Bills at home against his beloved Packers would highlight a fun December weekend, celebrating a friendly rivalry within their relationship.

But shortly after that ticket purchase, he proposed to Michelle and when they set the date for 12/13/14, the day before the game, he knew just how great that weekend would really be.

“When we realized it would be the day after our wedding, I said to Michelle, ‘Would you mind if we postponed our honeymoon trip a few days so we can go to a football game?’ She said yes,” recalled Jordan, laughing.

To put the exclamation point on the cold, loud, exciting part one to their honeymoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium – before a relaxing, sunny party two – Jordan had special jerseys made for the occasion. His, a Packers jersey, said “Forbidden” on the nameplate bearing number 12 for the month of December, and hers, a Bills jersey, said “Love” with the number 13 for the day they were married.

“People were coming up to take pictures of the backs of our jerseys. It was great,” he said.

In their first competition of marriage, Michelle’s Bills came through for her, possibly as a sign of things to come. But no matter the outcome of the game, “Forbidden Love” is a memory both will cherish forever.

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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field