Inside The Bills

Gaines, Johnson, Matthews all listed questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2017 – 3:08 pm

The Bills will not have TE Charles Clay or LB Ramon Humber, but they’re expected to have two of their top three cornerbacks back in their defensive lineup. And there appears to be a good chance they’ll have WR Jordan Matthews back as well.

Although cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and Leonard Johnson and WR Jordan Matthews are all listed as questionable all three participated fully in practice on Friday.

For Matthews it was his first day of full participation after he was limited on Wednesday and Thursday in his return from thumb surgery. For Gaines and Johnson it was their second consecutive day practicing fully all but assuring they’ll both assume their normal coverage duties Sunday against Tampa Bay.

OT Cordy Glenn will have the opportunity to start on Sunday after a full week of practice for the first time in a long time. Head coach Sean McDermott said the staff will determine if Glenn starts and whether he rotates in and out with rookie Dion Dawkins on Saturday.

OUT
TE Charles Clay – knee
LB Ramon Humber – thumb

QUESTIONABLE
CB E.J. Gaines – groin
CB Leonard Johnson – hamstring
WR Jordan Matthews – thumb

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Winston full participation in practice for Bucs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2017 – 2:33 pm

We already know that Tampa QB Jameis Winston will start on Sunday against the Bills. Even though he’s listed as questionable here’s how he convinced his coaching staff he could play this weekend.

Winston was a full participant in practice Friday taking all the first team snaps during team periods.

“Jameis threw the ball well today,” said Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter. “Jameis is our starter. He will be out there.”

Koetter also said that Winston made all the throws in practice from short to deep.

“Jameis is a tough player, so it doesn’t surprise me,” said E.J. Gaines. “We’ll get a feel for him early and see how he is.”

MLB Kwon Alexander is also expected to return to the lineup on Sunday for the Bucs even though he’s listed as questionable too.

“It’s a blessing to be back. I’m ready to get out there and have fun,” Alexander said. “I’ve been off about five weeks, so I’ve got a lot of energy built up and I’m ready to get out there.”

Player No. Pos. Injury Game Status
Josh Robinson 26 S Concussion Out
Ryan Russell 95 DE Shoulder Out
Kwon Alexander 58 LB Hamstring Questionable
Robert Ayers 91 DE Knee Questionable
Lavonte David 54 LB Ankle Questionable
Adarius Glanton 53 LB Hamstring Questionable
Noah Spence 57 DE Shoulder Questionable
Keith Tandy 37 S Hip Questionable
T.J. Ward 43 S Hip Questionable
Jameis Winston 3 QB Right Shoulder Questionable

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Fan Friday 10-20

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2017 – 12:18 pm

Coming off the bye, the Bills have three of their next four games at home. Time to roll up some ‘W’s. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What are the chances McCoy breaks out Sunday?

Billscentral
@JonKyser

CB: The chances are very good as I see it. Tampa Bay is giving up over 400 yards a game. They have the 30th ranked third down defense. They’ve given up the fifth-most points in the red zone (101) and have played just five games. On the road they’re even worse giving up 500 yards per game. So I’m feeling good about a McCoy breakout Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many new special teamers are on the roster this year? Would love to see more Brandon Tate in the offense catching & scoring!!

Steph Go Bills!
@Steph49314851

CB: There’s a host of new players to the special teams units this year.

Andre Holmes, Taiwan Jones, Tanner Vallejo, Matt Milano, Joe Webb, Eddie Yarbrough, Ryan Davis, Deon Lacey, Shareece Wright, Shamarko Thomas, Trae Elston and Stephen Hauschka. That’s just off the top of my head.

It’ll be interesting to see what this week’s addition of Deonte Thompson means. Will he see more time on offense or special teams? Where he’s utilized figures to directly impact where Tate sees his playing time, though after a 40-yard punt return in Buffalo’s last game I anticipate seeing Tate on punt returns.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

All I’ve been hearing are positives about WR Deonte Thompson. Think he’ll make an impact?

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: His strengths are gaining consistent separation in his routes and blocking in the run game. I’ll maintain that an overlooked part of Buffalo’s rushing success last year was the job turned in by Buffalo’s receivers when it comes to blocking downfield. Thompson is an underrated player in this area.

I think that quality alone will get him on the field this Sunday against Tampa Bay.

 

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why hasn’t Groy been given a shot at RG?

Brent Seybolt
@bseybolt11

CB: Coach McDermott was asked about Groy this week and he said that he’s in the mix for the right guard spot. But based on his answer my hunch is the coaching staff sees Groy as their backup center and swing guard in the event of an injury.

I think if Groy is a starter at guard, the staff is concerned that they’re exposing both their starting and backup center to injury. There really is no other guy on the roster that can handle the pivot spot as effectively as Wood and Groy. So it’s my belief that it’s a risk-reward thing.

If they don’t believe Groy is demonstrably better at guard than Miller or Ducasse, they likely see it better to have Groy as a healthy backup for center and at guard in an emergency.

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Did Bills offer Mabin a PS contract and go with Seamster when turned down? I thought Mabin had potential.

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I know the Bills wanted to bring Mabin back by signing him to the practice squad. What you have to remember is when a player is released they’re a free agent and can make their own decisions. Mabin obviously decided San Francisco was a better option for him.

I don’t know that I agree with him. This defensive scheme is a good fit for him and with only four corners on the active roster he’s one injury away from being back on the 53. So his decision was peculiar to say the least.

 


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Bucs QB Winston doesn’t throw again, but to throw Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2017 – 3:53 pm

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston was held out of all throwing drills for a second straight day at practice Thursday as he continues to recover from a sprained AC joint. Head coach Dirk Koetter explained.

“Jameis did not throw today,” said Koetter. “We made a decision to hold him for another day from throwing. He did everything else. I would full expect that Jameis takes all the snaps with the ones on Friday.”

The Bucs also added a starting defensive end to their injury report Thursday.

DE Robert Ayers was a limited participant on Thursday due to a knee injury. Backup defensive ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell are also nicked up coming into Sunday’s game. Spence was limited with a shoulder injury while Russell did not practice at all due to a shoulder ailment.

 

Player No. Pos. Injury Thursday
Kwon Alexander 58 LB Hamstring Full Participation
Robert Ayers 91 DE Knee Limited Participation
Lavonte David 54 LB Ankle Limited Participation
Josh Robinson 26 S Concussion Did Not Participate
Ryan Russell 95 DE Shoulder Did Not Participate
Noah Spence 57 DE Shoulder Limited Participation
Keith Tandy 37 S Hip Limited Participation
T.J. Ward 43 S Hip Limited Participation
Jameis Winston 3 QB Right Shoulder Limited Participation

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WR Matthews still limited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2017 – 2:58 pm

Bills WR Jordan Matthews was again at practice catching passes on Thursday, but did not practice on a full-time basis. For the second straight day he was limited.

Not practicing was Richie Incognito as he was on a veteran rest day.

The encouraging news was cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and Leonard Johnson were both full participants in practice after being limited on Wednesday. Cordy Glenn was also a full-time participant for a second consecutive day.

“I’m encouraged with where I’m at,” Glenn told Buffalobills.com. “I was here during the bye week getting extra work in and the strength and conditioning staff has done a good job of having me as close to game shape as possible.”

Here’s Buffalo’s Thursday injury report

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Ramon Humber – thumb
TE Charles Clay – knee
G Richie Incognito – rest

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
WR Jordan Matthews – thumb

FULL PRACTICE
CB E.J. Gaines – groin
CB Leonard Johnson – hamstring
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle


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Winston to throw some at Bucs practice today

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2017 – 11:41 am

Bucs QB Jameis Winston only did hand-offs at practice on Wednesday and was limited as he tries to recover from a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. Now there are reports that he’ll be throwing at practice today (Thursday).

That according to Buccaneers.com reporter Scott Smith.

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How Winston comes through today’s practice will go a long way in determining his availability for Sunday’s game.


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Bucs QB Winston limited in practice

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2017 – 4:29 pm

It was fully expected, but Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston was limited in practice Wednesday with the sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder.

Winston didn’t do any throwing as he just handed off. Ryan Fitzpatrick as expected took almost all the first team reps with the offense.

Starting MLB Kwon Alexander also looks ready to return to the lineup after practicing fully on Wednesday. Here’s the Bucs injury report.

Player No. Pos. Injury Wednesday
Kwon Alexander 58 LB Hamstring Full Participation
Lavonte David 54 LB Ankle Limited Participation
Josh Robinson 26 S Concussion Full Participation
Ryan Russell 95 DE Shoulder Did Not Participate
Noah Spence 57 DE Shoulder Limited Participation
Keith Tandy 37 S Hip Limited Participation
T.J. Ward 43 S Hip Limited Participation
Jameis Winston 3 QB Right Shoulder Limited Participation

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Bills add CB Sammy Seamster to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2017 – 4:05 pm

The Bills had an open spot on their practice squad, which they have filled with a cornerback.

Buffalo signed CB Sammy Seamster on Wednesday. Seamster, who was with the Bills for the latter part of the 2015 season and the 2016 offseason, was last with the Dallas Cowboys. He did not make the team’s final roster at the conclusion of the preseason and was released.

Seamster (6-0, 200) appeared in one game for the Bills in his first stint with the club in the 2015 season finale against the Jets. His only other game experience came in 2014 with the Miami Dolphins when he appeared in two games.

CB Greg Mabin, who was released from the active roster to make room for Seantrel Henderson, chose to sign with the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.


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CBs Gaines & Johnson limited Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2017 – 3:46 pm

Bills CB E.J. Gaines and Leonard Johnson were both back on the practice field Wednesday.

Both players benefited from the bye week. The two cornerbacks were limited in Wednesday’s practice session. But Johnson said he felt good.

“It’s actually scary how fast the body can almost heal itself with the proper diet and our medical team doing a great job with rehabbing me and keeping me uplifted and in tune with everything in regards to my movements on the field and in the pool,” said Johnson after Wednesday’s practice. “So I feel pretty good. I feel really good actually.”

So too was WR Jordan Matthews, who caught passes for the first time since thumb surgery two weeks ago.

OT Cordy Glenn practiced fully. Here’s the full injury report.

DID NOT PRACTICE
TE Charles Clay – knee
LB Ramon Humber – thumb

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
CB E.J. Gaines – groin
CB Leonard Johnson – hamstring
WR Jordan Matthews – thumb

FULL PARTICIPATION
OT Cordy Glenn – ankle/foot


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Fitz will get 1st team reps for Bucs on Wed.

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2017 – 10:20 am

With a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, Bucs QB Jameis Winston won’t be doing much more than handing off in practice on Wednesday. That according to Tampa head coach Dirk Koetter.

Koetter gave indication that Ryan Fitzpatrick will get all the first team reps in practice Wednesday for the Bucs, while Winston takes another day to rest his throwing arm.

“(Third string quarterback) Ryan Griffin will be able to run the scout team against the defense and on Wednesday Ryan Fitzpatrick will take the first-team reps,” said Koetter. “Jameis will be able to do some run-game stuff. We’ll do a few more things that fit maybe what Ryan does on Wednesday, and we’ll incorporate that in.”

So it sounds like the true test for Winston’s availability for Sunday’s game will take place at Thursday’s practice.


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Bucs could have LB Alexander back this week

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2017 – 9:12 am

One of Tampa Bay’s best defensive playmakers was out of the lineup last week with a hamstring injury, but according to Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, LB Kwon Alexander has a chance to return to the defensive lineup on Sunday.

“Possibly. It will certainly be good to get Kwon back,” Koetter said. “He is [an] outstanding player. I don’t think it’s going to hurt anything to get Kwon back, but I’m not sure about that.”

Alexander led the NFL last year in solo tackles with 108 and was tied for third in the league with 145 total tackles. He practiced on a limited basis all of last week and was held out of the Bucs loss at Arizona. But it appears he is all systems go for practice this week.

“He is cleared to go this week as far as starting Wednesday,” Koetter said. “Now, that is barring setback but we’re going to have a better injury report on that when it next comes out.”


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Report: Bucs QB Winston has AC joint sprain

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2017 – 3:52 pm

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston sustained a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in Sunday’s game.

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Winston told ESPN’s Jenna Laine that he fully intends to play on Sunday against the Bills. Here was his quote on playing Sunday at New Era Field.

“I’ve come out of a game before, but I don’t think I’ve ever missed a game [on any level]. I don’t think I’m going to miss a game, either,” Winston said.


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Bucs QB Winston to have MRI today

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2017 – 9:14 am

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston left the Bucs game at Arizona Sunday after sustaining a throwing shoulder injury early in the contest. NBC’s Mike Florio was reporting that X-rays on his shoulder were negative after the game, but according to head coach Dirk Koetter, Winston will have an MRI today.

As for his availability for this week’s game against the Bills, Koetter wasn’t ready to make a call on Winston.

“Right now, it’s just too early for that,” Koetter said after the game. “Of course, yeah, we’re concerned about it. That’s why we did get a veteran backup, though.”

That veteran backup is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went 22-of-32 passing in relief for 290 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a Tampa comeback effort that came up short in a loss to Arizona.


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Fan Friday 10-13

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2017 – 5:12 pm

Sorry for the delay Bills fans. We had a publishing glitch. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the status of Seantrel Henderson?

Vince Guarino
@VJGua817

CB: He’s been given a roster exemption this week, giving the team permission to carry 54 rostered players. Come Monday at 4 pm the team will have to make a roster move to add Henderson to the 53-man roster.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How will the o-line look after the bye. Seantrel? Cordy?

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: Head coach Sean McDermott was asked point blank when Cordy Glenn is healthy again will he be the starter at left tackle and McDermott said that they would evaluate the position coming out of the bye week.

It’s clear to me that the coaching staff wants to get Dion Dawkins as much playing time as possible. At who’s expense could very well be Glenn. As frustrating as Glenn’s foot and ankle issues have been, when healthy he’s their best left tackle. It will be interesting to see what they decide.

Henderson has not played meaningful football since the middle of last season. He’s not a viable threat to start right away. If Jordan Mills falters at right tackle and they already have left tackle sorted out I suppose he could possibly be in the mix there, but in the foreseeable future he’s your fourth offensive tackle provided Glenn is back healthy.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Coach has put in rookies to see what they got and changed “starters” every game. Why does this not apply to qb?

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: This is a very logical question David, but quarterbacks are just different. The reason why is very often they’re the leaders of your team as is the case with Tyrod. The coaching staff has done nothing but support Taylor and sing his praises as a leader and hard worker.

If Taylor has done all the right things and is only two starts removed from his best performance of the season (win over Denver) and you’re still in first place in your division, how can you make a change there?

What we saw from Taylor in Cincinnati isn’t a foreign thing. We’ve seen it on occasion in each of the last two years. We all know what Taylor’s strengths are at this point, and we know where he’s going to struggle at times.

The bigger issue for me is the run game. Until that gets fixed no one is going to look very good on the offensive side of the ball. The run game is the identity of this offense, like it or not, and without it your quarterback is not going to look great no matter who it is.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see us getting in the market for a WR via trade?

Terry Long
@TerryGoLong

CB: Sorry, but I don’t. I think if the right player becomes available on waivers they’ll put in a claim, but to think they’re going to part with future assets to help the passing game now I think is unrealistic. They’ve stockpiled these draft picks to build for 2018. They’re not going to compromise that for 2017.

Truthfully is one wide receiver via trade going to make a gigantic difference in a passing game that only throws the ball 20-25 times a game?

I know last week they had 37 pass attempts, but that was an exception because they couldn’t run the ball. I just don’t see a trade scenario coming up that, A-gives them a game-changing talent, B-allows them to acquire such talent without paying a king’s ransom.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How has Zay looked in practice? These drops have to just be rookie nerves right? I was expecting a lot more from him

Patmerica
@PatTookAturn

CB: By all accounts and from what I’ve seen he’s done well at practice. I don’t think Bills fans have any idea how badly this guy wants to contribute and perform. For whatever reason he hasn’t been able to put it all together.

As I said last week, he just needs time on the job. I believe once he makes an important play things will fall into place after that. His confidence is being tested and he’s very hard on himself.

There should be more opportunities for him coming with Clay and Matthews out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.


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Bills add two to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2017 – 3:30 pm

The Bills have added a pair of players to their practice squad. Buffalo signed TE Ryan O’Malley and C Adam Redmond.

O’Malley was an undrafted rookie signing of the Oakland Raiders in 2016 and spent most of that season on the team’s practice squad. Re-signed as a reserve future free agent in January, O’Malley spent the whole offseason and preseason with the Raiders before he was released during final cuts.

Redmond (6-6, 300) was just released by the Indianapolis Colts late last week. He appeared in the team’s first four games and also spent some time on their practice squad. He spent most of the 2016 season on the Colts practice squad after originally signing as an undrafted rookie last year.


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Brown, Alexander try to keep loss in perspective

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2017 – 10:40 am

The game was there for the taking and just about every player in Buffalo’s locker room knew it. But as much as the team tried not to get too high after their upset win of the Falcons in Week 4, they tried to equally quell their disappointment after Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati.

“We have to get better,” said Preston Brown. “It’s not the end of the world, we just lost a game. We have to learn from it and go out there and be better. We have a lot of time to prepare for whoever we have next — I don’t know, I don’t care — we’ve got to find ways to be better and focus on ourselves.”

“It’s still early in the season,” said Alexander. “We can’t allow this to shift us, to go from high to low. That’s never a good thing.  We did some good things out there and we want to build off those.  There were some things we didn’t do so well. We have a lot of football left.  We’ll continue to defend home and figure out how to win a couple of these games on the road and we’ll be fine.”


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Hyde: We got the bad side of the percentages

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2017 – 9:36 am

When a team finishes a game plus-2 in the takeaway category the percentages are high that they win the game. Buffalo was plus-2 on Sunday in Cincinnati, but it did not translate into a win for the Bills. Micah Hyde respects the percentages, but tries not to pay attention to them knowing they guarantee nothing.

“As far as you stat lovers go, 70 percent of the time when you’re plus-two in the turnover differential in a road game you win,” he said. “But this was that 30 percent today. That’s why I don’t pay attention to the stats. It doesn’t matter. We had more opportunities to make plays and we just didn’t execute.”

CB Shareece Wright reiterated the stance that many of Buffalo’s defenders made after the loss at Carolina. Not only do they need to get takeaways, they have to turn those takeaways into touchdowns themselves.

“We’ve got to score when we get those turnovers,” he said. “That’s what we talk about. We’ve been getting those turnovers and getting the ball out. But we’ve got to take it to the next level and make touchdowns and make points ourselves.”

 


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Taylor close to Brady-like with protecting the ball

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2017 – 11:15 am

Tyrod Taylor has done a lot of good things for Buffalo’s offense this year. His completion percentage his up and he’s made good decisions with his legs. He’s also approaching Tom Brady territory when it comes to protecting the football.

Since 2015, Taylor is in a tie for second for most games without an interception with 22. Kansas City’s Alex Smith and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are the other QBs.

Only Brady is better with a total of 24 games without a pick.

Another turnover-free outing against the Bengals puts him one step closer, knowing Brady threw an interception on Thursday Night Football.


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Tyrod a top clutch runner

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2017 – 10:40 am

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor can do a lot of things. One is use his legs to get out of trouble. Taylor hangs in the pocket as long as he can, but when things break down he can use his mobility to get out into space and away from the rush. But what happens when he takes off?

Sure there are times when he doesn’t reach the first down marker, or he’s sacked, but there are also times he’s pulling a rabbit out of the hat and getting his offense a fresh set of downs.

Evidence of that comes in Taylor’s top rank in the advanced metric called ‘Clutch Runs.’

Taylor ranks first in the league in ‘Clutch Runs,’ which are defined as any run on third or fourth down, which results in a touchdown or first down.

The Bills QB leads the league with seven. Right behind him is a quartet of players with six such runs. The Rams Todd Gurley, Cam Newton and the Colts’ Robert Turbin.

Taylor accounted for two of the Bills six third down conversions with his legs in the win at Atlanta. He moved the chains on a 3rd-and-5 and a 3rd-and-3. Both drive ended in points for the Bills.

He had a single such conversion in the win over the Broncos and the loss at Carolina. In Week 1 he had his biggest clutch run total with three third down runs to move the chains.

Taylor’s backfield mate, LeSean McCoy is tied for the fourth-highest total with four this season.

 


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Bills 2nd half ‘D’ as stingy as it gets

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2017 – 9:18 am

An early lead for the Bills could prove to be a good precursor for a victory. Here’s why.

Heading into Sunday’s game, Buffalo currently leads the NFL in fewest points allowed in the second half to their opponents. The Bills have given up a grand total of 19 points in the second half over the first month of the season. No other NFL club has allowed fewer.

As good as that figure is, they’re likely to get some help from a Bengals offense that struggles come the second half. Cincinnati has managed to score just 16 points combined in the second half of their four games this season. That ranks 31st in the league, with only the Colts at 15 total second-half points below them.

It’s even worse come the fourth quarter. The Bengals have managed just a single field goal in the final quarter over season’s first month.


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