Inside The Bills

Chargers OLB Ingram out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 3:01 pm







It was expected that Chargers starting RB Ryan Mathews would miss Sunday’s game with his knee injury, but after not practicing on Friday OLB Melvin Ingram, one of San Diego’s premier pass rushers is also out with a hamstring and hip injury. Ingram was a player on the rise and had a sack and forced fumble on Russell Wilson last week. It’s a loss for the Chargers.

San Diego has another young pass rusher in LB Jeremy Attaochu, who is questionable with a hamstring injury too. He hasn’t practiced all week and is likely a game time decision. WR Keenan Allen is also questionable with a groin injury, as he was limited in practice Friday.

Player Injury Participation Friday Game Status
LB Melvin Ingram Hamstring/Hip Did Not Participate Out
RB Ryan Mathews Knee Did Not Participate Out
S Jahleel Addae Hamstring Full Participation Questionable
WR Keenan Allen Groin Limited Participation Questionable
LB Jerry Attaochu Hamstring Did Not Participate Questionable
CB Chris Davis Ankle Full Participation Probable
CB Brandon Flowers Groin Full Participation Probable
TE Antonio Gates Hamstring Full Participation Probable
DE Corey Liuget Ankle Full Participation Probable
C Rich Ohrnberger Back Full Participation Probable
G Johnnie Troutman Back Full Participation Probable

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Kelly appearance on CNN Friday night

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 1:21 pm

Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will appearing on CNN’s Unguarded show Friday night.

Kelly, who is interviewed by Rachel Nichols, talks about his battle with cancer and his future. Here’s a clip from the interview, which will air tonight at 10:30 pm.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Woods, Rivers update for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 1:17 pm


The Bills have a good chance of seeing WR Robert Woods in the lineup based on the injury status he was given Friday.

After missing practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury suffered late Wednesday, Woods practiced on a limited basis Friday. The news was not as positive for LB Keith Rivers. He practiced on Thursday and was limited on Friday and has been listed as doubtful. That means rookie Preston Brown will make his third straight start. Here’s the rest of Buffalo’s injury report for Sunday’s game.

LB Randell Johnson – knee

LB Keith Rivers – groin

DT Stefan Charles – hip
TE Lee Smith – toe
WR Sammy Watkins – ribs
G Chris Williams – back
WR Robert Woods – ankle

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-19

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 11:45 am

Week 3 and the Chargers are coming in. Should be a tight game. Let’s get to your questions this week on email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills Does potentially bad weather this weekend favor the Bills?


CB: I would tend to think so. Buffalo’s run game is vastly superior to that of San Diego’s. The Chargers have found it difficult to get their run game on track, though in their defense they’ve faced to pretty strong defenses in Arizona and Seattle. But without starter Ryan Mathews (sprained MCL), who is not expected to play a rainy day would favor Buffalo’s ground game.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Will we see Bryce Brown at all this year ?


CB: That’s difficult to determine at this point. It seems clear that the coaching staff wants a fullback active (Frank Summers) with three tailbacks on game day (Dixon, Jackson, Spiller). If one of the top three backs sustains an injury then it’s likely we see Brown, but if not, based on the first two weeks he’ll be the inactive player from that position group.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills Who is more primed for a ‘letdown’ both after big emotional wins. SD, does have the cross country trip.


CB: You are correct the Chargers do have to come east, which is never easy. They’re leaving a day early (today) to get their body clocks adjust to the time change. Last year San Diego was 3-2 playing in the Eastern time zone including their AFC Wild Card playoff win at Cincinnati.

Against the Bills they’ve dropped three of their last four played at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

I don’t know that either team is more susceptible to a letdown than the other. Both are coming off big wins. I think the Bills strengths match up more favorably than the Chargers strengths, but that advantage is not a big one.


4 – Chris,

What is Marquise Goodwin’s role on this team? He played sparingly in Chicago, and overall has not produced much at all since the Jets game at Home last season. Are the coaches going to use him?

He is a 3rd Round pick that seemingly is not on the radar screen with the offensive coaches.

In limited playing time last year, he had 3 TDs on only 17 receptions.

How does a man with 4.27 wheels not get the call to test deep once or twice a game? Or get a bubble screen once a game?

I would hate to see a similar fate for Goodwin, as our other speedster TJ Graham, who was a 3rd Round pick as well.

CB: Through the first two weeks Goodwin has gotten 21 plays out of a total of 116, which is about 18 percent of the snaps. The fact of the matter is the Bills took steps to upgrade their receiving corps with Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams the primary additions. Both sit at the top of the depth chart with Robert Woods.

That leaves Goodwin in the fourth spot, but through the first two weeks the Bills have largely used 11 (1 back, 1 TE, 3 WR) or 12 (1 back, 2 TEs) personnel. There have been few four-wide sets.

I don’t know this, but it appears as though the Bills have a specific package of plays in the game plan for Goodwin each week, and that package only spans 10-15 plays. Could it increase based on the opponent? Yes. Could it stay the same the whole season? Yes again.

Obviously injuries at the receiver position will also impact how much Goodwin sees the field on offense as the season wears on. Ultimately it’s up to the coaches how much or how little they choose to use him on offense.


5 – Hey Chris,

After watching the Bills lately, it seems like Hackett and Marrone have the offense operating very well. My one question is, why don’t they use Dixon and Jackson earlier, to wear down the defense, and then later in the game use CJ to really explode?

Tommy H.

CB: I don’t want to speak for coach Marrone, but Spiller’s home run ability is the difference maker here. Knowing that any carry or reception by Spiller could go the distance almost mandates that he be on the field throughout the course of the game. I also think that Spiller and Jackson offer good differing changes of pace, where Dixon and Jackson might be too similar and allow the opposing defense to get a better read on run plays.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Woods participating

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 11:39 am

Bills WR Robert Woods is participating here at Friday’s practice.

Woods was unable to practice Thursday due to an ankle injury suffered late in Wednesday’s practice.

We’ll know more about his degree of participation as well as his status for Sunday post practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

How Bills coaches help Watkins make plays

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 10:24 am

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, head coach Doug Marrone, Senior Offensive Assistant Jim Hostler and QBs coach Todd Downing are the principle players in putting together the offensive game plan each week. What they’ve done to make use of Sammy Watkins’ talents has been effectively broken down by Matt Bowen, former NFL safety, who finished his career in Buffalo.

Bowen, who writes for Bleacher Report, effectively illustrates how the Bills offensive staff has made use of Watkins’ superb short and intermediate route running to get him the ball in the open field.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills playoff odds up sharply after 2nd win

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 10:12 am

We’re only two games into the regular season, but that hasn’t stopped the number crunchers at Football Outsiders from gauging each of the NFL club’s playoff odds based on their won-loss record from the first two weeks. The Bills, not surprisingly, saw their odds increase sharply after moving to 2-0.

Here’s what Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz came up with for the Bills, which appeared on ESPN Insider as well.

Buffalo Bills
Playoff odds: 66.2 percent, up from 30.6 percent

The Bills have actually been the best of these four teams so far in 2014, especially when you consider the quality of their opponents. The Bills rank third in our VOA ratings, but when I ran an estimate this week that adjusted for how good we expect opponents to be the rest of the season, the Bills ended up No. 1 for Weeks 1-2.

A big part of Buffalo’s early success has been strong play from a relatively anonymous offensive line. The Bears sacked 49ers QBColin Kaepernick four times, but got to Bills QB EJ Manuel only once. The Dolphins took down Patriots QBTom Brady four times in Week 1, but never sacked Manuel in Week 2. With all that protection, Manuel has been extremely efficient, and only Denver and Cincinnati have higher pass offense VOA marks. Manuel’s struggles in the preseason seem like ancient history at this point. (Eli Manning is probably wishing he could move to upstate New York as well.) Manuel seems even more improved once you notice that his receivers don’t have standout numbers so far, with one obvious exception: rookie Sammy Watkins, who burned the Dolphins for eight catches, 117 yards and a touchdown.

Buffalo’s defense, on the other hand, has been fairly average so far this season against both the run and the pass. The Bills were secretly one of the best defenses in the league last year –fourth in our ratings — but we all knew going into the season that it would be difficult for them to overcome the loss of linebacker Kiko Alonso and safety Jairus Byrd.

The Bills’ special teams have been the best in the league so far in 2014, but that’s going to be harder to maintain than their offensive success. Special-teams success, especially in just one or two games, is highly dependent on one or two big plays. For the Bills, that meant a blocked punt and a punt-return touchdown against Miami. They can’t expect to get plays like that every week — or, in this case, two plays like that every other week. More sustainable is the performance of kicker Jordan Gay, the kickoff specialist who has 10 touchbacks in 14 kickoffs plus three kicks that didn’t even get returned out to the 20-yard line.

The Bills also face more obstacles in their division than the Panthers do. Two of Carolina’s rivals have started 0-2, but the rest of the AFC East stands at 1-1 — including, of course, a New England team that has gone the entire 21st century so far without a losing record.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 5:42 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Friday.

  • WCMF, Break room
    • 7:15 am – Colton Schmidt
  • 3 The Edge, Shredd and Ragan
    • 7:20 am – Nigel Bradham
  • CBS Sports Radio, TBD Show
    • 7:25 am – Fred Jackson
  • 97 Rock, Norton in the morning
    • 7:30 am – Scott Chandler
  • KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
    • 7:30 am – CJ Spiller
  • WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 8:10 am – Doug Marrone

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chargers OL, pass rushers nicked up

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 5:19 pm







Already without starting C Nick Hardwick, who was put on injured reserve after Week 1, now has his replacement on the injury report. Starting C Rich Ohrnberger did not practice Thursday with a back injury. He was limited on Wednesday. Starting RG Johnnie Troutman, was also limited Wednesday with a back injury and missed practice Thursday.

San Diego also sat pass rushers Jeremy Attaochu and Melvin Ingram Thursday with hamstring injuries, and WR Keenan Allen was an addition. He was limited with a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
LB Jerry Attaochu Hamstring DNP
LB Melvin Ingram Hamstring DNP
RB Ryan Mathews Knee DNP
C Rich Ohrnberger   Back DNP
G Johnnie Troutman   Back DNP
S Jahleel Addae Hamstring LP
WR Keenan Allen   Groin LP
TE Antonio Gates   Hamstring LP
CB Chris Davis Ankle FP
CB Brandon Flowers   Groin FP
OLB Dwight Freeney   Not Injury Related FP
DE Corey Liuget Ankle FP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chargers WR Allen added to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 4:23 pm

San Diego is already expected to be without starting RB Ryan Mathews Sunday, who reportedly has a sprained MCL and is expected to miss a month or more. Now there’s another offensive starter added to the Chargers injury report.

According to San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Michael Gehlken, WR Keenan Allen was limited in practice Thursday with a groin injury. His participation in practice Friday will be something to watch for tomorrow.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins tops Kiper’s rookie rankings

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 3:57 pm

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper watches the rookie players who were drafted and ranks them through the course of their rookie seasons. Perhaps it isn’t a surprise to most, but Sammy Watkins tops his list.

Watkins was ranked first by Kiper with San Diego CB Jason Verrett ranked second and Miami RT Ju’Wuan James ranked third. Here’s what he wrote about Watkins.

1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo

I didn’t like how much Buffalo gave up for the right to draft Watkins in a draft loaded with WR talent, but it’s not like I was ever down on the player (as you can see). So far Watkins has been really good, leading a surprising, 2-0 Buffalo team in catches (11) and targets (15), and he already has three plays of 20-plus yards. If drafting Watkins was about helping second-year QB EJ Manuel, so far it’s clearly been a smart strategy. If I’m watching one thing, it’s whether Watkins can stay healthy. Hopefully he will.

Fellow Bills rookie Preston Brown was ranked 10th.

10. Preston Brown, OLB, Buffalo

The third-rounder out of Louisville has been called on to play right away in part due to the injury to a preseason ACL injury to Kiko Alonso, and while he’s looked a bit over his head so far, he’s making tackles for a defense that has played well and he’s not coming off the field. He currently leads the Bills with 20 tackles.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pegula purchase pact spikes jersey sales

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 3:38 pm

The announcement last week that Kim and Terry Pegula entered into an agreement to purchase the Buffalo Bills sent Bills jersey sales through the roof. Here are the details.

According to the DICK’S Sporting Goods’ Jersey Report — an interactive website that tracks jersey sales in real-time — after the the purchase agreement was announced, Bills jersey sales spiked 800 percent over their yearly average (see graph below).

Leading the spike in jersey sales for the Bills were running back Fred Jackson and rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Jackson’s jersey has been number 19 in sales nationwide over the last week, compared to 34th in sales for the season to-date.

Watkins jersey is the number two selling rookie jersey for the season (behind only Johnny Manziel), and has been the 13th best-selling jersey overall this week among all players in the league.

jersey sales graph


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Changes on Bills Thurs. injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 2:54 pm





There were a couple of changes on Buffalo’s Thursday injury report concerning a pair of starters on offense.

WR Robert Woods, who was limited Wednesday after sustaining an ankle injury, did not practice at all Thursday.

“Right now he wouldn’t be able to play,” said head coach Doug Marrone.

Meanwhile starting LG Chris Williams was limited in practice with a back ailment listed, but Marrone said it was a proactive precautionary move, not a reactionary move to an injury.

“He went throughout the practice we just watched his reps,” said Marrone.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Jonathan Meeks S Neck DNP
Randell Johnson LB Knee DNP
Keith Rivers LB Groin LP
Stefan Charles DT Hip LP
Robert Woods WR Ankle DNP
Chris Williams G Back LP
Lee Smith TE Toe FP
Sammy Watkins WR Ribs FP


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Reich returns to RWS as Chargers OC

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 11:30 am

This Sunday the Chargers will be bringing a couple of former Bills players with them on their coaching staff. Pete Metzelaars is San Diego’s tight ends coach and Frank Reich is their offensive coordinator. It’s Reich’s first year in that role after serving as quarterbacks coach last year under new Chargers head coach Mike McCoy. McCoy explained why he promoted Reich after former OC Ken Whisenhunt left for the Tennessee head coaching post.

“I’ve known Frank for a little while now and understanding the system that we were putting in place last year here, when we all came together,” said McCoy. “Having worked in Indianapolis with Peyton [Manning] who I had in Denver, obviously, and then the relationship with Ken Whisenhunt that he had developed a few years back… so it’s an easy transition to bring him in and say ‘Frank I want you to be the quarterback coach.’ And I always targeted him as a possible coordinator if Ken ever left and it happened obviously after the first year and Frank has done an outstanding job at this point in time.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Former Bills among HOF nominees

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 11:15 am

There were a host of former Bills players and coaches on the Pro Football HOF nominee list released this week. There were 113 nominees in all.

Here’s a look at the names with Bills ties.

LB Cornelius Bennett
C Kent Hull
HC Chuck Knox
HC Lou Saban
NT Fred Smerlas
LB Chris Spielman
LB Darryl Talley
ST Steve Tasker
CB Troy Vincent
NT Ted Washington

Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: We’ll need fans at full throat again

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 10:00 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was quick to credit the fans after Buffalo’s win last Sunday against Miami in his postgame press conference. He’s appealing to the fans again to provide the same volume of support this Sunday when the Bills host the Chargers.

Marrone was asked if he could tell Bills fans that this 2-0 team will be different than the ones that have come before them and come up short concerning the postseason.

“I can’t tell them about the long haul, but all I know is this. We need them this weekend,” said Marrone. “I think they’ll be a big difference in this game. On third down and things like that, so if we have the same type of crowd and the situational awareness of our crowd they can be a big help for us. I can’t discuss all the other things that have gone on in the past.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson thinks this team can be different

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 9:08 am

There have been 2-0 Bills teams in the past that could not get the job done come season’s end. Fred Jackson, who was a part of some of those teams, believes this year’s team is different from those that came up short.

“Number one is our coaching staff is going to do a tremendous job of keeping us focused on what we need to improve on,” Jackson said. “I think we’ve got a lot of great leaders on this team.  That may not have been the case, it may have been the case in the past. We definitely have in place that are going to say we have to focus on improving the things that we aren’t doing well and not focus on the things that we are. That’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to see the things that we need to get better at and improve on those things and we’ll give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills staying grounded despite 2-0 start

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 5:57 pm

Buffalo’s 2-0 start certainly has fans excited about the 2014 season, but the players in the Bills locker room are keeping their heads down and focusing on the task at hand, which is San Diego this week. When asked if it’s difficult to block out the hype going on outside the building, QB EJ Manuel said it’s not a problem at all.

“Very easy. Just come in every day and work. Don’t feel like you’ve arrived because we haven’t,” he said. “Don’t feel like we’ve earned anything, because we haven’t. I think it’s extremely important for us to stay the course that we’re on and remain confident. But most of all, continue to prepare like we’ve done. That’s a huge stride that our team has taken. A lot of guys are coming in on their days off, staying late during the week, making sure that we’re prepared mentally for our opponents. Obviously, taking care of our bodies and doing extra stuff, you can see the D-tackles down there working. That’s all across the board. I’m really happy to see that.”


Posted in Inside the Bills

Chargers TE Gates doesn’t practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 4:58 pm





The Chargers got three touchdown catches from Antonio Gates in last week’s win over the Seattle Seahawks. Now San Diego is just looking to get Gates back on the practice field. Gates along with a handful of other starters did not practice Wednesday. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Starting RB Ryan Mathews is not expected to play Sunday due to a reported sprained MCL. The rest of the injured starters are on the defensive side of the ball with pass rushers Jerry Attaochu and Melvin Ingram both sidelined with hamstring injuries. Starting CB Brandon Flowers has a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Jerry Attaochu LB Hamstring DNP
Brandon Flowers CB Groin DNP
Dwight Freeney LB Not Injury Related DNP
Antonio Gates TE Hamstring DNP
Melvin Ingram LB Hamstring DNP
Ryan Mathews RB Knee DNP
Jahleel Addae S Hamstring LP
Rich Ohrnberger CB Back LP
Johnnie Troutman G Back LP
Chris Davis CB Ankle FP
Corey Liuget DE Ankle FP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills Wednesday injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 3:44 pm





Here’s a look at the Bills injury report on Wednesday in advance of their game against San Diego this weekend.

LB Randell Johnson – knee

LB Keith Rivers – groin
DT Stefan Charles – hip
WR Robert Woods – ankle

WR Sammy Watkins – ribs
TE Lee Smith – toe

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Posted in Inside the Bills