Inside The Bills

Watkins: We’ve got to do more on offense

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 12:39 pm

The 20-13 final said enough for the men on Buffalo’s offense. On a day where their defense was really frustrating the Patriots offense, the Bills offensive unit had to do more when it came to finishing drives. That’s why Sammy Watkins had nothing but praise for his defensive teammates after the game.

“The defense played great. I know they got a little miscue with big plays and things like that, but to hold those guys to 20 points, they did great,” Watkins said. “That’s why it’s all on the offense. We’ve got to score points. You can’t ask for a better defensive stand and better defensive plays. We’ve got to score on offense and that’s on any team, the offense has to put up points.”

Buffalo’s offense did move the ball on New England with four of their 13 possessions covering 50 or more yards, but only one of those four drives resulted in a touchdown. When asked what’s keeping them from finding the end zone more often, Watkins chalked it up to details.

“It’s just little things. Little situations. Little first downs, catch the ball get the first down,” he said. “Catch the ball and go out of bounds. There are little things we’ve got to clean up. We’re not far off. There are little situations we’re in and we’ve got to focus a little bit more on both sides of the ball.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gronk gives Bills ‘D’ credit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 12:29 pm

They held the Patriots to more than 17 points below their scoring average (37.3) on their home field. They held Tom Brady to a 51 percent completion percentage, his lowest since his first half of work against the Bills in the season finale in 2014. And he had his lowest passer rating (72.3) since that 2014 season finale as well. In the process they held Rob Gronkowski to just two receptions for 37 yards despite being targeted twice. It left Gronk respecting Buffalo’s ‘D’ postgame.

“They’re a good team. You got to give credit to them. They’ve got a good defense,” said Gronkowski. “They’ve got a lot of good players out there and you got to give them credit. They did a lot of things right – tough, physical and ready to play. The thing is, we just came in here and got the win and wins are always big.”

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell felt the same way about Buffalo’s stifling defense.

“They [the Bills] played a really good game on defense,” he said. “We couldn’t convert on third downs, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They were just sending more guys than we could handle. They played lights out on third down; I think we converted like three-out-of-12 third downs [4-for-14 on 3rd downs]. We could never stay out on the field and get into a rhythm and I get into some up-tempo plays because they kept stopping us,”

Gronk is right. The win was the most important thing, but the Patriots aren’t laughing at the Bills anymore like they did in the days of Donte Whitner. They can see they’re closing the gap.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin faces the music

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 4:39 am

He obviously felt awful about how his fumble on a punt return led to three valuable points for New England in Buffalo’s 20-13 loss to the Patriots. But Leodis McKelvin addressed the media in Buffalo’s locker room postgame.

“We made mistakes,” said McKelvin. “We have to make sure we stay on top of keys and communication and everything will work out fine. We had mishaps and we had things that go against and they capitalized off of those mistakes.”

McKelvin wasn’t impressed with the team’s defensive effort believing they didn’t come up big in a couple of big spots in the game.

“Four out of 14 on third down (conversions allowed is nice), but we’re talking about crucial situations,” he said. “Talking about getting to third down and then having a holding penalty, or getting to third down and having a communication breakdown. The goal was to have no letdowns on the defensive side. Special teams missed field goal and a fumble. Those things will hurt you.”

When asked specifically about his fumble and how that also happened back in 2009 on a kick return, McKelvin was matter of fact.

“That’s football,” he said. “Things happen and I guess it just happens to me in this place. Luck of the draw, but either or, like I said we’re going to come out here and get ready to play as a team and get this next victory in Kansas City.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Head of officiating explains inadvertent whistle

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 1:09 am

The NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino provided an explanation for the officiating crew’s inadvertent whistle in the Bills-Patriots game Monday night.

Here was his explanation.


On the inadvertent whistle:

“The line judge lost track of the football and he blew his whistle inadvertently. That’s a mistake and we shouldn’t have blown the whistle. So by rule they are going to look as to where was the football when the whistle was blown and they determined that Amendola had the football when the whistle was blown. So then the team with possession gets an option: they can either take the ball at that spot or they can replay the down. So New England decided to take the ball at the spot which was more beneficial to them. And then there was a penalty on the play called against coach Ryan so that penalty by rule is also enforced from the spot where the whistle blew. So that’s how they came to that decision.”

On if he was confused as to why the whistle was blown:

“Sure. You’re always wondering when – again just by definition an inadvertent whistle is a whistle that shouldn’t have been blown – so you’re wondering why. It has happened before. This isn’t the first time an official loses track of where the football is and thinks that the play is over and blows his whistle. We do want our officials to blow their whistle when the play is over. So you’re wondering why that happened. But then once it did happen, the crew I thought did a good job of handling where they were going to put the football because again both teams are affected by the whistle blowing. Both teams stop and so we can’t assume what would have happened. So we gave the ball to the Patriots at the spot of the catch and then enforced the penalty from there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 7:14 pm

Here are the inactive players for the Patriots for tonight’s game against the Bills.

LB Jamie Collins
CB Justin Coleman
WR Julian Edelman

G Tre Jackson

WR Keshawn Martin

DT Sealver Siliga

DL Trey Flowers

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 7:06 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for tonight’s game against the Patriots.

DT Kyle Williams

DT Stefan Charles

OT Cyrus Kouandjio

G Gabe Ikard

LB Randell Johnson

RB Boom Herron

QB Josh Johnson

Posted in Inside the Bills

Moment of silence for Bills-Pats pre-game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 5:45 pm

Prior to the Monday night game between the Bills and Patriots there will be a special moment of silence observed. Here are the details.

Before the national anthem is sung there will be a moment of silence observed for 18-year old Ezra Schwartz, a Sharon, Massachusetts native who was killed on Thursday in the West Bank. Schwartz was not military, but was delivering food to soldiers. Here is more on his story.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots report WR Dobson now questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 12:28 pm

The New England Patriots have issued a statement that WR Aaron Dobson has been added to the injury report with a back injury today.

Dobson is listed as questionable. No word as to how or when the injury surfaced, but it could further deplete New England’s receiving corps if he’s unable to play. Dobson is the team’s fourth wideout behind Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Keshawn Martin, though Martin is also questionable with a hamstring injury.

We’ll have the inactives for both the Patriots and Bills published here about 90 minutes before kickoff tonight.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady not thrilled Bills CBs playing so well

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 12:10 pm

The Buffalo Bills two starting cornerbacks, Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have probably been the two most consistent players on defense this season. One opponent who is noticing is Patriots QB Tom Brady.

“Yeah, they definitely have good matchups out there, so I think they have a lot of confidence in them,” said Brady in reference to Darby and Gilmore. “And those players have done a great job when the coach has asked them, ‘Alright, you’ve got this guy, and you’re going to match him and shadow him.’ They definitely do a good job of that.

“It was a little disappointing to see from my study that they were playing as well as they were, but that’s part of it. You’re going to go against good players. And they’ve got good players, so we’ve got to still kind of figure out how to move the ball down the field.”

Even though Brady did throw for a season-high 466 yards in a Week 2 win over the Bills, he had the fourth-lowest completion percentage in a game this season (64.4%) and the third lowest yards per attempt (7.9) as the approach was for Brady to get the ball out fast to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush.

Brady currently leads the league in pass release time at an average of just 2.13 seconds.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots body double for Tyrod Taylor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2015 – 2:45 pm

The New England Patriots, like every other team in the NFL have a scout team designed to give their starting defense as realistic a look as possible to prepare for Buffalo’s offense on Monday night. Finding someone who can emulate Tyrod Taylor is not easy, but the Patriots feel they’ve got a suitable body double.

New England made use of backup QB Jimmy Garappolo on the scout team to serve as their Tyrod Taylor in practice.

“Jimmy is a good athlete,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “We’ve had several quarterbacks like that this year that we’ve played against that have run well – [Blake] Bortles and obviously Taylor and you can go right down the line. So when those situations come up, teams that run those kinds of plays, bootlegs or quarterback keeps or even just loose scramble plays, he gives us a great look on those.

“And throwing the ball, too, some of it is running around, sometimes we’ve done things like put a receiver back there to run around, which is good for the defensive line or the pass rush to see a player that has that kind of quickness. Like when we played against [Doug] Flutie or somebody like that, I can remember putting whoever our quickest player was back there to run around to simulate the pass rush and how hard it was to contain him, but then you couldn’t throw the ball. You didn’t get the look down the field or the defensive backs would see a receiver in the game at quarterback, and again that was good for the line, but the guy couldn’t throw the ball 20 yards downfield.

“But with Jimmy, it’s obviously a different story, so he’s given us a great look on the passing part of it but also the running part of it. And again, those players are smart. They run when they can run. They don’t run when there’s nowhere to run. If there’s nowhere to run, they’ll throw. But if you give them a spot to run, unless they have a great passing opportunity, they’ll take advantage of it.”

Belichick and his defense successfully closed down potential running lanes for Taylor in the first meeting. Hemmed in the pocket a good portion of the time, Taylor was sacked a season-high eight times in the first matchup with New England.

“I think that’s really the key for us, if we have the player contained he’s probably not going to try to run too much,” Belichick said. “If we don’t, then we’re vulnerable and he’s going to get us. It’s having the guy who can make that right decision and really give you that realistic look of, we don’t really have it and he hurts us with it, whereas sometimes you’re coaching on the film in practice and you’re saying, ‘Well if we were playing against this guy and this happened, this is what he’s going to do.’ But we can’t really do that so the players never really get that. They hear it, but they don’t really experience it. But Jimmy has done a good job of that. He’s moved and he’s very athletic. He’s fast and he’s got very good quickness, and he can obviously throw the ball so it brings all those elements into it.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pats LB Collins out, 3 OL questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2015 – 4:14 pm

The Patriots already knew they would be without WR Julian Edelman for Monday night’s game against the Bills. They were hoping however, to get LB Jamie Collins back after a two-game absence. That will not happen in Week 11.

Collins, who has been battling illness the past few weeks, was listed as out on Saturday for New England along with Edelman.

Questionable for the Patriots are three offensive linemen including their two starting offensive tackles in Sebastian Vollmer (concussion) and Marcus Cannon (toe). Both were limited in practice this week. Both missed New England’s game last week against the Giants.

DE Chandler Jones, who was battling through an abdominal injury and was limited all week in practice is probable.

WR Julian Edelman – foot
LB Jamie Collins – illness
CB Justin Coleman – hand

OT Marcus Cannon – toe
OT Sebastian Vollmer – concussion
G Tre’ Jackson – knee
WR Keshawn Martin – hamstring

DL Alan Branch – elbow
DE Chandler Jones – abdomen
OL Shaq Mason – knee
DE Jaball Sheard – ankle

Posted in Inside the Bills

Richie Incognito questionable for Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2015 – 4:07 pm

The Bills have been a relatively healthy group up on their offensive line. Entering Monday night’s game against the Patriots their most consistent offensive lineman is questionable.

Guard Richie Incognito is questionable with a shoulder injury sustained in practice this week. He was limited in practice Friday and limited against on Saturday. If Incognito can’t go Kraig Urbik would step in at guard Monday night.

Meanwhile Leodis McKelvin and Karlos Williams were both removed from the injury report. Both practiced fully on Saturday as they each returned from illness.

DT Kyle Williams – knee

G Richie Incognito – shoulder


OT Cyrus Kouandjio – knee

RB Karlos Williams
DB Leodis McKelvin

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin practicing 

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2015 – 11:26 am

The Bills are a pretty healthy bunch heading into their Monday night matchup with New England as one of their veteran DBs returned to practice Saturday. 

Leodis McKelvin, who missed practice on Thursday and Friday due to illness is back practicing today. 

Head coach Rex Ryan said he expected McKelvin to play Monday. 

We’ll have the full injury report later today for Monday’s game. 

Posted in Inside the Bills

Pats LB Collins misses practice, 4 OL limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 3:31 pm

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The shoe is on the other foot here in the second half of the season. After the Bills experienced life without their top two running backs, their starting QB and their top two wide receivers, it’s the Patriots that have a laundry list of injuries.

New England LB Jamie Collins, one of the biggest playmakers on their defense, did not practice for a second straight day. He’s missed the last two games. Their top pass rusher, Chandler Jones, who leads the league in sacks was also limited for a second day with an abdominal injury.

Meanwhile four of their offensive linemen including their two starting offensive tackles were limited again Friday in practice. Both tackles missed last week’s game against the Giants.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday Participation Friday
Coleman, Justin CB Hand DNP DNP
Collins, Jamie LB Illness DNP DNP
Edelman, Julian WR Foot DNP DNP
Branch, Alan DL Elbow LP LP
Cannon, Marcus OL Toe LP LP
Jackson, Tre’ OL Knee LP LP
Jones, Chandler DE Abdomen LP LP
Martin, Keshawn WR Hamstring LP LP
Mason, Shaq OL Knee LP LP
Sheard, Jabaal DE Ankle LP LP
Vollmer, Sebastian OL Concussion LP LP

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex expects McKelvin & Karlos to play Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 2:58 pm

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Bills DB Leodis McKelvin missed a second straight day of practice due to illness and Karlos Williams also fell victim to illness at practice on Friday and was limited. But head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t see it affecting either players’ chance of playing against New England Monday night in Foxborough.

“I expect him to play,” said Ryan of McKelvin. “Same thing with Karlos.”

With the game on Monday night both McKelvin and Karlos Williams have the benefit of an extra day to prepare for the game. Here’s the updated injury report for Friday. Player status for the game will be posted Saturday with the game being on Monday night.
CB Leodis McKelvin – illness
DT Kyle Williams – knee

OL Richie Incognito – shoulder
RB Karlos Williams – illness

OT Cyrus Kouandjio – knee

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins named NFLPA Community MVP

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 2:11 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was honored for his efforts in the community off the field by the NFLPA Friday. The Players Association named the receiver their Week 11 Community MVP.

The wide receiver hosted more than 50 students from local Boys and Girls Clubs and the Cheektowaga Little Loop, and all were treated to rounds of bowling, pizza, photos and autographs. The Cheektowaga program is the area’s longest running and lowest cost youth football and cheerleading organization.

“My favorite part of the event was definitely just to the see the smile on the kids’ faces,” Watkins said. “It’s so rewarding to see the way that the kids react and how something as simple as bowling has such an impact.”

Founded in 2012 by Joe Allen, Strikes For Kids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to benefit youth enhancement programs like Make-A-Wish, The Boys & Girls Club, The United Way and Children’s Hospitals across the country.

“I’m a regular,” Watkins said. “I own three bowling balls myself! During the offseason I can sometimes bowl 20-30 hours a week. It’s a great way to hang out with the guys, and it’s actually a fun sport when you get good at it.”

Joining Watkins were Buffalo teammates Alex Carrington, Johnathan Meeks, Bacarri Rambo and Tony Steward. Despite bowling a 180 at the Strikes for Kids event, Watkins admitted with a laugh that Stewart and Rambo were the leading scorers for the day.

The event, in its first year, drew a crowd of 200 guests. The proceeds will go towards the Sammy Watkins Strikes for Scholarships Fund, which will grant two scholarships annually to youth in the Buffalo area.



Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-20

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 12:49 pm

The Bills are trying to pull off an impressive trifecta in their gauntlet run through the division, and the hardest hurdle to clear is next with the Patriots in Foxboro Monday night. They’re 2-0 so far. We’ll see what Monday night holds. Here are your latest edition of questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

any chance they let robert woods do something besides block this week?


CB: I know Woods hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to make plays in the passing game lately. Part of the reason is the reduction in pass attempts the last few weeks. Tyrod Taylor has averaged just over 18 pass attempts a game in his last three appearances. It’s not like they haven’t made an effort to get Woods the ball. His eight targets in the last two games are second only to Sammy Watkins. Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy are the only other players who have been passing targets the last two games.

So while Woods hasn’t been able to make a giant impact in the passing game, when the Bills do go to the air he is a part of the plan. The passing game has just taken a back seat to the run game of late.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

biggest matchup advantage the Bills have this week?


CB: I really like Charles Clay in this game. Patrick Chung is a box safety and Devin McCourty is average at best in coverage. I believe Clay could have a day against the Patriots in the passing game and serve as a valuable underneath and seam target for Tyrod Taylor.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

the last few games, Bills have put a healthy DT on the inactive list, do you expect that to change against Blount?


CB: I don’t know that LeGarrette Blount’s presence on the opponent’s roster necessarily demands that another defensive tackle be active Monday night. The Jets’ Chris Ivory runs every bit as tough as Blount, and in my opinion runs with more power and Buffalo had a DT inactive last Thursday night.

The inactive list is put together with a lot of factors in mind. Injuries, game plan, matchups, etc. So I understand why you might expect with a big back that more DTs would be active, but knowing that Carrington and Mario can play end or tackle you have enough versatility in your defensive linemen that all of them do not need to be active on game day provided everyone is healthy.


4 – Chris;
I would be interested on your thoughts for handling Gronk ?
My thoughts are assigning someone to shadow him every play, a player who is big enough and tough enough to match him physically . My thoughts, Hughes or Lawson on D, maybe Gregg or Gray who know TE plays ??
We need to think outside the box on him.

Jim in Florida

I had a new idea about how to handle Gronk that came to me this week. Unfortunately with Leodis McKelvin’s status up in the air I’m not sure it will work. In any case, with Julian Edelman out of the lineup Buffalo can afford to deploy their defensive backs differently.

Let’s assume for now that Leodis McKelvin is available to play. If that’s the case I would put McKelvin outside opposite Ronald Darby, leave Nickell Robey in the slot and put Stephon Gilmore on Rob Gronkowski.

He’s the most physical defensive back on the team. He can clearly run with Gronk and has the physical skill set and size to defend passes against him. Without game-breaking threats elsewhere you can afford to put your top corner on Gronk in my opinion. You’ve got nothing to lose as I see it.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will EJ be the backup QB on Monday or not dress? #Bills


CB: Rex Ryan said that EJ Manuel is his backup for the rest of the season and that last Thursday night was a special circumstance in making Josh Johnson the backup QB and making Manuel one of the team’s seven inactive players.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod glad he has 2nd crack at Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 9:04 am

Tyrod Taylor was anything but happy with his performance against New England back in Week 2. Though he threw three touchdown passes to help Buffalo climb back into the game, he also threw three interceptions and was sacked eight times. That’s why he’s aiming to redeem himself with a productive and consistent performance Monday night in Foxborough.

“Every time you go out there and perform I definitely take it personally,” said Taylor. “Whether it’s a good performance or a bad performance.  Every time you get a chance to go out there and prove yourself, those bad performances are in your head. You definitely want to go out there and show people what you can do and who you are. I look forward to that every time I step on the football field.”

Taylor stressed that he won’t be trying to do anything that’s outside the scope of the game plan unless he’s forced to improvise.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cordy Glenn shrugs off contract questions

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2015 – 5:23 pm

He’s in a contract year. Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn is playing out the final year of his rookie contract here in 2015. Naturally he’ll be looking for a big money second contract this offseason. When asked about it by the media on Thursday however, Glenn said it’s not the time to be talking about personal priorities.

Right now, I’m just trying to get better and whatever happens at the end of the season, happens,” said Glenn. “Of course I would love to be here. Right now, I’m just focusing game by game, week by week, and everything will take care of itself after the season. The most important thing is doing my job so that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Glenn was Buffalo’s second-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He’s made 54 career starts for the Bills. The left tackle has started 50 consecutive games heading into Monday night.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Pats LB Collins still not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2015 – 4:05 pm

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He’s missed each of the last two games for New England. Athletic LB Jamie Collins has been out with an illness and on Thursday he was unable to practice again. He and WR Julian Edelman were the only non-participants for New England.

The Patriots three injured offensive linemen all participated on a limited basis Thursday. Marcus Cannon, Tre’ Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer all missed last week’s game against the Giants.

The NFL’s sack leader, Chandler Jones, was also limited with an abdominal injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Coleman, Justin CB Hand DNP
Collins, Jamie LB Illness DNP
Edelman, Julian WR Foot DNP
Branch, Alan DL Elbow Limited Participation
Cannon, Marcus OL Toe Limited Participation
Jackson, Tre’ OL Knee Limited Participation
Jones, Chandler DE Abdomen Limited Participation
Martin, Keshawn WR Hamstring Limited Participation
Mason, Shaq OL Knee Limited Participation
Sheard, Jabaal DE Ankle Limited Participation
Vollmer, Sebastian OL Concussion Limited Participation

Posted in Inside the Bills