Inside The Bills

Nick Saban statement on Bills hire of Daboll

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2018 – 9:27 am

Six-time national champion head coach Nick Saban issued the following statement after the Bills announced the hire of his now former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

“Brian did a tremendous job for us this past season at Alabama, and I know he will do a great job for the Buffalo Bills,” Saban said. “He is an outstanding coach and coordinator who put us in position to be successful each week. We appreciate all that he did in terms of his time and his dedication in contributing to the success we had this season. We wish Brian, his wife Beth, and their entire family all the best.”


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Gaine returns to Houston

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2018 – 9:29 am

The Bills hired Brian Gaine away from the Houston Texans to serve as their Vice President of Player Personnel. But just a year later the Texans organization had a vacancy to fill with GM Rick Smith taking a leave of absence. They hired Gaine back to serve as GM.

The Houston Texans announced the hiring officially on Saturday.

Gaine served as the Bills third in command under GM Brandon Beane and Assistant GM Joe Schoen on the personnel side of the organization. Buffalo’s college scouting department however remains completely intact with Director of College Scouting Terrance Gray and Lake Dawson, Assistant Director of College Scouting.


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Bills 2018 picks, where & from whom

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2018 – 11:45 am

By now most Bills fans are aware that the Bills have a total of eight picks in the 2018 draft. But with all the trades some may not know whether it’s Buffalo’s original pick in a certain round or a pick acquired from a trade with another club. Here’s the rundown of which round and where the picks came from.

1st round – No. 21 (own) and No. 22 (from KC)
2nd round – Bills pick and Rams pick (from Watkins trade)
3rd round – Eagles pick (from Matthews trade)
4th round – Bills pick
5th round – Bills pick and Jaguars pick (from Dareus trade)

Buffalo has no picks in rounds six or seven.


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Bills fans dedication appreciated

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 8:18 pm

If it wasn’t enough to see how Bills fans came out in droves after Buffalo qualified for the playoffs last week, their support at Everbank Field in Jacksonville on Sunday put them over the top in the eyes of players and coaches.

“They are the best fans in the league and you could never say enough good things about them. It’s just awesome to have them behind us,” said Kyle Williams.

“I appreciate the fans making the trip like they did down here to support us,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “Heck of a year.”

“It’s great they wanted to come down here, for us to have the support, getting off the plane, cheering us on. It’s awesome to be able to feel that,” said Lorenzo Alexander.

“That’s one thing that was a surprise,” said LeSean McCoy. “Coming from Philadelphia those fans travel everywhere, but I think Buffalo fans have got them beat. That’s awesome. I’m extremely disappointed to let them down. They traveled so far and they rallied behind us when things were looking good. They made this trip. I’m sorry we couldn’t get a win for them.”


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Stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 8:17 pm

It wasn’t an easy game to watch, but there were some telling statistics at the end of Buffalo’s difficult 10-3 loss to the Jaguars.

119 – Total yards from scrimmage for LeSean McCoy on a bad ankle (75 rush, 44 rec.)
78 – Total yards from scrimmage for Leonard Fournette (57 rush, 21 rec.)

39% – Bills third down conversion rate (7-18)
17% – Jaguars third down conversion rate (2-12)

130 – Bills net yards rushing
133 – Bills net yards passing

45% – Bills completion percentage

Red zone possessions
Bills – 1 (result – FG)
Jaguars – 1 (result – TD)

Time of possession
Bills – 32:37
Jaguars – 27:23

Deepest penetration into Jaguars territory after field goal drive
Jaguars 48-yard line (twice)


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Why Bills point differential means nothing now

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 11:00 am

For the naysayers in the media who have criticized the Bills as an unfit playoff participant due to some below average statistics in certain offensive and defensive categories, here’s an example of why negative statistics don’t mean anything once you reach the postseason.

A good number of Bills critics have pointed to Buffalo’s negative point differential, as there aren’t too many teams in the history of the league who score fewer points than their opponents and reach the playoffs.

But the Bills have, and in addition, history is on their side.

The Bills have the fifth-worst regular-season point differential among postseason teams all-time, but the four teams who were worse than Buffalo went 4-0 in their postseason openers.

Worst Regular-Season Point Diff, Teams Reaching Postseason

Team                                     Point Diff            Playoff Opener (all WC Games)
2010 Seahawks                 -97                          Won vs Saints, 41-36
2011 Broncos                     -81                          Won vs Steelers, 29-23 (OT)
2004 Rams                          -73                          Won @ Seahawks, 27-20
1989 Steelers                    -61                          Won @ Hou Oilers, 26-23 (OT)
2017 Bills                            -57                          Sunday @ Jaguars


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Bills need to close as strong as they’ve opened

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 10:18 am

Down the stretch of the 2017 regular season the Bills did a solid job of getting off to fast starts, something that was a trouble area earlier in the year. In their last three games, Buffalo has put up 17 points on their opening drives (2 TDs, 1 FG), where in the first 13 games of the season they had a total of just 6 (2 FGs).

That helped the Bills go 4-2 to end the regular season, as they outscored their opponents 24-6 in the first quarter. Buffalo also did not trail in any of their last four wins in part because of their fast starts.

In addition, the Bills drove for field goals on their opening possession of the second half in both Weeks 16 and 17. So, they’ve scored on their opening drive out of the locker room in four straight halves and five of the last six.

The task is likely to be a lot more difficult against a Jaguars defense that gave up an NFL-low 13 opening-drive points all season (1 TD, 2 FGs).

An even bigger challenge, however might be scoring in the fourth quarter, a problem area for several weeks for the Bills down the stretch this season.

Buffalo has only three points in the final 15 minutes of regulation over their last six games. Believe it or not over that span, they have more touchdowns in overtime (one) than in the fourth quarter.

Bills in 4th Quarter, 2017

Gms 1-10                  Gms 11-16

Points                                   90                                              3
Touchdowns                      9                                                 0
Point Diff.                            +22                                         -41

The team’s last two fourth-quarter TDs came in Week 11 at the LA Chargers, and were largely insignificant scores in a blowout loss.


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Bortles better at home

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 9:45 am

No one would argue that Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has a penchant for turning the ball over. He’s got 13 interceptions this season, five of which have come in the last two games of the regular season. But those picks came in road games. At home Bortles looks to be a much more productive signal caller.

His three strong games in December all came at EverBank Field, and counting the Jags’ “home” game at Wembley Stadium in London, his numbers were quite good.

Blake Bortles, 2017 – Home & Away Numbers

Home                    Away

Comp Pct             64.3                        55.6

Yds/Pass Att       7.65                        6.35

Pass Yds/Gm      267.9                     193.0

TD/INT                  15/5                         6/8

Won-Loss            6-2                            4-4


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Bills need their ball security to continue

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 9:14 am

As much as the Bills defense will be trying to get Jaguars QB Blake Bortles to make a mistake in the passing game today, Buffalo’s offense will be focused on continuing their own ball security.

Only the Kansas City Chiefs have had more games this season in which they did not turn the ball over (9). Buffalo was tied for second fewest giveaways this season with a pair of other playoff teams.

In those games in which they didn’t turn the ball over, the Bills were 6-2.

The reason not giving the ball to the Jaguars is doubly important is because a third of Jacksonville’s points scored this season have come off takeaways. The Jags were second in the league in total takeaways (33) and first in the league in points scored off takeaways (137).

The good news is the Bills have not turned the football over in each of their last three games. Their last giveaway came in the snow game against the Colts right at the end of regulation.

NFL Teams, 2017 – Most Games With 0 Giveaways
Chiefs                   9
Bills                        8
Patriots                8
Vikings                  8

 


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Green playoff QBs square off for Bills-Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 8:45 am

Most fans are aware that this is the first career postseason start for both Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles. What most may not know is how rare that is in the NFL.

Having a pair of QBs, who each have at least 40 starts in their career, but will make their first postseason against one another, hasn’t occurred in a postseason game in 60 years.

The last time two quarterbacks with at least 40 career starts met for their first playoff game was in 1957 in a Divisional playoff between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers. Tobin Rote, had 78 regular season starts and Y.A. Tittle had 67.

Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles – Career Starts Entering Sunday

QB                          Reg Season         Playoffs
Taylor                    42                           0
Bortles                  61                           0


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Jags run game losing steam?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2018 – 8:15 am

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a run-heavy team and not surprisingly led the NFL in rushing with more than 140 yards on the ground per game (141.1). But over the final third of the season, they had trouble matching their rushing production from earlier in the year.

In the Jaguars last six games their yards per carry average dropped almost a full yard and their rushing yards per game fell by more than 50 yards. In fact, in four of their last six games this season, Jacksonville did not reach 100 yards rushing. Hopefully the Bills can keep that trend going.

Jaguars’ Rushing, 2017 – Season Breakdown

Gms 1-10             Gms 11-16

Yards/Rush         4.60                        3.69

Rush Yds/Gm     160.6                     109.3


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Bills have more playoff experience than Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 5:49 pm

The Bills haven’t been to the postseason in 17 seasons, while the Jaguars haven’t made it in a decade. So there are a good number of players on each team without playoff experience where any player who has participated in the playoffs will tell you, the intensity of play goes up a notch. But in looking at both rosters, Buffalo has vastly more playoff game experience than Jacksonville.

For all the time Buffalo has been out of the postseason, the Jaguars have even less postseason experience than the Bills.

2017 Playoff Teams – Fewest Games of Postseason Experience

Rams                     21
Jaguars                 42
Vikings                  69
Eagles                   74
Bills                       77

Despite having almost twice the experience in the playoffs on their roster, some of those players on Buffalo’s roster, who have been in postseason games have been getting questions from teammates who haven’t.

“There have been a few questions,” admitted Pat DiMarco, who went all the way to the Super Bowl last season with the Falcons. “I think coach McDermott has done a really good job of telling the guys it’s a normal week and just stick to our process of preparation and guys are doing that. It’s a playoff game and it’s win or go home, so guys have been putting in extra time.

“This is a huge opportunity, not only for this team, but this city. It’s about going out there and playing ball and having fun and playing for the guy next to you.”

Micah Hyde, who has played in the postseason every season he’s been in the league agreed with DiMarco.

“You’ve just got to have fun,” he said. “You can’t be up tight especially as a defensive back. You can’t go into a game being up tight. My message to some of the younger guys has been that we’ve been playing football for a long time. Do what you do and the outcome will take care of itself.”


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A playoff debut for both Marrone & McDermott

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 3:48 pm

One part of today’s game that is unique is that it’s the playoff debut for both Doug Marrone and Sean McDermott as head coaches. In the NFL it has not happened often where both head coaches were new to the postseason.

This will be just the fourth playoff game since 2000 and the first in nine years in which both coaches are making their postseason debuts.

Playoff Games Since 2000, Both Coaches in 1st Post. Game
2000 WC – Mike Martz, StL vs Jim Haslett, NO        NO 31, StL 28
2008 WC – Mike Smith, Atl vs Ken Whisenhunt, Arz             Arz 30, Atl 24
2008 WC – John Harbaugh, Bal vs Tony Sparano, Mia          Bal 27, Mia 9
2017 WC – Sean McDermott, Buf vs Doug Marrone, Jax ???        


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Jags TE O’Shaughnessy added to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 11:35 am

Jaguars TE James O’Shaughnessy has been added to the Jaguars’ game status report with an illness and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills.


Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott’s motto change

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 10:12 am

When head coach Sean McDermott was hired at One Bills Drive, his motto for how everything would be done, from studying film to meetings to practice, the mantra was ‘Playoff Caliber.’ Now that the Bills have reached the postseason, that motto has been upgraded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McDermott explained why the change around the building at One Bills Drive had to be made in his latest appearance on Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Hortons.


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Jags WR Lee & RB Yeldon questionable 

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 4:47 pm

The Jaguars injury list is short, but if Marqise Lee can’t return from an ankle injury it could be a loss for Jacksonville. 

Lee has missed The last two games with an ankle injury. We practice on Friday and head coach Doug Marone said he looked better than he expected so there appears to be a chance he’ll return to the lineup on Sunday against the Bills. 

Meanwhile third down back T. J. Yeldon is questionable due to illness. 

Jaguars:

(WR) Marqise Lee – Ankle – Questionable

(RB) TJ Yeldon – Illness – Questionable


Posted in Inside the Bills

No surprise: McCoy listed as questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 2:23 pm

Based on how the week of practice played out for LeSean McCoy and his ankle injury it was no surprise to see him listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

McCoy was limited in practice Friday, the only practice in which he participated this week after suffering his ankle injury last Sunday at Miami. Also questionable is LB Matt Milano, who did not practice all week. If he can’t start on Sunday, Ramon Humber would take his place in the lineup.

RT Jordan Mills is also questionable with an ankle injury, but he practiced fully on Friday and is expected to start.

Here’s the full game status report for Buffalo’s injured players.

 

 

 

OUT
CB Shareece Wright – concussion

QUESTIONABLE
RB LeSean McCoy – ankle
OT Jordan Mills – ankle
LB Matt Milano – hamstring
WR Deonte Thompson – shoulder
QB Joe Webb – ankle


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The awards for Hyde continue

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 2:17 pm

He’s been an AFC Defensive Player of the Month. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl. On Friday, Micah Hyde was named 2nd Team All-Pro. The Associated Press revealed their All-Pro Team Friday and while didn’t make first team, he was voted a second team safety along with Seattle’s Earl Thomas.

“It’s an honor,” said Hyde. “It’s humbling. I feel like all these individual awards we’ve had, whether it’s Poyer’s accomplishments or Tre’s accomplishments or mine, it’s an honor, but I think we’d all say that we’d trade those in to get these wins in the playoffs. It’s a blessing, but we’re looking forward to Sunday and the Jaguars.

Hyde tied for the team lead with Poyer with five interceptions. The two safeties who were named First-Team All-Pro were Minnesota’s Harrison Smith and Tennessee’s Kevin Byard.


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Playoff Party at (716) Food and Sport

Posted by Kelly Baker on January 5, 2018 – 12:50 pm

Bills fans, put on your favorite game day gear and join the Playoff Party this Sunday, Jan. 7, at (716) Food and Sport!

To celebrate the Buffalo Bills making it to the postseason, (716) will have a DJ and prizes to be given away during the team’s 1:05 p.m. ET Wild Card game against Jacksonville.* Fans can enjoy huddling together to cheer on the Bills, while eating some of Buffalo’s favorite dishes. The one-of-a-kind restaurant features a 38-foot screen for the ultimate game day experience.

Don’t miss out on the fun!

*Please view the official rules here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Fan Friday 1-5

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The wait is over Bills fans! Playoff football and your team is in the dance! Enjoy it! Now to your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Shady doesn’t play, you think we still have a good shot at winning?

Took
@AnthonyBitting

CB: I think the task becomes a lot more difficult. McCoy is engine that runs the offense. He represents a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage this season. Even coach McDermott admitted you cannot replace him. He’s one of the top five backs in the league.

Though I like what Marcus Murphy has brought to the table in his short time with the Bills and seeing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison use Mike Tolbert effectively last week (inside runs only), I believe they could make the run game functional.

Is that enough to win? Probably not. I think they would also need to win the turnover battle and finish a plus-two for a shot at a victory.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, is the RD5 pick from Jax a done deal?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That is correct. The Bills conditional sixth-round pick that they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for Marcell Dareus has improved to a fifth-round selection in 2018 by virtue of the fact that the Jaguars advanced to the playoffs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Win or Lose, what did this season mean for McDermott/Beane? I feel like just because of the playoff berth they are probably going to be in a solid place here for the next 5 years. (Of course, in exception to a total meltdown the next two years)

x-Dylan Nowak
@DylanNowakArt

CB: Making the playoffs obviously helps any coach-GM combination in the NFL. I don’t know if you can project five years of job security for them, but they’re certainly on firm footing. It’s clear that Terry and Kim Pegula believe in what coach McDermott has established in terms of how the team operates on a daily basis. It’s evident that McDermott is a coach that players will follow.

The way he was able to get the team to hang together after a three-game losing streak, that has sunk many Bills coaches in the past, is what convinced me that the mental toughness of this team, that has been so poor in the past, had changed. I didn’t know if that meant playoffs this year, but the culture of this team after falling into all the common pitfalls year after year has finally been given a solid foundation.

The playoff berth only helps that.

Beane in his first year has shown he’s not afraid to swing a trade, even if it’s not popular publicly. He and McDermott are in lock step as to how to build a team for the long haul and sustained success.

The Pegulas have the right people in place at the important decision-making positions. It’s onward and upward from here.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

1: How does KB13 match up against JAX corners? 2: What candy bar is the best candy bar?

Joshua Smith
@Yhosh

CB: Benjamin is a tough matchup for any corner, but Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are both going to the Pro Bowl for a reason. They’ve combined for 10 interceptions. Benjamin usually lines up as the Bills ‘Z’ receiver or flanker on the right side of the formation, which would pit him against Ramsey.

Ramsey is a long corner. He’s 6-1 with long arms. His ability to mirror his opponents routes is impressive. There is very little separation on most plays he defends. That being said, what Benjamin offers is a wide catch radius.

He’s also capable of shielding a defender from the ball with his giant frame. This should offer Tyrod Taylor opportunities to make plays even if Ramsey is blanketing Benjamin, which shouldn’t be difficult for Ramsey at all.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Anyone else being brought up at RB?

Andrew Ten Eyck
@Andrewteneyck1

CB: If anyone is elevated to the active roster at running back due to LeSean McCoy’s availability with his ankle it would be Aaron Green, who they signed this week. Green is a quick and elusive back with good burst. I believe even if called up before the game he’d likely be used in an emergency situation only. The primary backups are Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert.

The Bills have until 4 pm on Saturday to call a player up from the practice squad to the active roster.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills