Inside The Bills

Perfect by narrowest of margins vs. NFC North

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 6:35 pm

It probably wasn’t seen as a strong likelihood going into the season, but the Bills made it a clean sweep of the NFC North this season.

Buffalo won all four games against the four opponents from the inter-conference division they were scheduled to play based on the league’s rotational schedule. And they did it by the narrowest of margins in three of the four games.

They beat Chicago by three in overtime (23-20). They beat Detroit on a 58-yard field goal with four seconds remaining (17-14). They beat Minnesota by one point on a last second touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Sammy Watkins (18-17).

Their finale against Green Bay was a comfortable eight-point win by comparison (21-13).

It’s the first time Buffalo went 4-0 against a division since 2004 when the Bills swept the NFC West. That year Buffalo finished 9-7.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCarthy blames himself for GB safety

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 6:00 pm

The Bills had only one sack of Aaron Rodgers in their big win over the Packers Sunday and it came at the end of the game. Mario Williams stripped Rodgers of the ball in the end zone and the fumble though recovered by Eddie Lacy in the end zone could not be advanced with less than two minutes in the game resulting in a safety for the Bills. After the game Packers head coach Mike McCarthy put the sack and subsequent safety on himself, citing a poor protection call with their backup right tackle in the game.

Packers starting RT Bryan Bulaga left the game with a concussion in the second half and did not return. It left second-year lineman and Akron, NY native JC Tretter to step in at right tackle to block Mario Williams. McCarthy in hindsight felt his play and protection call put Tretter in a bad spot going against one of the best pass rushers in the game.

“Yeah, that last call was my fault,” McCarthy said. “I had another play in mind and I should’ve went with it. The result would’ve been different. In that particular spot, I should’ve helped him on that play so that last fumble is my fault based on the protection call.”

Williams swooped in off the left side and dislodged the ball from Rodgers throwing hand forcing the fumble. The safety sealed the game for the Bills lifting them to 8-6 on the season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

‘D’ hold Rodgers to lowest 1st half pass rating

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 2:55 pm

Buffalo’s fifth-ranked defense has done a solid job through the first two quarters of their game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. In fact Rodgers has his lowest passer rating in the first half all season.

In today’s game Rodgers first half passer rating is 42.4, clearly the lowest this season for the MVP candidate.

The previous low was Week 2 against the Jets (83.1).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Packers inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:43 am

Here are the inactive players for the Packers today against the Bills.

QB Scott Tolzien
CB Davon House
LB Carl Bradford
C Garth Gerhart
TE Justin Perillo
WR Jeff Janis
DT Bruce Gaston


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:38 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills for today’s game against Green Bay.

Da’Norris Searcy
Frank Summers
Randell Johnson
Cyrus Kouandjio
Deonte Thompson
Chris Gragg
Jarius Wynn


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Posted in Inside the Bills

BENRUS Best Dressed Week 15

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 14, 2014 – 11:37 am

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As the winner of BEST DRESSED, Robert Woods will receive a BENRUS J1 Messenger Bag, perfect holiday gifts! Follow @benrususa and use the hashtag #HolidayswithBENRUS for a chance to win some of the latest gear. BENRUS watches, sunglasses, duffle bags and backpacks are available for purchase at www.BENRUS.com

BENRUS, LLC was founded as a watch company in 1921. For over four decades, it manufactured legendary timepieces for the U.S. military. Giovanni Feroce, internationally recognized as one of today’s most successful American CEOs, is building BENRUS into a multi-billion dollar, military-inspired lifestyle brand. Mr. Feroce currently serves as CEO and Chairman of BENRUS, LLC.


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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills

Pack’s ‘O’ make you defend entire field

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:10 am

When looking at how incredibly precise, efficient and explosive Green Bay’s offense has been this season one wonders how even on the broken plays they’re still able to gain big chunks of yardage. A lot of it points back to Aaron Rodgers, but as head coach Doug Marrone sees it the Packers don’t allow defenses to cheat or shade to one side of the field or the other.

“It’s speaks for itself how good they are offensively,” Marrone said. “If you just had a quarterback and a running back, you wouldn’t be at the numbers that they are. If you just had a quarterback and one wide receiver, you wouldn’t be at the numbers they are. Their offensive line, you look across the board and those guys are five tough sons of a guns that get after it. They deserve a lot of the credit for the success that they’ve had.

“You have to defend the whole field. When you have to do that from a defensive standpoint, no matter who you’re playing against, it becomes difficult. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the defense to defend the whole field because, when you get defense to do that, you can make bigger plays.

Marrone said the Packers force defenses to cover the whole field with their route patterns and their formations.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ hoping for crowd noise

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 10:30 am

Bills fans haven’t let them down yet, which is why Buffalo’s defense is hoping to hear the 73-thousand plus loud and clear when they’re on the field today.

Knowing the efficiency with which Aaron Rodgers runs the Green Bay offense, the Bills defense, despite being a top five unit, knows any help they can get from the fans to disrupt communication and operation of the Packers attack is welcomed.

Coming off a win in their last home game, Kyle Williams sees this one as even more critical due to the ‘no margin for error’ importance on this game.

“I think that was a lot of that talk leading up to our last game with Cleveland—we hadn’t played particularly well at home, and we were able to do that there with Cleveland and win a big game,” he said. “We’ve got an even bigger game this week. With Aaron Rodgers and their offense coming in,  our crowd can play as a big a part in this game as they’ve played in any game this year. He relies a lot on different counts, different cadences, keep the pass rushers off their toes, keep the defense on their toes—crowd noise can be a big benefit for us this weekend.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Aggressive play the aim for offense

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 9:03 am

Robert Woods talked about it after the loss to Denver last week, more aggressive play right from the jump for Buffalo’s offense. Heading into Sunday’s game with Green Bay, he and his offensive teammates are hoping it happens.

“Attitude and just going after the defense,” said Woods when asked what he means by being more aggressive. “What we see and what they give us and what we feel like we can take in certain routes, certain runs, certain plays and just always attacking and keeping them on their heels. Just keep moving forward.”

Fred Jackson believes there will be opportunities in the air and on the ground against a Packer defense that surrenders points.

“Running the ball we feel like we can run the ball and we have to be able to run the ball and we feel like we can do it against them,” he said. “It’s about being aggressive and going after them. I think that’s what he wants to do. We all want to go after them, get some long scoring plays, get the crowd into the game and being loud for us and if we do that it gives us the best chance to win.”

And winning is a must because a loss essentially ends the Bills attempt to stay in playoff contention.

“It’s do or die,” said Woods. “We have to win so no reason to hold back.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fired up Packers ‘D’ expected by Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2014 – 2:59 pm

While Bills fans see a Packers defense that surrendered 37 points to the Falcons last week and perhaps an opportunity for the Buffalo offense to get back on track, head coach Doug Marrone sees something different.

Marrone believes Green Bay’s defense will come out motivated to redeem themselves after allowing Atlanta to climb back into the game this past Monday night.

“I think what that convinces me of is they’ll come in here and their defense will be ready to go right off the bat,” said Marrone in his weekly appearance on Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Horton’s. “There has been a lot of focus on that. Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are two of the better players at their positions in the league and they were able to take advantage of some man-to-man opportunities and really played well. Defensively they had a big lead at the time, but they haven’t played that poorly all year in the secondary. It’s actually been the strength of their defense. What it does is it gives you some optimism where we might be able to run the ball and throw the ball just as well. We’ve been challenged all year offensively so our job is to make sure we’re efficient.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton remaining confident

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2014 – 12:57 pm

It wasn’t an easy line of questioning that Kyle Orton had to handle this week. The media asked him flat out if he and the rest of his offensive teammates felt they were holding up their end of the equation when it came to team performance.

When asked specifically if he felt like he and his offensive teammates were letting the defense down, this was his response.

“It’s a team football game,” he said. “We’re 7-6 because that’s what the team has done to get to that point. Obviously as an offense we want to go out and play well every week. If we’re letting anybody down we’re letting ourselves down. I don’t have any regret. I have a lot of optimism that we’re going to get it done this week and we’re going to get it done for the remainder of the season.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Corey Graham’s BOSE playlist

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 13, 2014 – 12:47 pm

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

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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Pack bring couple of WNY’ers with them

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2014 – 10:26 am

The Green Bay Packers have a pair of Western New York natives on their roster, so the two will be coming back home for Sunday’s game.

RB James Starks, who played his college ball at UB, will be back playing against the team he watched growing up. So will OL J.C. Tretter, who hails from Akron, NY. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had nothing but good things to say about both players.

“James has been a great representative,” said McCarthy of Starks. “He represents our program very well. He’s been an excellent Green Bay Packer. I go back to his first year, 2010, he had the hamstring injury, missed all of camp, was put on PUP and came off it and was a huge part of our run to the Super Bowl. He’s the same James Starks as I’m sure you guys remember. He’s smiling every day. Tremendous work ethic. He’s really in the groove right now and I thought he played his best game as a Green Bay Packer last week. … He’s been given more opportunites but I thought he played extremely well against Atlanta.”

As for Tretter, McCarthy appreciates the Cornell grad’s versatility.

“JC’s doing great. He’s a great fit for us,” said McCarthy. “Pretty much can play all five positions. That’s obviously rare as an offensive lineman. Very pleased what he’s done. He’s had two unfortunate injuries that have kind of held him back as far as opportunties. But JC is a very good young player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Builder of Ralph Wilson Stadium LEGO replica passes

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on December 12, 2014 – 4:32 pm

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Dedicated Bills fan and longtime season ticket member Bob Hall passed away this week at the age of 58.

There was no greater exhibition of his incredible Bills fandom than the 20-foot long LEGO replica of Ralph Wilson Stadium he built over a 5-year period, profiled in this video.

“I am incredibly passionate about the Bills and I took the same approach with the stadium,” said Hall at the time. “Why not build the stadium so that every time I come down to the basement I feel like I’m at that wonderful place?”

Many Bills fans are dedicated, but Hall will forever be remembered by those who knew him best for going above and beyond in his support of the team.

“There’s nothing better than a Bills fan and Western New Yorkers,” he said. “I thought I could do this, and show all of the other NFL fans what being a Buffalo Bills fan is all about.”

Check out this photo gallery of Hall’s Ralph Wilson Stadium LEGO replica, and read more here.

lego-story


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Nike uniform of Week 15

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 12, 2014 – 2:55 pm

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

Buffalo Bills players and fans have been asking for this combination for some time!  The uniform combo for the Week 15 game between the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills will be the team’s royal blue jerseys on royal pants. Shop for your own Nike jersey by clicking here

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Here is the Bills uniform combination so far in 2014:

Week 1 at Chicago Bears: White / White

Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins: Throwback White / White

Week 3 vs. San Diego Chargers: Blue / White

Week 4 at Houston Texans: White / White

Week 5 at Detroit Lions: White / Blue

Week 6 vs. New England Patriots: Blue / White

Week 7 vs. Minnesota Vikings: White / White

Week 8 at New York Jets: White / Blue

Week 9 bye

Week 10 vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Blue / White

Week 11 at Miami Dolphins: White / Blue

Week 12 vs. New York Jets: Blue / White

Week 13 vs. Cleveland Browns: Blue / White

Week 14 at Denver Broncos: White / White

Week 15 vs. Green Bay Packers: Blue / Blue


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bud Light’s Good Sport Program

Posted by buffalobills.com on December 12, 2014 – 2:11 pm

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The Buffalo Bills encourage fans to participate in Bud Light’s Good Sport Program and pledge to be a Good Sport/Designated Driver. Guests who are 21 years of age or older can register to pledge to not drink alcoholic beverages at a Bills game, and to provide responsible transportation for all members of their party.

 

Fans can sign up at any Guest Services Booth or at one of the Bud Light Good Sport carts at the stadium.  Guests who participate in the Good Sport Program will receive a wristband that identifies him/her as a designated driver and a coupon for a free Pepsi product.

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Guests who participate in the Good Sport Program will also be entered to win a special prize pack from Bud Light and the Bills as a thank you for being a Good Sport/Designated Driver. The winner is announced during the 4th quarter of every game.

 

Guests who pledge will also be registered for a chance to win a trip to either the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl, courtesy of TEAM Coalition, as part of a League-wide contest. In 2010 the Bills sent one of their fans who registered to be a designated driver to the Pro Bowl.

 

Since 2011, the number of designated drivers at Ralph Wilson Stadium has increased over 300%, with 11,658 people signing up to be a designated driver so far this season.
Check out how the responsibility bowl is going by clicking here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pack’s Lacy is probable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2014 – 1:51 pm

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Packers RB Eddie Lacy (hip) was limited in practice for much of the week, but he’s listed as probable. It’s possible that Lacy will share more of the load with fellow RB and UB product James Starks knowing his hip ailment has been a persistent one, but it appears he’ll be ready for Sunday’s game. Here is the rest of the Green Bay injury report from Friday.

OUT
CB Davon House – shoulder
LB Jamari Lattimore – ankle

PROBABLE
DT Bruce Gaston – illness
RB Eddie Lacy – hip
G T.J. Lang – ankle
G Josh Sitton – toe
LB Nick Perry – shoulder


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-12

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2014 – 1:25 pm

Time for another edition of Fan Friday. On to your questions now from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris,

What are the illuminated numbers for when the Bills are on Defense? We sit on the visitors side of the Bills Stadium and often wonder if it signals to the defense.

Tony Pariso
CB: The fluorescent number cards held up by a Bills sideline assistant when the Bills defense is on the field is a cue card. The number on it identifies the personnel grouping of the opposing offense on that particular play. For example, a card that has an 11 on it means 11-personnel, which is one back, one tight end and three receivers. If it’s a 22 that means two backs and two tight ends. The number in the tens column identifies the number of backs in the grouping. The number in the ones column identifies the number of tight ends in the grouping.

Knowing you’ve got five lineman and a quarterback, you can do the math to figure out how many receivers you need to get to 11 total players based on the number of backs and tight ends.

It’s just a simple identifier tool for the defense so everyone is on the same page and can focus on the defensive play call and any pre-snap checks.

 

2 – Chris:
In the week that the Bills had to play the Jets in Detroit it was stated by Coach Marrone that it was a tough week because he prefers a set routine in preparing the team and he feels the players like a set routine. The way the team performed and had energy against the NY Jets after all the upheaval with the weather, do you think coaches should re-think the need to have a set routine?  Do you think by following the same routine a team could get stale and cause players to lack energy and concentration.  I feel it may be best to change practice routines and schedules during the season which may keep players sharp and fresh.

Thanks
Joe
Blasdell

CB: I think the coaching staff makes an effort to tweak certain aspects of the practice week to keep players on their toes, but largely football players and coaches are creatures of habit. I don’t know that it’s fair to take one isolated performance in a neutral site situation with a lot of upheaval to the normal schedule and let that convince you that the schedule should be altered every week.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Is it possible that the Bills will give a free agent a chance at being the franchise QB? I am actually targeting Kirk Cousins from the Redskins. He has one year left on his contract, but I really don’t see him as a fit for the Buffalo Bills. Obviously, EJ Manuel will be given another chance, but Cousins is a bomber, and I think it would be exciting to watch Cousins with our current wide receivers. I would most definitely keep Kyle Orton as insurance, he has more than proven himself.

Your thoughts,
Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I think the quarterback position could be a very fluid situation this offseason. You have EJ Manuel under contract and I still believe you have to work with him and develop him further. Giving up on him after just 14 starts seems foolhardy. Ryan Tannehill didn’t look like much in his first two seasons, but now in year three he’s demonstrated bona fide progress and has grown into the role for Miami. The Dolphins stuck with him and he’s rewarding them for that despite a change in offensive system this year.

Whether the Bills choose to stick with Orton as the veteran or bring in another is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to offseason decisions that must be made.

 

4 – Chris,

Can you give fans an update on the RT position. How has Henderson been doing? Fans are probably upset at Cyrus’ development since he got beat out by a 7th round pick. What is the future for Cyrus. I really don’t see him playing guard in the future. The Bills thought he had first round talent. I know Henderson may have been a steal. With no first round pick next year, it looks bad their 2nd round pick can’t be active on game day.

CB: Henderson has had his share of ups and downs this season. He has had some steady games and some unsteady games, but that inconsistency is to be expected with a rookie who is starting at this level for the first time. His athleticism and physical gifts are unquestioned and his work ethic has been pretty solid all year.

Cyrus Kouandjio is much younger in football than Henderson. Henderson played four years of college ball and all through high school. Kouandjio played two years of high school ball and declared early for the draft. Kouandjio is also just 21-years old.

He’s still growing into his body frame. Kouandjio needs to get stronger and needs reps. I think the team has to be patient with him and let him grow and learn for a couple of years. In time he could very well justify being a second-round pick, and the Bills knew when they picked that they’d have to wait on him a bit.

Kouandjio will never have the athleticism or feet that Henderson does. That’s God-given. Had Henderson not had all the off the field red flags, he’d have likely been a first-round pick for what it’s worth. I believe Kouandjio will be a contributor in time, but that’s what it’s going to take before he maximizes his potential. Time.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

Now that TV networks hire former referee’s for insight during the broadcast, would the Bills be able to hire a former ref to be on the staff and be on the sideline to assist the Head coach with challenge calls for example?

Thanks Travis

CB: That’s a pretty clever idea. Knowing how there seems to be an expert for every part of the football operation, why not a former official on your staff? I’ll have to check to see if there are rules against doing that. The only thing that I could see preventing that is a coach being concerned that it would indicate that he doesn’t know the challenge system well enough.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Searcy out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2014 – 12:43 pm

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It wasn’t looking promising to begin with, but head coach Doug Marrone confirmed it on Friday, S Da’Norris Searcy is out for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury.

Searcy was a limited participant on Thursday, but did not practice at all on Friday. Duke Williams is expected to see all of the work at safety in his absence. Williams has been playing a lot this season at safety on a rotational basis.

Here’s the rest of Buffalo’s injury report.

OUT
TE Chris Gragg – knee
S Da’Norris Searcy – hamstring
WR Mike Williams – calf

QUESTIONABLE
DE Jarius Wynn – knee

PROBABLE
K Dan Carpenter – groin
DT Stefan Charles – quad


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lacy, 2 OL still limited for Packers

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2014 – 4:11 pm

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Green Bay feature back Eddie Lacy (hip) was limited in practice for a second straight day on Thursday. So were both of the Packers’ starting guards.

Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle) were both limited again Thursday too. All three players are expected to play Sunday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Davon House CB Shoulder DNP
Bruce Gaston DT Illness DNP
Eddie Lacy RB Hip LP
TJ Lang G Ankle LP
Jamari Lattimore LB Ankle DNP
Nick Perry LB Shoulder LP
Josh Sitton G Toe LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills