Inside The Bills

Gillislee, Goodwin, Spikes all ill

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2016 – 5:03 pm

The injury list was a bit longer this week thanks mainly to illness on Wednesday, but there was another key player with a new injury.

Mike Gillislee and Brandon Spikes did not practice due to illness. Marquise Goodwin fell ill during practice and was limited.

Zach Brown is a new addition with a foot injury this week, but head coach Rex Ryan said he expects to have the team’s leading tackler on Sunday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Cyrus Kouandjio T Ankle DNP
Marcell Dareus DT Hamstring DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP
Cordy Glenn T Ankle DNP
Brandon Spikes LB Illness DNP
Mike Gillislee RB Illness DNP
Zach Brown LB Foot DNP
Lorenzo Alexander LB Not injury related (rest) DNP
Corey White CB Shoulder DNP
Corbin Bryant DT Ankle LP
Colton Schmidt P Right quad LP
Patrick Lewis C Knee LP
Aaron Williams S Foot LP
Marquise Goodwin WR Illness LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Steelers sign Karlos Williams to their prac. squad

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2016 – 10:02 am

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed RB Karlos Williams to their practice squad.

There were reports last week that the former Bills fifth-round pick was going to be re-signed by Buffalo. The Steelers likely see a benefit in having Williams’ older brother, LB Vince Williams on their roster to serve as a positive influence for a player who battled off the field issues and weight problems.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Robey-Coleman makes it back to back for AFC Def. POW

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2016 – 9:30 am

For the second consecutive week a Buffalo Bill is the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Last week it was Zach Brown for his 18-tackle performance in the win at New England. This week it’s Nickell Robey-Coleman.

Robey-Coleman had the game-turning interception return for a touchdown in the win over the Rams last week at the L.A. Coliseum. He also had a second INT in the waning seconds to seal the victory, Buffalo’s third in a row.

It’s the first time since 1991 that the Bills have had back to back AFC Defensive Player of the Week winners was 1991 when Nate Odomes and Cornelius Bennett won the award in two straight weeks. 



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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kaepernick to start at QB for 49ers vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2016 – 1:46 pm

San Francisco head coach Chip Kelly announced Tuesday that Colin Kaepernick will be starting at quarterback for the 49ers when the visit the Bills on Sunday.

Kelly said it was a “football decision.” Blaine Gabbert had started the team’s first five games completing just 58 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and six interceptions. He has a passer rating of 69.6, which ranks 30th among starting NFL quarterbacks.

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Bills add K Marshall Morgan to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2016 – 10:25 am

The Bills made an addition to their practice squad Tuesday. They announced the signing of K Marshall Morgan.

Morgan rejoins the Bills after being released by the team on August 1. The 6-3, 194-pound Fort Lauderdale, Florida native finished his collegiate career ranking third all-time at Georgia and in the SEC in scoring with 407 points. Morgan successfully converted 215-of-220 extra point attempts and 64-of-84 field goal attempts—including a career-long 56-yarder at Tennessee in 2013.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy up for FedEx Ground Player of the Week

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2016 – 10:22 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy is up for FedEx Ground Player of the Week after his 150-yard rushing performance in Buffalo’s win over the Rams last Sunday.

This is McCoy’s second nomination this season. Here are the nominees he’s up against this week.

  • David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals rushed for 157 yards on 27 carries (5.8 avg.) and 2 touchdowns in a 33-21 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys rushed for 134 yards on 15 carries (8.9 avg.) and 2 touchdowns in a 28-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills rushed for 150 yards on 18 carries (8.3 avg.) in a 30-19 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Every week, following the Monday Night Football game, through Thursday at 3 pm ET, fans can visit to cast their vote or tweet using #AirandGround and the nominees’ last name to cast their vote. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and then FedEx will award a $2,000 donation in the winning players’ names to The USO.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2016 – 1:21 am

Here’s a review of Buffalo’s win over L.A. from a statistical perspective, with a look at some of the more noteworthy numbers.

7.1 – The Bills yards per carry average against the Rams. Buffalo gets criticized for having inflated yards per carry averages because of Tyrod Taylor’s rushing. But LeSean McCoy’s 8.3 ypc avg. is what made this number so fat.

3.5 – The Rams yards per carry average, almost exactly half of Buffalo’s rushing average in the game.

4, 5, 6 – All of Buffalo’s touchdowns came from in close going for four (Justin Hunter), five (Mike Gillislee) and six (Marquise Goodwin) yards.

73 – Charles Clay’s receiving yardage total was a season high and the most for the Bills in the win. He represented almost 60 percent of the team’s passing yards Sunday.

2 – Total punt return yardage for the Rams.

25% – Los Angeles’ red zone touchdown percentage (1 for 4).

60% – Bills red zone touchdown percentage (3 for 5).

45.7 – Colton Schmidt’s net punting average.

7 – The number of plays Lorenzo Alexander hit the quarterback (3 sacks, 4 QB hits).

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy: I should’ve had 200 yards rushing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2016 – 12:16 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy, was once again a dynamic weapon for Buffalo on the ground. Without him they probably don’t win Sunday’s game at L.A. He was averaging 9.6 yards per carry until he came out for the last series of the game and had a couple of carries for losses. So he finished with 150 yards even on 18 carries to average a shade over eight yards per rush. It was his fifth 100-yard rushing day for the Bills, but as has been his habit he can’t seem to enjoy them.

After games, even wins, McCoy is always critiquing his performance, and if there’s one play where he felt he left yardage on the field he’s on it quicker than he gets to the line of scrimmage. When asked Sunday after the game if his performance was his best in a Bills uniform he responded this way.

“I guess stats-wise, but there were some plays I missed,” he said. “I could’ve had like 200 yards. Just small things. I get so wrapped up in trying to make too many plays. Sometimes you do things where you make it hard for yourself. There were some plays where I could’ve picked up 10 or 15 yards and they had it blocked up and I just didn’t make the right cut.”

McCoy put the blame squarely on himself saying the line blocked well most of the day. There were some run plays where he was just a shoestring tackle from breaking to go the distance. Still, his 53 and 24-yard runs that each set up first-and-goal situations were two of the three-longest plays from scrimmage on offense for Buffalo.

He also had a key blitz pickup on a 3rd-and-19 in the first half that allowed Tyrod Taylor to escape the pocket and convert at 3rd-and-19 with a 22-yard scramble for a first down. That drive resulted in a touchdown.

“LeSean has been playing very well,” said Tyrod Taylor. “Guys in the backfield have been playing very well. The guys up front have been blocking and creating holes for LeSean to do the things that he’s been doing. He’s been playing with an extra gear to his game I guess you would say. But he’s definitely going out there and making plays and giving us offense.”

About halfway through his postgame press conference with the media, McCoy finally stopped with his self-criticism and took a moment to recognize the importance of the win on the road.

“A win is a win,” he said. “To get up here and nitpick about this and that. We got a ‘W’ against a good team, a 3-1 team. L.A. trip, we could’ve let all the distractions get to us and the long flight, getting in the day before. We didn’t do that. We made no excuses. We came out with the mindset to get a victory and that’s what happened.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:02 pm

As everyone knows Marcell Dareus was inactive due to a pulled hamstring suffered in practice Friday. Head coach Rex Ryan explained how it happened and his outlook moving forward after the Bills win over L.A.  

“He was ready to go until we had our Friday practice,” said Ryan. “He was looking fantastic guys, I mean absolutely fantastic and then he’s chasing the quarterback–E.J was breaking the pocket– and he’s chasing the quarterback full speed and he pulled his hamstring and it’s like, ‘You have got to be kidding me.’ We already missed him for four games and now we’re going to miss him against Todd Gurley and company. But, you know what, we did the right thing. We were never putting him out there, we need him healthy and we will see how it goes. 

“Hopefully he will get back on the field soon. You talk about some great tackles, you have this (Aaron) Donald kid who’ve I’ve said since day one is one of the best tackles in football (sarcasm), but you have our tackle who is pretty darn good too and he’s right there with him. I think he wanted to show everybody how good this guy is in Kyle Williams. It’s unfortunate he never got the opportunity today, but hopefully he’ll be out here this upcoming week.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams 3 DL all inactive

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 3:08 pm

They were all listed as questionable for today’s game after failing to practice or not at all. Now 3 of the Rams starting front four on defense are inactive for the game against the Bills today. 

DE Robert Quinn, DE William Hayes and DT Michael Brockers are all inactive for the game. 

The Rams promoted DE Morgan Fox to the active roster Saturday. 

Here are the other inactives for LA. 

QB Sean Mannion

RB Benny Cunningham

WR Nelson Spruce

OT Pace Murphy

Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus inactive for Rams game

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 2:55 pm

He was listed as questionable on Friday after sustaining a hamstring injury in practice, but there was still hope that Marcell Dareus would make his return today against the Rams after serving his four-game suspension. But Dareus is one of Buffalo’s seven inactive players and won’t play here in L.A.

Here are the rest of Buffalo’s inactives for today’s game against the Rams.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio
OL Patrick Lewis
RB Jonathan Williams
DL Marcell Dareus
CB Corey White
OL Gabe Ikard
QB Cardale Jones

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills DBs coach McDonald & son square off

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 1:16 pm

It’s not only a homecoming for USC alum Tim McDonald, but bragging rights will be very much on the line when the Bills face the Rams and McDonald’s son T.J. McDonald.

McDonald, who is returning to the L.A. Coliseum, where he played his college ball at USC, for the first time since his son played for the Trojans.

“It’s been a long time,” said McDonald. “The last time I was there was during one of my son’s spring ball games. So it’ll be good to get back. It’s good to have football back in L.A.”

McDonald’s son T.J. is a safety for the Rams and was a third-round pick of the team in 2013 out of USC. This is the first time he’s facing a team coached by his dad.

“No trash talk. I played for the 49ers for a lot of years and T.J. loves to beat the hell out of the 49ers,” said McDonald. “He was so frustrated with their first game of the year when they lost to the 49ers. He’s going to take a lot of pride in this game this week. He’s going to want to win because he’s knows how dad is. I’m a competitor. He’s a pro and I’m a pro. I’ll be excited to watch him play, but I probably won’t get a chance because we’ll be making adjustments on the sidelines when he’s out there. He’s a big boy. He can respond from a loss if we do what we’re supposed to do.”

McDonald has never gone against his son’s team in an NFL game.

“I really don’t know. We’ll probably take a picture together before the game. He’s really into his game and football. He gets excited to play. He’ll be focused on what he has to do and I’ll be focused on what I have to do. And we’ll let the chips fall where they may and love each other afterwards.”

“It’s pretty exciting especially to see glimpses of yourself, when I watch him on film. I’m excited for him and he loves the game. He’d always ask me, ‘Dad, what do I have to do? He said I don’t want an NFL experience. I want an NFL career.’ So he worked his tail off as a youngster. So I worked with him when I retired and got him involved in the game and just try to teach him how to stay healthy.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams size at WR presents similar challenge to Wk 2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 11:14 am

The Bills secondary capably recovered from a terrible performance in Week 2 against the Jets and has performed admirably against the Cardinals and Patriots the past two weeks. Sunday however, they face a receiving corps with similar size on the outside. Are the Bills DBs ready to show they’ve learned from some of the things the Jets receivers used against them?

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald believes they have, even though they’ve got a lot of respect for what the Rams can put out on the field.

“Big 50-50 type ball guys on the outside,” said McDonald of the Rams’ Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. “They’re strong, so we’ve got to be able to handle that. They’re not going to be able to run by our guys unless we let them. And they’ve got a guy in the slot who is pretty quick. We’ve got to make sure we know where Tavon Austin is. They run a lot of gadget plays with him.”

McDonald is confident his corners have a good idea as to how Britt and Quick are going to play them.

“Britt is a big, strong guy. Our guys know what he is and what he likes to do. He likes to put body on you,” McDonald said. “And Quick has come along the last couple of weeks. Steph (Gilmore) is a good matchup with those guys. (Ronald) Darby is going to have use his speed and technique to maneuver those guys. I like our chances with those guys outside and we’ve got to just handle that guy inside.”

And what happens if they find themselves in a jump ball situation with those biggers wideouts?

“There is always going to be a time or two where you’re put in a situation where you have to make a play and I think our guys are up to the challenge,” said McDonald.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills-Rams predictions

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:54 am

Here’s a look at a number of Bills-Rams predictions for today’s game from a host of league prognosticators.

By Elliot Harrison









Pro Football Talk

By Mike Florio

Bills at Rams

MDS’s take: This is a much better game than anyone would have thought early in the season, with the Bills on a two-game winning streak and the Rams on a three-game winning streak. I’ll pick L.A. to keep it going behind a better-than-expected game from Case Keenum.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: Buffalo has found the gas pedal following that Thursday night debacle, but the Rams are on the right track and will be hard to beat before a big crowd at the Coliseum. Especially with Aaron Donald to prove that he can holdSheldon Richardson’s jock, if for some reason Donald would even want to.

Florio’s pick: Rams 17, Bills 10.

Bleacher Report

By Chris Simms

When: Sunday, Oct. 9, at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

I see a much different Rams defense on film than the one experts claim to see.

Yes, Aaron Donald is the Greek God of Defensive Tackles. But the six other guys in that front seven all want to hunt quarterbacks over playing disciplined assignment football.

Tyrod Taylor will make them pay for shooting the wrong gap with his legs. So will LeSean McCoy when Rams linebackers are slow to shed blocks. Both guys are clicking in this new Anthony Lynn-coordinated offense.

Rex Ryan’s group has all the defensive momentum too. They expose the Rams for the weak 3-1 team they are.

Pick: Bills

The Ringer

By Kevin Clark

LOS ANGELES (-3) over Buffalo

If you missed Rex Ryan giving the most honest look at his football philosophy this week, it’s worth exploring. In 2014, Ryan said that Aaron Donald couldn’t hold Sheldon Richardson’s jock. Those words are pretty funny now, because while Richardson is a solid player, Donald is one of the five best defenders in the NFL. He also says he remembers the comments. Ryan explained it thusly: “One of our coaches had said, ‘This guy can’t hold his jock.’ So I go ahead and say it — I never even saw him play, but I knew he was a rookie, so rookies shouldn’t go to the Pro Bowl. So, anyway, after I’ve seen this kid play, I’m like, ‘Oh boy!’” The comment itself was outrageous; that it came from someone who now admits he had no first-hand knowledge makes it almost unbelievable. I love Ryan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s going to be great on TV.

Anyway, this is going to be an exciting game. The Rams are brilliant at making every team they face seem as boring as they are. The Bills are truly already as boring as the Rams, so the only option is to cancel each other out and play a truly fun game. The Rams will win because they’re at home. And Rex Ryan will see Aaron Donald play and once again get to say “Oh boy!”

The Sporting News

By David Steele

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Good luck guessing what either team will do from week to week. The Rams still don’t seem that far removed from that disappearing act they pulled in San Francisco on the first Monday night. The same for the Bills team that was in such disarray after the Thursday loss to the Jets. The more stable team is … the Rams, which tells you something about Rex Ryan’s team. Rams, 23-21


By Evan Silva

Buffalo @ Los Angeles
Vegas Projected Score: Rams 21, Bills 18.5

Following back-to-back road upsets of Tampa Bay and Arizona, the streaking Rams play Week 5 host to a Bills team traveling cross country after back-to-back emotional wins over the Cardinals and Patriots. I was wrong to think Buffalo would collapse in Foxboro, but I think this is another letdown spot for the Bills. Averaging 22.5 touches per game, Todd Gurley makes for an enticing DFS tournament play with his price down and his passing-game role increasing. Still unable to get into space due to Los Angeles’ offensive line woes, Gurley tied a career high with five targets in last week’s victory over the Cardinals, catching all five passes for 49 yards. Gurley’s two longest plays on the year have come in the passing game (33, 19). It did help that passing-game specialist Benny Cunningham (hamstring) missed the second half, resulting in a season-high 85% snap rate for Gurley. I’m keeping a close eye on Cunningham’s practice reports this week. Buffalo has played run-tough defense overall, but they have allowed the fifth most rushing TDs in the league (5) and the tenth most receptions to opposing running backs (22). Gurley’s Week 5 outlook will be enhanced significantly if Cunningham is inactive. … Case Keenum‘s weekly fantasy finishes have ascended each game (QB32 > QB28 > QB17 > QB8), working his way into starter status in two-quarterback leagues. This is a matchup where game-plannerRex Ryan figures to sell out to stop the Rams’ running game, creating opportunities on the back end. Keenum has shown an increased willingness to pull the trigger on downfield throws, while Buffalo has permitted the NFL’s 11th most completions of 20-plus yards (14).

Keenum’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Tavon Austin 35; Kenny Britt 26; Lance Kendricks 20; Brian Quick 14; Gurley 11; Tyler Higbee 5. … A frustrating player to try to forecast, Austin followed up his top-12 fantasy receiver performance from Week 3 with an eight-total-yard clunker on three touches in last week’s win over the Cardinals. Austin has finished as a top-45 fantasy wideout in just 1-of-4 games. He is a complete shot in the dark. … Britt is the most stable pass catcher in the Rams’ offense, but he has yet to hit pay dirt on the season and has just one red-zone target. Britt’s matchup is unideal against stingy Bills press-man CBs Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore. … Quick has scored three touchdowns over the last two weeks, but his season high for targets is six and he is averaging two receptions per game while logging 56% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps. Quick has always possessed playmaking ability, but he has always been very difficult to trust. I want to see Quick’s usage increase and stabilize before considering him a legitimate WR3 option. … Kendricks is scoreless on the year with yardage totals of 15, 61, 0, 52. The Bills are allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Tyrod Taylor deserves credit for picking apart a Patriots defense that was hell bent on stopping the run and confining Taylor to the pocket while generating zero pressure up front in Buffalo’s Week 4 upset win. Still badly missing Sammy Watkins‘ (foot, I.R.), Taylor has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in just 1-of-4 weeks and that finish directly resulted from two deep bombs to Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas against the pass-funnel Jets. The only passer to post a top-15 week against the Rams so far was Jameis Winston, who threw 58 passes with four rushing attempts versus Los Angeles in Week 3. The Rams stymied Russell Wilson (QB27) and Carson Palmer/Drew Stanton (QB25) in Weeks 2 and 4. Over the past three weeks, the Rams rank second in the NFL in quarterback hits (21) and seventh in sacks (7). This is a bad matchup for Taylor, who is best approached as a two-QB-league starter and not a streamer. … L.A. played stout run defense in its first three games, before being hit by Cardinals RBs for a combined 24-117-0 (4.88 YPC) rushing line last week. Matchups have so far mattered little for LeSean McCoy, who is averaging 21 touches per game and compensated for last week’s quiet rushing effort (19-70) with a season-high six targets, which he parlayed into 6-38-1 receiving. The focal point of Buffalo’s Watkins-less offense, McCoy’s secure usage renders him an every-week RB1 in season-long leagues. He is averaging 96 total yards per game and a touchdown per week.

Taylor’s targets in Watkins’ two missed games: Robert Woods 18; Marquise Goodwin and McCoy 10; Charles Clay 9; Walt Powell 5; Mike Gillislee 2. … Woods’ lack of big-play ability is always a concern for his ceiling, but he has six or more catches in each of Watkins’ two missed weeks and leads the Bills in slot receiver snaps, where Los Angeles had trouble with Bucs slot WR Adam Humphries (9-100), 49ers slot WR Jeremy Kerley (7-61), and Cardinals slot WR Larry Fitzgerald (5-62). The Rams have allowed the most catches (69) in the league to wide receivers and the second most yards (847). Woods is a viable PPR play. … The Rams have given up three touchdowns to tight ends, but they’ve also allowed the 11th fewest receptions (15) and 11th fewest yards (137) to the position. Clay’s stat lines in Watkins’ missed games are 0-0 and 5-47-0. Clay hasn’t cleared 50 yards or scored a touchdown since Week 13 last year. … The Bills are using streak-route specialist Goodwin as their No. 2 wideout and Powell as their No. 3. Goodwin can pay dividends if he catches a long pass, but he will be a dud if he doesn’t. The Rams have allowed the tenth fewest completions of 20-plus yards and only one catch of 40-plus yards.

Score Prediction: Rams 20, Bills 17

FOX Sports, Peter Schrager

Sunday: Bills at Rams

I can’t bet against these Rams. Not yet, at least. What a throwback team. They’re supposed to be Hollywood’s team, but their biggest star is a defensive tackle (Aaron Donald), and their quarterback is Case Keenum. The latter gets a lot of crap online and in the football media world, but he’s 6-2 in his past eight starts and is a blocked field goal in San Francisco last season away from being 7-1. The Rams have something going on. It’s ugly, it’s gritty, it’s somewhat anti-Hollywood. I’m into it.

The pick: Rams 22, Bills 17

Pro Football Focus, Eric Eager

Bills at Rams (-2.5)

Prediction: Rams win by 1 The Rams has won three straight games, the last two on the road, on the back of a defense largely relying on a cover-2 scheme previously thought to be outdated in today’s NFL. Since firing their offensive coordinator, the Bills have won two straight games—last week shutting out a depleted Patriots’ squad. Both teams will be looking to show that their resurgence is a real phenomenon. Look for the Rams, who unlike the Bills, are largely intact health-wise, to hold off doubters for at least one more week on the back of a defense—with eight starters owning overall grades above 75.0—facing an offense that just put their top receiver on injured reserve.


Washington Post, Matt Bonesteel


Time, TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS.

Buffalo: Since 1991, teams coming off a road win in which they held their opponent scoreless are 42-25-6 ATS in their next game, and teams coming off wins in which they held an opponent scoreless as road underdogs are 14-6 ATS in their next game. If that team is a road underdog again in its following game, it’s gone 8-2 ATS.

Los Angeles: In the last 47 games involving the Bills, the true home team is 30-17 ATS.

Pick: Bills.

Washington Post, Neil Greenberg

Each week, Neil Greenberg makes NFL game predictions based on a multitude of factors that will have an impact on game day. These include efficiency stats such as success rates, yards per play and yards allowed per play, plus points scored based on strength of opponent. Point spreads are the consensus odds from multiple sports books in Vegas.

Last week’s record against the spread: 7-7-1

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
Winner: Los Angeles Rams, 51.3  percent
Pick: Buffalo Bills +2.5

NY Post, Dave Blezow

RAMS (-2) over Bills: The Bills are coming off wins over the Cardinals and Patriots by a total of 31 points, but Rex Ryan has never been able to sustain the good times for long stretches. Aaron Donald (24 quarterback hits or hurries in four games) will make it tough in Tyrod Taylor.

The Score, Gino Bottero

Buffalo Bills (+2) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ embarrassing opener is a distant memory, but so is the Bills’ 0-2 start.
Bills 24, Rams 16


Posted in Inside the Bills

What to expect from WR Justin Hunter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:45 am

New WR Justin Hunter is expected to be dressed and play Sunday against the Rams. Here’s an idea of what offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has in mind for the tall and fast wideout.

“Yes, we do envision a role for Justin,” Lynn said. “(Receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) has done a hell of a job working with him and trying to get caught up to speed. But he’s been here just for a few days, three practices, you know I’m not sure how much he’s going to be involved in the game plan this week, but down the road I do see a role for him.”

Lynn did hint that this week Hunter could have a role in a red zone package of plays against the Rams.

“You know, that’s why we brought him in,” said Lynn. “We like his presence in the red zone, but we like him as just a wide receiver in general and if we can get him going, I think he can help us.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams hedging their bets on DL?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:34 am

The Los Angeles Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the league, but three of their four starters are questionable for today’s game with injuries. Head coach Jeff Fisher gave indication he was saving his injured players on the defensive line through the course of the practice week so they’d be ready for Sunday. They also made a roster move to protect against the possibility of not having one or two of them.

With DE Robert Quinn, DT Michael Brockers and DE William Hayes all questionable, the Rams promoted DE Morgan Fox from their practice squad and released CB Coty Sensabaugh.

Fox is an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State-Pueblo.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams Aaron Donald doesn’t play as much as most

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 9:38 am

Rams DT Aaron Donald is a dominant player. He leads the league with 25 quarterback pressures in just four games. It’s an impressive number and Donald has shown he can completely wreck an offensive game plan by himself. What’s interesting is when it comes to getting the best play out of Donald the Rams believe that less is more.

Last week against Arizona for example, Donald was playing every other series. After the first defensive series for the Rams, Donald rotated out. He didn’t return until the following series. Donald played more in the second half, but his snap count was surprisingly low.

Fewer snaps however, appeared to allow Donald to provide more impact. He had five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the game that was recovered by Los Angeles in their 17-13 win. Donald played in a total of 49 snaps.

In fact so far this season the Pro Bowl defensive tackle has played just under 74 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, down almost five percent from last season.

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito, who is likely to see a lot of Donald Sunday, has a theory.

“His whole game is explosion, so the Rams are trying to keep him fresh,” said Incognito. “He’s not a big guy so he relies on his speed and quickness.”

It’s true Donald is one of the smaller defensive tackles in the league at just 6-1 and 285 pounds. If he played 75-80 snaps per game going against bigger offensive linemen all day he’d be more likely to wear down.

“He’s an undersized guy number one at 285, so not big by defensive line standards,” said Rex Ryan. “He’s energetic and they want to keep that at a high level. They rotate a lot of those guys in there. They have good depth on their D-line. But he’s a guy that clearly jumps out on tape. They want him at a peak energy level so he can do what he does.”

Here’s a look at Donald’s snap count percentages from each of his three NFL seasons.

2016 – 73.7%

2015 – 78.9%

2014 – 67.4%

Just for a sense of contrast, Bills OLB Jerry Hughes has played 98 percent of the snaps this season. Even 33-year old Kyle Williams has played more than 82 percent of the snaps for Buffalo this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Thurman: Football means a lot to people of L.A.

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 8:43 am

While Bills fans certainly feel for the NFL fans of St. Louis, who lost their team with the Rams returning to Los Angeles, Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who grew up watching the Rams in L.A. he knows the significance of that team’s return to the city of angels.

“It means a lot to the people of Los Angeles,” Thurman said. “You know without football for 22 years or something to that effect. I grew up as a kid watching the Rams–wasn’t a Rams fan, I was a Cowboys fan– but I knew a lot of the Rams players when I was growing up. George Allen coaching, Jack Pardee playing, Roman Gabriel playing, you know watching James Harris play quarterback out there I was very familiar with them. You know, to the people of L.A it means a lot. Football is important to them.

“But L.A is also one of those cities where there are things to do, places to go. If you’re not playing well, nobody is showing up. The Rams are playing well, so I’m expecting a packed Coliseum on Sunday.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dennis Thurman’s best football memory at Coliseum

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2016 – 10:41 am

By now most know that the Bills have a host of players who are USC alumni (Nickell Robey-Coleman, Reggie Bush, Kevon Seymour, Robert Woods). There is also a contingent of Bills coaches who played and/or coaches at USC including defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and secondary coach Tim McDonald.

Thurman was on the USC 1974 national championship team, but that game didn’t take place at the L.A. Coliseum. So his best memory was when he was a cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys in 1978.

“You know, I have a lot of memories. I played a lot of college football games there, coached a lot of college football games there,” said Thurman. “Played a few when I was with Dallas coming back home and probably the most memorable was going there and playing in the NFC championship game in 1978 and beating the Rams and going to the Super Bowl.”

The Cowboys however, would lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII 35-31.

Rams head coach is also a USC alum where he played safety alongside Ronnie Lott. Fisher played five seasons in the NFL under Rex and Rob Ryan’s father Buddy Ryan as a safety and returner for the Chicago Bears. He additionally coached under Ryan as a defensive backs coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams DL all questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2016 – 6:37 pm

Rams Pro Bowl DT Aaron Donald is the only healthy starting defensive linemen heading into Sunday’s game for L.A.  

DT Michael Brockers, DE Robert Quinn and DE William Hayes are all questionable for Sunday after al three failed to practice Friday. 

Hayes and Quinn appear to be the ‘most’ questionable as neither of them practiced all week. Brockers couldn’t practice Thursday and Friday. 


DT Michael Brockers – hip

DE William Hayes – ankle

DE Robert Quinn – shoulder

S Cody Davis – groin

WR Kenny Britt – thigh

RB Benny Cunningham – thigh

Posted in Inside the Bills