Inside The Bills

Bills pass rush to face best in pass pro

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2016 – 10:28 am

In our Camp Countdown today (Wednesday) we examine whether the Bills will enjoy a sack resurgence after a franchise low 21 sacks in 2015. While the number figures to increase in some fashion, how much could be impacted by the fact that the Bills will be facing some of the best pass protection units in football this season.

Here’s a look at the league’s 2015 leaders in sacked percentage. Buffalo is facing four of the top six pass protection teams in the NFL from last season. Obviously rosters and offensive lines change from one year to the next, but knowing the Bills have nine games against teams that finished in the top half of the league in preventing sacks you realize that it’s going to be no easy task to make a giant leap in sack production in 2016.

There is a flip side as six of Buffalo’s games will be against teams that ranked 23rd or lower in sack percentage. The Bills can rack up sacks against the lesser protection teams, but timely quarterback takedowns are most valuable. Can Buffalo get them against the top teams?

Here’s a look at Buffalo’s opponents ranked by 2015 sacked percentage.

1 – Baltimore – 676 pass attempts – 24 sacks – 3.4%
2 – NY Jets – 604 pass attempts – 22 sacks – 3.5%
3 – LA Rams – 473 pass attempts – 18 sacks – 3.7%
6 – Arizona – 562 pass attempts – 27 sacks – 4.6%
10 – Oakland – 605 pass attempts – 35 sacks – 5.2%
11 – Pittsburgh – 590 pass attempts – 33 sacks – 5.3%
16 – New England – 629 pass attempts – 38 sacks – 5.7%
18 – Cincinnati – 505 pass atempts – 32 sacks – 6%
23 – Miami – 588 pass attempts – 45 sacks – 7.1%
25 – Jacksonville – 607 pass attempts – 51 sacks – 7.8%
26 – Cleveland – 609 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 8%
28 – Seattle – 489 pass attempts – 46 sacks – 8.6%
32 – San Francisco – 526 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 9.2%


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How Brady rehearing ask impacts Bills Wk 4 game

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 1:10 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady, through the NFLPA, is expected to file a petition today for a rehearing of his league-imposed four-game suspension or his role in the Deflategate scandal. Brady is going to be asking for a rehearing en banc, which means he’s asking for the entire panel of all the active judges of the Second Circuit to rehear the case, instead of just a three-judge panel, as was the case in the original hearing, which ruled against Brady 2-1.

There will be no timetable for the Second Circuit to decide whether to rehear the case. If they accept the petition and agree to rehear the case it would put an automatic stay on the NFL’s four-game suspension of Brady and that means he would almost certainly face the Bills in Week 4 at Foxborough. Rehearings take months so it would buy Brady more than enough time to play the 2016 season.

It should be noted that rehearings of such decisions are extremely rare.

If the rehearing petition is denied the four-game suspension would remain in place for the start of the regular season. At that point Brady’s only hope would be an appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for a stay of the Second Circuit decision. It’s considered a long shot for a stay to be granted by the highest court in the land.

Monday was the deadline for Brady to submit the petition.


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U.S. Appeals court reinstates Brady suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2016 – 11:53 am

Per multiple reports a U.S. Appeals court has reinstated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for his alleged role in Deflate-gate. The ruling is not exactly a surprise as the court appeared to be leaning in favor of the league based on lines of questioning during initial proceedings.

The suspension was originally to be served by Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season for his alleged role in Deflate-gate when the majority of New England footballs used in the AFC title game against Indianapolis in January of 2015 were below the required air pressure under the rules of the game.

At this point if the suspension is in fact served in full starting with the first week of the season, the Bills would presumably not face Brady since Buffalo and New England square off in Week 4 this fall.

Most legal analysts believe this is the end of the road in the way of appeals for Brady to challenge the rulings in this case.


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Rex happy 3 west coast trips are spaced out

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2016 – 10:15 am

As we covered in our comparison of Buffalo’s schedule to their AFC East rivals, the Bills have the benefit of their three west coast trips each being spaced out evenly through their 2016 schedule. There’s a month that lies between their games at Los Angeles in Week 5, their Monday night game at Seattle in Week 9 and their Week 13 game at Oakland. Bills head coach Rex Ryan was pleased with the time between those long road trips and intends to keep his players on east coast time for those weekends.

“Sometimes teams want two west coast games together. I don’t like doing that,” said Ryan on the John Murphy Show Thursday night. “The Seattle one on a Monday night is followed by a bye. I think that’s a good thing. It’s tough to travel all the way out there. It’s tough for them to travel all the way here. I think the more we’ve studied it, the more we think we’ll treat it like a normal game and travel out there and stay on east coast time and we’ll go out and play them. We think that’s the best way to do it.”

The Patriots three longest trips (at Ariz., at SF, at Den.) are all spread out in similar fashion with at least a month between all of them. The Jets only have two west coast trips and a Kansas City trip and they too are spread out much the same. The Dolphins however, have back to back west coast trips in Week 10 and 11 when they’re at San Diego and at Los Angeles.

It’ll be interesting to see if Miami chooses to stay out on the west coast the entire week instead of traveling back and forth in the span of five or six days.


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Bills coaches benefit from early Thursday game

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2016 – 8:58 am

The Thursday night game for the Bills in Week 2 is their home opener on their 2016 schedule. On a short week the benefit is the Jets, their opponent on Thursday night, is a familiar opponent. But there is another major benefit for Buffalo’s coaching staff in having a game on a short week that early in the season.

NFL coaching staffs always begin preparing for their Week 1 opponent as early as three weeks prior to the opener. Seeing that Thursday night game sitting just four days later on the schedule in Week 2, so Buffalo’s coaching staff will also put together at least some of their game plan for the Jets before the season even starts.

“That’s exactly when we’ll do it,” said Bills head coach Rex Ryan in an appearance on the John Murphy Show Thursday night. “We’re very familiar with them. They haven’t had any major staff changes, but yes we’ll be getting some work on them in the preseason. Baltimore is a physical team and then you’ve got to turn around on a short week and play the Jets, another physical team on a short week. So we’ve got to be up for that.”

It’s a much more favorable situation for Rex Ryan’s staff to have the extra time to prepare for a short week heading into the season than a Thursday night game in Week 8 when they’ve got to burn the midnight oil to get a full game plan in.


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The NFL flex scheduling rules

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2016 – 8:05 pm

Here’s a look at the NFL’s flex scheduling rules knowing if Buffalo is in contention in the second half of the season they could see a game moved to prime time.

Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks.

In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.

A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 1.

The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot.

The reason the Week 16 games are not open to flex scheduling is because that is Christmas weekend.


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Get in on Bills schedule challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2016 – 11:39 am

The annual Bills Schedule Challenge will be closing soon. Be sure to register in the next few days for your chance to win $100K!

Fan who register and guess Buffalo’s 2016 schedule correctly in order including the bye week and you could win $100 grand. Here’s a look at some of the popular trends that registrants are predicting when the 2016 schedule is released later this month for the Bills.

So far 52% of fans think the Bills will open at home. The Jets (at 15%) are the most popular selection.

To close out the season, 60% of fans think the Bills will be on the road. @Patriots (15%) and @Dolphins (9%) are the most popular choices.

See how well you can predict the Bills 16-game regular season slate and register now!


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Rams move means 3 west coast trips for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2016 – 9:45 am

With the league news coming down Tuesday that the Rams have been approved for relocation to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, Buffalo has a road trip that’s going to require about 1,500 more air miles.

The Bills are slated to play the NFC West as their out of conference division in 2016, which includes the Rams. Their matchup with the Rams is one of Buffalo’s road games in 2016. Of course now instead of flying to St. Louis they’ll be headed all the way out to the west coast to play the Rams in Los Angeles. And that’s not their only west coast trip.

The relocation of this road game also means that the Bills will have three west coast trips on their schedule next season as they must travel to Seattle, Oakland and L.A. next fall. Buffalo also has road dates slated for Seattle and Oakland this fall.

The Rams new stadium obviously will not be ready until 2019 so it’s anticipated that the L.A. Coliseum will host the Rams. The next most viable option is the Rose Bowl, but there appears to be some red tape involved there.

 


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