Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-23

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2016 – 11:22 am

Merry Christmas Bills fans! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills some people think Bills should experiment Cordy at RT and keep Cyrus at LT thoughts?

Derek Babcock
@armyguy702

CB: What makes this suggestion so interesting is gone are the days where the left tackle has to be your absolute best lineman. Most NFL defenses have two quality pass rushers on either side of their formation. Perfect example is this week’s opponent. The better pass rusher is Cameron Wake, but he lines up on the left side of Miami’s defensive formation, which means he’ll be facing RT Jordan Mills.

So each week it’s not an absolute. The point I’m trying to make is moving Glenn to right tackle is not as big a deal as it might have been 10-15 years ago. Now does that mean that it will happen? That depends.

We have to see how the offseason unfolds in terms of who is retained in free agency and who is not. Jordan Mills is set to become an unrestricted free agent. As a starter on this roster for the last year and a half, he’ll presumably command a pretty respectable price tag.

Knowing that Seantrel Henderson’s long term health is a touch and go situation, if the Bills want to retain Mills they’ll have to put together an offer that is at least competitive with market value.

The caveat here is what the organization thinks of Kouandjio. He’s certainly made some sizable strides with his game this year. Just this week he also stated that he feels he has better motor memory on the left side instead of the right.

Kouandjio’s rookie contract is up after 2017. If they decide they want to invest long term in Kouandjio it could impact the size of any extension offer they might present to Mills.

If Mills is ultimately not retained I think the scenario you suggest could at least be a consideration, knowing that Kouandjio would presumably be elevated to starter opposite Glenn. And knowing Kouandjio feels more comfortable playing the left side, Glenn being flipped to the right is not out of the realm of possibility.

Just keep in mind that a lot of dominoes have to fall to get to that point.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, what the hell is going on over there?!

Andy Mac
@XKC4338

CB: I think based on some of the national media tweets/reports there is a general perception that the sky is falling at One Bills Drive. Embedded at the facility every day I can say it truly is business as usual. There is no sense of foreboding in the building. Coaches and players are interacting as they typically do. Management is interacting with the coaching staff as they usually do. And there is no indication that anybody is walking on eggshells around here.

As GM Doug Whaley stated in his radio interview Friday morning, the focus is on the Dolphins. And quite frankly if there were coaches and players in the building who weren’t focused on that, then there would be a problem.  

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Are the Bills liking Seymour starting? Do they have faith in Darby to step in next year as a cheaper option to Gilmore?

Patmerica
@PatBle

CB: Much like the first question above, this is something that will be evaluated in the offseason. I know that management and the coaching staff is very excited about Seymour’s potential. I have to say taking the time to watch him work against Oakland’s Amari Cooper when Ronald Darby was out of the lineup, he performed well. His only blemish was getting beat on a double move for a TD. That might sound bad, but his performance on the whole in that game was quite good. It was encouraging to see him step up and play that well.

I think the club wholeheartedly believes in Darby, and I think they’re encouraged about the ceiling for Seymour. In an ideal world they’re able to re-sign Gilmore, but if his asking price is still in the Josh Norman stratosphere ($15M/yr) I just don’t see it happening in Buffalo.

In that case the Bills would have to move on and go with Darby as their No. 1 and Seymour would compete to be the No. 2 with whomever else might be added (free agency/draft).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills #FanFriday Is the lack of a “2 min drill” or urgency at end of half/game more on TT, Rex or Lynn? It’s been 2 yrs of this.

Joe Maglie@rockdj69

CB: I respect the point you’re making. Part of Buffalo’s success in two-minute situations is about opportunity, but unquestionably part of it has been a reluctance to really push the ball down the field.

This might sound surprising, but Buffalo is ranked 10th in the league in scoring at the end of the first half, when I believe most fans have taken issue with Rex Ryan’s approach offensively. According to Statspass, the Bills have scored 52 points at the end of the half this season, which is slightly above the NFL average (48 pts).

When it comes to points scored on their first possession of the second half Buffalo is tied for sixth in the league with 37 points.

It’s my belief that their success rate coming out after halftime has prompted the Bills to play it a bit more conservative at the end of the first half.

I think an overlooked factor with Buffalo’s decision to be conservative at the end of the first half on offense is rooted in their desire to keep their opponent from scoring before the half expires.

Buffalo’s offense by nature is a ball control offense. With Sammy Watkins out for half the season their ability to have a quick strike scoring drive was severely hampered. It’s my belief that Rex Ryan felt his best defense at the end of the half was an offense that held onto the ball, knowing they’d have the ball again to start the second half in all but a couple of games this season.

Proof of that approach working for the most part this season (it didn’t at Oakland), is Buffalo ranks fifth in the NFL in preventing scores by their opponents at the end of the half. They’ve given up just 27 points all season at the end of the second quarter.

And I credit their offense for holding onto the ball and not giving it back to their opponent almost as much as I credit Buffalo’s defense for that statistic.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills if the Bills, simply by luck of geography, were in AFC South, would futures of Rex, Whaley & Tyrod look much diff right now?

Parasauralophus@lophus89

CB: Your question is an interesting one to ponder. Having two games against the Jaguars sounds a whole lot better than two games against the Patriots. Perception can often impact an opinion of the job being done by a head coach, quarterback or organization in general.

I think we can all agree that Buffalo would likely have more than seven wins if they played in the AFC South. So that very well could alter the public opinion of Rex Ryan, Doug Whaley and the team in general.

But that’s not reality. You have to deal with where you are and Buffalo is in the AFC East.

Doug Whaley said they’re not satisfied with where they sit, but they are what they are at 7-7, which is average. They want better, just like all Bills fans do. Only ownership knows if they’re opportunity to achieve better beyond this year will be in the cards.

 


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Bills rank 2nd for likability

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2016 – 10:23 am

USA Today’s ‘For the Win’ column put together a listing of all 32 NFL clubs with a likability ranking based on a number of factors including fans, uniforms, good ownership and a team that is at least fun to watch – interesting. The Buffalo Bills ranked very high on the list.

The Bills ranked second overall. Here’s what was written on Buffalo.

2. Buffalo Bills
The Bills made a solid claim to be number one on this list. The NFL’s lovable losers benefit from the unlikability of its divisional rivals (*cough cough* Patriots), and the team’s diehard fans are always good for a few hilarious videos a season.

For those Bills fans that are wondering, the Dolphins were a surprising third (huh?) and the Jets were 26th and the Patriots were 31st.


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Which is Bills’ game to circle in 2016?

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2016 – 8:32 am

SI.com took a look at the regular season schedule for each of the NFL’s 32 clubs to see which was that team’s game to circle. Essentially SI’s Don Banks looks at the toughest game on each team’s schedule that could potentially alter the course of that club’s season. The one game he picked for the Bills should come as little surprise.

He hedged a bit as he picked either of Buffalo’s two games against division nemesis New England, partly because it’s up in the air as to whether Tom Brady will be available for the Week 4 matchup, since that would be the last week of his upheld suspension for Deflategate. Here was his assessment.

Buffalo (Week 4 or 8 vs. New England): It almost goes without saying that for Rex Ryan and his long-suffering Bills, the white whale they both have long pursued hails from Foxborough, Mass. Beating the Patriots is where the story starts and ends for Buffalo, which is still working on that mind-boggling 16-year playoff drought. The Bills were 0–2 against Belichick and Brady last season, finishing 8–8 and in third place in the AFC East. This year, Week 4 brings the first test, with the Bills trying to win for the only second time ever at Gillette Stadium (and that 2014 Week 17 upset came when Brady was yanked early with the playoffs looming). If Brady’s suspension is in effect on Oct. 2, the focus will shift to the Week 8 rematch in Buffalo, with even more on the line in terms of the Bills’ quest to return to division relevancy.

Do you agree? I admit it’s hard to argue. If the Bills want to contend for the division title to ensure an end to the playoff drought they have to at least split with the Patriots this season.

For what it’s worth Banks had the Jets toughest game being their Week 2 matchup in Buffalo with the Bills. He even called it the Rex hex for the Jets after the Bills swept New York last season.


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Peyton Manning helping Tannehill

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 8:12 am

It’s likely rooted in the relationship between Dolphins new head coach Adam Gase and the now retired Peyton Manning. Gase, who was Manning’s offensive coordinator in Denver a few years ago, is entering his first season as head coach in Miami. According to the Miami Herald it was Manning’s idea to come down and help Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out with the Dolphins new offense.

“It was really cool,” Tannehill told the Herald. “A guy that had his career, the living legend he is, coming off a Super Bowl winning season —  it was really cool just to be able to sit and pick his brain about things he’s done in this offense and football things in general: snap counts, things you like, the way you want guys to run routes, little details about the game. We really just got to talk the game, which is something we both love.”

Whether Manning will pop in for other tutoring sessions is unclear. But it does only serve to reinforce how the Dolphins are doing everything they can to maximize Tannehill’s abilities as a quarterback.


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Mayock weighs in on Jets at 20

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2016 – 9:22 am

The Bills have division rival Miami up ahead of them on the board at 13, but the bigger concern is the Jets, who sit right behind them at 20 in round one of the draft.

Most of the speculation surrounds whether or not the Jets would sit at 20, and whether or not they’d take a quarterback early knowing their contract negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick remain unresolved. They have a major bargaining chip in Muhammad Wilkerson, who was franchised, but is also at odds on a long-term agreement with the club.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock offered his two cents on the possible options for the Jets if they stay at 20.

“It’s interesting because I think even if they sign Fitzpatrick, I don’t know how long a term they’d be talking about,” said Mayock. “He’s 34 years old. Is he the long-term answer for Maccagnan and Bowles? So I think they’ve got to be evaluating the heck out of Paxton Lynch, and I think Paxton Lynch makes a ton of sense there, especially if they had a veteran quarterback he could sit behind for one year. So I think Paxton Lynch has to be the first consideration.

“Are we going to try to be in the ballpark or in the game for that kid? That’s to me first and foremost. After that you start to look around at 20 and say, ‘Okay, is our edge linebacker need going to — are we going to get a better player at edge linebacker or an offensive lineman? (Left tackle) Ryan Clady has had a history of injury; (Nick) Mangold is 32; (Right tackle Breno) Giacomini is 31. That offensive line needs some attention.

“I think when you get to 20, you’re looking at your board, and you’re going, ‘Okay, what do I like here? Do I like Ryan Kelly? Do I like Taylor Decker? Who’s the top edge rusher? How do I feel about Shaq Lawson or Emmanuel Ogbah? Can I go in the second round and get an offensive tackle, or do I want to get a tackle in the first round and get an edge guy?’

“If so, I think there’s a big conversation here, and I think the corners, which I haven’t even mentioned, also kind of fit into that thing, and depending on how they feel about Dee Milliner and his future.”

For what it’s worth I have the Jets taking Lynch at 20th overall a pick after Buffalo in my mock draft, but it’s likely that Lynch comes off the board prior to that point. That would necessitate a trade up for the Jets, which could happen if there’s a team interested in paying big money to Wilkerson.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

AFC East pretty balanced with extra rest between games

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2016 – 10:58 pm

A few years ago the Bills really had the deck stacked against them when it came to facing opponents coming off of extra rest either from a bye or Thursday night game. Fast forward to 2016 and the AFC East and the situation is much better for Buffalo.

The Bills have just two games against opponents coming off extra rest this coming season. Buffalo hosts New England in Week 4 and they’re coming off extra rest thanks to a Thursday Night game in Week 3 against Houston. They’ll also face San Francisco off extra rest as they’ll have 10 days prep coming off a Thursday Night game in Week 5 against Arizona.

Buffalo will get extra rest coming off their Thursday night game in Week 2 against the Jets before they host Arizona in Week 3. They’ll also get extra rest coming off their bye in Week 10 when they face a Cincinnati team that will be coming off a Monday Night game the week before.

Their three AFC East rivals each have two games in which they’ll be coming off extra rest as well so the NFL did a good job of keeping the advantage of extra rest before games as even as it could be.


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Pats loading up on targets for Brady

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2016 – 8:23 am

The New England Patriots just traded away one of their best defensive players in Chandler Jones earlier this week. Now they’ve acquired another big target for Tom Brady.

The Pats acquired Chicago TE Martellus Bennett and a sixth-round pick in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Bennett is the kind of tight end that could resuscitate the dynamic two tight end passing force that Rob Gronkowski was with Aaron Hernandez before the latter was jailed on murder charges.

Bennett has rubbed coaches and teammates the wrong way in the past, including Chicago where the Bears eventually had Zach Miller take over Bennett’s role in the offense. But the talented tight end is just two years removed from his career best 90-catch season with 916 receiving yards and six touchdowns. At just 29-years old, Bennett is still a viable weapon.

Bennett and Chris Hogan are two of the most recent additions to New England’s passing attack after they parted ways with Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler.


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Why Hogan is of interest to Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 8:38 am

Reports are strongly indicating that an offer sheet by the Patriots could be presented to Bills free agent WR Chris Hogan as early as today. Hogan visited with New England on Thursday along with a host of other free agents including fellow receiver and Oakland free agent Rod Streater. So what’s the appeal of Hogan to the Patriots?

While every NFL player has to have top flight athletic ability just to reach the pro level, one of the main things Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks for in a player is football smarts.

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According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Belichick met with Hogan and Streater Thursday and put them through the paces of testing their ability to retain new information. Reiss reports that both Hogan and Streater could get offer sheets today.

The Bills would have five days to match the offer sheet or lose him without compensation.


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Report: Dolphins front runner to sign Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2016 – 11:38 am

Mario Williams has been a free agent for less than a week, but it appears the Miami Dolphins are making a push to get him signed sooner rather than later.

That according to Pro Football Talk, which cites Miami as the clear front runner for his services. Williams reportedly intended to visit four or five teams in short order, including the New York Giants, but if the money is right Williams will undoubtedly sign. The report indicates a deal could be consummated as soon as today.

Miami has been making moves to reduce their cap figure most recently restructuring the contract of TE Jordan Cameron. If they sign Williams it will presumably reduce their ability to sign other free agents.


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It sounds like Fitz time in NY with Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2015 – 1:35 pm

Jets QB Geno Smith was apparently the victim of a sucker punch in his own locker room and the injuries he sustained could keep him out of the lineup for 10 weeks.

That according to ESPN New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini.

If the timetable for Smith being sidelined is accurate, former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is the likely starter for New York in Week 1. The Jets host the Browns in Week 1.


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Tom Brady to miss 1st game vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2015 – 5:56 pm

The NFL has handed down its sentence for New England QB Tom Brady in the wake of the Wells report which investigated the Deflate-Gate controversy. 

Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, which means he’ll miss the Patriots Week 2 game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The Bills have not faced the Patriots without Tom Brady since the 2008 season when Brady missed 15 games with a torn ACL. 

His replacement for that game was Matt Cassel, who is on Buffalo’s roster now after an offseason trade with Minnesota. 


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Reed: Bills can make run at Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2015 – 2:50 pm

Andre Reed

We’ve heard Bills head coach Rex Ryan say more than once that they feel they’ve improved their roster to better compete with seemingly perennial AFC East champ and defending Super Bowl champ New England. Bills Hall of Famer Andre Reed took it a step further.

In an interview with Talk of Fame Sports, Reed said with their influx of offensive talent the past few weeks the Bills have the horses to give the Patriots a run for their money.

“It’s going to be an interesting year,” Reed said. “On the offensive side of the ball, we’ve (the Bills) got some guys who can make some plays. Right now, the only asterisk is who’s going to be the signal caller. That’s the only thing the Bills are lacking now; that’s the only question mark on offense. But they do have the nucleus on offense with some of the guys they’ve got to make a run at New England.”

Reed did admit that quarterback is still a question mark and the ‘X’ factor for New England with Tom Brady, but Buffalo’s all-time leading receiver believes the Bills have closed the gap.

“Right now, the AFC … everybody … is making themselves better, and the Bills have definitely made themselves better with McCoy being in the backfield and Rex Ryan being the head of everything. I’m really excited about this year,” Reed said.


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Bills cited as free agency winners

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 12:16 pm

As the national pundits review what has happened in the first two weeks of free agency they’re already tabbing which clubs are the free agency winners. Near the top of the list for most has been the Bills.

Here’s what NFL.com thought of the Bills in listing them among their free agency success stories this offseason.

Buffalo Bills
New owner Terry Pegula has not been afraid to spend. He nabbed coach Rex Ryan quickly, and has continued to spend on Jerry Hughes, LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, Percy Harvin, and Matt Cassel. Some of these contracts have been too big, but there’s no denying that the Bills have upgraded the talent on a roster that was already loaded defensively. Most teams have added pieces to the puzzle, but the Bills have re-signed, acquired, or picked up difference makers. Anything short of a playoff appearance will be a disappointment.

The Jets were another team from the AFC East listed as a free agency winner as they successfully revamped their secondary.


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Where do Bills rank after free agent moves?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2015 – 3:51 pm

The Bills have been active players in the first wave of free agency as well as the trade market here in March. So what has it done in the eyes of the national media when it comes to ranking the NFL’s 32 teams? Here’s a look.

NFL.com’s Elliott Harrison ranked all 32 teams coming out of the first week of free agency and he had Buffalo ranked 17th. Here’s what he wrote about the Bills.

17 – BILLS
It’s hard not to be fired up for Bills football in 2015. Love the LeSean McCoy acquisition. Love re-signing Jerry Hughes. How about adding a true fullback in Jerome Felton, too? Yep, Rex Ryan is fired up. That is, following the good six-hour cry he had after hearing Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie signed with the Jets. That must be like your ex-fiancée deciding she wants to get married after you cancelled a $100,000 wedding. Not that I know anyone like that.

Buffalo was second in the AFC East, though Harrison had Miami right behind Buffalo at 18th. New England ranked second and the Jets were 26th.


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Report: Jets to re-sign RB Powell

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2015 – 11:39 am

The Bills were reported to be interested in Jets free agent RB Bilal Powell as the start of free agency rapidly approached, but reports now indicate that Powell may never reach the market.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Powell will re-sign with the Jets, agreeing to a multi-year deal.

The Bills may or may not choose to sift through the free agent market for another back or they could turn their attention to the draft to fortify the position where the class of running backs is very deep.


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Pats not picking up option on Wilfork

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2015 – 9:09 am

He returned from a torn Achilles to play in 2014 and won a Super Bowl with New England. But today Vince Wilfork announced on Twitter that the Patriots are not going to pick up his option year.

Wilfork issued a statement on his Twitter account that stated his relationship with the Patriots organization was in good standing and that he still believes he can play in the NFL. Whether New England decides to try to sign him at a lower price remains to be seen.

Not picking up Wilfork’s option should save the Patriots a little more than $8M in cap space.


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Pats planning to work on extension for Revis

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2015 – 12:50 pm

The New England Patriots have a second option year on the contract for Darrelle Revis at an exorbitant cap hit of $25 million. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft in a radio interview in Boston called the current contract a “placeholder” for what they hope will eventually be a multi-year extension for the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback.

Appearing on WEEI radio in Boston, Kraft stated that it is the club’s intention to put together an extension offer for Revis in short order.

“Hopefully both sides want to make a deal and we’ll be able to get one done,” Kraft told on WEEI. “We’ll get to work on trying to make [an extension] happen.”

NFL free agency opens on March 10th, with clubs eligible to begin negotiating with player agents March 7th for players no longer under contract.


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Report: Gailey to Jets not a done deal

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 11:34 am

There were widespread reports that Bills former head coach Chan Gailey had been hired as offensive coordinator of the New York Jets. But at this point the move has yet to take place.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who quoted Gailey and wrote the following on his Facebook account.

Jets’ deal with OC Chan Gailey has not gotten done, and there are questions as to whether it will, leaving Gailey and Jets’ futures uncertain. “Everybody made it seem like a done deal – everybody except me,” Gailey said Monday. Three other teams have talked to Gailey about joining their staff and he is contemplating whether to do it, he said. He only wants to coach with the right team in the right situation. But those reports of Gailey joining the Jets were premature and Gailey said the two sides are at a crossroads, “but nothing’s happened yet.”


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Pats are last division hurdle to clear

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2014 – 11:05 am

The Bills still haven’t made the playoffs, but they have made progress in their division when it comes to head-to-head matchups, with one obvious exception – New England.

Back in 2010 and 2011 the Bills finished 1-5 in the division both seasons. Not surprisingly, it left them at the bottom of the division looking up. In 2012 they were slightly better at 2-4.

Under head coach Doug Marrone in his first season (2013) Buffalo was 3-3 in the AFC East. This year they have a chance to go 4-2, but have to beat New England to do so. At worst they’ll finish 3-3 again.

It may not seem like much progress, but the players believe they have improved when it’s come to facing division opponents. Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams laid it out for everyone.

“From our conversations and the way we went about practice, you couldn’t see any difference in our preparation.  I think it’s important to guys.  I think guys realize there hasn’t been a winning team here in a decade and it’s an opportunity to go play against probably the best team in the AFC, a division rival.  We actually talked about it over the last two years, we’re 3-1 against the Dolphins and 3-1 against the Jets but we’re oh-for against the Patriots.  That’s obviously who’s at the top of our division and we have to go over there and play a good game.”

 


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Bills squeak into MMQB’s Fine 15

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2014 – 12:42 pm

They’ve made it into the group once before this season, but coming off of their 26-10 win Sunday over Cleveland, the Bills are again among the MMQB’s fine 15.

MMQB columnist Peter King ranks the top 15 teams after the most recent slate of action and the Bills made the list checking in at 15 in a tie with Baltimore. Here was King’s liner for Buffalo.

T-15. Buffalo (7-5). That defensive front is downright scary. Ask Hoyer and Manziel.

Buffalo was one of three AFC East teams on his list with New England, second and Miami seventh.


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