Inside The Bills

Bucs WR Jackson expected to play

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 10:50 am

He was listed as questionable and will go through a pre-game workout, but Bucs top WR Vincent Jackson is expected to play today against the Bills.

That according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport.

Jackson and fellow WR Tiquan Underwood are legit deep threats, but with Jackson’s hamstring a bit gimpy, Underwood may have to be the primary guy to stretch the Buffalo defense today.

One additional note about Underwood. He has a propensity to put the ball on the ground, so Bills DBs are undoubtedly aware of that. Something to keep an eye on today.


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Struggles of Bucs, Bills ‘O’ in yard figures

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 10:40 am

The Buccaneers have had a tough go of it on offense most of this season. Yards and points have both been hard to come by. All of it is rooted in their first down efficiency, something that Buffalo’s offense suffers from as well. Somehow the Bills have overcome it a bit better when it comes to scoring points.

Tampa Bay stands 31st in the league in first down efficiency, gaining four yards or more on first down just over 41 percent of the time (41.7%). That ranks 31st in the NFL. (Buffalo is only marginally better at 29th in the NFL at 42.2%).

That in turn leads to a lesser chance of getting a first down come second down where the Bucs move the sticks just 27.4 percent of the time to rank 25th in the league. (The Bills are actually worse at 25.5% to rank 28th).

Come third down there’s usually a medium to long situation for Tampa, which is harder to convert. That explains their third down conversion percentage of 33.7% placing Tampa Bay at 28th in the NFL. (Buffalo ranks 21st).

That leads to fewer first downs where the Bucs rank 28th with 211 (Buffalo ranks 21st). It also leads to more punts, which is why they rank 22nd in offensive possessions this season (139). Buffalo leads the league in that category with 161.

These are the inefficient numbers that have head coaches like Doug Marrone and Greg Schiano working tirelessly to find solutions so their offenses can make positive gains more consistently.  We’ll see if either of them can find those answers against a pair of solid defensive fronts.


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Round 3 between Manuel & Glennon

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 10:06 am

ej-glennon-sq2

EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon will face each other head to head for the third time since the two were college quarterbacks. With Manuel and Glennon both playing their college ball in the ACC conference at Florida State and N.C. State, the two quarterbacks faced each other twice. Here were the results.

The first meeting came in 2011 when both of them were juniors. Manuel’s Seminoles won going away 34-0. Manuel had a solid game going 25-34 passing (73.5%) for 321 yards and two touchdowns (20, 26 yards) with one interception and a passer rating of 166.4.

Glennon was 19-34 (56%) for 130 yards with a pair of INTs in the loss.

Glennon and N.C. State would get their revenge the following season when both he and Manuel were seniors. The Wolfpack upset the third-ranked Seminoles in an unlikely comeback effort. Trailing 16-3 in the fourth quarter, Glennon led a pair of touchdown drives to complete the upset in a 17-16 victory.

Glennon went 30 for 55 passing for 259 yards with the two aforementioned TDs with one INT in the win. Manuel was 17-29 passing for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

So the record is even at 1-1 in head to head matchups between the two QBs. We’ll see how things begin in the NFL ranks today.


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Bills wary of Bucs trick plays

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 9:10 am

Tampa’s offense has struggled the past two weeks gaining a season low in yards over each of the last two games. Tampa head coach Greg Schiano was candid in saying he should’ve tried some gadget plays to spark his offense, especially in last week’s loss at Carolina. The comment below was quickly picked up by Coach Marrone.

“There wasn’t a lot going on,” Schiano told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this week. “We didn’t really get it rolling other than that first drive. But still, there were opportunities I needed to [interject] and say, ‘Let’s do it now.’ But we had some stuff like we do every week. We had stuff in the plan and sometimes that can light a fire on your football team. In retrospect I wish I would’ve stepped in and said, ‘Let’s do it now.’ But I didn’t.”

Marrone now has his team on high alert for a gadget play knowing Schiano’s feeling that he missed an opportunity last week increases the likelihood that they turn to a trick play this week if his offense is struggling against Buffalo’s defense.

“Looking at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s going to be a great challenge for us,” Marrone said. “I think when you look at them offensively, they do a lot of things to spark themselves.  There’s offensive linemen reporting eligible that they’re doing.  They’re going to try to spark themselves with maybe different types of plays that we haven’t seen before.  We’re getting ourselves ready for that.”

Buffalo’s kick coverage team fell victim to a reverse kick return on the opening kickoff against the Falcons last week, which gave the Atlanta offense a drive start at midfield.


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Pettine vs. rookie QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 8:35 am

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has faced his share of rookie quarterbacks. Today he’ll face another in Mike Glennon. Here’s a closer look at his history against rookie signal callers.

Pettine has compiled a 6-3 record against rookie quarterbacks holding them to a combined completion percentage of 47% (118-251), five touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 56.9.

In those nine games his defenses have sacked opposing rookie QBs 21 times.

Buffalo’s most recent game against a rookie QB was Week 11 against Geno Smith, who posted the lowest passer rating for a rookie QB against a Mike Pettine defense (10.1). The next worst performance was turned in by Josh Freeman, who was with Tampa Bay as a rookie in 2009. He had a passer rating of (12.1). Both of them had three interceptions with no touchdown passes.

Smith passed for just 103 yards, while Freeman threw for only 93.

Here’s a look at the full list compiled by Bills media relations.

Date Quarterback Score C/A Yards TD INT Rating Sacks
12/13/2009 J. Freeman, TB W 26-3 14-for-33 93 0 3 12.1 3
11/14/2010 C. McCoy, CLE W 26-20 18-for-31 205 1 0 88.8 3
9/23/2012 R. Tannehill, MIA W 23-20 16-for-36 196 0 1 50.2 0
10/14/2012 A. Luck, IND W 35-9 22-for-44 280 0 2 51.3 4
10/28/2012 R. Tannehill, MIA L 30-9 2-for-5 18 0 0 50.4 1
11/11/2012 R. Wilson, SEA L 28-7 12-for-19 188 2 0 131 4
12/2/2012 R. Lindley, ARI W 7-6 10-for-31 72 0 1 28 2
9/22/2013 G. Smith, NYJ L 27-20 16-for-29 331 2 2 89.9 0
11/17/2013 G. Smith, NYJ W 37-14 8-for-23 103 0 3 10.1 4
Totals     6W 3L 118-for-251 1,486 5 12 56.9 21
Avg   Stat Line     13.1-for-27.8 165.1 0.55 1.33 56.9 2.33

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3rd quarter a trouble spot for Bucs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 8:10 am

As we outlined in our Scouting Report on the Bucs this week, Tampa Bay has been outscored by a better than 2:1 margin in the second half of their games this season (140-67). That scenario only gets worse when you just take the Buccaneers scoring issues in the third quarter in 2013.

Tampa Bay has managed just 24 points in the third quarter this season. That’s the lowest point output in that quarter in the NFL this season by almost two touchdowns. Tennessee is the next least successful scoring team in the third quarter with just 37 points on the year.

“The offensive coaches have gone through some different scenarios, different scripting for the openers in the second half; everything you can imagine to try to break the (spell),” Tampa head coach Greg Schiano told the Tampa Bay Times this week. “Two games ago, we came out and scored on the opening drive of the second half. I don’t think there was a bigger cheerleader on that drive (than me).”

The Bills rank right in the middle of the league in third quarter scoring with 65 points scored on the season.

 


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Blitz passing favors Manuel

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2013 – 4:50 pm

EJ Manuel and Bucs QB Mike Glennon have each gone through their share of struggles in their rookie seasons. Some of their production numbers are strikingly similar, but there is one particular area where Manuel has a leg up.

When facing the blitz Manuel has been very proficient. He’s a large reason why the Bills passer rating against the blitz ranks fourth in the league with a mark of 104.97. Glennon meanwhile is largely responsible for the Bucs passer rating against the blitz of just 78.7, good for just 23rd in the NFL.

Buffalo’s approach toward Glennon, knowing he’s not the most mobile quarterback figures to be an aggressive one. We’ll see if he can improve on the blitz passer rating he’s compiled to this point against the league’s number one sack team.


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EJ, Glennon not bad with picks

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2013 – 3:30 pm

Both EJ Manuel and Bucs QB Mike Glennon have had some growing pains in their rookie seasons, but if there’s one thing they’ve succeeded at it’s keeping turnovers to a minimum.

Glennon has just five interceptions on 290 attempts, while Manuel has four interceptions on 249 attempts. That’s good for an interception percentage of less than two percent for each of them. That puts both in the top 10 in the league among QBs. Here’s a look at some of the veteran QB company Manuel and Glennon are keeping right now with their interception percentage so low.

1 – Nick Foles (PHI) – 190 attempts – 0 Ints – 0% INT PCT
2 – Josh McCown (CHI) – 184 attempts – 1 Int – 0.5% INT PCT
3 – Alex Smith (KC) – 440 attempts – 6 Ints – 1.4% INT PCT
4 – Sam Bradford (STL) – 262 attempts – 4 Ints – 1.5% INT PCT
5 – Case Keenum (HOU) – 190 attempts – 3 Ints – 1.6% INT PCT
6 – Tony Romo (DAL) – 440 attempts – 7 Ints – 1.6% INT PCT
7 – Aaron Rodgers (GB) – 251 attempts – 4 Ints – 1.6% INT PCT
8 – EJ Manuel (BUF) – 249 attempts – 4 Ints – 1.7% INT PCT
9 – Tom Brady (NE) – 471 attempts – 8 Ints – 1.7% INT PCT
10 – Mike Glennon (TB) – 290 attempts – 5 Ints – 1.8% INT PCT


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone & Schiano have squared off before

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2013 – 11:50 am

The Big East football conference is now defunct, but it’s where both Doug Marrone and Greg Schiano cut their teeth as head coaches. Marrone at Syracuse and Schiano at Rutgers squared off against each other three times between 2009 and 2011.

In 2009, Marrone’s first season coaching the Orange, his team upset Schiano’s No. 25 Scarlet Knights 31-13 with Syracuse boasting a vastly superior rushing attack (does a similar strength exist for Buffalo now?).

The following season Marrone and his Orange squeezed out a 13-10 victory with the winning field goal coming with just over a minute remaining.

The 2011 meeting was the last before Schiano left for Tampa Bay and Rutgers needed double overtime to pull out a 19-16 win with a 47-yard field goal the difference.

So Marrone has the 2-1 edge in record in head to head matchups between the two head coaches, and once again the odds makers believe Sunday will be a close game.


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Goodwin probable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2013 – 12:36 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin was pulled out of practice early on Thursday after tweaking a calf muscle, but he’s expected to be fine for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.

Goodwin practiced fully on Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.


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Stevie focused on winning, not Revis

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2013 – 10:53 am

Stevie Johnson is one of the more successful receivers in his matchups with Bucs CB Darrelle Revis, from their biannual duels when Revis was with the Jets. But Johnson isn’t focused on his matchup with Revis. He’s more focused on getting a road win Sunday.

“I feel like Revis is Revis,” said Johnson. “I don’t need to say too much about him. He’s an elite corner. My worry, my main concern is getting a win. That’s the main thing. I’m not really worried about the matchup.”

When pressed to comment on what he thinks about the matchup with Revis over the years, Johnson again made it clear getting a win for the team will be the priority this week.

“I know we’ll be competing,” he said. “I feel like we’ll match up more times than not.  And when we do, we’ll see who’s the better man throughout the game.  Once again, my main concern is to try to get a win, not an individual person.”

Revis is expected to play after he practiced fully on Wednesday. He left last week’s game against Carolina early with shoulder and chest injuries.


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Lindell not bitter about release

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2013 – 9:56 am

The Bills will be facing their most accurate kicker in team history this Sunday, as Rian Lindell will be kicking for Tampa Bay on Sunday, but the veteran kicker is anything but bitter about moving on from Buffalo this past summer.

Lindell was released by the team when they chose to go with sixth-round draft pick Dustin Hopkins as their place kicker. Hopkins then suffered a groin injury five days before the season opener and Dan Carpenter has kicked for the Bills ever since.

An 83 percent kicker with the Bills, Lindell has struggled of late, with four misses in his last three games, but he has no problem the decision the team made to release him during final cuts.

“I have no one to blame but me, the way I see it,” Lindell told the Tampa Bay Times. “The organization gave me so much. I don’t have any ill will toward anybody. If I would have made my kicks and hit my kickoffs better, things might have been different, but that’s on me.”


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