Inside The Bills

Fitzgerald tips hat to Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2016 – 9:56 am

Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald is as classy a player as there is in the NFL. Coming off of Sunday’s loss to the Bills, Fitz tipped his hat to Buffalo’s defense.

“I wouldn’t say they confused us,” Fitzgerald said. “They run a really intricate defensive scheme. Coach Ryan does a great job of bringing blitzes from multiple personnel groupings and you have to tip your hat to those guys. They played really well.”

Fitzgerald was the Cardinals leading receiver Sunday, but managed less than 10 yards a catch with seven receptions for 60 yards.


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Palmer ugly in last 4 games vs. Ryan defenses

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 9:56 pm

Carson Palmer’s struggles against Rex Ryan defenses continued on Sunday when the Cardinals fell to the Bills 33-18.

In his last three meetings with Rex Ryan defensive units coming into Sunday’s game at New Era Field, Palmer was 0-3 and had a passer rating of 27.7. Against the Bills his passer rating was slightly better, but his performance fell right in line with his previous three matchups with Ryan.

His 26-50 passing performance Sunday for 287 yards with four interceptions and five sacks led to a passer rating of 36. If you add his stats from Sunday in with his previous three games you come up with the following.

51-120 passing (43%) for 516 yards with one touchdown, 8 interceptions and 13 sacks and a passer rating of 31.1. He’s also 0-4 in wins and losses in that span.

“I came to (defensive coordinator) Dennis (Thurman) and I said, ‘Hey we’ve played this guy a long time. This is what in my opinion we need to go to,’” said Ryan. “So we put in a turbo package so we were ready and we dialed them up on down and distance what we wanted to do. I think we went with a four safety look to mess their count up a little bit. They wanted to go ahead and go to empty (backfield) so that was good for us. We wanted them in that situation. We were fortunate. Obviously Carson is a great quarterback.”

“They played this game a lot differently than the first two,” said Palmer of Buffalo’s defense. “Definitely different than the second one. But a lot of the same coverages we saw played when they were in Baltimore Week 1, some of the same stuff that they were doing last week and then some of the stuff we expected to see. What they did last week, they just didn’t do.”

 


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Palmer has struggled vs. Ryan defenses

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 9:36 am

Carson Palmer has been an ultra-productive quarterback in his three seasons with the Cardinals. But when facing Rex Ryan defenses in his career he’s had his share of struggles. Here’s a look at his career stats since 2006 against Ryan defenses from Baltimore to the Jets.

Palmer has a record of 3-4, losing each of his last three outings against Ryan’s defensive scheme. His passing stats were 103-197 (52.2%) for 1,122 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. He was also sacked six times. Palmer’s passer rating of 65.1.

In his last three games against Ryan defenses Palmer’s passing numbers are 27-73 (37%) for 229 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions and eight sacks. His passer rating was 27.7. He lost all three games and his Bengals teams were outscored 80-20.

Sunday will be his first outing against Ryan’s defense in Buffalo.


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Robey-Coleman prepped to cover a “legend”

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2016 – 3:07 pm

Nickell Robey-Coleman has had his share of challenging matchups, but Arizona slot receiver and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald might be the biggest assignment of his career. For Robey-Coleman, who has great respect for the history of the game, it won’t be easy for him to block out the caliber of player he’s covering and just play ball.

“It’ll be hard to say that I’m not excited to play against a legend. This is history,” Robey-Coleman told Buffalobills.com. “I grew up watching this guy make big plays so to come out here on a big platform this Sunday and play against a premier receiver… all their receivers are good though. Nothing against their receivers, but Fitz, I’m going to be so excited to match up against him and to see what I’ve got as a defensive player and show where I’m really at.”

When asked how he intends to keep his head, Robey-Coleman insists he’ll be locked in with a specific mindset.

“Basically it’s about having the mentality that I want to dominate him,” he said. “I want to make him look bad in front of everybody. Let me have that chance to compete against one of the best players in the NFL. I want a chance to show the world what Nickell Robey-Coleman can do in a one-on-one matchup.

“Is it going to be easy? Not at all. It’s going to be tough and physical. He’s a big guy. Everybody is going to be getting a piece of Fitzgerald Sunday. A couple of our guys will probably see him.”

Arizona does move Fitzgerald around a good deal to create favorable matchups and keep defenses from easily keying on him. Through the first two games Fitzgerald has twice as many receptions as any other receiver on the Cardinals roster.


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A look back at last Cards at Bills game in 2004

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2016 – 9:39 am

It was Halloween 2004 when the Arizona Cardinals last visited the Bills in Orchard Park, and there were some unusual events in the game due to a host of factors. One of those factors was the weather.

While the game time temperature was 55 degrees, it didn’t feel like it with sustained winds of better than 20 miles per hour and wind gusts up to 40 mph. There were also rain showers. It was part of what prompted Buffalo to commit fully to a competent ground game to beat Arizona.

Head coach Mike Mularkey officially named Willis McGahee the team’s new starting tailback, supplanting Travis Henry. The Cardinals game was McGahee’s first NFL start and he came through with 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in what wound up being a 38-14 win.

It was a coming out party or coming back party for McGahee, who missed all of his rookie season in 2003 coming off reconstructive knee surgery. McGahee would go on to rush for more than 1,100 yards in 2004.

While the Bills thrived in the poor weather conditions, the Cardinals struggled managing just a shade over 200 yards of total offense, including just 101 passing yards for Arizona QB Josh McCown. McCown looked frustrated during the game as the wind and rain negatively impacted his effectiveness.

“I know one thing, I have a newfound respect for Jim Kelly and what he did here,” McCown said after the game. “It was the toughest conditions I’ve ever played in.”

If McCown thought it was difficult, his punter Scott Player thought it was impossible. He had eight punts that day and only two went for more than 40 yards. His first of the day into the wind traveled just 23 yards and it hit a wall of wind and fell straight to the turf.

Player had another punt returned 40 yards by Nate Clements to set up a 1st-and-10 for the offense at the Arizona 11-yard line. It led to one Bills TD. Clements also had a 34-yard return to the Arizona 19 that led to an Eric Moulds touchdown catch.

Terrence McGee, who would go to the Pro Bowl that season as a return man, also had an 87-yard return for a score to spark the offense on a big day for Buffalo’s special teams.

The Cardinals also hurt themselves with 14 penalties for 101 yards. The loss for Arizona was a league-high 17th in a row on the road.


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Cardinals traveling today for time change

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 10:30 am

With the Cardinals coming east this weekend to play the Bills, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has his team flying out later today (Friday) to get his players’ bodies adjusted to east coast time. He also employs another measure to help ensure his players are at their best when the game kicks off at what would normally be 10 am for them in Glendale.

“We have 11 o’clock practices scheduled most of the year because we are on the east coast a few times this year and it does hurt us,” said Arians. “It gets us more on that schedule and it doesn’t hurt us when we play west coast times.”

The Cardinals were 7-1 on the road last season.


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Ryan: Talented Cards might be just what we need

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 2:51 pm

Rex Ryan was effusive in his praise of the Arizona Cardinals and how well rounded they are as a club. The defending NFC West champs are coming off a 40-7 shellacking of Tampa Bay. They’ll be a tough matchup to say the least, but Ryan thinks a team of this caliber often gets a team as focused as ever to execute.

“You know what this might be the exact team we need to play,” said Ryan. “It might be the best team in the league and maybe this is the exact team we need to play, and it’s back-to-back weeks by the way. You’ve got Bruce Arians this week and Belichick next week. There are probably a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”


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Bills don’t mind that win was ugly

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2012 – 11:20 am

The Bills were more than happy to outlast the Cardinals and win the game, but they weren’t naive enough to think it was an air tight victory.

“There were parts that were ugly,” said Bryan Scott. “There were those highs and lows, but we said if we stay even keeled and finish through four quarters, and we even had to take it to overtime, good things happen.”

“It was just one of those games that was so up and down,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “We came out here with one goal and that was to win. In the National Football League you celebrate the victories because we know they’re tough to come by. I think winning in the NFL is hard and the guys that have been around for a long time know you take them how you get them and we’re pretty fired up.”

“That was a huge relief,” said Scott of the win. “The last two weeks, just to have those losses in your mouth, it hurts. You can’t sleep at night. To get this win and to go back home and now Tennessee is up next. This was a start of something very positive.”


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Bills bust Cards’ streaks

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2012 – 2:32 am

The Cardinals had some pretty impressive streaks going heading into Sunday’s game with Buffalo concerning home field advantage and overtime. The Bills put an end to them both.

Arizona was riding an eight-game home winning streak dating back to last season. They were also winners of their last five in overtime, until Rian Lindell put a 25-yard game winner through the uprights in the extra session.


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Kelsay moves into top 10 for sacks

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2012 – 10:04 pm

Bills DE Chris Kelsay put the first points on the board Sunday in Buffalo’s 19-16 overtime win with a safety, and that sack moved him inside the top 10 for career sacks as a Bill.

Kelsay now has 31.5 career sacks and is tied with Jeff Wright for ninth place on the team’s all-time sack list.


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No knee brace for Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2012 – 3:28 pm

Bills RB Fred Jackson for the first time since his return from a knee injury is not wearing a brace.

Since his return to action in Week 4, Jackson has worn a knee brace on his right knee, but shed it in practice on Friday and is not wearing it today.

Jackson admitted the brace has been cumbersome and slowed him down. We’ll see if it makes a difference today against the Cardinals.


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Cards inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Here are the Cards’ inactives for today’s game with the Bills.

QB Ryan Lindley
CB Michael Adams
CB Greg Toler
FB Anthony Sherman
LB Reggie Walker
G Senio Kelemete
TE Todd Heap


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Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2012 – 2:41 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for today’s games with the Cards.

QB Tarvaris Jackson
LB Kirk Morrison
OL Kraig Urbik
OL Reggie Wells
OT Cordy Glenn
DT Spencer Johnson
DE Mark Anderson


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Jersey numbers for Snow and Ross

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2012 – 1:45 pm

C-G David Snow and DT Jay Ross were called up from the practice squad on Saturday. Here are the jersey numbers they’ll be wearing today.

Snow will wear jersey number 61. Ross will wear jersey number 73.

Also recently signed OL Reggie Wells will wear jersey number 68.


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Wannstedt on his defense

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2012 – 8:20 pm

The defense has left a lot to be desired the past two weeks and fans have wanted to hear from Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt for answers as to what is going on with that side of the ball. Wannstedt spoke after Friday’s practice.

“The inconsistency has been the most frustrating thing for all of us,” he said. “We came out of preseason feeling good. There was a transition with new players and a new system and got into the season and felt good even into halftime of the New England game. We’ve had a game and a half of disappointment to put it bluntly.

“Now the good news is it’s basically the same guys we played with earlier in the year. We had a good week of practice, we’re re-focused. We have to come out here and play as good as we can play this week. And I expect us to. I think we’ll play good. I really believe that.”

When asked about the unit’s confidence and whether it can be refortified, Wannstedt believes it can.

“It doesn’t take much to lose confidence in this league as an individual, as a group as a team,” Wannstedt said. “You can get your confidence back just as fast. And you don’t get your confidence back on Sunday. To me you get your confidence back on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You’re going in to take the exam on Sunday and the more prepared we are, the more confident we are, the better we will play on Sunday.”

So when asked how he anticipates his defensive unit will play against the Cardinals, Wannstedt was concise.

“I expect us to bounce back this week and play good,” he said. “We have proven we are capable of that, both run and pass and we’ve just got to get back to doing that.”


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Dockett questionable for Cards

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2012 – 7:33 pm

Arizona DT Darnell Dockett is one of a host of Cardinals players questionable for Sunday’s game. LB Paris Lenon was also a Friday addition to the injury report with a knee injury. He’s questionable, but he was a full participant.

Dockett was limited in practice all week as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered two weeks ago. Here’s the status of the rest of the injured Arizona players for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Doubtful
CB Michael Adams – hamstring
FB Anthony Sherman – knee
CB Greg Toler – knee
LB Reggie Walker – head

Questionable
DT Darnell Dockett – hamstring
LB Quentin Groves – hamstring
TE Jim Dray – knee
TE Todd Heap – knee
LB O’Brien Schofield – knee
LB Paris Lenon – knee

Probable
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling – hip
RB William Powell – head
QB John Skelton – ankle
G Adam Snyder – elbow


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C.J. & Fred sharing in game info

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2012 – 11:25 am

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have been faced with the challenge of trying to get in the flow of the game on limited carries as they’ve split the workload down the middle. It’s made it harder for both of them to set up defenders on run plays later in the game because individually they’re not on the field long enough. But Fred and C.J. have come up with a solution.

Jackson and Spiller communicate with one another on the sideline between series, so if they’re rotating every other series the back that’s next to go in knows exactly what the defense is showing them.

“That’s the way we have to do it,” said Jackson. “We’re constantly talking about what we see out there or what we saw on a certain play. I’m constantly telling him, ‘Hey these linebackers are doing this or that.’ Or ‘This D-lineman is playing this.’ And C.J. is constantly doing the same with me. That’s one of the ways we can each stay in the game and it’s one of the ways we’re trying to take advantage of things.”

According to Jackson, what’s even more important is converting third downs so drives last longer and they each get more carries in the game.

“We only had 45 plays last week and nobody is going to get the ball this week if we have drives that are done in three and outs and things like that,” he said. “We have to make a play whenever we’re called upon, whether we get the ball five or six times or 20 or 25 times. The best thing we can do is try and make a play when we’re out there.”


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Stevie likes Peterson matchup

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2012 – 10:46 am

Stevie Johnson is always up for a challenge and while he certainly respects Patrick Peterson’s game, he also has a lot of faith in his own abilities on the field. It should make for a marquee matchup Sunday when the Bills faces the Cardinals.

As we profiled on the home page of Buffalobills.com today, Stevie Johnson is looking to revive his team’s pulse. This week Johnson squares off against Patrick Peterson, who is rapidly becoming one of the better cover corners in the league. But if Johnson can turn in some plays it could be the jumpstart Buffalo’s team needs.

“I always here that he’s a great athlete and he shows it on film,” said Johnson. “He can be beat, anybody can be beat. I think it’s going to be a good challenge for myself and also for him to go against me. I know he’s played against a lot of receivers, but with a style like mine we’ll see if he can hold up to it.”


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Gailey pleased with tempo

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2012 – 9:03 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey kept his team on the west coast so they wouldn’t have to re-adjust their body clocks to the time change three times in a week. He’s been pretty pleased with the way his players have practiced this week.

“Tempo has been good,” he said. “They have practiced fast. We didn’t put the pads on (Thursday). I wanted them to go out and practice fast today and they did. They responded extremely well. It’s just a matter now of us going and doing it on Sunday.”


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RB Stephens-Howling hip improved

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2012 – 9:02 pm

Arizona is already shorthanded at running back with both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams on injured reserve, but it looks like LaRod Stephens-Howling will be in the lineup Sunday coming off a hip injury.

Stephens-Howling was limited in practice Wednesday, but a full participant Thursday. Here’s the rest of the injury report for Arizona including DT Darnell Dockett, who is still limited with a hamstring injury.

Did not practice
CB Michael Adams – hamstring
LB Quentin Groves – hamstring
FB Anthony Sherman – knee
CB Greg Toler – hamstring
LB Reggie Walker – head

Limited in practice
DT Darnell Dockett – hamstring
TE Jim Dray – knee
TE Todd Heap – knee
LB O’Brien Schofield – knee

Full practice
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling – hip
RB Williams Powell – head
QB John Skelton – ankle
G Adam Snyder – elbow


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