Inside The Bills

Are we in for a slow start?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 2:10 pm

By now most Bills fans are aware that Buffalo’s offense has been slow in getting into a rhythm at the start of games. Their opponent today, however, has found it even more difficult to finish early drives with points.

The Chargers are one of two NFL teams yet to score on an opening drive this season (also Chicago). Los Angeles is 0-for-9. Meanwhile the Bills are tied for third fewest in the league, with just six total points on opening possessions.

The Bills have scored only nine first-quarter points, which is an NFL low. The Chargers have scored 21 points in the opening quarter of games this season, which ranks 28th.


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Punters could be busy today

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 1:20 pm

The Bills and Chargers have both had their share of inefficiencies on offense this season. That’s partly why Buffalo made a quarterback change this week in going with rookie Nate Peterman. Whether Peterman can improve the functionality of the offense remains to be seen. But more often than not this season both Buffalo and Los Angeles have had to turn to their punters with drives stalling.

Below is the bottom third of the NFL teams that punt most often. Both the Bills and Chargers rank in that area with the Bills 25th and the Chargers last in the league. Half of L.A.’s drives end with a punt, almost double that of the league leader, New Orleans, who only punts on drive 28 percent of the time.

PERCENT OF DRIVES ENDING IN PUNT, 2017

20 – Cleveland Browns            43.5 (47/108)
21 – New York Jets               43.9 (54/123)
22 – San Francisco 49ers         44.9 (53/118)
23 – Baltimore Ravens            45.3 (48/106)
24 – Houston Texans              45.5 (51/112)
25 – Buffalo Bills               46.5 (47/101)
26 – New York Giants             46.7 (49/105)
27 – Seattle Seahawks            46.8 (52/111)
28 – Cincinnati Bengals          47.1 (49/104)
29 – Indianapolis Colts          47.2 (58/123)
30 – Chicago Bears               48.5 (49/101)
31 – Miami Dolphins              49.0 (50/102)
32 – Los Angeles Chargers        50.0 (51/102)
NFL Average                 40.8 (1370/3361)

 

 


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Lynn thinks Rivers will play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 4:01 pm

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that his QB Philip Rivers will practice again today (Thursday) on a limited basis, but remains in the concussion protocol. When asked if he thinks Rivers will play Sunday against the Bills, Lynn gave the indication that he will.

According to ESPN.com Chargers beat reporter Eric Williams, Lynn said the following.

“We think he’ll play, but that’s up to the doctors,” Lynn said. “That’s not my decision.”

Rivers hasn’t missed a game since 2005, but does have to pass a couple of more tests to complete the concussion protocol and be medically cleared.

 

 


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Chargers converting despite no run game

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2014 – 10:38 am

It’s not often that an NFL team converts 50 percent of their third downs when they’re run game is producing less that 80 yards rushing per game. But that is the case for the Chargers, who come to Buffalo with the sixth-best third down conversion rate in the league. Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided his take on why he thinks San Diego has been able to move the sticks even when their run game isn’t helping all that much.

Not surprisingly, Marrone credits Chargers veteran QB Philip Rivers, who somehow seems to find a way to keep the offense on the field.

“He’s a very good player and I think when you look at them from a standpoint of rushing they’re probably not happy with the average per rush that they have, but they continue to keep running the football,” said Marrone. “What it does is they’ve been in great situations as far as 3rd-and-4 or less, probably more than any other team in the league. When you give a player like Philip Rivers and the skill players that they have that type of down and distance, they’re going to convert more often than not. We’ve got to do a good job of keeping the chains in our favor and getting those tackles for loss and put them in situations where they have to go further to get those first downs. That’s what we’re going to have to do if we’re going to be successful.”

“Mainly, we look for yards per carry,” said Philip Rivers of his team’s run game. “That’s what you look at. Last week, we were pretty balanced, really, almost 50-50 and ended up over 100 yards but per-rush wasn’t really good. In the Monday night game against Arizona, and although that was the 2013 number one rush defense in the league, there’s still no excuse for it. We know we’ve got to run it better and we’re going to continue be more balanced and stick with it. One thing we are, we’re not going to abandon it. We’re going to stick with it because when we’re balanced, that’s when we’re at our best. We all know we’ve got to run it better. And it’s all of us, me included. Getting us to the best runs. And then getting everybody involved in making things go.”


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Chargers happy with UB product Oliver

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2014 – 9:56 am

UB product Branden Oliver, an undrafted rookie signing of the Chargers this past spring, could see some action Sunday against Buffalo. With starting RB Ryan Mathews not expected to play Donald Brown is the feature back, with Danny Woodhead playing a supporting role. Oliver might see a few touches here and there through the course of the game. San Diego QB Philip Rivers has been pretty pleased with what he’s seen from the former Bull.

“He’s been awesome. He got out there really early back when he got here. Some things he did were just kind of like … I know a handful of us said that said we can’t wait to see him in the preseason games and he didn’t let us down. He was solid. He works hard,” said Rivers. “He really wants to study and just wants to do things right. I see him in Danny and Donald and Ryan’s hip pocket. He asked me stuff last game, little things. He just wants to do things right and he earned that spot on the 53. We’re glad we have him. He’s going to have to step up for us now that Ryan has gone down.”


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Chargers OLB Ingram out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 3:01 pm

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It was expected that Chargers starting RB Ryan Mathews would miss Sunday’s game with his knee injury, but after not practicing on Friday OLB Melvin Ingram, one of San Diego’s premier pass rushers is also out with a hamstring and hip injury. Ingram was a player on the rise and had a sack and forced fumble on Russell Wilson last week. It’s a loss for the Chargers.

San Diego has another young pass rusher in LB Jeremy Attaochu, who is questionable with a hamstring injury too. He hasn’t practiced all week and is likely a game time decision. WR Keenan Allen is also questionable with a groin injury, as he was limited in practice Friday.

Player Injury Participation Friday Game Status
LB Melvin Ingram Hamstring/Hip Did Not Participate Out
RB Ryan Mathews Knee Did Not Participate Out
S Jahleel Addae Hamstring Full Participation Questionable
WR Keenan Allen Groin Limited Participation Questionable
LB Jerry Attaochu Hamstring Did Not Participate Questionable
CB Chris Davis Ankle Full Participation Probable
CB Brandon Flowers Groin Full Participation Probable
TE Antonio Gates Hamstring Full Participation Probable
DE Corey Liuget Ankle Full Participation Probable
C Rich Ohrnberger Back Full Participation Probable
G Johnnie Troutman Back Full Participation Probable

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Woods, Rivers update for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 1:17 pm

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The Bills have a good chance of seeing WR Robert Woods in the lineup based on the injury status he was given Friday.

After missing practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury suffered late Wednesday, Woods practiced on a limited basis Friday. The news was not as positive for LB Keith Rivers. He practiced on Thursday and was limited on Friday and has been listed as doubtful. That means rookie Preston Brown will make his third straight start. Here’s the rest of Buffalo’s injury report for Sunday’s game.

OUT
LB Randell Johnson – knee

DOUBTFUL
LB Keith Rivers – groin

PROBABLE
DT Stefan Charles – hip
TE Lee Smith – toe
WR Sammy Watkins – ribs
G Chris Williams – back
WR Robert Woods – ankle


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Fan Friday 9-19

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 11:45 am

Week 3 and the Chargers are coming in. Should be a tight game. Let’s get to your questions this week on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Does potentially bad weather this weekend favor the Bills?

BrianGriffo

CB: I would tend to think so. Buffalo’s run game is vastly superior to that of San Diego’s. The Chargers have found it difficult to get their run game on track, though in their defense they’ve faced to pretty strong defenses in Arizona and Seattle. But without starter Ryan Mathews (sprained MCL), who is not expected to play a rainy day would favor Buffalo’s ground game.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Will we see Bryce Brown at all this year ?

kochsteve44

CB: That’s difficult to determine at this point. It seems clear that the coaching staff wants a fullback active (Frank Summers) with three tailbacks on game day (Dixon, Jackson, Spiller). If one of the top three backs sustains an injury then it’s likely we see Brown, but if not, based on the first two weeks he’ll be the inactive player from that position group.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Who is more primed for a ‘letdown’ both after big emotional wins. SD, does have the cross country trip.

rahdoo

CB: You are correct the Chargers do have to come east, which is never easy. They’re leaving a day early (today) to get their body clocks adjust to the time change. Last year San Diego was 3-2 playing in the Eastern time zone including their AFC Wild Card playoff win at Cincinnati.

Against the Bills they’ve dropped three of their last four played at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

I don’t know that either team is more susceptible to a letdown than the other. Both are coming off big wins. I think the Bills strengths match up more favorably than the Chargers strengths, but that advantage is not a big one.

 

4 – Chris,

What is Marquise Goodwin’s role on this team? He played sparingly in Chicago, and overall has not produced much at all since the Jets game at Home last season. Are the coaches going to use him?

He is a 3rd Round pick that seemingly is not on the radar screen with the offensive coaches.

In limited playing time last year, he had 3 TDs on only 17 receptions.

How does a man with 4.27 wheels not get the call to test deep once or twice a game? Or get a bubble screen once a game?

I would hate to see a similar fate for Goodwin, as our other speedster TJ Graham, who was a 3rd Round pick as well.

Thanks,
Brian
CB: Through the first two weeks Goodwin has gotten 21 plays out of a total of 116, which is about 18 percent of the snaps. The fact of the matter is the Bills took steps to upgrade their receiving corps with Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams the primary additions. Both sit at the top of the depth chart with Robert Woods.

That leaves Goodwin in the fourth spot, but through the first two weeks the Bills have largely used 11 (1 back, 1 TE, 3 WR) or 12 (1 back, 2 TEs) personnel. There have been few four-wide sets.

I don’t know this, but it appears as though the Bills have a specific package of plays in the game plan for Goodwin each week, and that package only spans 10-15 plays. Could it increase based on the opponent? Yes. Could it stay the same the whole season? Yes again.

Obviously injuries at the receiver position will also impact how much Goodwin sees the field on offense as the season wears on. Ultimately it’s up to the coaches how much or how little they choose to use him on offense.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

After watching the Bills lately, it seems like Hackett and Marrone have the offense operating very well. My one question is, why don’t they use Dixon and Jackson earlier, to wear down the defense, and then later in the game use CJ to really explode?

Thanks,
Tommy H.

CB: I don’t want to speak for coach Marrone, but Spiller’s home run ability is the difference maker here. Knowing that any carry or reception by Spiller could go the distance almost mandates that he be on the field throughout the course of the game. I also think that Spiller and Jackson offer good differing changes of pace, where Dixon and Jackson might be too similar and allow the opposing defense to get a better read on run plays.

 


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Chargers OL, pass rushers nicked up

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 5:19 pm

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Already without starting C Nick Hardwick, who was put on injured reserve after Week 1, now has his replacement on the injury report. Starting C Rich Ohrnberger did not practice Thursday with a back injury. He was limited on Wednesday. Starting RG Johnnie Troutman, was also limited Wednesday with a back injury and missed practice Thursday.

San Diego also sat pass rushers Jeremy Attaochu and Melvin Ingram Thursday with hamstring injuries, and WR Keenan Allen was an addition. He was limited with a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
LB Jerry Attaochu Hamstring DNP
LB Melvin Ingram Hamstring DNP
RB Ryan Mathews Knee DNP
C Rich Ohrnberger   Back DNP
G Johnnie Troutman   Back DNP
S Jahleel Addae Hamstring LP
WR Keenan Allen   Groin LP
TE Antonio Gates   Hamstring LP
CB Chris Davis Ankle FP
CB Brandon Flowers   Groin FP
OLB Dwight Freeney   Not Injury Related FP
DE Corey Liuget Ankle FP

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Chargers WR Allen added to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 4:23 pm

San Diego is already expected to be without starting RB Ryan Mathews Sunday, who reportedly has a sprained MCL and is expected to miss a month or more. Now there’s another offensive starter added to the Chargers injury report.

According to San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Michael Gehlken, WR Keenan Allen was limited in practice Thursday with a groin injury. His participation in practice Friday will be something to watch for tomorrow.


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Reich returns to RWS as Chargers OC

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 11:30 am

This Sunday the Chargers will be bringing a couple of former Bills players with them on their coaching staff. Pete Metzelaars is San Diego’s tight ends coach and Frank Reich is their offensive coordinator. It’s Reich’s first year in that role after serving as quarterbacks coach last year under new Chargers head coach Mike McCoy. McCoy explained why he promoted Reich after former OC Ken Whisenhunt left for the Tennessee head coaching post.

“I’ve known Frank for a little while now and understanding the system that we were putting in place last year here, when we all came together,” said McCoy. “Having worked in Indianapolis with Peyton [Manning] who I had in Denver, obviously, and then the relationship with Ken Whisenhunt that he had developed a few years back… so it’s an easy transition to bring him in and say ‘Frank I want you to be the quarterback coach.’ And I always targeted him as a possible coordinator if Ken ever left and it happened obviously after the first year and Frank has done an outstanding job at this point in time.”


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Chargers TE Gates doesn’t practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 4:58 pm

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The Chargers got three touchdown catches from Antonio Gates in last week’s win over the Seattle Seahawks. Now San Diego is just looking to get Gates back on the practice field. Gates along with a handful of other starters did not practice Wednesday. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Starting RB Ryan Mathews is not expected to play Sunday due to a reported sprained MCL. The rest of the injured starters are on the defensive side of the ball with pass rushers Jerry Attaochu and Melvin Ingram both sidelined with hamstring injuries. Starting CB Brandon Flowers has a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Jerry Attaochu LB Hamstring DNP
Brandon Flowers CB Groin DNP
Dwight Freeney LB Not Injury Related DNP
Antonio Gates TE Hamstring DNP
Melvin Ingram LB Hamstring DNP
Ryan Mathews RB Knee DNP
Jahleel Addae S Hamstring LP
Rich Ohrnberger CB Back LP
Johnnie Troutman G Back LP
Chris Davis CB Ankle FP
Corey Liuget DE Ankle FP

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Bills Wednesday injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 3:44 pm

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Here’s a look at the Bills injury report on Wednesday in advance of their game against San Diego this weekend.

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Randell Johnson – knee

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
LB Keith Rivers – groin
DT Stefan Charles – hip
WR Robert Woods – ankle

FULL PRACTICE
WR Sammy Watkins – ribs
TE Lee Smith – toe


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Kyle has seen 2-0 before

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2014 – 4:34 pm

Bills veteran DT Kyle Williams has seen 2-0 starts before in his time with Buffalo. In 2008 Buffalo started 4-0 and in 2011 they started 3-0. Williams was on both of those teams and remembers how those seasons finished, with the Bills out of the playoffs. That’s why he’s not putting much stock in the first eighth of the season.

“I really can’t get wrapped up in it because there’s a long season in front of us, we have a really good football teaming coming here this week,” said Williams. “The great thing and the tough thing about this league is that in just a few days you’ve got another test on your hands. So you can’t really get wrapped up in anything a week or two into the season.”

 


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Chargers RB Mathews has sprained MCL

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2014 – 1:13 pm

There are reports out of San Diego that Chargers starting RB Ryan Mathews sustained a sprained MCL in San Diego’s win over Seattle Sunday. According to national reporters he is likely to miss this week’s game against the Bills.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapaport is reporting that Mathews could miss a month or more after being carted off the field yesterday.


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Chargers good finishers

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2011 – 12:03 pm

A lot of NFL observers have criticized the Chargers for several years for underachieving as they’ve been stocked with some of the deepest talent in the league the last several years. The last few years they’ve just squeaked into the playoffs thanks in large part to strong finishes. Most are wondering if they’re at it again after posting a December win Monday night to end a six-game losing streak.

“I think that’s when you want to be playing your best football,” said Philip Rivers. “You’d like to not be sitting at 5-7 fighting to stay alive. You want to be playing your best football late in the year. That’s when you want to peak. There have been years where we finished the year off and went 11-5 and went to the AFC Championship and we finished the year off winning 11 in a row and going 13-3.

“Then there have been years like this one when we were 4-8 and we won out and found a way to get in. You want to be playing your best at the end, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be playing good early. We’re determined to have another great finish to the season. It’ll continue on Sunday trying to get our second win in a row.”

Rivers is 21-2 as a starter in December and a career passer rating of 100.9. Only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is better at 101.9. And Rivers’ home record in December as a starter? 10-1.


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Bills-Chargers black out in SoCal

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2011 – 4:37 pm

If you’re a Bills fan in Southern California you won’t be able to watch Sunday’s game against the Chargers on regular network TV.

Sunday’s game has been blacked out after the Chargers did not sell out Qualcomm stadium prior to Thursday’s 4 pm ET deadline for west coast venues. The Chargers are reporting that they have just under 5,000 tickets remaining for the game.


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Challenge of playing for pride

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2011 – 11:36 am

The Bills are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, but they hold no key tiebreakers with any of the AFC opponents within striking distance. Knowing the postseason appears to be a long shot, the coaching staff has the added challenge of getting players up and play for pride, and in some cases for jobs.

“You have to tell guys what you’re trying to get done,” said Chan Gailey.  “They have to understand that. The men in that room have to understand what each guy is doing and what they’re playing for and what their goals are.

“If you don’t have a why in football or in life, you’re in trouble. They need to have a why. Why am I doing something? Why am I playing hard? Why am I giving effort or going on the practice field and working?

“And it’s different for each one of them individually. We still have some goals as a team that we want to reach. We want to get better. We do not want to continue this.”

Buffalo’s opponent this week San Diego, just ended a six-game losing streak themselves on Monday night at Jacksonville.


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Bills Game of the Week in our media lounge

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2008 – 8:20 pm

For those of you that don’t get NFL Network or don’t want to wait until 9:30pm tonight to watch the Game of the Week recap of Bills-Chargers from last Sunday, you can check it out in its entirety right now in our media lounge on Buffalobills.com.


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Bills-Chargers game to air on NFL Network’s NFL Replay

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2008 – 5:47 pm

NFL Network is re-airing Sunday’s game between the Bills and Chargers. A lot of fans have been asking if the entire game will be re-broadcast in some fashion due to the power outage last weekend. But it’s my understanding that when the power went out CBS did not have the capability to shoot the game.

Only NFL Films has complete coverage of the game and they don’t shoot a game the way a typical television network would.

In any event the 90-minute capsulized version of last Sunday’s game will air as part of the NFL Network’s NFL Replay series Wednesday night (10/22) at 9:30pm. It will be broadcast again at 2:30am Thursday morning (10/23) and one last time on Thursday afternoon at 2:30pm.


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