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Inside The Bills

One stat Bills hope to keep at zero

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 2:38 pm

The Bills are going for a season sweep of the Dolphins today at Hard Rock Stadium. To do it they’d be wise to maintain a current streak that is an NFL best.

Buffalo hasn’t committed a single giveaway in seven straight games against the Dolphins. It marks the longest streak without a turnover against the same opponent since such statistics have been kept by the NFL beginning in 1950.

The Bills also owned a similar streak against the Jets, but it came to an end in 2015. They’d obviously like to push their current streak against the Dolphins into 2018.

Most Consecutive Games vs. Team w/ 0 Turnovers – Since 1950

Team               Opponent        Streak      Start             End       
Bills              vs. Dolphins    7         09/14/2014 – ACTIVE    
Steelers           vs. Browns       6         01/02/1994 – 09/12/1999
Chargers          vs. Bengals      5          09/19/1999 – 11/12/2006
Bills                 vs. Jets             5          09/22/2013 – 11/12/2015


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Miami struggles so much on 3rd down

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 1:46 pm

The Dolphins offense is the worst in the league on third down converting at just a hair over 31 percent. The big reason why is they’re usually in long down and distance situations.

Through 16 games this season, Miami on average has the second-most yards to gain to keep a drive alive. The Dolphins typically need close to 8.5 yards to move the sticks on third down.

Only the Bears have averaged a greater figure to reach the yard to gain on third down.

The NFL’s bottom 5 in average yards to gain on third down

Seattle Seahawks            7.94 (1587/200)
Cleveland Browns            8.00 (1609/201)
Detroit Lions               8.01 (1577/197)
Miami Dolphins              8.28 (1565/189)
Chicago Bears               8.39 (1620/193)

NFL Average                 7.30

Posted in Inside the Bills

Why McCoy needs the ball often and late

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 10:05 am

There’s no debating that LeSean McCoy is the engine of Buffalo’s offense. The team leader in rushing yards and receptions, he’s done it all. Feeding him the ball is a no brainer, especially late in games.

To provide some context, should the Bills be ahead late in the game against the Dolphins today, getting McCoy the ball in the run game would be a good way to maintain possession. That’s because after carry 20in games, McCoy is one of the best in the league.

From carry number 21 on in games, McCoy has one of the highest yards per carry averages in the league. A perfect example would be his 48-yard touchdown run late in the win over the Raiders in Week 8.

McCoy has the third-highest yards per carry average (4.31) after carry 20 in the NFL this season.


(minimum 1.25 rushes per team game)

Jordan Howard, Chi             5.82 (163/28)
Leonard Fournette, Jax         5.77 (179/31)
LeSean McCoy, Buf              4.31 (112/26)
Jay Ajayi, Mia-Phi             4.14 (91/22)
Todd Gurley II, LAR            4.00 (76/19)
Kareem Hunt, KC                3.87 (116/30)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dal           3.72 (171/46)
Adrian Peterson, NO-Ari        3.58 (86/24)
Le’Veon Bell, Pit              3.56 (228/64)
Frank Gore, Ind                3.33 (70/21)

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Fins may play backup QB Fales some Sun.

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 3:13 pm

He’s unlikely to start the game, but there is a report out of Miami that the Dolphins in their effort to get an evaluation on third-year backup QB David Fales may get him on the field for some quality snaps in Sunday’s game against the Bills.

That according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero. Sources are telling him as part of the team’s recognition that they need a viable backup quarterback, the team wants a solid evaluation of Fales, who has only thrown five passes in his NFL career, while with Chicago, under Gase who was the offensive coordinator with the Bears at the time.

So although Jay Cutler will start the game and Gase still wants to beat the Bills, if the game goes a certain way, there appears to be a strong possibility that Fales could see time on the field.

All indications per Salguero are that Ryan Tannehill will remain the starter in 2018 for Miami, but they want a viable backup for the future. David Fales is an option that’s under their nose, but without time on the field, there’s not much for the club to go on. So if the Bills get up on the Dolphins early Fales could enter the game sooner rather than later.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami can’t have time of possession edge

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2017 – 11:05 am

If there was ever an opponent against whom the Bills do not want to give the advantage of time of possession it’s their next two opponents in the Dolphins and Patriots. Today, Buffalo cannot lose the time of possession battle with Miami because when they do have an edge in time with the ball, they’re tough to beat.

Since 2015, the Dolphins have the second-highest winning percentage in football when they win the time of possession battle. Miami has a record of 14-2 (.875) when they have more than 30 minutes of possession time.

Buffalo will have to do better than their average possession time this season of 27:57. That currently ranks 30th in the NFL.

The only other NFL team with a higher winning percentage than the Dolphins since 2015 when they win the time of possession battle are the New England Patriots who have a record of 19-2 (.905) when they have the ball more than 30 minutes.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Drake elusive, but has contact balance

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2017 – 10:34 am

Most of the time Miami’s new feature back Kenyan Drake has the ability to outrun defenders or make them miss. He also has the ability to keep gaining yards after contact.

Since Week 9, Drake has 237 rushing yards after initial contact. Only L.A. Rams RB Todd Gurley and Saints RB Alvin Kamara have more yards after contact over that span. Drake is also second in the league since Week 9 in average yards per carry with a figure of 5.11. Only the Saints Mark Ingram has a higher average during that period (5.96).

“He’s made the most of his opportunities so far since [Jay] Ajayi left and then the other runner (Damien Williams) [got hurt]. He took advantage of the opportunities. He runs hard, seems to understand the game plan, he’s a threat both in the running and passing games, and a threat on third down.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills run game must follow own pattern

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2017 – 10:18 am

The Bills may have been outscored 134-101 in the first half this season, but if there’s one thing they’ve been able to hang their hat on in the first half of games this year it’s the run game. Buffalo’s rushing attack has quietly climbed into familiar territory and is now sixth in the league. If they can continue their strong run game production in the first half today, they could put themselves in good position for a victory.

That’s because Buffalo’s rushing attack has been one of the best in the league in the first half this season. The Bills currently rank second in the league in yards per carry in the first half. The offense is averaging just over five yards per carry in the first half (5.03) with 940 yards on 187 carries.

Only New Orleans has been better (5.34). Miami ranks 15th in run defense and 11th in first-half run defense allowing just over 51 rushing yards in the first half of their games this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-15

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2017 – 11:55 am

Big division and conference game with the Dolphins this week. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the #Bills make the playoffs do you see Kyle Williams sticking it out for one more year?

Adventures with Dan

CB: I don’t get the sense from Kyle that his decision on continuing his career is tied to the playoffs. Yes, he wants to play on a team that is successful, but I think it’s more about how his body feels. If he believes he can still perform at a level he is satisfied with and whether mentally he can get through the grind of another season.

I will tell you this. In talking to him about his physical health, he did tell me that having had both of his Achilles repaired after bone spurs were removed from his heels just a year apart from one another, he believes his “wheels” are a bit younger than that of most 34-year olds.

I believe he can still be a productive player going into next season, and if they can draft a bigger, sturdier defensive tackle who can command double team attention it should free Williams up more to make the plays we’re used to seeing from him. Fingers crossed.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Tyrod has to do for the rest of the season to be a bill next year? Or do you think his fate as a buffalo bill is over?

Craig Renaud

CB: I believe if the Bills as an organization believe they can do better than Tyrod Taylor that they will move on from him. While I would certainly feel bad for Tyrod if that were to happen, knowing what a dedicated professional he has been in his three seasons here, that is just how the league works.

It’s a cut-throat league. A team is always looking to upgrade at all positions, but quarterback perhaps more than any other.

Last offseason, Buffalo did not feel they could do any better than Tyrod and he was retained, albeit at a reduced price. It was clear this season that coach McDermott wanted to see what Nate Peterman could offer the offense.

What it all comes down to is the staff’s evaluation of Taylor’s performance at the end of the season, and whether they feel they can advance the offense further with another option that’s realistically available.


3 –  @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think this is Jordan Matthews surgery is good for another team and not us?

Bills MR. E

CB: I know what you’re getting at here. Jordan Matthews is going to be a free agent in March. Here’s the challenge in re-signing Matthews if the Bills are interested in doing so. Matthews’ value as a receiver has been hurt by two things. One, his injuries this season and two the lack of a productive passing game.

If I’m Jordan Matthews I need to know what a prospective team’s quarterback situation is before I sign. That’s obviously in the best interest of a receiver. There’s a good chance Buffalo’s quarterback situation may not have a definitive resolution by the time free agency opens in mid-March.

That could complicate the task of convincing Matthews to re-sign with the Bills.

Of course after an unproductive season and coming off knee and ankle surgery it’s hard to know if Matthews will have all that many suitors should he hit the market.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are there significant injuries on the Dolphins?

Buffalo Fan

CB: Starting DE Andre Branch, C Mike Pouncey and CB Cordrea Tankersley look like the biggest question marks for Miami this week in terms of regular contributors. Whether any of them are declared out later today is tough to peg right now. I’d expect all of them to at least be questionable for Sunday.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

As Gillislee has been a regular scratch for the Pats, do you see him being released in the offseason and if so, do the Bills try to resign him?

Troy Rossignol

CB: The Patriots are known as a cost-conscious club, but his cap figure actually goes down in 2018 to just $2.4M. Even for a backup running back that’s not a break-the-bank type contract at all. I suppose he could be a roster cut option since he would leave no dead money on New England’s cap next year, but he represents less than 1.5 percent of team’s cap.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Recent visits to Buffalo not pretty for Dolphins

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2016 – 10:25 am

The Dolphins have lost each of their last four games in Buffalo, and the last three haven’t even been close.

Miami has lost their last three games at Buffalo by an average of 18 points.

Turnovers by Miami has dominated the trend. Here’s a look at the Dolphins last four losses at New Era Field.

Nov. 15, 2012 – Bills win 19-14 – Dolphins commit three turnovers
Dec. 22, 2013 – Bills win 19-0 – Dolphins commit two turnovers
Sept. 14, 2014 – Bills win 29-10 – Dolphins commit two turnovers
Nov. 8, 2015 – Bills win 33-17 – Dolphins commit one turnover

Running the football was also a problem for Miami in those four losses. They averaged just over 40 yards rushing in those four defeats (40.5 yds/gm).

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dolphins will be young on the corner

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2016 – 9:20 am

The Dolphins look like they’re going to be pretty green on the corner in their matchup with the Bills today. With Byron Maxwell (doubtful) not expected to play due to an ankle injury it leaves Miami depending on a rookie and a second-year corner to start.

Rookie Xavien Howard will start. Opposite him is supposed to be second-year CB Bobby McCain. He’s questionable with knee and hand injuries, but he practiced fully late in the week. If for some reason he can’t go that would push second-year CB Tony Lippett into the starting lineup. McCain typically shifts to play slot corner against three wide sets with Lippett coming on to play the boundary.

It’s an issue that Dolphins head coach Adam Gase is trying to manage. One thing he is encouraged by is how well the young players have communicated with their fellow defensive backs on the field.

“No issues with the communication. I think the longer they’ve practiced together and played in games, and I know ‘X’ (Xavien Howard) is just coming back; but he has been out there. He has been in meetings to where that comes back pretty quick. I feel confident about those guys doing a good job within a game, making sure that we’re all on the same page,” said Gase. “If we do have any kind of errors, those are things we’re going to have to learn from and we have to learn quickly. We have to minimize those as much as possible.”

Either way the Dolphins corners will be facing two receivers who were out injured for the first meeting with the Bills, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.



Posted in Inside the Bills

Ajayi expecting another good day vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2016 – 4:41 pm

Miami RB Jay Ajayi is a first alternate for the Pro Bowl after his breakout 2016 season. The Bills gave up 214 yards to Ajayi in the first meeting as he averaged 7.1 yards per carry with a touchdown in Miami’s come from behind win. Ajayi comes into Saturday’s game confident they’ll have another good day against Buffalo’s 27th ranked run defense.

Ajayi remembers how everything fell into place in the first meeting with the Bills and believes they can make it happen again.

“I think we were just clicking,” Ajayi said. “We were running hard. (We were) healthy. (We) just had a good day against them and we plan to have another good day this (Saturday).”

Ajayi wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills present some eight man fronts to stop him, but he said if they do their passing game will victimize Buffalo’s secondary as they did the Jets last week.

“I expect them respecting our rushing offense, putting a lot of guys in the box. It’ll be a tough day, but I think we still want to be able to get some stuff done on the ground, and we’re excited for the challenge.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Win Sunday was tune-up for Miami rematch

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2016 – 9:04 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan made his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 and reviewed Buffalo’s win over Cleveland Sunday. He’s hopeful that their convincing 20-point victory will serve as a springboard into Saturday’s rematch with the Dolphins, who put an end to Buffalo’s four-game winning streak back in Week 7.

“No disrespect to Cleveland because they have a lot of good players on that team, but this (win) was like a tune-up before a huge match,” said Ryan. “This team got the better of us and pushed us around and were more physical than we were the last time we played them. We’ve got a chance to return the favor.”

The Dolphins were 2-4 going into their first meeting with the Bills, who were 4-2. Since that come from behind win by Miami, the Dolphins have won six of their last seven. Buffalo meanwhile has won three of their last seven games.

The Bills need the win Sunday and a lot of help to keep their flickering playoff chances alive.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2016 – 10:35 am

In the loss to the Dolphins Sunday there were some stats that were eye popping and unfortunately not in a good way.

Here’s a look at some of the most telling statistics in Sunday’s game.

7.4 – the yards per carry average of Jay Ajayi, who rumbled for 214 yards on the ground.
37:02 – time of possession for the Dolphins offense.
23% – Bills third down conversion rate (3-13).
4 – number of run plays called by the Bills after going up 17-6 late in third quarter.
12 – number of times Tyrod Taylor was sacked and hit combined.
0 – number of turnovers in the game combined.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Dolphins had different approach to Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2016 – 8:35 am

Thus far this season most defenses facing the Bills have tried to hem Tyrod Taylor in the pocket and force him to make throws from there. Miami had a completely different tact in trying to render Taylor ineffective as a passer.

Miami’s defense purposely tried to flush him out of the pocket with pressure to one side or the other and then tried to out flank him on the perimeter.

“We wanted to get him off the spot and obviously force him to run a certain way,” said DT Ndamukong Suh. “Don’t allow him to pick and choose. If he’s going to sit back there then obviously make a play, but if, whether or not, coming from either side, we’re going to force him to go to one side or the other so we can bottle him up more or less.”

Taylor was sacked four times in Sunday’s game and took eight hits from pass rushers.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cameron Wake: Bills weren’t going to run on us

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 7:21 pm

Miami DE Cameron Wake said the Dolphins came into the game motivated to stop Buffalo’s rushing attack. He said they had a collective mentality that they were going to win the one-on-one battles in Sunday’s game, particularly at the line of scrimmage.

“I personally like getting in there, getting a little dirty,” said Wake. “I’ve always had that pit bull mentality. You don’t bring a Chihuahua to a dog fight. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have. It’s just man versus man. It’s my gap. I don’t care who’s going to be in there. I don’t care what you think. It’s mine, plain and simple. There’s no C+ in football. It’s pass-fail. I think every guy across the line, front and back end as well, that win it all mentality, where I’ve got to win my match up. And that’s the only way we’re going to stop a team. Again, I was excited about somebody coming in here and saying that they’re going to run the ball down our throat … yeah, not so.”

Buffalo rushed for 67 yards on 22 carries to average three yards per rush. Their 67-yard total was only better than their 65-yards rushing output in Week 1 at Baltimore.

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito had to admit they got outperformed.

“We couldn’t find rhythm,” he said. “It starts with us up front. We should’ve had a good day. We had an off day as an offensive line. We saw it on film. There was a lot of line movement. We anticipated some of it, but not to the degree that they were ready to do it today, and it kept us off balance.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Thurman: Tannehill has improved

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 10:07 am

The Bills seem to have Ryan Tannehill’s number. He has a 2-6 record against Buffalo in his career and a career passer rating of 76. But Buffalo’s defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman believes that the Dolphins signal caller has advanced his game this season.

“You can tell he’s improved,” said Thurman. “He seems much more confident in what they’re asking him to do. He’s throwing the ball with confidence. Seems to have a really good relationship with 14 (Jarvis Landry) and they have nice receivers outside with (Kenny) Stills and (DeVante) Parker. You know, we have a job to do on Sunday. It’s not going to be easy.”

The knock on Tannehill in his career has been his inability to hit the deep ball with consistency, but he’s been able to connect on a couple here and there through the first five weeks of the season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where will we see Reggie Bush vs. Miami?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 8:56 am

Reggie Bush was signed about a week into training camp to be the team’s primary return man. He and free agent pickup Brandon Tate have shared the role. The Bills could be down in numbers at running back today depending on LeSean McCoy’s availability and at receiver with Robert Woods doubtful for today’s game. Bush has proven capable of filling a RB or WR role in his 11-year career. So where might we see him today against the Dolphins?

If McCoy doesn’t play he could be a complement back to Mike Gillislee, who is expected to shoulder most of the rushing load in the absence of their bell cow back.

If McCoy does dress and play, but Robert Woods doesn’t it wouldn’t be shocking to see Bush being split wide as a receiver at times. Bush presents matchup problems if split wide. It would be supremely difficult for a linebacker or safety to stick with him on routes.

“I’ve always had the attitude and mentality that whatever the team needs me to do then that’s what I’ll do,” said Bush. “They know I can play running back and they know I can play receiver. They know I can return punts. I don’t think that’s anything new so we’ll see what happens.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami stadium renovations include new grass

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2016 – 11:46 am

Much has been made of the Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium renovations, which will now put 92 percent of the seats in the shade thanks to a giant canopy. Previously just 17 percent of the seats were in the shade. Down on the field there are changes too.

The grass is new. It’s called Paspalum Platinum grass. The club made the change because it grows well in shade and in hot, humid climates. With the added shade provided by the canopies they claim they needed a more versatile grass surface. The grass is thicker than normal turf grasses, which players believe plays slower than regular grass.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Arian Foster closer to full return for Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2016 – 3:43 pm

Miami RB Arian Foster saw his first action last week since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury. He only had three carries for three years in the win against Pittsburgh, but Foster is expected to have a bit more of a role this week against the Bills.

Foster was a full participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday.

“It’s more of a mental thing at this point with this injury,” said Foster. “It’s still a little physically limited, but in order to gain confidence it’s something you have to do. You have to be repetitive on it. You have to keep getting reps on it in order to build that strength back at football speed, because you can do anything you want in the training room, but it’s not going to emulate football speed.”

He and Jay Ajayi are expected to handle the bulk of the rushing load for Miami.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Jordan Cameron TE Concussion DNP DNP
Arian Foster RB Hamstring FP FP
Xavien Howard CB Knee DNP DNP
Jelani Jenkins LB Groin FP FP
Jason Jones DE Not injury related DNP FP
Tony Lippett CB Hamstring LP LP
Spencer Paysinger LB Hamstring/calf LP
Dion Sims TE Concussion DNP DNP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami claims DE Williams off waivers

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2016 – 5:35 pm

The Dolphins added another defensive end named Williams to their roster Wednesday. Miami announced they have been awarded defensive end Nick Williams off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs and have placed safety Reshad Jones on injured reserve.

Williams has played three seasons with the Chiefs (2014-16), appearing in 21 games with 14 tackles (nine solo). He played in five contests with the Chiefs this season, before he was waived on Tuesday. Williams originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round selection (223rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL draft.

Jones, a Pro Bowl safety, suffered a torn rotator cuff that will require season-ending surgery.

Posted in Inside the Bills