Inside The Bills

Giants run game struggling

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2015 – 11:19 am

The New York Giants throw the ball almost two-thirds of the time in the first half of their games (64.5%). They’ve essentially decided to use the passing game to set up their run game. That’s because their run game has struggled mightily through their first three games.

Their top three backs have rushed 74 times for 238 yards, good for an average of just 3.2 yards per carry. New York has a primary rushing back in Rashad Jennings, a power back in Andre Williams and a pass-catching back in Shane Vereen. Their running styles are different, but Bills DT Marcell Dareus doesn’t really care.

“It doesn’t really matter to me. A running play is a running play,” said Dareus. “You’ve got to get past me one way or another. You’re going to have to double team me or single block the same as everyone else. If you’re back there you still have to hit the hole.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Big plays have loosened run front

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2015 – 9:01 am

Through their first three games Buffalo ranks first in the league in rushing yards per game at better than 152 yards per game (152.7). That figure is aided greatly by Buffalo’s big plays in the passing game.

Among the teams that have played just three games so far this season, the Bills have the third-highest number of pass play covering 25 yards or more with eight. Bills C Eric Wood says that makes it a lot harder for opposing defenses to stack the box with eight defenders.

“Through three games we’ve made some plays down the field that definitely free up the run game,” Wood said. “It makes everything easier. It frees up the short passing game. Everything complements each other on offense and when they’re able to make plays like they have down the field it’s tremendous for us.”

Buffalo figures to have a tougher task in the run game without the services of LeSean McCoy and against the league’s number two run defense.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2015 – 11:23 am

The Bills look to stack two wins in a row Sunday against the Giants. Here’s your latest edition of questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

With guys like (Alshon) Jeffery and (Victor) Cruz missing multiple games with calf injuries, is there any concern Watkins might also?


CB: First, I’m not a doctor, but I have learned through our athletic training staff that not every calf injury is the same, and every player heals differently. Some heal faster than others, some have a higher pain tolerance than others. All that being said a calf injury is a critical problem for a wide receiver. They need it to drive off the line, accelerate, cut, etc.

Cruz’s calf injury from most reports is from overcompensating coming off a knee injury that kept him out most of last year and required surgery. I don’t know that Watkins’ injury is related in any way to overcompensating for his hip that required surgery in the offseason. I think we just all hope that Watkins is back in the lineup sooner rather than later.


2 – Chris,

First off, I’d like to give a shout out to Buffalo Bros. on University Ave in Fort Worth, TX.  It’s great to watch Bills games on Sundays surrounded by other Buffalo fans.

Here’s my question: With LeSean McCoy unlikely to suit up against the NY Giants this week, is it likely that Buffalo considers resigning Bryce Brown?  I believe that we have an available roster spot after the Cassel trade.  He would be a good compliment to Karlos Williams, whereas Boobie Dixon seems like he’s more of a goal line back and special teams contributor.

-Brendan in Fort Worth, TX

CB: The roster spot was actually filled by promoting Jonathan Meeks from the practice squad last week, not that it would keep them from making another move to address their running back position should LeSean McCoy be unable to play Sunday.

The most logical move however, would be calling Cierre Wood up from the practice squad. He’s been with the team since the last half of training camp and showed some flashes in the preseason. Wood has more of a shifty skill set and good hands for catching out of the backfield.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will this be the week that the #ColdFront starts racking up some sacks?


CB: The pass rush always has an edge when playing at home knowing the opposing offense has the added challenge of crowd noise. Manning however, has not been sacked much so far this season, just three times in three games. Ben McAdoo’s offense is designed to get the ball out fast to protect Manning.

A heavy dose of press coverage could aid in forcing Manning to pump and double clutch the ball to buy the pass rush an extra half second to get home. Some exotic looks could also cross up Manning’s diagnosis of the defensive coverage and delay his delivery of the ball.


4 – Chris,

In the long run, the Bills afford to play Thigpen. I believe they are other returners the Bills have on the roster. The Bills have specialists already in Gay/Sanborn who play minimal. Thigpen has yet to take an offesnive snap. I’d rather see Goodwin active than Thigpen. I would exepct Goodwin to get looks on offense and can return kicks.

Josh P.

CB: Once Marquise Goodwin is healthy I do anticipate he’ll be active. He’s still recovering from a rib injury. Goodwin however, is a kick returner, while Thipen is primarily a punt returner. The kick return job is Percy Harvin’s as of right now. I do believe if Sammy Watkins is unable to play that Goodwin would fill his spot among the receiving corps provided he himself is healthy enough to play.

As for Thigpen I think he was fortunate to make the roster as the team’s seventh WR. I believe the main reason he did is because primary punt returner Leodis McKelvin is on Reserve/NFI until Week 7 when he would be able to practice again if medically cleared. When McKelvin returns there will need to be a roster move.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who would you have cover Odell B, Darby or Gilmore? Or should they stay on separate sides of the field?


CB: I think Darby has shown well for the most part this season. To this point the Bills have played most passing attacks straight up leaving Gilmore and Darby on their respective sides. Beckham is a unique talent. If the defensive staff decides to have one cornerback follow him the whole game Gilmore is your guy. Beckham’s hands are so strong that you want a corner that can be physical with him not only on routes, but through to the attempt to catch. Darby can do that too, but Gilmore would be the better play if they decide to go that way.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Giants WR Cruz ruled out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2015 – 12:06 pm

He had a setback in practice on Wednesday and now here on Thursday the New York Giants have announced that WR Victor Cruz is out for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Head coach Tom Coughlin offered the following on Cruz’s condition.

“Victor tried it yesterday and it did not feel right to him, so he did not practice, just a little bit in very beginning,” Coughlin said. “Obviously, we’re all disappointed in that. But we choose to take the road that we really don’t have a lot of choice, which means that get him back in rehab, get him back to work and see when he can on the field. It is what it is. He tried it and didn’t make it. He will not be able to play this week.”

Dwayne Harris and Geremy Davis are expected to continue to fill the third receiver role in Cruz’s absence.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Giants WR Cruz suffers setback

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2015 – 3:11 pm

He’s been trying to work his way back from a calf injury and gave indication that he expected to play this Sunday against the Bills, but reports out of New Jersey say Giants slot receiver Victor Cruz suffered a setback with his calf injury.

According to Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, Cruz was unable to practice after feeling discomfort in his calf during individual position drills. The development certainly casts doubt on Cruz returning to the lineup Sunday in Buffalo.


Cruz missed more than half of last season with a knee injury suffered in mid-October. He’s been dealing with the calf injury and had not practiced since mid-August.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Extra points to be kicked from 15-yd line

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 10:23 am

The NFL is doing a bit of experimentation in the first two weeks of the preseason as well as tonight’s Hall of Fame game. Extra points are going to be kicked from a bit further out.

For the Hall of Fame Game and the first two weeks of the preseason, the NFL will experiment with extra point attempts by spotting the ball at the 15-yard line for extra point kick attempts. This will be done to gather information regarding possible future changes to make these plays more competitive and exciting for fans. The two-point try will remain at the two-yard line during this experiment.

Here are some other innovations for the 2014 season that will begin tonight in the Bills-Giants preseason contest.

• INSTANT REPLAY: The referee will now be able to consult with Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino during replay reviews. In addition, the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play will now be reviewable. This includes fumbles, backward passes and kicks.

• OFFICIAL-TO-OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION: All seven game officials will now be able to communicate with each other during NFL games via wireless microphones.

• GOAL POSTS: The uprights will now extend to 35 feet above the crossbar, up from 30 feet in previous seasons, to help officials make definitive rulings on field-goal attempts that previously crossed above the top of the uprights.

• TABLETS: Teams will be able to deliver pre- and post-snap photos to coaches and players on the sidelines and in the coaching booth via tablets.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

G-men don’t lose 2 straight at home

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2011 – 9:11 am

The Giants had an uncharacteristic loss to a less than imposing Seahawks team last week. They have a second straight home game against the Bills today, but dropping two in a row at home under Tom Coughlin does not happen often for the Giants.

New York has not lost back-to-back home games under Tom Coughlin since December 2006, when the Giants lost to Philadelphia and New Orleans. In fact since Coughlin was named head coach in 2004, New York has lost back-to-back home games just twice over seven-plus seasons.

Let’s hope the G-men are overdue for another back-to-back pair of L’s.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fewell familiarity overblown

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2011 – 7:00 am

Yes Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has a firm working knowledge on the individual talents of a good number of players on Buffalo’s roster having coached them himself during his time in Buffalo. But as far as head coach Chan Gailey is concerned, that fact is given a bit more weight by the media than is necessary.

“I think sometimes that’s a little overblown because we have to do what we do,” said Gailey. “We can’t sit there and say, ‘What if he’s thinking this, what do we do?’ You’ve got to go play your game. We’ve got enough new faces that it’s not the same group that is here now, that was here when he was here.”

Only 18 players on the current roster were with the Bills in 2009 when Fewell was interim head coach.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

‘D’ can’t live on takeaways only

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2011 – 8:27 am

Buffalo’s defense has been remarkably opportunistic with 15 takeaways (special teams has the other) in just 5 games this season. On the flip side they’ve given up 450 yards or more to their opposition each of the past four games. They realize they’ve got to get more third down stops by holding down an opponent’s yardage in addition to just taking the ball away.

“If you rely totally on (takeaways) you’re going to be in trouble before it’s over with because you don’t get them all the time,” Chan Gailey told “So we have to continue to improve our overall defense. We’ve played some pretty explosive offenses though and I think as time goes on our defense will continue to get better. But there’s no rule anywhere that says we can’t set a record for turnovers. We can do that. I hope it keeps going.”

The Giants are another offense that racks up yards and points. They average almost 360 yards a game and are second in the league (behind the Bills) in red zone touchdown percentage scoring touchdowns 71.4% of the time.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

G-men ‘W’s vs. struggling teams

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2011 – 8:37 am

The Bills have four victories in five games and the record of the opponents they’ve beaten is a pedestrian 10-10, but when compared to the record of the opponents in the Giants’ three victories it looks pretty good.

Their three wins this year are against teams with a combined record of 2-12.  (St. Louis 0-4, Philadelphia 1-4 and Arizona 1-4).

We’ll see if that proves the Bills are more battle tested come Sunday.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Simms calls Bills “hustlers,” “tough”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2011 – 4:49 pm

CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms gave his take on the 2011 Bills in anticipation of his broadcast of the game between the Bills and Giants Sunday at MetLife Stadium with Jim Nantz.

“The thing that has caught me by surprise about Buffalo is their toughness. The Bills are tough,” said Simms. “They’re hungry. They’re eager. Their hustle is phenomenal. It’s not perfect, they give up a lot of plays, but they never quit hustling. It’s fun to watch. It’s a credit to Chan Gailey that they play hard for him.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

At best Tuck to be on play count

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2011 – 2:05 pm

Giants DL Justin Tuck did not practice again on Thursday due mainly to his groin injury.

Per NY Daily News Giants beat reporter Ralph Vacchiano, Tuck said at best he’ll be on a play count if he is on the field for Sunday’s game.

TheBlueScreen Ralph Vacchiano Good news. Justin Tuck says his neck feels better. His groin? Not so much. Says if he plays Sunday he’ll be on a “play count”. #NYG

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills get top CBS team Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2011 – 10:12 am

After sprinting out to a 4-1 record the Bills are finally getting top billing on CBS this weekend in their road matchup with the Giants.

Phil Simms and Jim Nantz will be doing the Bills-Giants game at the Meadowlands Sunday. New York is 3-2 after their disappointing loss to Seattle at home Sunday, a game in which they committed five turnovers.

Posted in Inside the Bills