Inside The Bills

Stafford tips hat to Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2014 – 10:23 pm

He didn’t have some of his best weapons, but Lions QB Matthew Stafford didn’t hesitate to tip his hat to a Bills defense that kept him under wraps and held the Detroit offense to seven points.

“We had our limitations, obviously with personnel, but that was a good defense that we played, well-coached and had a good scheme coming in,” said Stafford. “They have a good front and a good back end. They’re a very well-rounded defense.”

The Bills sacked Stafford six times in Sunday’s win, but he was impressed with the Bills on the back end as well.

“I think their corners were playing very deep ball-conscious and they were aggressive with their safeties but playing over the top with their corners. Again, it was a good scheme, they clouded the middle of the field quite a bit,” he said. “They had a lot of guys in between the hashes and trusted their corners to play one-on-one outside. They were effective.”

Reggie Bush also gave credit to the Bills run defense, which held Detroit to just 69 yards rushing.

“They’re good, they’re really good,” said Bush. “They did a good job of slowing the run game down and did a good job of slowing down our pass. It was a tough day for us today.”

 

 


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Orton perfect vs. Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2014 – 11:05 am

As Kyle Orton takes the field today in his first start for the Bills, he brings with him a perfect record against the Detroit Lions.

He’s played them more than a couple of times and Kyle Orton has always come out on top. The Bills new starting quarterback has a perfect record against the Detroit Lions, with some good passing stats to back it up.

In four career games against the Lions, Orton is 4-0 passing for 822 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and a 102.2 passer rating.

All four victories came while Orton was with the Bears. Two of the wins came in his rookie season of 2005 with the other two coming in 2008, when Detroit went winless. The average margin of victory in those four games was 16.5 points.

Today will be just Orton’s second start since 2011. His last was in the season finale last year for the Dallas Cowboys.


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Lions getting it done on 3rd down

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2014 – 10:30 am

The Lions are far from productive on first and second down, but it hasn’t seemed to matter when it comes to converting on third down. Detroit stands fourth in the league in third down conversion percentage at better than 52 percent (52.4). In third-and-short situations they rank fourth as well (75%) and third-and-medium they rank second in the league with a 73.3 percent conversion rate. So why have they been so successful?

Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who coached Matthew Stafford, believes he’s scrambling more this season in comparison to past years, but doesn’t believe Stafford extending plays is the reason for the high conversion percentage.

“Their percentage on third down comes from 3rd-and-2 to 3rd-and-6,” Schwartz said. “They’re about 80 percent in those areas. They’re really efficient. The ball is coming out quick. He’s always been a quick trigger guy, but the ball is coming out fast and they’re keeping the chains alive.

“They’re over 50 percent on third downs. That number drops significantly when they get over seven yards. That’s the job of our run defense to put them in third down and long calls, to give time for Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes and Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus to get home to the quarterback in those situations.”

Bills LB Preston Brown agrees with Schwartz on Stafford’s ability to get the ball out quick.

“Their quarterback he just has a clock in his head to get the ball out,” said Brown. “They’ve got really good timing with the receivers with Calvin Johnson and those guys. They really get the ball out quick and they run the routes to the sticks and they get the first down.”

“We’ve faced some outstanding quarterbacks this year, starting with Cutler, Philip Rivers,” said Schwartz. “We’ve faced similar quarterbacks and we’re going to have to play our very best to come out with a win.”


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Bills’ LB Brown has familiarity with Winn

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2014 – 5:32 pm

The Lions will be down to just Reggie Bush and fourth string back George Winn at running back Sunday with Joique Bell (concussion) and Theo Riddick (hamstring) both out with injuries. Winn was just called up from the practice squad, but Buffalo rookie LB Preston Brown knows Winn pretty well.

“I played against Winn, the guy they brought up from the practice squad because he’s from the University of Cincinnati and I played against him college,” said the Louisville product. “He’s a one-cut downhill runner so I’ll be able to tell the guys about him. So we’ve got a little info about him if he gets in the game. We know what type of scheme they run and how they’re going to attack us. We know what plays they run out of the formations that we’re going to get.”

Winn, a first-year player, rushed for 1,334 yards for the Bearcats in his final season in college with 13 touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards a carry.


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Keeping Reggie inside the goal for Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2014 – 5:27 pm

When defenses play against Reggie Bush the last thing they want to do is let the quick and elusive back get outside on the edges of a defense where he can outmaneuver defenders. So here’s Buffalo’s plans to keep Bush from getting outside on run plays.

“Just in the run game you’ve got to set the edges, keep him from getting outside and keep him inside the tackle box, a place where he doesn’t want to be,” said Preston Brown. “So you want to keep him corralled and make sure he has to take one cut and go downhill so you can get some hits on him.”

Unfortunately in the pass game getting on the edges is easier with swing passes being a popular way the Lions get Bush involved on the perimeter.

“In the pass game he’s going to get outside and just try to option you out there, “ Brown said. “You just have to be sound and hopefully you have help over the top so you won’t be getting beat deep. Just make sure you don’t let him get inside and run right past you.”


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Lions to be shorthanded at RB

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2014 – 7:03 am

Buffalo’s run defense will still have a primary focus in Reggie Bush but the depth at running back for Detroit took two hits this week.

Joique Bell (concussion) and his backup Theo Riddick (hamstring) are both out for Sunday’s game.

The Lions called George Winn up from the practice squad to serve as Bush’s backup this weekend.


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Calvin questionable for Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2014 – 7:00 am

For the second straight week Lions All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson did not practice at all. He wasn’t himself last week in a win over the Jets.

Johnson is listed as questionable and even his former head coach and current Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said he didn’t look like himself last week.

Whether he’ll be able to do more or play at all remains to be seen.


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Schwartz downplays his return to Detroit

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2014 – 2:45 pm

A natural story line for Sunday’s game in Detroit for the Bills is the return of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to the place where he was the head coach for five seasons. But if you ask Schwartz his return to Ford Field is of little importance to how he feels his unit has to perform if they’re going to beat the Lions.

When asked specifically about his emotions in making his return to Detroit for the first time since he was their head coach, Schwartz dismissed it.

“It’s about the same as any week,” said Schwartz Friday. “I’ve been a visitor there before so I know where the visitors’ locker room is in addition to the home locker room. It’s a road game and we’re coming off a two game skid and we need to be able to get it back whether it’s the Lions or any other team, everybody has connections in this league. Every coach has coached somewhere else. It doesn’t play into the game.”

When asked if he’s wondering about how Lions’ fans will receive him, again Schwartz dismissed it.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s about the game. That’s certainly not important.”

What is important is Schwartz has Buffalo’s defense off to a good start with the third-ranked run defense through the first month of the season, rare air for the Bills defensive unit over the past nine seasons.

 


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Lions’ coach expects WR Tate to play

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2014 – 11:49 am

On Thursday Lions’ WR Golden Tate was added to the team’s injury report with a hamstring injury. On Friday morning Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell said he expects his number two receiver to play against the Bills.

That according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Tate is also practicing today (Friday) as well as Calvin Johnson.


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Lions’ Calvin Johnson still not close to 100%

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2014 – 11:55 am

Dealing with an ankle injury the past couple of weeks, Detroit WR Calvin Johnson played this past Sunday against the Jets, but on a part-time basis and did not have much of an impact in the Lions’ win over the Jets.

Johnson only played 57 percent of the snaps as he saw action on 37 offensive plays Sunday. He had just a pair of receptions for 12 yards. In the first three games the Lions’ top receiver saw around 75 percent of the snaps.

This past week Johnson did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday due to the ankle injury and was limited in practice on Friday. He was listed as questionable and then played at what was clearly less than 100 percent.

ESPN is reporting that Johnson is expected to take a similar approach to this week’s game against the Bills.

“Things have gotten better all week,” Johnson said. “It was a struggle at first and as the week progressed it got better and better and expect the same thing this week.”


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Watkins a full participant at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2014 – 4:54 pm

It took just over a week, but Sammy Watkins is back as a full participant in practice.

Monday was his first full session since sustaining bruised ribs in the Pittsburgh preseason game back on Aug. 16th. Watkins missed last Saturday’s preseason contest and feels it hurt his progress within the offense.

“I think it hurt us a lot,” said Watkins. “Me and EJ and the rest of the guys couldn’t go out there together. That’s why it’s important that I come out this week and practice and try to get back on the same page and work my way back in the offense. I feel if I keep working and doing the things I’ve been doing in camp I can succeed.”

Watkins who said he feels ‘alright,’ said if he gets the call to play on Thursday against the Lions he’ll be ready.

“If I play I’m going to be out there with the guys and giving 100 percent effort and making as many plays that are presented to me,” said Watkins. “Blocking, doing the things I need to do.”


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Starters likely to see action vs. Detroit

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2014 – 4:52 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone and his offensive staff were obviously less than pleased with the performance of the offense on Saturday against Tampa Bay. That’s why there are plans to have a good number of offensive starters play against the Lions in the preseason finale on Thursday.

“I’m looking for them to play some,” said Marrone. “I’m looking to play those guys. How much will depend upon as the week goes and what I want to see and what I want to accomplish, but I do plan on playing them.

“It’s probably more on the offensive side with our thought process than the defensive side. When I say that I may not play every single starter, but on offense I want to play guys who haven’t played together for a while.”

That could include Sammy Watkins, who left the Pittsburgh preseason game on the first drive with bruised ribs and missed the Tampa preseason game last Saturday.

 


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