MMQB gives Bills ‘D’ MVP honor

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2014 – 4:14 pm

Buffalo’s defense handed Aaron Rodgers the worst single game performance of his career. Their play also earned them an MVP nod from Monday Morning Quarterback from the early games on Sunday.

Here’s what MMQB’s Chris Burke wrote about the Buffalo performance.

MVP: The Buffalo defense

Not often does a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, with an offense as potent as Green Bay’s, look as out of sync as he did Sunday. Several times, Rodgers fired to … well, nobody in particular, with his receivers going anywhere but where thePackers’ quarterback expected. Even Jordy Nelson dropped a couple balls, including one that may have gone for a 94-yard touchdown.

Still, the majority of the credit here belongs to the Bills defense and coordinator Jim Schwartz. Buffalo sacked Rodgers just once, but they pressured him constantly and worked aggressive coverage downfield. The secondary came up with two interceptions, both by safety Bacarri Rambo, while the Packers’ receivers were left looking for flags repeatedly.

The final nail in Green Bay’s Week 15 coffin came courtesy of Mario Williams, who swung around the left side of the offensive line to swat the ball from Rodgers’ hand, forcing a safety.

“They really get after you with their four-man rush, which is the typical Jim Schwartz defense,” Rodgers said earlier this week. “He’s a very talented coach and always has some schemes that put pressure on the offense.”

Rodgers had thrown multiple interceptions in just one other game this season: a 44-23 loss in New Orleans. (He’s still yet to throw one at Lambeau Field.) He was just 8-of-24 for 70 yards in the first half, his quarterback rating dipping from 42.2 at the break to 34.3 when all was said and done. That’s the lowest mark of his career.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

‘D’ hold Rodgers to lowest 1st half pass rating

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 2:55 pm

Buffalo’s fifth-ranked defense has done a solid job through the first two quarters of their game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. In fact Rodgers has his lowest passer rating in the first half all season.

In today’s game Rodgers first half passer rating is 42.4, clearly the lowest this season for the MVP candidate.

The previous low was Week 2 against the Jets (83.1).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pack’s ‘O’ make you defend entire field

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:10 am

When looking at how incredibly precise, efficient and explosive Green Bay’s offense has been this season one wonders how even on the broken plays they’re still able to gain big chunks of yardage. A lot of it points back to Aaron Rodgers, but as head coach Doug Marrone sees it the Packers don’t allow defenses to cheat or shade to one side of the field or the other.

“It’s speaks for itself how good they are offensively,” Marrone said. “If you just had a quarterback and a running back, you wouldn’t be at the numbers that they are. If you just had a quarterback and one wide receiver, you wouldn’t be at the numbers they are. Their offensive line, you look across the board and those guys are five tough sons of a guns that get after it. They deserve a lot of the credit for the success that they’ve had.

“You have to defend the whole field. When you have to do that from a defensive standpoint, no matter who you’re playing against, it becomes difficult. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the defense to defend the whole field because, when you get defense to do that, you can make bigger plays.

Marrone said the Packers force defenses to cover the whole field with their route patterns and their formations.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ hoping for crowd noise

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 10:30 am

Bills fans haven’t let them down yet, which is why Buffalo’s defense is hoping to hear the 73-thousand plus loud and clear when they’re on the field today.

Knowing the efficiency with which Aaron Rodgers runs the Green Bay offense, the Bills defense, despite being a top five unit, knows any help they can get from the fans to disrupt communication and operation of the Packers attack is welcomed.

Coming off a win in their last home game, Kyle Williams sees this one as even more critical due to the ‘no margin for error’ importance on this game.

“I think that was a lot of that talk leading up to our last game with Cleveland—we hadn’t played particularly well at home, and we were able to do that there with Cleveland and win a big game,” he said. “We’ve got an even bigger game this week. With Aaron Rodgers and their offense coming in,  our crowd can play as a big a part in this game as they’ve played in any game this year. He relies a lot on different counts, different cadences, keep the pass rushers off their toes, keep the defense on their toes—crowd noise can be a big benefit for us this weekend.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fired up Packers ‘D’ expected by Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2014 – 2:59 pm

While Bills fans see a Packers defense that surrendered 37 points to the Falcons last week and perhaps an opportunity for the Buffalo offense to get back on track, head coach Doug Marrone sees something different.

Marrone believes Green Bay’s defense will come out motivated to redeem themselves after allowing Atlanta to climb back into the game this past Monday night.

“I think what that convinces me of is they’ll come in here and their defense will be ready to go right off the bat,” said Marrone in his weekly appearance on Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Horton’s. “There has been a lot of focus on that. Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are two of the better players at their positions in the league and they were able to take advantage of some man-to-man opportunities and really played well. Defensively they had a big lead at the time, but they haven’t played that poorly all year in the secondary. It’s actually been the strength of their defense. What it does is it gives you some optimism where we might be able to run the ball and throw the ball just as well. We’ve been challenged all year offensively so our job is to make sure we’re efficient.”


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Pack bring couple of WNY’ers with them

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2014 – 10:26 am

The Green Bay Packers have a pair of Western New York natives on their roster, so the two will be coming back home for Sunday’s game.

RB James Starks, who played his college ball at UB, will be back playing against the team he watched growing up. So will OL J.C. Tretter, who hails from Akron, NY. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had nothing but good things to say about both players.

“James has been a great representative,” said McCarthy of Starks. “He represents our program very well. He’s been an excellent Green Bay Packer. I go back to his first year, 2010, he had the hamstring injury, missed all of camp, was put on PUP and came off it and was a huge part of our run to the Super Bowl. He’s the same James Starks as I’m sure you guys remember. He’s smiling every day. Tremendous work ethic. He’s really in the groove right now and I thought he played his best game as a Green Bay Packer last week. … He’s been given more opportunites but I thought he played extremely well against Atlanta.”

As for Tretter, McCarthy appreciates the Cornell grad’s versatility.

“JC’s doing great. He’s a great fit for us,” said McCarthy. “Pretty much can play all five positions. That’s obviously rare as an offensive lineman. Very pleased what he’s done. He’s had two unfortunate injuries that have kind of held him back as far as opportunties. But JC is a very good young player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pack’s Lacy is probable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2014 – 1:51 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

Packers RB Eddie Lacy (hip) was limited in practice for much of the week, but he’s listed as probable. It’s possible that Lacy will share more of the load with fellow RB and UB product James Starks knowing his hip ailment has been a persistent one, but it appears he’ll be ready for Sunday’s game. Here is the rest of the Green Bay injury report from Friday.

OUT
CB Davon House – shoulder
LB Jamari Lattimore – ankle

PROBABLE
DT Bruce Gaston – illness
RB Eddie Lacy – hip
G T.J. Lang – ankle
G Josh Sitton – toe
LB Nick Perry – shoulder


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCarthy: We spend extra time on DBs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2014 – 1:09 pm

Green Bay head coach Mike Mike McCarthy in being asked about Buffalo’s defense referenced the fact that with the Bills being a team they don’t see all that often, they have to put in some extra study time. Where most of that extra study takes place is with an opponent’s defensive backfield.

“The Bills defense is playing very well,” McCarthy said. “Definitely got talent all the way through. It definitely starts up front with their defensive line and their ability to stop the run and get after it with the pass rush. We’re very impressed with what they’ve done. Physical at the linebacker position. This is a secondary we haven’t played against before. We spend a lot of extra time in particular on film study, this is an uncommon opponent, and we’re impressed with the video.”

Whether the extra study on opposing secondaries helps Aaron Rodgers all the more is unknown, but it apparently can’t hurt in light of the season that McCarthy’s quarterback is putting together this season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills