Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-22

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2017 – 11:39 am

Merry Christmas and happy holidays Bills fans! Two games to go and still playing meaningful football. Don’t know if everyone expected that. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Besides a Bills win, what is the one thing we should be hoping for to help bills get into playoffs? I know there’s a bunch of scenarios but u get one choice.

David Ayotte

CB: Well if you’re going to pin me down like that I’d go with a Ravens loss to the Colts on Saturday. That not only gives Baltimore a seventh loss overall, but a key loss in the common games tiebreaker (should it come to that) with the Bills.

A Tennessee loss this week wouldn’t carry quite the same weight because they’re playing an NFC opponent (Rams). A Kansas City loss to Miami doesn’t carry as much importance for Buffalo either. And if the Bills win this week as you propose, it doesn’t matter what the Chargers do, so that’s my answer.

For more on who to root for this weekend, you can take a look at the full slate of games to keep an eye on right here.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who gets the most snaps covering Gronk this week? White? Hyde? Milano?


CB: I’m anticipating a mixed bag of coverage assignments for Gronkowski. I don’t think there’s any question that he is the main weapon Buffalo has to stop. I believe the primary players who will be assigned to him will be Hyde and Milano, but much like they did in the first meeting, they could sprinkle some coverages in with White on him.

It’s certainly a matchup to keep an eye on.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is your view on Preston Brown’s year?

JR Mauro

CB: I think Brown has had a solid season. I never believed that the problems on defense last year with illegal substitutions and guys wondering what the play call was were Brown’s fault. This year’s execution on defense is validation of that belief as I see it. Coaching was largely to blame for the defensive struggles last season.

Brown is a solid middle linebacker, who can anticipate and diagnose offensive plays and will not make mistakes. Will he ever be a dominant, take-over-a-game type backer? Probably not, but he’s a reliable performer that you can win with.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Two questions: 1 – Estimate on snap % for Benjamin this week?

2 – What pop tart is the best pop tart?

Joshua Smith

CB: I think a safe bet is about 60 percent of the snaps on offense. That’s where he’s been each of the last two weeks. Even in the Colts game where he aggravated his knee again due to poor footing, he played 41 snaps (61%) and last week against Miami he played 37 snaps (59%).

Regarding your second question, I’ve never been a fan of Pop Tarts, but I can tell the winning flavor in my household is Brown Sugar Cinnamon.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Would you trade the 2 first round picks PLUS next year’s first to the browns for the first overall pick this year?


CB: That’s a lot of draft capital to surrender. I’d be more willing to part with the two firsts and a second this year rather than three firsts. This of course is under the assumption that I’m convinced that the top QB on the board is as sure fire a franchise caliber QB as there is, not only in this year’s class, but next year’s as well. If I’m convinced I pull the trigger, even if I’ve got to throw in an extra fourth round pick or something.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-8

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2017 – 12:13 pm

It’s a gotta-have-it game on Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there any indication that Dennison Is on the hot seat?

Del Smith

CB: I don’t get that sense right now. The performance and production of the offense will be reviewed and evaluated at the end of the season by head coach Sean McDermott. As I see it the key in the evaluation of the offense was whether it was held back by the play at quarterback or by the play calling of the coordinator. It could very well be a combination of both.

There are other factors as well. The constant churn at wide receiver due to in season additions and injuries. The offensive line having a hard time changing to a completely different blocking scheme from the one they had a lot of success in a year ago.

The future direction of the offense will hinge on where McDermott felt they came up short and why and what parties were most responsible for those shortcomings.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think Bills will make playoffs? Yes or No?

Charles Barber

CB: The AFC playoff picture is too convoluted to give a yes or no answer. With four games to play, the Wild Card spots are a jumble at best. Three different teams could still win the AFC West. The Bills obviously want the Chargers to win the West, so they don’t have to worry about the head-to-head tiebreaker with that team, knowing they have head-to-head edges over Oakland and Kansas City in a Wild Card tiebreaker scenario.

I did see that Football Outsiders in the playoff simulations had the Bills with a 43 percent chance of making the playoffs if they finish 9-7 with their only loss coming at New England. If they finish 8-8 they reach the playoffs in less than one percent of their simulations.

I think that pretty much paints the picture right now. It’ll be an uphill battle, which is usually the case when you need help from other teams.


3 –  @ChrisBrownBills

With the addition of Benjamin will the Bills start throwing the ball more? That would help open McCoy

Why am I

CB: I think assuming the Bills will throw more with Benjamin in the lineup is a bit of an oversimplification. This is a team that remains rooted in a run-first philosophy and understandably so. With Benjamin on the field there will be more opportunities for the Bills to make plays in the pass game because he’s capable of making a play even when he’s covered due to his length alone.

But his insertion into the lineup won’t dramatically change the run-pass tendencies. It just gives them a more reliable option. That could increase pass attempts to a degree, but I don’t see a sharp increase overall.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any news on why Henderson isn’t playing? He has to be better than mills

Hayden Ricci

CB: Well as for right now, Henderson had a setback this week with a back injury and may not even be available. When he was active and in the lineup as a sixth lineman or tackle eligible the last couple of weeks head coach Sean McDermott had this to say about Henderson.

“I think he’s done a good job,” said McDermott. “He’s obviously a big body that has some power and length to him. So he protects the quarterback well and can fire off the ball and move the line of scrimmage. He’s done a good job for us so far.”

I think Henderson’s five-game suspension really set him back in terms of consideration in unseating any starting tackle. He served as the swing tackle the last few weeks, but now with this back injury he’s got another setback to get through.

He’ll be an interesting decision for this coaching staff in the offseason. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. He has uncommon athleticism for the position and great length and strength, but his opportunities have been limited.

I know one team that would scoop him up immediately in free agency and that’s Jacksonville. Henderson was a pick Marrone got to make at the end of the draft by former GM Doug Whaley back in 2014.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With Charles Clay’s knee issues and contract size will the bills move on due to “availability issues”? And when would the best time to do so be?

Schmian Schmampbell

CB: For an offense that doesn’t exactly have a bounty of consistent playmaking weapons it’d be hard to part with Charles Clay going forward. His cap figure actually holds steady for the remainder of his contract. It was $9M this year and will be the same next year and the year after that. Knowing the cap itself will likely go up $10-12M each of the next two years, his hit in terms of percentage of Buffalo’s cap is lessened each year.

While the new front office has made it clear they’re not shy about cutting what they feel are not good values on their roster, it’d be hard to say that about Clay, who even now despite missing three games, still leads the team in receiving yards. If your top tight end is still producing better than any receiver on your roster in a year where your pass game is struggling I think it only emphasizes his value all the more to your offense. That’s a reason to keep him as I see it.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Big difference between a 2-2 and 3-1 start

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2017 – 10:05 am

The win itself was big enough, but Buffalo’s victory over Atlanta could have even bigger implications concerning the team’s future. The difference between a 2-2 start to a season and 3-1 start to a season is huge when it comes to making the playoffs.

Since the NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff system in 1990, teams that finish the first quarter of the season with a 2-2 record make the playoffs only 36.2 percent of the time. Two teams that pulled that off last season were the Chiefs and Giants to reach the postseason.

Teams that start 3-1 however, reach the postseason 64.1 percent of the time. Eight of last year’s playoff teams started the season 3-1.

Buffalo has made the playoffs only twice in their history when starting the season 2-2 (1966 & 1981). They don’t have to worry about those poor odds anymore.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Schein sees Bills ending playoff drought

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2014 – 8:31 am

He’s certainly not the first, but contributor Adam Schein is convinced the Bills are going to end their playoff drought this season.

As he sees it there’s too much talent on the roster for Buffalo to come up short. After conducting a radio interview with head coach Doug Marrone last week, Schein believes the Bills will finally get over the postseason hump. In fact he quotes Marrone’s belief that the team is better in just about every area.

“We are a better team right now than we were last year at this time. We have to be able to convert that into wins,” Marrone said. “There’s no doubt about it that we’re more athletic, we’re bigger, stronger faster. The system is under our belt, we’re moving around quickly, we’re making plays.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

When coaches on playoff teams can interview

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2012 – 4:12 pm

With seven head coach openings in the NFL now, interviews with prospective replacements will begin in earnest across the league. Here is the timeline allowable by league rules for head coaching candidates currently coaching on playoff clubs.

Beginning now until Sunday January 6th, assistant coaches under contract to playoff teams that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions. The interview window lasts until the conclusion of the Wild Card games Sunday, which will be about 8 pm when the NFC Wild Card game between Seattle and Washington wraps up.

The next window of opportunity for clubs seeking to interview a head coaching candidate that is an assistant under contract to a playoff team that’s still alive (won Wild Card playoff game) would be the week of the Divisional playoff round (January 7th until January 13th), the Sunday of Divisional Playoff Games.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Andre Reed talks NFL playoffs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2012 – 11:45 am

Bills all-time leading receiver and Wall of Famer Andre Reed gave his take on the upcoming playoff games this weekend and provided his final four for the AFC and NFC Championship games next week.

Reed did an interview with the NFL Players site this week where he made his choices for the winners of this week’s Divisional playoff games.

He picked Green Bay, New England, New Orleans and Baltimore.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Broncos help Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2011 – 9:27 am

Denver’s 17-13 win over the Jets last night could prove to be a big help for the Bills.

The win lifted Denver to 5-5 and dropped the Jets to 5-5. New York is now a half game back of the Bills.

Should the Jets and Bills be battling each other for a Wild Card spot (perhaps premature with teams ahead of them right now in the AFC for the Wild Cards) the tiebreakers go as follows to break a tie within a division.

Division record
Record vs. common opponents
Conference record
Strength of victory
Strength of schedule

Buffalo’s game next week at New York is going to be huge should there be a need for a tiebreaker between the two clubs because if the Bills can get a split then it would go to division record. Right now the Bills are 1-1 in the division and the Jets are 2-2. We’re dealing with a lot of ‘ifs’ here but if Buffalo wins Sunday in Miami and then gets a win in New York (a big if for some) the Bills would not only put more distance between themselves and the Jets in the playoff race, but in division record as well.

First things first in Miami. At this point if the season ended today both the Jets and Bills would be out of the playoffs. Here’s a look at the current AFC standings.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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