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Sons Of Lonnie Johnson: The 2012 Buffalo Bills


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#1 mjm3773

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:13 PM

In spite of the pissing match that the Jets thread has become , I decided to start a thread dedicated to another of the Pats AFC East rivals.

2011 in Review

The Bills jumped out of the gate, winning five of their first seven games, including their first win against the Patriots in 16 tries. However, injuries mounted and began to take their toll. The defense, which was no great shakes statistically at the beginning of the season, but was very opportunistic, fell into shambles. All of this resulted in losing seven in a row, and eight of their last nine after the hot start, including being unable to hold a 21-0 lead to the Patriots in the season finale, resulting in a 49-21 blowout loss. The Bills ended the season 6-10, out of the playoffs for a league-leading 12th straight season (they had been tied with the Lions in that regard).

Position by position analysis:

Offense

QB

Like the Bills season, it was a tale of two halves for their starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick. In the first seven games of the season, he had a 67.7 completion percentage, averaging 7.59 yards per attempt, and throwing 14 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. In the last nine games those numbers went down dramatically across the board to 58.2%, 6.16 ypa, 10 tds and 16 ints. It wasn’t revealed until after the season that in the last of the first seven games, against Washington, that Fitzpatrick suffered four cracked ribs, which may have clearly impacted his performance over the rest of the season. That the Bills never replaced him with the back-up, Tyler Thigpen, probably speaks to the regimes lack of confidence in Thigpen, despite his modest success in a Chan Gailey offense in KC in 2008.

Consequently, the Bills brought in Vince Young to compete with Thigpen for the back-up job. At this point in his career, Young is nothing special, but I would trust him more than Thigpen if Fitzpatrick went down.

But whoever loses that battle will not be the #3 QB, but will be cut. That is because Brad Smith is entrenched as the #3 QB. Chan Gailey had grand plans to use Smith in wildcat formations and he did have some success in that role early in the year. But wide receiver injuries forced Smith to be used as a WR for most of the second half of the season. In spite of this, the Bills still led the NFL in plays ran out the wildcat formation, and I wouldn’t expect that to be any different this year.

RB

Fred Jackson was playing at an MVP-type level until he suffered a season-ending broken leg injury against Miami in week 10. Jackson is 31, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of mileage on him. And the Bills don’t seem too concerned either, signing him to a two year extension this offseason, despite the fact that he still had a year remaining on his existing contract.

CJ Spiller, who hadn’t shown much since being drafted #9 overall in 2010, stepped up admirably as a feature back after Jackson’s injury. Given this success, the Bills will probably use more of a committee approach in 2012, but there should be plenty of opportunities for both backs, since both can line-up wide or in the slot, and the Bills led the NFL in 3 and 4-wide sets last year.

Either Johnny White or journeyman Tashard Choice will be the #3 back.

FB

Although fullbacks are not used very much in Chan Gailey’s offense, Corey McIntyre will probably make the roster for when a fullback is needed, as well as the fact that he is a good special teams player.

Dorin Dickerson is an athletic type that might make the roster as more of a H-back type

WR

Last year Stevie Johnson became the first Bill ever to have back-to-back 1000 yard receiving seasons (really, Andre Reed never did it). He was due to become a UFA this past offseason, but the Bills resigned him and he remains entrenched as the Bills undisputed #1 WR.

One of the big questions for this year is “Who will be the #2 WR?” As mentioned earlier, the prevalence of 3 and 4 WR sets makes this less relevant, but the early leader appears to be Donald Jones. Other candidates include Marcus Easley, a 4th round pick out of UConn two years ago who probably has the best combination of size and speed to be a #2 outside receiver, but due to various injuries, including a heart ailment last year, has not yet played in a regular season game. Also vying for that spot is TJ Graham, the Bills 3rd round pick this year. Graham has incredible speed, but not overwhelming size (although he is 3 inches taller than their last “speedy” receiver, Roscoe Parrish). Word is so far that Graham has progressed in camp a lot faster than expected, but still has a way to go to be a major contributor.

David Nelson will definitely make the roster, but will primarily be used as a slot receiver. If they keep six receivers, the candidates include Derek Hagan, Ruvell Martin and Namaan Roosevelt.

OL

After about a decade of abysmal OL play, the Bills OL seems to have turned the corner into becoming one of the league’s better units. Last year the Bills allowed the fewest sacks in the league and both starting RBs averaged over 5 ypc. Now, some of this is the design of Gailey’s offense, but even any improvement is a vast change from years past.

Continuing with the recurring theme, however, this was a unit that was decimated by injuries last year. The starting LT from last year, Demetress Bell, got hurt early last year, and this offseason signed with the Eagles as a UFA. Chris Hairston filled in admirably in his place, but the Bills drafted Cordy Glenn out of Georgia in the 2nd round of the draft to compete with Hairston for the starting gig. Although Glenn mostly played guard at UGa, he did play LT his senior season and Buddy Nix and the rest of the Bills staff are convinced he can protect the blind side. Some mock drafts had the Bills taking him the 1st round, but the Bills were ecstatic when he fell to them in the 2nd.

The interior of the line is its major strength. Andy Levitre has developed into one of the best LG in the game. Eric Wood could be approaching that same level at center, but he has been injured off and on for most of his career since being drafted in 2009. Kraig Urbik is at RG. Chad Rinehart provides depth for the interior line.

Erik Pears is the starting RT and the loser of the Hairston/Glenn battle at LT and 5th round pick Zebrie Sanders will be the depth at tackle.

TE

Scott Chandler returns as the Bills starting TE. While clearly not on the level of Gronk or Hernandez, at 6’7” 270 lbs, he is an excellent red-zone target as he demonstrated early last year until the injury bug got to him as well.

Lee Smith is not much of a receiver, but is a good blocker and should be the back-up.

Defense

DL

As had been the problem for years, the Bills could not generate any pressure up front. They amassed only 29 sacks last year, 10 of which came in the anomaly of the Redskins game. In today’s pass-happy NFL, its hard to stop teams, especially offensively talented ones like the Patriots, when Brady has enough time in the pocket to read War and Peace and cook Peking Duck before the Bills D-Line could get to him. So a number of drastic changes were made in the offseason.

First, Defensive Coordinator George Edwards was fired and was replaced by Dave Wannstedt, who was already on staff. The 3-4 that the Bills had employed for a couple of years was scrapped, replaced with the traditional 4-3. But scheming can only do so much, talent is required as well. And since that NFL is a copycat league, and in order to do anything, the Bills have to get through the Patriots. So they copied the plan from the team that has had some success against the Pats, the Giants, a team that can generate pressure from just the front four and be able to drop seven into coverage to stop the passing game. They Bills put on the full-court press to sign the top defensive player available in free agency, Mario Williams. Not content with that, they signed arguably the second best D-lineman available, former Patriot Mark Anderson. They will be the starting ends this year. The defensive tackles are just as impressive. Pro-Bowler Kyle Williams returns from (guess what?) an injury last year and pairs up with last year’s #3 overall pick, Marcel Dareus to complete what could compete for the best defensive line in the league.

Former starter Chris Kelsay and converted linebacker Shawne Merriman should be the back-ups ends and two of veterans Spencer Johnson and Dwan Edwards and youngsters Alex Carrington and Torell Trouppe will be the backup tackles

LB

Linebacker is probably the weakest of the defensive units, but it shouldn’t be a major weakness. 2nd year player Kelvin Sheppard has assumed a leadership role as the starting middle linebacker, with veterans Kirk Morrison and Nick Barnett manning the strong and weak sides, respectively.

Backups will likely be drawn from converted safety Bryan Scott, Arthur Moats, and rookies Tank Carder and Nigel Bradham.

DB

This year’s #1 pick, #10 overall, Stephon Gilmore, has been one of the early stars of camp so far and should be one of the starters. The Bills would like Aaron Williams, a #2 pick last year, to be the other starter, but he struggled at times last year and has had a rough camp to this point. If healthy, Terrence McGee could end up making a last hurrah as the other starting CB, but ideally he will be covering the slot.

Depth will include this year’s #4 pick, Ron Brooks, who was a backup at LSU, but only because he played in the best defensive backfield in college, playing behind Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne. Justin Rogers should also be one of the backups. Former 1st round pick Leodis McKelvin may be on the roster bubble, but may be able to stick around since he can also be used as a kick returner.

Strong Safety George Wilson and Free Safety Jarius Byrd form one of the better safety tandems in the league. Da’Norris Searcy and Joshua Nesbitt are their likely backups, respectively. If they only keep one, it would probably be Searcy, as they can always move Bryan Scott back to safety if necessary.

Special Teams

Kicker Rian Lindell signed a new deal this offseason. But the Bills spent their last pick this year on John Potter, who could make the team as a kick-off specialist and be used for longer FGs.

Former All-Pro Brian Moorman returns for his 12th season as the Bill’s punter.

Garrison Sanborn is the long-snapper.

2012 Outlook

The Bills are a trendy pick as a wild-card team. While I would like to aim for more, I can’t forecast it until it plays out on the field and a team actually dethrones the Pats. Also in their favor is arguably the league’s easiest schedule outside that of the Pats. Other than Brady, the best QB the Bills face is Schaub.

While I really shouldn’t complain if they end up with a winning record but still fall short of the playoffs, given all the changes, and if they stay healthy, I will be mildly disappointed if the Bills don’t make the playoffs this year.

#2 Bergs

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:56 AM

I had missed the Ryan Fitzpatrick cracked ribs thing (or caught it and summarily forgot it)...that has got to be considered great news considering his performance in the 2nd half last year. If he's healthy, he's clearly the best QB in the division not named Brady. They demonstrated they can be a dangerous team when healthy last year, and I - as it stands - consider them the 2nd best team in the division.

That said, the LB weaknesses are REALLY easy for the Pats to exploit if the Bills don't dramatically improve their DL play. Given their schedule, I'd say they're a strong candidate for a WC spot.

#3 Alternate34

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:50 PM

A few extra notes:

Fitzpatrick has more issues than his rib injury last season. I think it clearly effected his performance, but his accuracy is still the main concern, especially to the left side. The Giants game last year is a good example. His two INTs came off of underthrown balls to Stevie on the left side. They didn't require total bombs, but they did require both arm strength and more important some accuracy. If he can overcome that, he is definitely the second best QB in the AFC East. Additionally, with the strong running game, the Bills would have a good NFL offense, as was shown in the early season last year.

Nothing much to add on the RBs. Freddy Jackson has lost a bit as a pass catcher and I think they'll tone down his playing in the slot because of it. C.J. Spiller is better there anyway. C.J.'s role in this offense is similar to Reggie Bush's role in the Saints offense when he was there.

A few notes on the receivers. Donald Jones has a firm grip on the number 2 slot. He was solid there last year and has some speed. He isn't a deep threat but he can run most other routes. Graham has been a pleasant surprise. Hagan has been the biggest surprise though. Also, Clowney might get a look because of his speed. Easley has been a disappointment considering his strong camp last year before his heart condition became an issue.

Second note about receivers is that while Stevie has gotten some bad press for his end zone antics, it really is enjoyable to watch him play the position. Not enjoyable in a physical domination way a la Calvin Johnson, or Randy in his prime, but from watching little things, like the multiple ways he beats jams depending on where his route is going, his crisp route running, and other details such as his technique. The main problem with Stevie on game day is that he has a few anti-clutch drops, most notably against the Jets last year and the Steelers the previous year.

On the O-Line, it is a bit of a stretch to consider them among the better units in the NFL considering their tackles. They are a good run blocking offensive line, an effect of getting bigger O-Linemen, but I think the low number of sacks is a design of the offense and a credit to Fitzpatrick. They don't suck like in years past, especially considering the 2010 RT disaster, but the offensive line hampers the offense's ability to throw deep because it is difficult to predict when you can squeeze in a longer developing route. They don't suck anymore, which is nice.

The defensive line is monstrous. As a Pats fan, it is good enough to give me pause. When the worst player of your starting four is Mark Anderson, that is saying something. I would also note that while players like Spencer Johnson and Chris Kelsay are exposed as starters, they are really solid rotational players. Spencer can keep your pass rush credible if you sub out Dareus or Kyle Williams, and Kelsay is good enough all around to give Mark Anderson a breather on obvious run downs.

I am not sure about the LBs. I think they are a major weakness. Barnett is the only one who may be above average. Kelvin Sheppard is pretty slow and can get caught by blockers fairly easily. Also of note is that Moats seems to have taken the lead on the strong side linebacker position. http://www.rotoworld...e=237411&spln=1

The rotoworld blurb explains why basically. Arthur Moats is quicker and potentially stronger. I am happy for Moats. My wife had a nice chat with him and his wife at the Anchor Bar prior to the Pats game and he seemed nice. Ragged on my wife for being with a bunch of Pats fans. He always has a soft spot in my heart for putting the final nail in Brett Favre's coffin. However, I think the linebackers are pretty weak.

The DBs should be solid as they have been in the past. I would be really surprised if McGee beats out McKelvin and Williams for the 2nd CB position and even the 3rd CB position. He has been hobbled in training camp, not making breaks in CB drills and consistently playing on the second unit. That second CB spot is the only questionable spot in the defensive backfield and it is possible that Williams or McKelvin steps up. Jairus Byrd is particularly impressive to me. Even though he doesn't have the gaudy INT numbers anymore, he is a better safety all around. George Wilson is intelligent and complements Byrd well.

Two things of note for the special teams. The Bills are considering using Potter as a kickoff specialist for auto-touchbacks. This is good because the Bills coverage units have been on the decline ince the departure of Bobby April. Also, McKelvin may get back to more returning. He has been getting more reps in camp.

Last year, the Bills had a lot of issues. The D-Line was weak, the linebackers inexperienced and ill suited for the 3-4, the QB had accuracy issues, partly his own fault but partly the fault of poor O-Line play, and the wide receivers were shaky beyond Stevie. Despite this, they had a promising start, mainly due to the offense. Fitzpatrick's accuracy issues abated for a time and they could score with anyone in the league including the Patriots. In part injuries derailed them, decimating their already weak wide receiving corps and D-Line and compromising what was a very strong running game. Also, the O-Line was effectively nuked by injuries. Who can forget the Dolphins game where LeVitre tried valiantly to play center and failed so miserably that I walked out with my wife as she cried tears of dark sorrow.

This season, I see one major obstacle to the playoff for the Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick. As noted above, he seemed to show spurts of accuracy. When in the middle of one of those spurts, the Bills offense was really good. The running game was multi-faceted with Freddy able to squeeze through even tiny holes and C.J. sowing confusion against opposing defenses by lining up practically anywhere. However, when he wasn't accurate, which was often, he would hit guys out of stride, costing a few yards, or throw devastating INTs. The ribs certainly didn't help, but he struggled with accuracy some against the Bengals and the Giants, prior to the rib injury. He has always had problems with accuracy as well.

This is not to say Fitzpatrick has to run the Bills offense at their 30 PPG pace they set early in the season for them to make the playoffs. That was true for last year's team, but this year's team looks to have a good defense. One of the things that makes them a nice pick for the playoffs is that Fitzpatrick doesn't have to be as good as Tom Brady. He doesn't even have to be as good as Matt Schaub. If Fitzpatrick can manage to be as good as Joe Flacco (not arm strength wise but production wise), the Bills have a really good chance at making the playoffs. If the optimists are right that David Lee has fixed Fitzpatrick's mechanics and he can throw to the left side with consistency, then the Bills could sneak in ahead of the Patriots for the division.

I don't think the latter will be true. Fitzpatrick has had accuracy issues for far too long for me to buy into the fixed mechanics narrative. However, I don't think he is as bad as he was in the 27-11 loss to the Jets, the 44-7 loss to the Cowboys, the 35-8 loss to the Dolphins, or the 37-10 loss to the Chargers. He did have broken ribs which would have prevented Jacoby Ellsbury from playing. His top running back who was leading the league in rushing went down with an injury. His O-Line was a God awful mess starting a guy at center who hadn't played the position since high school. In isolation, these are all pretty big issues for a QB. All together, they will make you look like David Carr.

I think the Bills should make the playoffs. They can get a couple of wins from the vast improvement to their defensive line. They can get a win from an average number of injuries to their offense. Finally, they can tack on a few wins by not facing the NFC East, instead getting the NFC West. My absolute disdain for the NFC West is well known. They sent a 7-9 team to the playoffs two years ago. The 49ers are a really good team for sure, but the Seahawks just added Terrell Owens and they still have Pete “Aw Shucks” Carroll coaching them. The Cardinals have sweet fuck all at QB. The Rams. Ha! The Rams. Combine this with trading the AFC North for the AFC South, and you could see three teams from the AFC East make the playoffs. And I don't think the Dolphins are the team that will make it. This seems like a good year for the Bills to make it, but then again, they probably will have a typhoid outbreak that knocks out their defensive line and Bills fans will again weep frozen tears.

Edited by Alternate34, 07 August 2012 - 12:59 PM.


#4 Alternate34

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

Just to clarify, I said that the second CB is the only questionable spot among the DBs. One might think that I m overrating Gilmore, a first round DB who was considered clearly inferior to Morris Claiborne and a slight reach. I'll say in my defense that Gilmore has looked fantastic at the spot. He is intelligent and not overly aggressive, which is perfect for this defensive line where aggression is just not necessary. Additionally, I had to watch the Pats DBs all last year. My scale may be skewed.

#5 Alternate34

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

Preseason update rules:

(1) Never respond with "It's only preseason." Really? Players aren't playing at their tip top potential and are using less complicated offenses and defenses and success in preseason has at best weak correlation with in season success? You have blown my fucking mind.

(2) It's only preseason.

Buffalo's first preseason game:

Short version: The offense looked sloppy and unprepared. The defense looked pretty sharp.

Long version: Well, for those looking for better accuracy from Fitzpatrick's improve mechanics, they would be hard pressed to see it here. The Bills came out gunning rather than running. With their starters in the game, the Bills did not once run the ball. Fitz was his usual erratic self. The replacement refs were inconsistent on illegal contact calls but really, Fitz was not on the money except to Stevie. If you want a positive, that might be because Stevie is the best route runner on the team so Fitz's questionable accuracy may have been a result of crappy routes and the offense generally being out of sync. Chandler made a really nice catch for 26 yards. Fitz only threw for 61 yard, so most of the offense came from that catch.

The main offensive positional battle is for backup QB. Both looked kind of bad passing, but Vince can still burn and did. The Bills plan to use Vince at #2 next preseason game. Graham had some catches though he also had a false start and a drop. Still, overall that seems promising for a third rounder. Johnny White had a nice run. No one really stood out on the offense. All were inconsistent.

The defense looked good in general but they displayed one consistent weakness in allowing RG3 to get large completions down the middle of the field. The TD drive for Washington featured two such completions and ended with a nicely executed slip screen which the Bills were woefully unprepared for. The line looked to be a little less strong than you'd like pass rushing, but looked really good against the run. Unsurprisingly, Mario, Kyle and Marcel do a good job controlling offensive linemen and giving the LBs a chance to do their job. Mark Anderson does not control as much, but did slip some blocks. We'll see if Mark Anderson as predominantly a starter will compromise the run defense, but the initial results look good. Stephon Gilmore was never really tested. A.J. Williams needs to make sure he tackles. The safeties need to do a better job patrolling the middle of the field, though those completions may have been a result of playing the base Cover 2 and having an LB slow up the pipe, be it a misread or lack of speed.

As for backups, Ron Brooks had some moments and might avoid the practice squad and add to DB depth. Merriman won't be DPOY, but he looked solid at DE until he inevitably gets injured. Isaiah Green did OK, most likely playing for a practice squad spot. No one covered themselves in glory but those are the bright spots I remember.

One last miscellaneous note, the replacement refs didn't do a very good job at all. They did a poor job calling the pass game. They had a magnificently terrible call on a downed punt. The gunner clearly caught the ball on the 5 and fell to the ground on the 3. He was not even close to the end zone. They call a touchback after some discussion. A challenge was used, but what a bad call. They could not call holding consistently. They called back a TD for illegal formation. That was a really tight call. I'm not sure they got it right, but the feed I was watching didn't give a very good look at it. You can complain about the normal refs, but they are clearly better than these replacements.

Edited by Alternate34, 10 August 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#6 mjm3773

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:27 PM

A34-

I have to agree with a lot of your analysis of the game last night.

On the way to the game I joked that the backup QB battle was a question of "Who sucks less?" Unfortunately I was right. But at least Young can run, so I think by default it is his job to lose.

They showed the replay of Graham's "false start" on the Jumbotron - he never moved. I think he will be a major player in this offense sooner rather than later.

I am still convinced that had Brooks gone anywhere besides LSU where he was stuck behind Peterson, Claiborne and Honey Badger, he would've been no worse than a second rounder.

#7 Alternate34

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:03 PM

A34-

I have to agree with a lot of your analysis of the game last night.

On the way to the game I joked that the backup QB battle was a question of "Who sucks less?" Unfortunately I was right. But at least Young can run, so I think by default it is his job to lose.

They showed the replay of Graham's "false start" on the Jumbotron - he never moved. I think he will be a major player in this offense sooner rather than later.

I am still convinced that had Brooks gone anywhere besides LSU where he was stuck behind Peterson, Claiborne and Honey Badger, he would've been no worse than a second rounder.


My wife thinks Brooks is going to be an awesome player for the reasons you mention.

I can totally buy the no false start on Graham, I didn't get a look at replay, but the refs were terrible all night. Their ridiculous calls overshadowed their non-calls all night.

#8 Alternate34

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:10 AM

Updating this quick from the last preseason game against the Vikings.

The starting offense looked a little better, though that perception comes mostly from their last drive against a Minnesota defense with some backups mixed in. Fitzpatrick was more on target with his passes. Freddy had some nice runs. C.J. did not look that good split out wide. The play calling seemed to be tilted toward shorter step drops, indicating a little less faith in the offensive line. This also led to a pedestrian yards per attempt figure from Fitz.

The starting defense has a major problem and that is the short middle of the field. These linebackers do not consistently get in position to make tackles on receivers in this area and the safeties don't come up in time to prevent first downs, though I suspect the safeties are just maintaining their position. The CBs do well when they have use of the sideline, but with the middle of the field as wide open as it is, they cannot consistently do so. If teams take longer step drops, then the defense does just fine, but there is no reason to take those longer drops when the short middle and flats provide such fertile ground for first downs.

As for backups, Vince probably has the edge on the backup QB slot. He had a nice bomb to T.J. Graham and looked OK aside from that. Thigpen had a pretty bad pick 6 at the end of his time at the position. T.J. Graham did look good on that bomb, tracking down Vince's throw and hauling it in, continuing to look promising. I didn't pick up a lot from the backups on defense.

Also, Shawne Merriman has been cut:

http://www.bostonher...position=recent

This is not too surprising. I thought he might make the team over Dwan Edwards, a signing to fill in their 3-4 DE spot, but Shawne always had a chance to go for money reasons as noted in the article. His stay was injury filled and unspectacular.

#9 Alternate34

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:19 PM

No time for a full write up, but after I had showered love on Stevie in my initial notes, he failed to complete routes this last preseason game. He also failed to run the right routes at times. Ugh. Other receivers also made mistakes. Chan did not target any single receiver, but he indicated that they were failing to run the right routes and ultimately were undisciplined. Stevie better get back to form by the season start or the Bills offense will be clunky and inconsistent with a lot of 7 play drives that fail to accomplish much.

#10 soxfan121


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:48 PM

Bills trade for Tavaris Jackson.

#11 mjm3773

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

Bills trade for Tavaris Jackson.


Not a surprise. Vince Young hasn't looked good in camp so far, and despite having a decent game last week, Young looked horrible last night. And Tyler Thigpen has been even worse than Young so far this preseason.

I'm not a huge fan of Tavaris, but I have no doubts he'll be better than the other two options for backup qb.

#12 Alternate34

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:22 PM

Not a surprise. Vince Young hasn't looked good in camp so far, and despite having a decent game last week, Young looked horrible last night. And Tyler Thigpen has been even worse than Young so far this preseason.

I'm not a huge fan of Tavaris, but I have no doubts he'll be better than the other two options for backup qb.


I think Chan also indicated that Vince is a problem as a backup because he just cannot run the normal offense, so if he had to sub in a game, the offense and previous game planning would be scrapped. Of course, Tarvaris probably can't run the offense that well either as you noted. The Bills are already in a tenuous position with Fitz at starter. If he went down, the best they could hope for is pre-Cutler Chicago-esque type of season, but their LBs at least prevent that.

#13 Alternate34

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 11:10 PM

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets, Sunday, 1:00 PM, CBS

The season starts with a divisional away game. I'll put forth a few talking points and then let it proceed from there.

(1) This is a pretty important game for the Bills. While they don't need to be sterling against the division to make the playoffs, I suspect they'd need to win an away game in division in order to be credible.

(2) An additional reason that this is an important game is that it functions as an early test of their defensive quality. If the Bills defense has trouble containing the Jets offense, that is a pretty conspicuous black mark on them. While no offensive line should match up well with the Bills defensive line, the Jets should be particularly bad. Mario Williams will be lined up across from RT Jets with Dareus beside him. They should be able to get a lot of pressure on Sanchez. The Jets receivers aren't particularly good either so the secondary should be able to take some risks and get some INTs. If the Bills lost this game with an anemic offense but a strong defensive showing, that would not be good, but it wouldn't be as bad as losing this game because the Jets offense scores a bunch of points.

(3) Fitzpatrick looked bad many times last season. The distinction against the Jets was that he looked confused at times and made terrible reads rather than getting his ass sacked a bunch or underthrowing receivers. The Bills managed a close game in the game at New York last year, losing 24-28. It was the famous Costas thinks Stevie Johnson is the devil game where he taunted Plax in a TD celebration. However, Stevie put the final dagger in Bills fans' hearts when he dropped a pass that would have had the Bills at least at the 10 and possibly in the end zone. These incidents overshadowed the fact that Stevie had a solid day against Revis, catching 8 for 75 yards. Had he caught the wide open pass, it would have been 9 and 100. Stevie has generally done well against Revis in his career.

(4) About Revis, one thing is certain, the Bills offense cannot avoid his third of the field or they will lose. The Jets routed them in the first game last season. Part of this was a result of the Bills obvious reluctance to throw to Revis' side of the field. The Bills do not have a playmaker that they can rely on in the passing game outside of Stevie. Some offenses do have multiple receivers and can exploit mismatches. The Bills offense does not.

(5) http://newyork.sbnat...may-miss-opener Sione Pouha may miss the game which would be a great help for the Bills run game. A healthy Freddy makes the Bills offense much better and without Pouha, he can do some damage.

(6) First real game where Fitzpatrick's "new" throwing mechanics will be on display. I haven't really done a video breakdown to see if he looks different from last year. I haven't noticed but hey, maybe it isn't smoke up our ass. Anyway, the Jets are a tough team to test new mechanics out considering their ability to consistently create pressure and their ability to make a QB second guess themselves. Fitz will need to be accurate beyond getting completions. Hitting receivers in stride, while always important, is vital against the Jets because they position themselves well and react well to the ball. Additionally, extra YAC is always welcome, and accurate passes help contribute to that.

Prediction? I don't fucking know. I have an inkling the Bills will win, but a lot of that is Jets hatred with a heaping side of belief in the Jets offensive suckitude. The right side of the Jets offensive line is incredibly bad and Bills across from that right side are fearsome defensive linemen. That pressure should stymie the Jets offense. The best case scenario would be turnovers, but since Sanchez can see them coming, it probably has to be INTs rather than fumbles. Sanchez knows the fetal position. This has the makings of a turnover fest with both QBs getting overwhelmed. I mean, it's not like the Bills O-Line is any good.

#14 lostjumper

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:16 AM

As a pats fan, this is a very interesting game and will give us a pretty good idea of where both teams are. I saw a couple of the Jets games, but none of the Bills in preseason. I'm interested to see if the Jets offense is really as bad as it looked or if they have some wrinkles to throw out. Still, their o-line is terrible, the rb's are just average, qb is below average, and they only have 1 good wr in Holmes. I think if the Bills can score 17 points they win, because I don't know how the Jet's offense can score. The most important thing for the Bills offense will be to limit mistakes. No int's or fumbles to give away good field position or let the Jets defense score.

#15 BigSoxFan


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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:42 AM

This game has 2 conflicting forces:

1) The Bills have lost their last 3 of 4 in the Meadowlands

but

2) The Bills usually are a pretty solid team out of the gates

I see this as a low scoring affair that is probably decided by 7 or fewer points. Both teams' defenses should rule the day.

Edited by BigSoxFan, 04 September 2012 - 09:42 AM.


#16 dcdrew10

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:15 AM

The Bills this year look a lot like the Jets a few years ago, minus the drama. The defense looks very good and the offense has potential, especially if they get a few breaks, especially in the running game, but it could just as easily go to crap, since the QB is questionable. If the offensive line can make the leap or at least be healthy for most of the season, the Bills could be good. There are just a lot of ifs and they are going to be a hard team to predict.

#17 Alternate34

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:27 PM

The Bills this year look a lot like the Jets a few years ago, minus the drama. The defense looks very good and the offense has potential, especially if they get a few breaks, especially in the running game, but it could just as easily go to crap, since the QB is questionable. If the offensive line can make the leap or at least be healthy for most of the season, the Bills could be good. There are just a lot of ifs and they are going to be a hard team to predict.


This is the basic gist. The major difference is the way the QBs are questionable. Sanchez has a better arm than Fitz and is more accurate when he knows where the ball is going. Fitz is better at managing the different personnel and formations and making pre-snap reads. Fitz is more of a known quantity than early Sanchez.. I don't think he can get much more accurate. He has a good grasp of the offense. He could work on making sure the receivers know what's up, but he does make efforts there. In one way, this bodes well for the Bills. They know he can handle the reads this offense requires and they can have a full field of reads that need to made quick. On the other hand, there seems to be less hope for them, because he can't be accurate enough, especially to the left. They are unsuccessful if they can't use the left consistently especially against the Jets, who do a great job of attacking team weakness.

#18 tims4wins


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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:44 PM

Just read that Fitz is 0-5 vs. the Jets...color me somewhat surprised. Can't see the Bills doing too much on offense this game, they are going to have to not turn it over and play well on D to have a good chance. As much as I loathe the Jets and think their offense is a joke, I think they have to be a solid favorite on Sunday.

#19 Alternate34

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

Just read that Fitz is 0-5 vs. the Jets...color me somewhat surprised. Can't see the Bills doing too much on offense this game, they are going to have to not turn it over and play well on D to have a good chance. As much as I loathe the Jets and think their offense is a joke, I think they have to be a solid favorite on Sunday.


The problem with this is that I can't see the Jets doing too much on offense. I suspect it will be a low scoring game that will depend on turnovers and where they happen on the field. Sanchez isn't exactly known for ball security and his offensive line is pretty bad. Of course Fitzpatrick has been bad against the Jets. He has never had a legitimate defense supporting him against the Jets. He has never played particularly well against them, but the Jets have played pretty well against the Bills many times, which is out of character with their offense. The Bills defense should be substantially stronger now.

The line is -3 Jets. Favored, but not really a solid favorite, though we could quibble about that.

#20 Alternate34

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:48 PM

So that didn't go well. The positives will go quick.

(1) C.J. Spiller. A lot of his yards came when the game was secured for the Jets. He still scored a TD when the game could have been in doubt (it made the score 21-7). He looked decisive in attacking holes in the O-Line and his speed was evident. However, even this positive is mitigated because he fumbled and lost the ball when the game was in doubt. Had he not fumbled before the end of the half, the Bills may have scored a TD and been at 24-14 going into the half with the ball coming to them. Ugh.

And that's it. Now on to the many negatives:

(1) Ryan Fitzpatrick. The new mechanics were not evident. He was inaccurate as hell, the best evidence being the INT that was intended for David Nelson. He might have misread the play (whoopee!) but it looked as if he threw the ball 3 yards to the left. He also had his misreads. His first INT was intended for Stevie on a hook route that Revis sat on. He was pretty terrible, though picked it back up in garbage time.

(2) CBs. The hope was that the rookie Gilmore and the second year veteran A.J. Williams would play wiser than their years. They did not. Gilmore got abused on one of the TDs to Stephen Hill. Williams just did not do well. The supposed depth seemed exposed. McKelvin continued to display his great athleticism combined with terrible instincts when he had OK coverage on Kerley but had no awareness where the ball or the sideline was and let up a TD. McGee looked small and old.

(3) LBs. The run defense was OK. They didn't let up any major gains, though they failed to achieve penetration. However, the middle of the field was open season. They just don't do the job.

(4) DTs. The defensive line in general was weak, but the DTs didn't create any pressure up the middle. Sanchez stepped into almost all of his throws. I probably shouldn't let the DEs off the hook, but they did draw beads on Mark Sanchez at times, he was just able to get rid of the ball immediately. The DTs provided no pressure up front.

(5) Special Teams. Mostly for the punt return for a TD. In fact, all for that. Total shit.

(6) Safeties provided little help over the top on Sanchez deep passes. They seemed slow to react all day. They blitzed rarely which is good, because they were ineffective at it.

This was the worst case scenario for the Bills. The back 7 can't hold up long enough for the D-Line to get pressure on the QB. They were not really opportunistic, the one INT an inaccurate shovel pass tipped to them. They did a poor job jamming receivers, which would seem to be the strategy when you hope to get pressure from your front four. The offense looked bad as well, though one could argue that was mostly Fitz, which may or may not be better. If it is just Fitz, then maybe the Bills could be a run first team OR Fitz could develop accuracy. Whatever the case, a shitty shitty start to the season.

#21 Alternate34

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

Also, Freddy sprained his LCL, though the injury isn't considered serious and he should be ready for the Chiefs next week.

#22 jsinger121


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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:54 PM


Adam Schefter@AdamSchefter

Bills WR David Nelson tore his ACL - out for year.



#23 Crazy Puppy

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

Also, Freddy sprained his LCL, though the injury isn't considered serious and he should be ready for the Chiefs next week.


There are reports today suggesting Jackson could be out a month or more.

Jason La Canfora
The best case scenario for Fred Jackson would be a return in 4 weeks, but again, MRI inconclusive on exact range



#24 Alternate34

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:56 PM

There are reports today suggesting Jackson could be out a month or more.


Well shit balls, though CJ looked good so, not much of a downgrade except a bit on the power game.

#25 DaveRoberts'Shoes


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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:11 PM

There are reports today suggesting Jackson could be out a month or more.


Yeah, I'm not buying the "LCL injury" thing - the mechanism of injury was completely wrong. He got hit from the outside, looked like an MCL. I also don't buy the "inconclusive" MRI thing - seems like some Belichek-ian injury fudging.

#26 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:38 PM

Having lived in Upstate NY for several years, I know how genuinely passionate the fan base is up there. This has to be one of the more deflating loss in a while.

What the hell happened to the pass rush?!?!?!! It can't all be the replacement refs missing holding calls.

#27 Alternate34

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:52 AM

Having lived in Upstate NY for several years, I know how genuinely passionate the fan base is up there. This has to be one of the more deflating loss in a while.

What the hell happened to the pass rush?!?!?!! It can't all be the replacement refs missing holding calls.


Hard to say. They have had a lot of deflating losses. Dallas Monday Night where Dallas missed the tying two point conversion only to recover the onside kick and kick a field goal for the win. New England Monday Night when they were up by two scores and then McKelvin fumbled the ball so Tom Brady could pass for the winning TD. Last year I suppose there wasn't one particularly deflating loss, just a bunch of getting run over after a 5-2 start. Some of the losses in the season Brady got injured after they started 5-1 were pretty deflating as well.

As for the pass rush, Mario was complaining about missed holding calls. I wasn't watching him closely the whole time, but he also faced a fair number of double teams. Overall, as I posted, I think the DTs did not hold up their end of the deal. They just were not getting pressure in one on one situations. The major problem with the Bills defense is that teams can keep back 6 to block with impunity. Their linebackers are terrible and their secondary looked terrible as well. The safeties played with no instinct and the CBs got burnt a few times. The Jets had a good percentage of 3 step drops that were successful (though that doesn't explain it completely) which means that CBs and LBs couldn't cover even for a few seconds. If the secondary improves, then the Bills should be able to stop some of the long completions they let up, but I just don't see where the linebackers are coming from. They don't have a LB on the roster that is good in coverage, they are all run stoppers or a nominal pass rusher in the case of Moats.

Edited by Alternate34, 11 September 2012 - 06:53 AM.


#28 Alternate34

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

The question: Are the Bills due to repeat the travails of last season where they look decidedly schizophrenic from game to game?

The Bills both eradicated the Chiefs and ruined the Chiefs reputation. While one can point to two contextual factors that made the Bills so much better this week than last, that they were at home and that they were facing a team clearly inferior to the Jets, those two factors alone seem incapable of changing a blowout loss into a blowout win. That being said:

Positives:

(1) Defensive tackles. Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus, and even Carrington and Johnson looked great all game. Williams might have been the most consistent, but Dareus was the most impressive considering he was playing in the aftermath of his brother's passing. They dominated the interior, putting pressure on the QB but never getting blocked out of the way of Chief's running backs.

(2) Mark Anderson. While he probably wasn't sterling against the run all day, he made some very good plays and showed awareness beyond rushing the QB.

(3) C.J. Spiller. He looks fantastic. He always had speed, but he rarely makes purely lateral moves it seems. Each cut is a move forward which gets him to the hole or the second level of the defense much quicker. Additionally, no defense can ever ignore him in shotgun. He is a terror on draws. The Chiefs eventually learned this lesson and started shutting him down on draws, but by then, the game was way out of hand.

(4) TE Scott Chandler. Fitz missed him when he was wide open early in the game, but his hands are surprisingly soft and when he is in, he obviously offers better blocking than a generic slot receiver. He catches the ball well away from his body.

(5) O-Line, particularly the left side. Cordy Glenn looks great when run blocking. His size and power were never an issue and he was generally considered very fast and maneuverable when pulling and making downfield blocks. He did that today and there were no major mishaps or noticeable mistakes in pass protection. Wood and Levitre looked good all day.

(6) Special teams. Coverage was good all game except on one late kickoff specialist John Potter did not get out the back of the end zone. Still, it was only returned to the 30. McKelvin had a fantastic punt return for a TD.

Negatives:

(1) Fitzpatrick. Obviously not as bad as last game, but he still missed some wide open receivers. He was never a major part of the gameplan today. The Bills ran for more yard than they threw. He seemed tentative when throwing outside, though that makes sense considering what happened when he did that against the Jets. He obviously wasn't too bad since the Bills won, but he didn't demonstrate much good either.

(2) CBs. They were putting McGee at the #2 slot instead of A.J. Williams for a while. McGee didn't do well when defending short throws because he can be out muscled, but he shows better awareness of the play around him developing than Williams. Gilmore looked better than last game, but he did have a terrible play where he had just broken up a pass in the end zone, he stopped to tie his shoe, and was called for too many men on the field for taking way too long. It was slightly embarassing. I would not trust these corners against a team that does not have Cassell throwing the ball while constantly under siege.

Those negatives are somewhat nit picky but it was a blowout. If the Bills are the team that played this week, they have a chance at the playoffs. If they play as they did last week, they obviously don't. While playing the Jets on the road and the Chiefs at home is a big difference, it isn't this big a difference. While Fitz and the corners didn't look better, everyone else did. There was pressure on the QB from everyone. Mario Williams didn't have a sack, but he was drawing a double team or a chip when I focused on him and he generally managed to keep Cassell from escaping the pocket and letting the other D-Linemen get to him. The linebackers looked competent as did the safeties. The Chiefs offense is worse than the Jets, but not that much worse. Perhaps the Bills defense has figured out the new refs and are playing dirtier. Clearly, I don't know. The win is a happy one because it makes it clear that the Bills defense is capable of playing up to their potential. What isn't clear is if they can do so consistently.

#29 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:48 PM

Bills lose Spiller to a possible shoulder separation today, a huge break (no pun intended) for the Pats.

With Pats below .500 for the first time since 2003, a win up in Orchard Parks (never an easy feat) looms huge to avoid going 1-3 on the season.

Fitzy had one of those "up" games today with 3 TDs and no INT. The fans will be raucous for sure - a win will put them 3-1 and atop the division and make a few nervous Pats fans ponder if the playoffs will be in jeopardy.

#30 Alternate34

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:43 PM

The Bills held off the Browns and hit 2-1. Recapture time:

Positives:

(1) Ryan Fitzpatrick. As Seoul mentioned, he had 3 TDs and no INTs. His strengths were evident. He made quick decisions with the ball and those decisions were mostly correct. His weaknesses still showed up some. He had a major missed opportunity in the red zone. Stevie was 1-on-1 with no safety help up top and had his man beat. Fitz underthrew the pass and Stevie had to try catch the ball around a DB. It wasn't even a particularly long throw and it was to the right side of the field. It would have at least gotten the ball to the 1 and probably would have been a TD. Whatever. I bitch too much. Fitz was good on Sunday.

(2) O-Line. The run blocking continues to impress. Even with Spiller out, Tashard Choice was able to get decent yardage. They seem to do a really god job giving RBs a look at the second level.

(3) D-Line. Buffalo's long nightmare is over as Mario Williams got his first sack. However, watching this game closely, one realizes that pressure on the QB is the job of the entire line, if that ever wasn't the case. Mario's presence in the backfield helped his fellow linemates get their sacks by sealing Weeden into the pocket or making Weeden hesitate with a few throws because Mario's giant arms were in the way. Dareus and Kyle Williams looked extremely good. In general, Cleveland could not call 5-7 step drops without fear, so they relied on 3 step drops for yardage. Aside from pass rush, the line does a phenomenal job protecting against the run.

(4) Special Teams. McKelvin still keeps getting good returns on punts and once on a kickoff. The coverage units could have been better. Potter's leg was not as strong and he shorted a few kickoffs rather than getting them out of the endzone, always a bad idea with Cribbs returning, but there was no extreme damage done because of it. However, this trend will probably continue as the weather gets colder.

Weaknesses:

(1) DBs I guess. It's hard to point out a distinct weakness, but I suspect the DBs were probably the weakest unit for the Bills. The drives the Browns scored on were failures in coverage, either huge holes in the zone or just bad coverage. They weren't terrible, just inconsistent. Another reason for hesitation in calling this a weakness was that the DBs did intercept Weeden twice at the end of the game to seal the victory. They had some other good plays too. A.J. Williams had some good pass deflections after getting soundly beat by his man, but recovering enough to bat away underthrows.

It's a win against the Browns. Bills fans are excited but not too excited because the Browns are pretty bad. Weeden is a hot and cold QB. Sometimes, his passes are on a line and accurate. Sometimes, they are underthrown or forced into coverage. Richardson is a great back whose line doesn't do the best job. I think they will lose the the Pats who will not want to lose 3 in a row. The loss of Spiller weakens them. Fitzpatrick is still a scatter shot arm. Stevie Johnson is their only real receiving threat. However, the game is in Buffalo and the refs seem cognizant of where they are calling games. The defensive line is really good. Fitz can have good days. Finally, the Pats lost to them in Buffalo last year. The Bills will need to play better than they did against Cleveland to win. They looked good because Cleveland was bad. If the Bills come out like they did against KC, they have a shot.

#31 Alternate34

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:11 PM

http://bleacherrepor...d-fantasy-value

Also, Fred Jackson has a chance to return for the Pats game. That should help keep their running game credible if he returns.

#32 jsinger121


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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

How effective is he realistically going to be though?

#33 Alternate34

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:39 PM

How effective is he realistically going to be though?


Obviously hard to say. It was a mild strain rather than a major tear so it seems it would be more of a question of how he reacts to pain and the resulting instability. Will he be timid about cuts on the knee? Will it compromise his speed? All of these are shrug worthy.

Now if the question is about his general effectiveness, also difficult to say. He is never going to be as effective on draws as Spiller because Fred just doesn't have the same speed and acceleration. On passing plays, he'll run different routes than CJ because of this as well. He is generally better running in traffic than CJ and more consistently moves forward rather than laterally (though Spiller has vastly improved this aspect of his game.) Additionally, he is better if asked to come in to block, though I suspect the Pats will not bring extra rushers too often against the Bills. Having more people in coverage and varying your coverage packages seems the way to go with Fitz.

#34 Nuf Ced


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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:42 PM

Fortunately for Buffalo, Spiller's shoulder injury is a strained AC Joint, not a separation as originally feared. He should be back in 2 weeks.

http://www.cbssports...arated-shoulder

#35 DaveRoberts'Shoes


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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

Fortunately for Buffalo, Spiller's shoulder injury is a strained AC Joint, not a separation as originally feared. He should be back in 2 weeks.

http://www.cbssports...arated-shoulder


They could theoretically inject him and he could play this week if comfort allowed, but based on how he looked and what people are saying, I think 2-3 weeks is probably more realistic.

#36 jsinger121


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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:39 AM


Jason La Canfora@JasonLaCanfora

Bills are releasing veteran stalwart P Brian Moorman. Surprise move. Have a feeling he might not be a free agent all that long



#37 mjm3773

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:15 PM

Releasing Moorman doesn't come as a complete shock to me, but the timing certainly does. He hasn't been "Brian Moorman, All-Pro Punter for about five years now. And although he had a great preseason, rookie Shawn Powell, who has been signed to replace Moorman, arguably outplayed him in camp.

I don't understand the timing, since his contract is guaranteed for the season now, and also, he was the holder for kicks.

Edited by mjm3773, 25 September 2012 - 12:18 PM.


#38 Nuf Ced


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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:45 PM

Moorman didn't have a very good game against Cleveland. He shanked a few out of bounds, but I thought that was a tactic to keep the ball away from Josh Cribbs. Maybe not.

#39 Alternate34

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

Yeah, one game would not be a reason to get rid of him anyway. Every player has a bad game from time to time. If Powell is better, hey that's great, but why take Moorman into the season? Weird timing.

#40 Alternate34

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

So that just happened. A tale of two halves basically. Every unit was solid in the first half, every unit was terrible in the second half. There was no in between.

Fitzpatrick was relatively accurate in the first half, underthrew a few balls, but nothing egregious. He capitalized on Pats turnovers with TD strikes to Chandler. Their running game wasn't great, but they had some good runs with Fred Jackson. The offensive line provided efficient protection. The defense was causing fumbles. Gilmore especially looked good covering Lloyd. The run defense was not terrible, though still not good in the first half.

The second half, Fitzpatrick consistently underthrew all his receivers. The offensive line, partially hurt by injuries to Urbik and Glenn, started letting up more pressure. Spiller fumbled right before the half, depriving the Bills of at least the 24-7 lead, and maybe 28-7. The running game evaporated completely. Chandler left the game, so the Bills had no real receiving threat at TE. If possible though, the defense was worse. The defensive line lost all gap control and never. The linebackers, already a weak unit, could not tackle. The secondary in the middle of the field let up yards every which way, but mostly in the middle of the field. But hey, special teams were OK! 45 points in the second half, with one garbage TD.

Deflating loss to get to 2-2. One major question is why the Bills are so terrible in division. 1-5 in division last year, which big losses to the Dolphins of all teams. 0-2 in two major blowouts this year. Geeze.

#41 Alternate34

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

So that just happened. A tale of two halves basically. Every unit was solid in the first half, every unit was terrible in the second half. There was no in between.

Fitzpatrick was relatively accurate in the first half, underthrew a few balls, but nothing egregious. He capitalized on Pats turnovers with TD strikes to Chandler. Their running game wasn't great, but they had some good runs with Fred Jackson. The offensive line provided efficient protection. The defense was causing fumbles. Gilmore especially looked good covering Lloyd. The run defense was not terrible, though still not good in the first half.

The second half, Fitzpatrick consistently underthrew all his receivers. The offensive line, partially hurt by injuries to Urbik and Glenn, started letting up more pressure. Spiller fumbled right before the half, depriving the Bills of at least the 24-7 lead, and maybe 28-7. The running game evaporated completely. Chandler left the game, so the Bills had no real receiving threat at TE. If possible though, the defense was worse. The defensive line lost all gap control and never got pressure. The linebackers, already a weak unit, could not tackle. The secondary let up yards every which way, but mostly in the middle of the field. But hey, special teams were OK! 45 points in the second half, with one garbage TD.

Deflating loss to get to 2-2. One major question is why the Bills are so terrible in division. 1-5 in division last year, which big losses to the Dolphins of all teams. 0-2 in two major blowouts this year. Geeze.



#42 jsinger121


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:34 PM

The 100 million man was invisible today.

#43 Ed Hillel


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

I thought Anderson was a really poor desperation signing, but Mario Williams...wow, what a bust. Is this something we can pin on Buffalo? He seemed to be playing pretty well before his back injury last year.

#44 Phragle


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:47 PM

The 100 million man was invisible today.


He probably bought a cloaking device.

#45 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:35 AM

I thought Anderson was a really poor desperation signing, but Mario Williams...wow, what a bust. Is this something we can pin on Buffalo? He seemed to be playing pretty well before his back injury last year.


I didn't hear his named called once on the tv broadcast.

#46 ragnarok725

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:39 AM

I thought Anderson was a really poor desperation signing, but Mario Williams...wow, what a bust. Is this something we can pin on Buffalo? He seemed to be playing pretty well before his back injury last year.

I'm looking forward to re-watching on Game Rewind before indicting him fully. The Pats played a ton of 2-TE and the Bills played a ton of nickel/dime against it. I'm betting he saw chips pretty much every play. I'm sure Vollmer and Solder had pretty great performances, but I'd like to see how often he had 1-on-1's before really laying into him.

#47 ShaneTrot

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

As a Pats fan, Dave Wannstedt is the gift that keeps giving. I loved him in Miami and I love him in Buffalo. The Pats hung 52 points on them with out Hernandez. They could not shut down either the pass or the run against a Pats o-line which has three different starters from last year and no Mankins.

#48 Alternate34

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

As a Pats fan, Dave Wannstedt is the gift that keeps giving. I loved him in Miami and I love him in Buffalo. The Pats hung 52 points on them with out Hernandez. They could not shut down either the pass or the run against a Pats o-line which has three different starters from last year and no Mankins.


There is a lot of people piling on Wannstedt for good reason. He seems to think that he can change personnel and will these problems away. Bryan Scott is supposed to be the answer for nickel packages. The guy is lost when run against. I want to see what kind of coverages he was calling. I can understand not blitzing. The only credible blitzer mat be Moats, which is not a great situation. Some radio guys were saying he was relying far to much on man coverage without jamming at the line. I don't know if that is true, but something was wrong there. Of course, it could just be that the D-Line is not good enough.

Williams was probably getting chipped at times, but really, there was no need. Vollmer seemed to handle him. They just did whatever they wanted all game. Sure, they had some 3 step drops to keep the Bills on their toes, but Brady had plenty of time for longer routes. One in particular that sticks out was a route by Welker where he basicallt made two or three cuts running around the middle of the field with Brady just standing there waiting for him to finish. If I had more time, I'd look it up in the game recap.

All of this would make sense if the Bills D-Line was having problems generating a pass rush because they were maintain their gap responsibilities, but the Pats just ran over them as well. In general, I think they ran at Mark Anderson a little more than at Mario Williams, but (1) that is a reason for the Bills to adjust mid game (if you know, Kelsay was better) (2) they still ran at Mario. Of course, the LBs did nothing to help the D-Line, unable to establish position even when no blocker engaged them. The entire front 7 for the Bills was basically crap.

#49 LogansDad


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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

http://espn.go.com/n...-mario-williams

I don't really know where else to put this.

It is infuriating to me that they feel they can invoke the "integrity of the league" rhetoric here, and yet they allowed replacement ref's to officiate three weeks of meaningful football.

#50 Tony C


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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

So because of a labor dispute with the refs, the league should stop enforcing any rules having to do with the game's integrity?




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