Tag Archives: Tyrod Taylor

Takeaways from Bills-Jets game

ARTICLE By BRANDON FAZZOLARI / @spot_bills / Facebook – Brandon Fazz

Was this the most beautiful performance in the history of the franchise? No. But, it’s a win and Bills’ fans will take that all-season long. Unfortunately, the home game verse their weakest opponent is officially over. Starting with a road game in Carolina, here comes the tough part of the schedule!


What more can you say about LeSean McCoy. He burst through holes when they were there, he made defenders miss and slithered for tough extra yards. He also came up with one of the big plays in the game when he bailed out Tyrod Taylor on a third and long late in the third quarter. Backup Mike Tolbert showed some good quickness on inside run plays as well.

Where the Bills struggled in the ground game was on the outside on sweeps. Particularly when trying to run on the goal line with Tolbert on the initial drive of the game, the Jets easily drove through the Bills’ offensive line and knocked Tolbert back for a loss of five. That drive never recovered and ended in an interception. Fortunately for Buffalo, the Jets tackled themselves. Otherwise, that interception turns into 6 points for New York.

The Bills did a poor job for the most part in getting the wide receivers involved. Taylor’s nicest throw in the game came on an in-cut to Jordan Matthews where the pass itself led Matthews to the open field for a long gain. Andre Holmes scored on the short yardage deception play and Zay Jones made a 21-yard reception early. Other than that, the outside guys didn’t do anything.

The tight ends dominated Jets cover men early and often. The Jets were so focused on stopping the Bills on the run, they sometimes left Charles Clay and Nick O’Leary completely uncovered. If Clay had better hands, he would have been the star of the game statistically. Even so, he scored once and had a few other key receptions.

The offensive line had their ups and downs. Based on the defensive scheme and personnel, they did an adequate job. The Bills certainly piled up the yardage, but only 3 of their five drives deep into Jets’ territory resulted in points. The good news was all three scores were touchdowns.

At quarterback, Tyrod Taylor managed a good ball game and made some nice throws. He also understood the situation and knew when to throw the ball away Truthfully, he will have to be better going forward. Future opponents are likely to score more than 12 points.


For the most part, the defense was very impressive. New York had no ground game. This defense really flies to the ball. Lorenzo Alexander has a great motor for a 12th year guy and Ramon Humber is your prototypical fast, strong linebacker. Humber had a whopping 12 solo tackles. He is an excellent player. The only positive running play for the Jets came on a third and seven when the coaches weren’t prepared for it.

On the back side, the defensive backs were better as tacklers than they were as cover men. Micah Hyde was a real presence at safety. He is a big improvement over what we saw last season back there. Jordan Poyer was perhaps the most pleasant surprise for Buffalo. He had a sack, a pick, two passes defended and three solo tackles; not bad for a 7th round draft choice on his third team.

The Bills were very weak late in the second and late in the third quarter on pass defense. Veteran Jermaine Kearse beat rookie Tre’Davious White a few times and the pass rush failed to hurry Jets’ veteran QB Josh McCown. When McCown had time, he was able to hit Kearse and check down to his tight end and backs for substantial gains. The Jets only touchdown came on a 4th and goal sneak. The Jets’ O-line got a gooe enough surge for the points.

The Bills’ only injury occurred to EJ Gaines’ shoulder. We’ll monitor his progress throughout the week.


The Jets played decently on special teams. The young kicker (Catanzaro) made two long first half field goals, the young punter nailed a clutch 4th quarter kick inside the five (Edwards) and the young return man (Raymond) had a long return in the 4th.

The Bills got 1 good punt return from Brandon Tate. Other than that, the Bills were below average in the kicking game. Placekicker Stephen Hauschka missed his only attempt from 45. It had the distance but the ghost of Weeb Ewbank seemed to brush it aside at the last moment.


ARTICLE By BRANDON FAZZOLARI / @spot_bills / Facebook – Brandon Fazz


Arizona Cardinals: Buffalo Bill and the Queen


Patrick Peterson

After a tentative season-opening loss to New England, the Arizona Cardinals found their stride against visiting Tampa Bay last week. Carson Palmer threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the 40-7 victory, and the defense proved it can be one of the league’s premier units when all pistons are firing. When it was over, Arizona found itself in a flat-footed tie with every team in the NFC West at 1-1.

On to Buffalo.

Historically, western teams traveling east for morning games haven’t fared well. But the Cardinals catch a break traveling to upstate New York in snow-free September, and they face a stumbling 0-2 Bills team fresh off the firing of Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. That early-season move comes with a whiff of desperation, considering Buffalo’s defense was far worse last week, giving up 37 points and nearly 500 yards in a loss to the visiting Jets.

But the Buffalo Bills lead the league in one respect: they are the only team named after a 19th century frontiersman.

“Buffalo Bill” (William Frederick Cody) was a ranch hand, Pony Express rider, fur trapper, gold prospector, and buffalo hunter. In 1867, he was contracted to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with meat. He set off on a wild-eyed 18-month spree, slaughtering 4,282 buffalo. The bloody deed earned him the moniker that would stick with him the rest of his life.

Cody cemented his legend in 1883 with his formation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, a sweeping spectacle with a cast of hundreds, Indian attacks on wagon trains, stage coach robberies and yes, a buffalo hunt. It portrayed a western frontier that was rapidly disappearing but captured the public’s appetite for tales of daring and conquest–not unlike Buffalo’s 2015 hiring of Coach Rex Ryan, a tough-talking gunslinger type who led the New York Jets to the doorstep of the Super Bowl in 2009 and 2010. But wins have been scarce lately and some fans are calling for his head.

The natives are restless.

Meanwhile, the mood lightened considerably in the Valley of the Sun after Arizona dismantled Tampa Bay last week. The victory was partly spurred by Carson Palmer warming up in a Stay Puft marshmallow suit prior to the game. Really. Palmer had lost the team’s weekly quarterback competition, and the loser must take the field questionably dressed. Check out the video: http://foxs.pt/2cXsWJx.

Palmer’s exploits helped keep the team loose, but their improved performance was likely due to solid game-planning and execution. The Cardinals defense picked off Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston four times. Larry Fitzgerald had been the lone bright spot in the receiving corps in week one, and this time seven different receivers caught passes. And the offense didn’t turn the ball over. Since 1940, the only other time the Cardinals started the season with consecutive turnover-free games was 2008, the year the franchise reached the Super Bowl.

Arizona’s defense strives to be one of the league’s top units, and it was especially promising last week. Coach Bruce Arians had uncharacteristically called many of the defensive plays in week one, and the zone coverages he dialed up took the edge off the aggression the squad is known for. Arians stayed away from that side of the ball against Tampa Bay, and Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher returned to man coverage and called for blitzes 43% of the time, from all angles, leaving the Buccaneers flummoxed.

Arizona looks to corral Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor today, who threw for 297 yards and three TDs last week. Taylor may be scrambling to find viable targets this week though, with Sammy Watkins, Greg Salas and tight end Charles Shaw all questionable with injuries.

The Cardinals are healthier but are still missing some pieces, most notably right guard Evan Mathis, who is sitting out with turf toe and didn’t even make the trip to Buffalo. Mathis had played in pain against the Bucs Sunday and Carson Palmer noted that when he came in Monday morning, “his entire foot was purple.” Medical issues aside, I find the color purple unsettling, as it brings to mind unpleasant things such as Barney and eggplant. I suppose it’s the color of royalty though, which conjures images of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who at this moment may be holed up in her bedchamber in Buckingham Palace, Welsh Corgis lapping at the purple spider veins in her feet.

I’ve gone off the rails. Again.


The following players will be unavailable Sunday, and may be otherwise engaged:
Cordy Glenn, offensive tackle: ankle
Colt Anderson, safety: foot
Evan Mathis, guard: purple foot

The Cardinals’ task today is to overcome jet lag and a hostile Buffalo crowd. A loss would leave them with a 1-2 record, and raise fresh questions about a team with Super Bowl aspirations. A victory would keep them tied for the division lead and help their season-opening loss recede safely into memory.

– Eric Forgaard

This blog is not sponsored by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Bills at Patriots – Week 11 Preview

Rex Ryan has made it very clear this week that he doesn’t like the Patriots, Patriots media, or Patriots fans.

Rex might be a little salty because he has dropped eight of the last nine contests against Bill Belichick, and has already conceded the 2015 division crown to the Pats.

The Bills, however, do have the right formula theoretically to take down the Patriots.

They have a solid defenses that hasn’t performed up to expectations based on the numbers, but is very talented on paper, and they lean heavily on a good running game offensively.

Let’s take a look at the keys to a Patriots victory Monday night:

On Offense

Get Receivers Open: This doesn’t sound like much of a problem typically for the Pats, but with Julian Edelman sidelined with a foot injury, and a very good Bills secondary, it could be. The Bills starting cornerback tandem of Stephone Gillmore and rookie sensation Ronald Darby has quickly become one of the best duos in the NFL. Darby is in serious consideration for the rookie defensive player of the year award, and a case can be made for him for overall DPOY. He has been that good in his first year with the Bills. The Bills will throw multiple defenders at Gronk on every play, and it will be up to Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, and Aaron Dobson to create separation from these talented Bills corners.

Protect Brady: Like always, this is a key to a Patriots victory every single week. Having said that, the Bills have a formidable front four that can get after the passer. The Patriots negated the Bills pass rush in Week 2 with the quick passing game, and one would expect them to use a similar formula this time around. The Bills D-Line hasn’t been as good as advertised this season. They have tallied just 14 sacks as a team, good for 29th in the NFL. However, they do have the hogs up front to get to Brady and blocking Hughes, Williams, and Dareus will be a tall task.

On Defense

Stop The Run: The Bills are one of the best teams in the NFL in terms of running the football. They rank second in yards per game (142.3), fourth in yards per rush (4.76), and run the ball on 48.3% of their offensive snaps (3rd-most). Last week against the Jets, they ran for 148 yards on 33 carries against the best run defense in the NFL. The Patriots will also be playing without linebacker Jamie Collins yet again this week (illness), which is a big blow to their run defense. Shady McCoy, when healthy, has played up to expectations for the Bills this season, and he looked like vintage Shady last Thursday night in the Meadowlands. McCoy is the best pure running back in the division, and his vision, quickness, and cut back ability make him extremely dangerous in the open field. Combine McCoy with rookie standout Karlos Williams, and you have as good of a duo as you will find in the NFL this season.

Keep Tyrod In The Pocket: When the Bills got themselves back into the game in Week 2, offensively a lot of it had to do with Tyrod Taylor using his legs to extend plays. It’s not necessarily the scrambles that killed the Pats, but just Tyrod’s movement in the pocket to give receivers down field some extra time to create separation. Taylor is an exceptional athlete and his running ability needs to be accounted for. Expect the Patriots to deploy a mush rush gameplan against the Bills QB, much like they used against Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl. The mush rush allows the Patriots defensive line to get after the passer, but is more about containing the QB inside the pocket instead of rushing up field for the sack.

Key On Watkins: It didn’t translate in the stat sheet due to a few drops and some missed throws by Tyrod, but Sammy Watkins gave Darrelle Revis a tough time last Thursday night. Revis is still one of the league’s top cover corners, but it was apparent that the young Watkins had a major advantage in terms of speed and quickness. Watkins was a big part of the Bills comeback in Week 2, and is now healthy after dealing with some injuries throughout the season. Malcolm Butler did a nice job on OBJ last week, and has another tough assignment in Watkins on Monday.