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Autopsy Report: Bills show spunk, refuse to lose

Photo of CB Tre’Davious White after fumble recovery from buffalonews.com.

Watch out, folks. These “same old Bills” just aimed a bright spotlight on the “awfulizers” who predicted a 4-12 season at best this year. After frittering away the lead, the Bills managed to beat the Buccaneers 30-27 on Sunday in a hard fought battle at New Era Field and now possess a solid 4-2 record. They play the next two out of three games at home and hopefully can build on their early success.

Surprisingly, it was the offense that led the way throughout the game. The Bucs found their wide receivers and tight end early and often, as the Bills’ secondary struggled at times to contain Mike Evans and the entire defense struggled to control tight-end O.J. Howard.

However, Buffalo’s did respond with three turnovers and the offense was able to take advantage of the opportunities and seal an important victory that keeps them competitive in the surprisingly tough AFC East.

Let’s take a look at some areas of concern and reasons for optimism as we move into the meat of the NFL season.

Areas of Concern

Photo of CB E.J. Gaines from NewYorkUpstate.com.

  • Depth in secondary. Just got CB E.J. Gaines back on the field only to lose him again after he apparently aggravated a groin injury. S Jordan Poyer was injured on that ridiculous last play of the game and the Bills can ill-afford to lose him. Shareece Wright is “cliff-size” drop-off in talent.
  • Right side of the offensive line is still shaky. It appears John Miller does not fit the OL zone scheme as evidenced by his inactivation before the game. Ducasse is barely competent at RG and Jordan Mills inspires more fear than confidence in the hearts of many BillsMafia members. I’m still trying to understand why Groy isn’t being given a trial at RG.
  • Depth at running back. I better burn the rosary beads praying LeSean McCoy stays healthy because elusiveness stops on the roster after his name. Tolbert is a straight-ahead grinder and Taiwan Jones is more of a special teams ace and unproven at the running back position at this time.
  • Marcell Dareus. Because I’m always concerned about Marcell Dareus and where his head is at on any given day.

Reasons for optimism

Photo of K Stephen Hauschka from WTSP.com.

  • The Bills passed the gut-check test. We’re used to seeing this team lead most of the game only to fall behind and die in the end. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s even been the same pattern during entire seasons during the playoff drought. Start out hot, fizzle in the end. Not ‘no-mo’. Big mental test passed by roaring back to tie the game, force a turnover and take back control.
  • Tyrod Taylor seems to be finding himself. Watching him run in the first half was encouraging to see, something I believe he needs to be free to do more. He’s sensing pressure around himself better and his immediate chemistry with WR Deonte Thompson was impressive.
  • Reduction in penalties. Going 4 for 35 yards was unheard of during the Rex Ryan era. Even Richie Incognito has avoided his obligatory holding penalty in every game. Good stuff!
  • Nick O’Leary. This dude is a flat-out baller. Love his moxie and he may prove to be a bigger contributor to the offense than many anticipated.
  • Home field is once again becoming a feared place to play. How poetic is it that the stadium is now named NEW ERA? Bills are undefeated at home and opponents fear the ‘Mafia’.
  • LB Matt Milano stands out in a good way. Many feared Ramon Humber would be the weak link. Then many feared Milano would not be able to step in. Wrong on both counts.
  • Zay Jones is coming along with his development. Those who rag on him should remember WRs like Eric Moulds didn’t blast into the NFL either. Seeing steady progress and when Mr. Jones busts out, it’s going to be fun to watch.
  • This is a mentally resilient team. You can see the “us vs. the world” mantra McDermott preaches is working.

All in all, it’s been a great week for the Buffalo FAMbase. We got to see a gutsy comeback victory by the Sabres on Saturday evening, followed by the same scenario from the Bills on Sunday. Let’s hope it’s the start of a trend.

Editor’s babble: Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts today, such as they are. You can also follow my timeline on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.


The views and opinions expressed on this website blog are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Buffalo FAMbase, Inc., and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Robyn Mundy

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She’s a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor.

Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

12 thoughts on “Autopsy Report: Bills show spunk, refuse to lose

  1. Great stuff, Robyn! I didn’t know that 2 out of 3 of the Bills’ next games are at home, and your areas of concern are very fair and real.

  2. I’d like to thank the Bills for giving me a win on my birthday, it was a nice present.

    At some point, I felt the defense was going to have a day where they needed to be bailed out. Surprisingly (in a good way), it took six games into the season for it to happen. With the Bills having the bye week, I thought they would look much better overall than what they did yesterday. The offense took steps forward as they got the run game finally moving. Even though it happened at the spur of the moment, the best run of the day came when Incognito got injured and Dawkins came in at LG next to Cordy Glenn and those two bulldozed their way down the left side creating huge running lanes for Shady. I hope McDermott/Dennison uses that more often.

    The time management, decision making at the end of the first half was mind-boggling and infuriating. With only one legitimate shot at the endzone with :14 seconds left, you take a shot at the end zone, not attempt a screen pass. I hope to never see anything like that again from this team.

    While there were negatives, there were a lot of positives from the game. The amount of turnovers by the defense was great (should of had two more). Thompson and O’Leary both had great games. Good points on the limited amount of penalties, glad to see this team more disciplined.

    Overall, I’m happy the Bills won and are sitting at 4-2. I’m still not drunk off the Bills kool-aid just yet, but I’m enjoying myself. I’ll wait to drink some more once they make it more than halfway through the season and still have a winning record. Still too early to know if they’re a contender or pretender, but so far, so good.

  3. The Bills are better than expected, but the NFL is worse than expected. The Bills are very much just another one of the 20 or so teams in the middle of the mediocre mess that the NFL has become…which seems at an all time meh this year…but in a turn of events, they’re finding ways to win the games they previously would have either come up short, or worse, do their damnedest to give away. 3 of their 4 wins have come in that fashion…so in that aspect, they’re much better. Credit to the coaching…ignoring the travesty at the end of the half yesterday.

    “Even though it happened at the spur of the moment, the best run of the day came when Incognito got injured and Dawkins came in at LG next to Cordy Glenn and those two bulldozed their way down the left side creating huge running lanes for Shady. I hope McDermott/Dennison uses that more often.”

    Or put Dawkins on the right side along with Groy at guard. I don’t understand why they’re not using their 5 best guys. I get that you want quality depth, but more important than depth is getting the most production out of your every day starters. Adjust as necessary if/when you need the depth. Let the mediocre guy starting be your decent depth player.

  4. “Or put Dawkins on the right side along with Groy at guard. I don’t understand why they’re not using their 5 best guys. I get that you want quality depth, but more important than depth is getting the most production out of your every day starters. Adjust as necessary if/when you need the depth. Let the mediocre guy starting be your decent depth player.”

    I agree. Is Ducasse better than Groy? I know this coaching staff likes Ducasse as a run blocker, but he’s terrible at pass protection. I’d like to see Dawkins get a shot at RT. Since Henderson is back, will the coaches start working him in or just wait until an injury/next offseason to give him a shot at RT?

  5. As far as Bills mistakes go…Bills just waived ‘Who?’ Clay and signed some nobody CB. Probably would have been wise to just hang onto Seymour.

  6. Hell yeah baby!!!!! Super bowl bound. Ride or die with the Bills Mafia. Can not wait to shove it down Bradys throat twice. Go Bills

  7. happy birthday steve- and glad the bills came through for you.
    i just wish your birthday was in january :)

  8. Good morning…

    It sure was a nail-biter but it was fun to watch a shoot-out that the Bills came out on top.

    Yea Dareus is coming back –spare me for a million a game he should be ready from training camp on…

    The disastrous play calling before half-time was a head scratcher but it won’t happen again.

    The Bills are headed in the right direction and most importantly are been lead by McD who is the right blend of coach. Of course Beanie in the front office is a plus and I can’t wait to see what he does at the draft.

    It was nice that they let TT play to his strength as he’s got legs and throws better on the run.

  9. unfortunately i blame that call on Tyrod. no way the brady, rothlisberger or rodgers makes that play even if it was called.