Bills vs Titans Week 5 Recap

The last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs was an away game against the same Tennessee Titans. Who would’ve thought that January game in 1999 would be the last time the Bills would reach the postseason. The Bills entered the game coming off a game where they were undisciplined and inconsistent vs the New York Giants. Going into the Giants game the Bills already had a reputation as a team undisciplined and the amount of penalties that were called against them confirmed the reputation. They accounted for 17 penalties and had 2 touchdowns come off the board as a result of the penalties. Coach Rex Ryan preached discipline and focus throughout the week of practice to prevent the issues from arising against the Tennessee Titans.

The Bills didn’t take long to test Coach Rex Ryan patience as the very 1st play of the game the Bills were called for an offside on the Kickoff to begin the game. The significance of the penalty was huge as the Bishop Sankey received the kickoff and bobbled the ball on his way for a Bills recovery at the 2 yard line, however thanks to penalty the Bills were required to re-kick and this time it would be no fumble.  The 1st half was short on excitement; the Bills entered the game missing many key pieces WR Sammy Watkins and RB LeSean McCoy both missed their second consecutive games as they deal with nagging injuries and rookie RB Karlos Williams is struggling with the effects of a concussion suffered last week. The Bills and the Titans went into halftime with a score of 3-0.

The Bills defense was stout for the majority of the game; however the defense line is continuing an ugly trend of not getting any QB pressure. The defensive line between Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes and Marcel Dareus are making collectively close to 300 million dollars the Bills need to start seeing a return on the hefty investment. Don’t be mistaken however it shouldn’t be said that the pressure isn’t coming by a lack of effort but more than likely from the defensive playing schemes. For the past 2 seasons the Bills have been ranked at the top of league with QB sacks and with a quarter of the season complete it doesn’t seem if the unit will be challenging any of the sack numbers that were set in years past.

The Titans jumped out to a 10 point lead midway through the 3rd quarter and that’s when Tyrod Taylor took the game over and put on an impressive showing to start the charge. Taylor started the scoring with a nice 22 yard touchdown run with Robert Woods setting the edge with a great block on 2 defenders. The score after Taylor run was 10-7; the defense was able to prevent the Titans out of the endzone keeping the score within one possession as the Titans kicked a field goal to go ahead 13-7. Taylor again took it upon himself to put the Bills in position to win the game when after 2 penalties had the Bills facing a 3rd and 23 Tyrod Taylor ran for 24 yards and the run was capped off by a 15 yard horse collar tackle by the defense. In the drive Taylor caught a pass from Chris Hogan before connecting with Hogan on a 2-yard touchdown catch. The catch placed the Bills ahead for the first time in the game 14-13. The Titans comeback attempted was short lived a CB Stephon Gilmore intercepted Marcus Mariota near midfield and sealing the victory for the Bills.

The victory put the Bills at 3-2 heading into a matchup versus the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson stadium. The Bengals have been impressive to start the season and as the enter the Ralph it’ll be an intriguing matchup as both team match up very well against one another.


Photo provided by AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

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Bills vs Patriots Week 2 Recap

The highly anticipated week 2 match-up between division foes finally arrived. The Buffalo welcomed the defending *Super Bowl champions into town to start the race for the crown of the AFC East. The day started off with ESPN filming the morning addition of sportSCenter on site at Ralph Wilson stadium. Hall of Famers Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and the man who orchestrated the super teams of the 90’s Bill Polian toured Founders Plaza where the new Ralph Wilson statue was unveiled last week. Coming off an impressive win vs the Colts the Bills headed into the game confident and it showed through the media. Many players this week took several verbal jabs at the New England Patriots and made it known they were ready to turn the tide in the one sided rivalry. Let’s see how it played. 


1st Quarter: The Buffalo Bills receive the opening kickoff and move straight down the field with Tyrod Taylor getting a nice run of 23 yards. On the drive Taylor connects with Sammy Watkins to get his 1st catch of the season. The 1st drive has LeSean McCoy looking healthy and he appears to have his shiftiness back. Karlos Williams has become a Touchdown vulture and picks up his 2nd TD of the season to cap an impressive opening drive. Tom Brady is welcomed on to the field by the raucous crowd to a chorus of loud boos; the crowd was so loud on 3rd and 8 it caused the Patriots to call a timeout. After the timeout the Patriots were unable to gather themselves and went 3 and out on their 1st drive. The Patriots second possession went a lot better where Brady found Gronk for a 36 yard pass leading the Patriots in the red zone the drive results in a Brady to Julian Edelman touchdown to even the score. The last 2 Bills drives have been slowed the 3rd drive of  the game had the bills start within their own 10 yard line and providing the Patriots with the ball at the 15 yard line after the punt return. With the Patriots already starting in the red zone the possession was finished in just 3 plays with a TD run by Dion Lewis.

Patriots lead 14-7

2nd Quarter: Tyrod Taylor and the Bills start off the 2nd quarter with an interception and the Patriots score easily going to Gronk and extending the lead by 2 TDs. As the Patriots attempt to score their 3rd consecutive TD Running Back Dion Lewis fumbles and Corey Graham recover for the Bills at midfield however the bills fail to produce and go 3 and out for the 5th straight possession. The Bills finally score shortly before halftime as Taylor found Charles Clay in the end zone however Dan Carpenter who’ve struggled all preseason missed the extra point. The Bills defensively stop the Patriots following the TD however as the theme for the Bills have been this afternoon were called for a penalty resulting in an automatic first down for the Patriots. The Patriots were able to maintain possession and went down the field and converted on a FG to extend the lead before half. The bills 2 minute offense failed with a Taylor interception to close the quarter.
Patriots lead 24-13

3rd Quarter: The Patriots take the opening possession of the second half down the field however thanks to Aaron Williams tussling with Scott chandler in the end zone causing the football to fall incomplete, the Patriots settle for a FG. The 3rd Quarter has turned into a penalty filled quarter; both the Patriots and Bills are well over 100 yards in penalties for the game. Brady and Edelman have now connected for their 2nd TD and extended the lead. The Bills haven’t looked impressive since the opening drive. On the Bills final drive in the 3rd quarter Tyrod Taylor fumbled on back to back drives recovering both and then took a sack on 3rd down giving the ball back to the Patriots who scored a touchdown.

Patriots lead 37-13

4th The Bills start the progress to begin a miracle come back and get things started off with a 32 yards TD pass to Robert Woods from Tyrod Taylor. The following Buffalo Bills offensive possession shows Tyrod Taylor ability to escape pressure and run from 7 yards out into the end zone to cap another scoring drive. The touchdown cuts the Patriots lead into half. The potential comeback have legs on a strip sack on Tom Brady by Jerry Hughes, the Bills recover and Tyrod Taylor completes a long pass to Sammy Watkins in the end zone to close within 5 points. The following Patriots drive the Bills are penalized for the 14th time totaling 140 yards to move the Patriots close to mid field. The following play Danny Amendola makes an acrobatic catch to bring the pats inside the red zone. The defense however is stout and is able to prevail holding the Patriots to FG and giving the bills an opportunity to tie the game with the upcoming possession. The comeback however is short lived as Tyrod Taylor sails a ball over Sammy Watkins head failing into the hands in the defender and ending the comeback bid.

Bills lose 40-32


Please provide feedback at Etaylor3rd@gmail.com or leave a comment on the post. I’ll also be away on vacation for the next two games so I’ll be back blogging for Tennessee Titans game on 10/11/15. Happy Reading!


Bills vs Colts Recap Week 1

The Buffalo Bills defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27-14 on a gloomy day in WNY. Arguably the most anticipated 1st game of the season maybe since Drew Bledsoe suited up for his first game as a Bill vs the New York Jets. The Bills did nothing to temper fans exceptions with an impressive showing in front of approximately 71,000 roaring fans.

The Buffalo Bills kept constant pressure on QB Andrew Luck though many sacks won’t show in the box score. The Buffalo Bills defense didn’t give up a score until the closing seconds in the 3rd Quarter. By the time the Colts joined in on the scoring the Bills already were comfortably ahead with a 24-0 lead. The Bills scoring was jump started by rookie Ronald Darby who intercepted Andrew Luck and placed the Bills in prime scoring position. When Tyrod Taylor took the field the offense didn’t stay quiet for long. Tyrod Taylor hooked up with Percy Harvin for a 51 yard TD pass. As the offense continue to gel converting turnovers to touchdown or some sort of points will be key. As the 1st half closed another rookie became involved in the game RB Karlos Williams with a 26 yard TD run on his first career carry. The TD was set up by a dazzling 31 yard run by Taylor where he juked several defenders to get the ball inside the 10 yard line. The Bills went into halftime with a 17-0 lead.

The 1st half showed the versatility of Tyrod Taylor game he was poised in the pocket and showed the ability to get out of the pocket when need be. Throughout the 1st half the Bills kept one of the most potent offensive teams at bay. Defensively the Bills gave a lot of underneath throws mainly to WR T.Y. Hilton who was the recipient; however the running attack never took flight which assisted in the Colts being scoreless through the half.

The 2nd half saw the Bills score again. The newly acquired LeSean McCoy initially was given the TD however was reversed after the team was called for a holding penalty. Boobie Dixon later scored on the drive from the 1 yard line. The Bills were called for an alarming amount of penalties something that will need to be cleaned up as the season progress. The Colts finally joined the party with a TD pass to Monte Moncrief. The Colts scored their final TD with 5 minutes remaining in the game. Aaron Williams sealed the victory with an interception of Andrew Luck near midfield.

The season opening game was a great barometer to get a feel for the 2015-16 Buffalo Bills. The Offense looked impressive as did the new weapons (Taylor, Charles Clay, and Harvin). Sammy Watkins was held without a catch on 3 passes thrown his way and McCoy was held to a modest 2.4 yard per carry as he return from his injured hamstring. The defense continues their onslaught on the upper echelon QB’s last season Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning this year Andrew Luck have been added to the list. The Bills welcome the defending Super Bowl Champions into town and it’ll be interesting to see if the Bills can keep the momentum going.

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images provided by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

tyrod taylor

Buffalo Bills Season Preview

The Buffalo Bills kick off the regular season versus Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (Thanks for Jerry Hughes) at Ralph Wilson stadium. The Colts will come into the Ralph with Super Bowl aspirations after losing to The New England Patriots in the forgettable Deflategate debacle. Will it be far-fetched for the Bills to enter the game with the same aspirations after not reaching the playoffs the past 15 years? As this post is near completion the Bills have gotten under the mandated 53 man roster and will possibly send the most talented team on the field since the glory years. Let’s explore the reasons for optimism that’s throughout Western New York and see if the Buffalo Bills are ready to accept the challenge that’s before them.

Arguably the 2 most important pieces fielding a football team the Head Coach and Quarterback. Typically these 2 are attached by the hip as the QB goes typically does a successful coaching career for the Head Coach. This year the Bills employ both a new Head Coach and Quarterback. Rex Ryan and Tyrod Taylor will look to do what no duo in the past 15 years has been able to do, reach the postseason. Rex Ryan resume is well documented through his stint as a coordinator for the Super Bowl winning Ravens in 2000, and Head Coach of the New York Jets. Taylor is more of the unknown unless you followed college football in the mid 2000’s when Taylor last played on a regular basis with Virginia Tech. Throughout this preseason Taylor has shown flashes of speed and pocket presence which allowed him to win the tightly contested QB battle. 

Taylor has the attributes that can have Defensive Coordinator sleepless before game days. To his advantage at least for the early part of the season he’ll have very little tape to have opposing coaches’ game plan for, aside from what’s available from the preseason snaps. Many suspect Taylor is a one read and then take off and run QB, granted the QB’s which possess the same speed and similar physique have been but Taylor showed in the preseason he’ll stand in the pocket and go through his read before using his legs. The preseason was a sample size of the potential that Taylor adds and it’ll remain to be seen if it can be done through a full 16 game schedule and hopefully a playoff game. Taylor has many play-makers on offense that should make his transition to the starting QB successful. Sammy Watkins returns for his second pro season, his rookie season seen him fall just 18 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season. Watkins was the only one of the famed 2014 WR class (OBJ, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin) not to crack 1,000 yards, however stability under center should have Watkins rise back to the top of the class. LeSean “Shady” McCoy comes from Philadelphia after a down season, he’ll likely have a chip [pun intended] driving him to regain his status of a premier back in the league. Percy Harvin have also been added to the team, though we’ve yet to see him suit up in game action he brings speed and versatility to an already explosive team on paper.

Little needs to be said about the Defensive unit of the Buffalo Bills. For the past 2 seasons the unit has been the backbone of the team. In back to back games last season the defense held both Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning to their worst games that season. The Bills replace the free agency departure of Da’Norris Searcy with switching WNY own Corey Graham to safety to offset the loss. Questions will lay with rookie Cornerback Ron Darby who will start at CB as Leodis McKelvin recover from ankle surgery. Darby has been picked on in the preseason but in his defense has shown a short memory. Week 1 of the preseason the Carolina Panthers torched Darby however he strongly bounced back against the Cleveland Browns with 2 interceptions the following week. The front 4 remains intact with the resigning of Jerry Hughes this past off-season we shall see if the same may be said this off-season when Dareus is due for a new contract.  Rex Ryan forte is defense so as he inherits this unit it should only rise from its number 4 defense ranking to something much higher with his experience and expertise. 

The talent and coaching is there for the Buffalo Bills to contend for a playoff spot in the AFC. Typically in the AFC it’ll take around 9 to 10 wins to reach the postseason, I believe the Bills will hover right at that total. The Bills start the season with several games that can go either way in the win loss column with Indy, NE, Dolphins, and NYG. The first 4 games are all very much win-able games, QB play I’m sure will come into play in deciding one of the 1st 4. The 2nd quarter of the season have the Bills playing the Titans, Bengals and across the country to play the Jaguars and the final regular season match up versus the Dolphins. After the 1st 8 games we should be able to see the type of team we’re dealing with and see if a playoff run is attainable. The second half of the season pits the Bills in 2 primetime games one vs NE and then Rex Ryan going back to Jersey to play the Jets. The Bills will also see the Chiefs who have been let off the hook the past 2 years the 2 have met. The Bills go the home stretch facing the Texans and the NFC East (Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys). I won’t place an exact numbers on the wins and losses for this upcoming season however I do anticipate the playoff drought to end soon. This season should be exciting for all and give us all something to cheer about! Our wagons are ready to circled!!

I’ll look to blog weekly and I hope that you’ll take a glance and provide feedback. Thanks for reading!! 

tyrod taylor

Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers Game 7

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers battle for a winner takes all game 7 with the winner advancing to the NBA Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs. The series have been back and forth and Game 7 should be no different.

1st Quarter: The Miami Heat intends to have both their struggling stars Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade involved in the onset of the game. Wade has scored 4 points in the early going which is nearly half of the points he scored in the game 6 lost. The Pacers midway through the quarter completes a 7-0 run however the run includes 5 turnovers which keep this game tightly contested. The Heat have been assertive on the defensive end which seems to be causing trouble for David West and Roy Hibbert who have been relatively quiet to begin the game. Chris Bosh continues to struggles in the series as he completes the 1st quarter shooting 1 for 8. The Pacers were unable to protect the basketball in the quarter committing 9 turnovers, however Miami is unable to capitalize and the Pacers hold a slim margin currently.
Pacers lead 21-19

2nd Pacers: Coach Spolestra tinkers with his lineup & inserted seldom used Mike Miller in the game late in the 1st quarter in an attempt to gain an edge in the scoring column. Ray Allen appears to have found his shooting stroke connecting on threw 3 point shots allowing Miami to take an early 10 point lead. Roy Hibbert who have been the subject of much criticism following his post-game comments have been double teamed constantly in the painted area by the Miami Heat defense and has picked up 3rd personal foul as the quarter comes to a close.
Miami leads 52-37

3rd Quarter: Roy Hibbert begins the 3rd aggressive scoring twice in the beginning of the quarter also earning a trip to the free throw line. David West also is asserts himself into the game as the Pacers attempt to close the deficit. Dwayne Wade and LeBron James go on their own 5-0 run allowing the Miami Heat to increase their lead to the largest of the evening of 17 points. Coach Frank Vogel calls a timeout to seize the momentum from the Heat as they are in the position to build on the lead. As the quarter closes Roy Hibbert picked up his 5th personal foul & likely will sit until midway through the 4th quarter.
Miami leads 76-55

4th Quarter: Paul George who had a fantastic series fouled out of the game with 6 minutes remaining capping a disappointing game 7 that seen George held to just 7 points while being guarded mostly by LeBron James. In the quarter the Heat seen their lead grows to as large as 28 points and will go on & defeat the Pacers in this series.
Miami wins 99-76


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Thunder vs Rockets Game 2

The Thunder and Rockets approach Game 2 Wednesday night both looking to make statements. The Thunder look to increase their series lead to 2 games to none while the Rockets look to tie things up at one game apiece. As many know in any playoff series in any sport Game 2 can always go either way.

1st Quarter: The Rockets already have made adjustments following game 1 inserting guard Patrick Beverly who played a key role as a reserve in game 1 in the starting unit; Beverly assumed the starting role from Power Forward Greg Smith. With Beverly in the starting lineup the Rockets are primarily a small unit with Center Omir Asik as the only low post player. Midway through the quarter Russell Westbrook is charged with his second personal foul and will likely sit for the remainder of the quarter. The Thunder and Rockets are currently playing a tightly contested game with Rockets holding a one point advantage. Kevin Durant clearly is become the aggressor in the quarter, while he scored over 20 points in game 1, he has showed his will to score in quarter number 1 with his 15 points. James Harden and Reggie Jackson thrilled in the final seconds of the quarter as Harden scored on a layup, then allowing Reggie Jackson to connect on a 3 pointer as the shot clock expired to close the quarter.
OKC leads 29-28

2nd Quarter: Both teams come out sluggish at the start of the quarter with neither capitalizing on each team turnovers. As the quarter continues the teams appear to find rhythm and begin to settle. At the half way point Russell Westbrook seems to have injured his knee in a tie up with Patrick Beverly of the Rockets, the injury is something that will be monitored to see if it effects his play. Westbrook does however remain in the game after the injury scare. Westbrook isn’t showing any lingering effects from the injury as he explodes to the rim for a transition basket shortly after. Since the Westbrook and Beverly tie up the intensity has picked up as the teams attempt to gain an edge as the quarter closes.
OKC leads 57-55

3rd Quarter: Jeremy Lin who so far has been nonexistent in the series appears to have injured his shoulder and will be taken out of the game. The Rockets begin the 3rd quarter on 7-0 run that is capped by a thunderous James Harden dunk. The Thunder follows the Rockets run with a 13-0 run of their run sparked by Russell Westbrook allowing the Thunder to take their largest lead of the game.
OKC leads 78-72

4th Quarter: The Thunder continues their strong closing to the 3rd quarter here in the 4th as the increase the lead causing Rockets Coach Kevin McHale to call a timeout to stop the run. The timeout called by Coach McHale allowed his team to gather themselves as they find themselves on a 14-2 run closing their deficit to a single basket. The Rockets run continues and they take a 2 possession lead with 3 minutes remaining. The Thunder however will not go down easy, Kevin Durant connects on a 3 point shot then assists on another 3 pointer with Thabo Sefolosha allowing the Thunder to take the lead which they would not relinquish.
OKC wins 105-103
OKC leads series 2-0


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Thunder vs Rockets Game 1

The OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets kick off one of the most intriguing 1st round match ups in recent playoff memory. Last year sixth man award winner James Harden comes back to OKC, where he began his career only to be ousted by ownership to avoid paying the luxury tax. OKC will attempt to prove the naysayers wrong and show they have what it takes to repeat as Western conference championship and that James Harden was not needed to accomplish the feat.

1st Quarter: OKC begin the game with great tempo jumping to an early 11 point advantage. The Rockets are showing their inexperience in the playoffs as the begin the game 0 for 9 from the field. Since starting the game fast the Thunder has cooled off going through a 6 minute scoreless stretch. Both teams appear to be settling into the game as the reserves begin to check in and the quarter comes to a close.
Thunder leads 26-19

2nd Quarter: The Thunder begin the quarter with 3 consecutive turnovers allowing the Rockets to close the OKC lead to a single basket. Rockets guard Patrick Beverly has been an unlikely factor in the game allowing the Rockets to now tie the game the midway point in the 2nd quarter. The teams are currently trading baskets with neither team able to seize control or momentum in the quarter. Serge Ibaka however has had several dunks in the quarter for the Thunder along with a block that led to a fastbreak finished by Kendrick Perkins. The Rockets appears to lost some focus as the quarter wines down with OKC going on a 18-5 run aided by the Rockets turnovers many which were unforced.
Thunder leads 60-47

3rd Quarter: OKC has come out aggressive which has allowed them to extend their lead up to 22 points. Serge Ibaka continues to have an impact on the game connecting on several shots from 3 point range. Meanwhile the Rockets have become stagnate on offense going through long periods of scoring droughts which the Thunder have been able to capitalized upon. Russell Westbrook finished the quarter with an impressive end to end layup that gives the Thunder their largest lead of the game. Westbrook currently stand 2 rebound shy of a triple double.
Thunder leads 89-66

4th Quarter: Kevin Durant begins the quarter with a soaring dunk that was capped by a two 3 point shots in the corner by veteran Derek Fisher to give the Thunder an insurmountable lead of 33 points the Thunder are in full control! The Rockets have emptied their bench ultimately conceding victory to the OKC Thunder.
Thunder wins
Thunder lead series 1-0