At this point, the Buffalo Bills have surprised the NFL starting off at 5-2. They took down a tough Denver Broncos team as well as the Atlanta Falcons. This stretch was painful for the team. Football during this time was very crucial for the Bills and the team took a major step back in three out of these four games.
Facing the New York Jets for a second time, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs were tough games to watch for Bills fans. It included unproductive offensive play, a defense that could not stop any type of play and a switch up at quarterback at one point.
Week 9: @ New York Jets
After their first victory over the Jets in Week 1, the two teams split the season series after this game. This game was the start of a mini fall down for the Bills.
Other than the run game, the Bills offense managed their time very well and kept it close in the first half. However, that wasn’t the case the second half. It was an all out painful and disturbing game to watch in the second half for Bills fans.
Letting the game get away from the team and allowing 24 second half points was a big disappointment. Tyrod Taylor was taken down seven times in the game which took away the second half for the Bills. The Jets ran for a total of 191 yards and three touchdowns, two by Matt Forte.
Bills receivers Deonte Thompson and Zay Jones were the most productive in the pass, until Jones suffered a game-ending knee injury, taking a weapon away from Taylor.
Overall, this game was just not one for the Bills. Starting out hot at 5-2, the team needed to cool down but their performance was not even decent. The Bills would fall to the Jets 34-21 and look to bounce back the following week against the Saints….or would they?
Week 10: New Orleans Saints
The next two games looked like the Bills that have been playing since 2004. Sloppy play and nothing could get going on either side of the ball. When the Bills traded Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars a couple weeks back, they lost a major run stopper in the middle. This game would prove that their run defense would eventually suffer without a big man in the middle.
The Bills offense had a total 198 yards in the game. The Saints running game put up 298 yards between the two headed monster of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Even backup running back Trey Edmunds ran for 48 yards and a score. The Bills only decent drive in almost the entire game was their first when they went on the board first with a field goal. From there on out, this game belonged to the Saints on both sides of the ball.
Ingram put on a show of 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Kamara added on 106 rushing yards and one touchdown. It was the running game that got the best of the Bills. Drew Brees was limited surprisingly in the pass, but he didn’t he need to throw it cause his running backs did all the work. The Saints took the Bills secondary out of the game and made the defensive try and make plays, which they clearly did not do.
Taylor and the Bills offense looked weak and scared. Taylor had 56 passing yards and one interception before being replaced by Nathan Peterman in the fourth quarter, who led the Bills to their first touchdown of the game. LeSean McCoy was once again unproductive and their run game was useless.
The Saints would end up taking this game by a long shot of 47-10. Now comes the question, what would happen with Taylor going into the following week?
Week 11: @ Los Angles Chargers
Talk about pure misery for the Bills in this game. Sean McDermott decided to bench his starting quarterback in Taylor for rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman. Peterman, who showed little signs of potential in the prior week’s blowout loss to the Saints, showed that he was not ready for the pressure as an NFL starting quarterback.
With the “hype” that was surrounding Peterman going into this game, it showed that hype can be just all talk and no production. Throwing five interceptions in the first half was not apart of the game plan. To be fair, one interception was caused by Patrick DiMarco who bobbled the ball up in the air and allowed Korey Toomer to return it to the house for the first score of the game. Another interception was caused by Joey Bosa who hit Peterman as he was throwing it and lost control of the ball as it went up and was caught by Tre Boston. Two interceptions, it’s hard to put those on Peterman but the other three are hard to argue that they weren’t his fault.
Peterman finished with 66 passing yards, five interceptions and one fumble. Resulting in this poor performance, Taylor came back into the game but it seemed that the Chargers had this game put away by halftime as they led 37-7. The combo of Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy put on a show for the Bills, getting back to the dangerous duo that they can be. Still, was not even close at any point of the game.
Keenan Allen had a game with 12 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. In one of the few games that the Bills secondary struggled, this was one of them.
The Chargers finished with a 54-24 game and sent the Bills down to 5-5 on the season.
Week 12: @ Kansas City Chiefs
In a must bounce back game for the Bills, it was the defense that led the way. With a Chiefs team who were in a slump, this was a great opportunity for the Bills to get back on track.
One of the biggest factors in a Bills win was stopping the Chiefs running game. The Chiefs ran for a total of 55 yards against one of the league’s worst rushing defense. Alex Smith was contained in the passing game. Throwing for under 200 yards and only one touchdown was a bit surprising. The Smith that was playing in the beginning of the season which included an impressive showing over the New England Patriots in Week 1, was certainly not himself.
The Bills defense were all over the Chiefs. Whether it was bringing Smith down or just causing pressure, it worked. The play of the game? Tre’Davious White sealed the game winning interception on the Chiefs final drive. A hard fought battle by the Bills earned them their first victory in three weeks and bumped them up to 6-5, still standing tall and seeking a playoff spot.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills for Buffalo Bills Coverage.