The Bills went down to Graceland last Sunday where it took all day to beat the pesky Titans with a couple mini mc miracles from Tyrod Taylor. The Bills beat themselves in the first half and ended up worse for wear after the hard fought win. This week there are 16 Bills on the injury report, not counting two more put on IR.
Tyrod is not really a good running QB, he’s a spectacular runner, especially elusive in the open field. On his first of at least three great jaunts, he made a defender one yard away, miss him by two yards. Those runs were not just good—they were great, timely, and literal game-changers. It’s somewhat ironic that we fear Taylor running too much as a QB, but he is a solid, 6’1” 215, which is the exact same size as Charger rookie bruiser Melvin Gordon. It took a horse collar tackle to hurt him, which is only illegal because of the injuries it can cause bending legs that were not meant to bend that way.
TT, according to Rex, has also been suffering all season from an ankle injury. If this is how he runs while hurt, Bills opponents are in for more trouble than they think. TT, the magician, also made a ridiculous one handed lunging catch at the two yard line on a trick reverse pass from Chris Hogan. TT returned the favor by lowballing Chris on the very next play, which Hogan made the difficult catch on that took the lead for good.
The Bills RBs and running game, however, were just plain painful. I never thought I’d say this but I no longer love boobies. Anthony Dixon was sluggish at best. Boom Herron had a couple pops but never exploded. Cierre Wood looked like he was taking a knee instead of finding a seam, and an unfortunate ACL injury ended his season prematurely. Injurious bastards indeed.
The OL held its own for the most part in the pass game, but was bullied by the Titans DL, especially Jurrell Casey who dominated. Turnstile Henderson played as if he were injured even if he wasn’t. John Miller came back from injury to play but neither helped nor hurt his team. Cordy Glenn has quietly been playing better and better, one sign of hope for the OL who may need Aaron Kromer back from suspension for stomping teenagers.
With Sammy’s quad keeping him out of his second straight game, the WR rarely gained traction. Hogan did make two enormous plays, one on a perfect bomb from TT, Robert Woods was a more effective blocker than receiver, Marquise Goodwin returned from the injury report to show flashes on two excellent comeback routes for first downs. Percy Harvin was, unfortunately, a non factor, as was Charles Clay who (arguably) failed to get two feet down when he had room for three.
The Special Teams were back to their old dirty tricks. The yellow flag on the opening KO begat a million red faces around WNY and Bills fans across the world. Only because it was usually stalwart Marcus Easley was it remotely excusable. Randy Cundiff did not do a very good Jordan Gay impression and found himself released this week. Denarius Moore was denariusly close to being released, too, after a costly fumble, but showed ability on two returns. Colton Schmidt has been the Schmidt all season though, and is quietly turning himself into one of the league’s most reliable punters.
Aaron Williams stuck his neck out for his team and got it hurt again. A neck problem that has reared its ugly head several times in the last couple years has put AW on the IR-DTR, and the earliest he can return is week 14. The warrior Williams is fearless, and plays with reckless abandon. Let’s hope he’s not being reckless with his long term health for his and our sake.
The defense, however, brought the pain. The Cold Front Four froze the Titan ballcarriers in their tracks, perhaps from fright alone. Tennessee running backs averaged about two yards per carry for the game with 23 totes for 50 paltry yards. At 6’ tall, you could literally just fall forward and gain two yards. Preston Brown was imprinted on the back of Titan jerseys all game. Kyle Williams was, well, Kyle Williams. Super Mario had his way with whatever Titan was in front of him.
Marcell Dareus treated 400 people from his hometown Birmingham, AL, to the game and then played like 401 people at the same time. A force if not freak of nature for 60 minutes, his last play smackdown of Marcus Mariota caused the ball to flutter into the hands of Happy Gilmore, who left his own man to intercept and seal the victory.
Gilmore and his little dreadlockdown brother, Ronald Darby, frustrated TN WR most of the afternoon. Mariota had a 4.2 passer rating trying Gilmore, who, granted, was extremely lucky that MM threw a duck that was five yards short of Kendall Wright on a second quarter bomb.
The Penalty Gods were just plain cruel and looked like they may curse Buffalo again on the opening KO mentioned above; negating a Bills recovery on the Titan 2. A late phantom call against Corey Graham gave the Titans a little hope but that was, rightfully, soon dashed. Overall, the Bills kept their cool in a game that was not going their way for the first two hours. Jerry Hughes was actually seen calming Bills player down.
Due to the Injurious Bastards, Tyrod is questionable for this week’s tough match with the healthy 5-0 Bengals. Andy Dalton is no longer playing like Andy Dalton. TT wants to play, but the Bills may turn to EJ Manuel if Taylor is not 99%, which is 100% sure to cause controversy no matter how poorly or well EJ plays. Shady and Sammy may be back on the field from their own injurious seasons, which will surely hotwire the Bills offense and allow Greg Roman to use all his weapons. Slow starts have severely crippled the Bills offense the last two weeks.
McCoy, Sammy and even Tyrod (in limited action) all practiced today, Thursday. Come on down to the madhouse on Santa Monica Blvd Sunday to watch the Bills put the hurt on the undefeated Bengals.