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Buffalo Bills in Rare Winning Situation with Rarely Stout Run Defense

September 21st, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Bills are perhaps the biggest surprise 2-0 team in the NFL. How they've gotten there is even more surprising.

The Bills' run defense, which has been among the most porous in the league throughout this decade, is ranked fifth in the NFL after two weeks. They did bring in Brandon Spikes specifically for that, but he's been only a part of it, combined with improved defensive line play and stout linebacker play (harder to achieve without Kiko Alonso) to shore up that part of the unit. The Bills are only allowing 83 ground yards per game, which has benefited the team in several ways.

First, the team isn't giving up those killer double-digit rushes late in games that allow teams to wear them out and kill clock. The Bills are giving up more yards through the air than they traditionally have at 275.5 yards per game (28th in the NFL), but the team surrendered a lot of those to Jay Cutler without breaking in their week one win over the Chicago Bears. And the Bears' Matt Forte was stymied against Buffalo, and his success would have likely made the difference in the Bears' overtime loss.

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Game Day Preview: Buffalo Bills Against San Diego Chargers

September 21st, 2014 at 10:00 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Bills will look to add more fuel to the excitement of fans today when they take on the San Diego Chargers in an attempt to improve their record to 3-0.

The Bills have a slight advantage with the Chargers coming to the east coast, and playing a game that will air at 11 am on the pacific coast. Still, Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates are more than capable of overcoming that obstacle, so the Bills better be prepared to play their best game.

Buffalo has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season, and odds are they will not allow one today. Ryan Matthews is sidelined, giving Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead the nod in the running game for the Chargers. Neither back has proven to be very good consistently, and Buffalo's new and improved defense shouldn't have a very hard time stopping the run. Rivers. however, is a real threat in the passing game, and Gates, hamstring injury and all, could have a big day against a Bills defense that is notoriously bad defending tight ends.

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Buffalo Bills Keep Egos in Check After Fast Start

September 21st, 2014 at 8:00 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Bills have created plenty of buzz around Western New York with their 2-0 start, but the team isn't letting its early success cloud its vision.

Players in the Bills locker room are very aware of the team's playoff drought, which includes a couple of good starts to the season. Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes isn't impressed with what the team has accomplished so far, and he knows the team needs to stay focused in order to build off of their early success.

"Two wins doesn’t mean very much,” Hughes told Buffalobills.com. “We know that it’s a long NFL season. A lot can happen so we’re just taking it one game at a time, one week at a time. We don’t think about last week and we don’t think about the future. This week it’s San Diego and that’s all that’s on our mind."

The next chapter in Buffalo's season begins today, when the Bills take on the San Diego Chargers. Phillip Rivers has proven that he can play against tough defenses after knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and Buffalo will need to be every bit focused on the game at hand, instead of relishing in the past.

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Five Things the Buffalo Bills Must Do to Defeat the San Diego Chargers

September 20th, 2014 at 5:00 PM
By Richard N. Wade II

The Buffalo Bills face a stern test when the San Diego Chargers arrive at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In order for the Bills to ensure a victory, here are five things they must accomplish to remained undefeated.

  1. Control the line of scrimmage: The Bills have done a good job of limiting teams from establishing the run game through the first two games. Both Chicago with 86 yards and Miami with 80 yards failed to reach the 100 yard mark. San Diego has the 27th ranked rushing attack in the NFL. Starting running back Ryan Matthews will not play because of a sprained MCL in his right knee. A combination of veterans Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead, plus University of Buffalo rookie Branden Oliver, figure to serve a running back by committee role against the Bills.
  2. Pressure Philip Rivers: Rivers is in the upper-echelon of NFL quarterbacks. In his eleventh season, Rivers has long been lauded for his proficiency to sling the football all over the field. He is a five-time pro bowler, with 17 fourth quarter comebacks and 20 game-winning drives in his career. If the Bills can rouse Rivers and rile his timing, then the chances of winning will increase. The defensive line, which has six sacks through two games, will need to pressure Rivers.
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Buffalo Bills Look to Continue Progress in Stopping the Run

September 20th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Bills knew they needed to improve on stopping the run this offseason, and acquired Brandon Spikes to help with that.

It is starting to pay off.

The Bills have held their opponents to under 100 yards the last two weeks. Matt Forte, one of the NFL's premiere rushers, was still held to less than 100 yards rushing, though he had almost 200 total yards. The Bills have only given up 166 rushing yards in two games, which is much improved after last season. They have a chance to keep that number low this week as well.

Ryan Matthews will be out for Sunday's game when the San Diego Chargers come to town, leaving Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead to carry the load. Brown has yet to prove that he is a valid No. 1 running back, and Woodhead has yet to prove to be consistent. Woodhead was a thorn in Buffalo's side in his days with the New England Patriots, but this defense is much improved from recent years.

The Bills made it a point to address their rushing defense this season. They don't blitz as much to ensure they can stay in position to stop the run, and their front-four is still able to generate pressure with the pass-rush.

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