First off, sorry about the lack of Bills rap. Voice still hasn’t returned to non-crackable form from two weeks ago. Should have something for Cincinnati. Thanks for your patience.
— Gutsy gutsy game from Tyrod Taylor. He was still too inaccurate over the course of the game, but he made plays “when it counted” and used his athleticism when his arm wasn’t always there. It was there once, and ’twas a beaut: the long pass to Chris Hogan.
— Stephon Gilmore and Marcell Dareus on that Titans’ last play were magic. That was the sort of chance at a pick you expect at least once from a rookie quarterback, as a stumbling Gilmore recovered to pick off the pass. That it happened on the last play is just the cherry on top. Gilmore, aside from the third down pass interference call, has been near perfect this year. We’re talking Pro Bowl good.
— At some point, football will only survive because of gambling and drinking, and the league knows it. With the start-stop flow of game play and the arbitrary system of penalties — what’s holding? what’s roughing? — I’m not sure I’d watch a second of the sport if the Buffalo everloving Bills did not exist in our town.
— Tennessee? Robert Woods is the only 10 I see, and only on replays. Buffalo’s skill position players really struggled. That’s partly a function of a misfiring quarterback, but something tells me this game goes a little easier with Sammy Watkins and McCoy in the fold
The big question: What in the world was that call on Corey Graham, unless a makeup for the legit non-horse-collar call on Mariota?
The bigger question: Can this offensive line start to open up running lanes? Because the Bills backs are going to need a lot of room.
1. Chris Hogan
2. Corey Graham
Three things that troubled me…
1. Seantrell Henderson
2. Referees’ grasp of the game.
3. The trio of unobservant broadcasters. We can see it, too. You’re the experts. The Mariota/Taylor horse collar difference was about as easy to see as anything going. Brutal. I know Tasker tries hard not to be a Buffalo homer, but what’s the excuse for the other two in the booth? And the “offside” call on the opening kickoff? Kinda brutal.
Taylor gets it again. Not because he was especially good, or that anyone else was to blame for the first half struggles, but the Bills were without two of their biggest threats — three if you count Karlos Williams — and Taylor found a way to make it work despite some clear trouble for his already hobbled ankle. Troubled that he didn’t find Charles Clay more, but 3-2 is 3-2.
Here come the Bengals. The Bills are 1-2 at home, and still won’t have LeSean McCoy. Considering that the trip to London to play Jacksonville is an absolute wild card, they really would do themselves well to beat a good Cincinnati team by any means necessary. Ground and pound. Prevent defense. Whatever. Because even though I’d favor the Bills over the Jaguars nine times out of 10, there’s still a trans-Atlantic flight and the wild grass of Wembley.
Anyway, next week: Buffalo 23, Cincinnati 17.