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Tag:Buffalo Bills
Posted on: September 24, 2010 10:32 am
 

Hot Routes 9.24.10: Where Randy Moss is perfect

Posted by Will Brinson

Hot Route time, people. Got a link you want submitted? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • So, you probably remember Randy Moss' one-handed catch from last week against the Jets. Well, it was so good that the folks at EA Sports decided to bump his "spectacular catch" rating on Madden up from a 99 to a 100. This is the first time anyone's had a 100-rating in two years and previously Reggie Bush (agility), Tom Brady (awareness), Peyton Manning (awareness), Sebastian Janikowski (kick power) and Braylon Edwards (spectacular catch) also received the "honor, according to Kotaku . I have a little beef with the Braylon thing, especially since he apparently had a 99 rating for the same thing this year, meaning there's a 100 percent chance that Donny Moore, ratings czar, is a Michigan grad. No other way to explain it.
  • Poor Lee Evans. He's "loyal to the Buffalo Bills, almost to a fault ." If you're gonna be that loyal to something, make it be something good that doesn't hurt you so much. Like coffee, or heroin or something. 
  • Pretty good stat here from Blogging the Boys : the Cowboys are 22-1 since leading at half over the last three seasons. The logic behind them stinking when they're behind is that Jason Garrett turns into someone with an Xbox controller who can't remember to balance the run and the pass when he's losing.
  • Our buddy Joel Thorman predicts that Jamaal Charles will come out of the San Fran game with more carriest than Thomas Jones. The logic here is that against a weaker Browns defense, it makes sense to pound the ball straight in their freaking faces with Jones. Against the Niners though, Charles might be the better play.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 12:11 am
 

Edwards and then Fitzpatrick; where's Brohm?

B. Brohm will not be Buffalo's next starting QB. That honor goes to R. Fitzpatrick (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Bills announced Ryan Fitzpatrick would take over the Buffalo starting quarterback duties away from Trent Edwards, I wondered why they hadn’t turned to the youngest quarterback on the roster. The one we know the least about. The one who, for all we know, could be the best of the bunch.

I wondered why coach Chan Gailey hasn’t given Brian Brohm a shot.

We know what Edwards can do – a 60.9 career completion percentage to go with 25 TDs and 27 INTs and a guy who’s closer to a .500 record as a starter than you might think (14-18). We also know he’s been utterly unreliable this season. In effect, a disaster.

We know what Fitzpatrick can do – a 57.8 career completion percentage to go with 21 TDs and 27 INTs and a guy who’s not very close at all to a .500 record as a starter (8-14-1).

Neither has been a great NFL quarterback. Neither gives Buffalo fans much hope. So, I wondered, why not just start Brohm?

I talked with Bills Rapid Reporter Mark Ludwiczak about this, and here’s what we determined.

Edwards is struggling mentally right now – yep, that’s what happens when you lose your first two games by a combined score of 49-17 – and he’s not throwing the ball vertically down the field, settling for checkdown after checkdown. Fitzpatrick sees the field better than Edwards, but he’s got less arm strength. Still, at this point, Gailey wants at least to try to get the ball to receivers down the field, and Fitzpatrick’s athleticism and smarts give him two other checkmarks.

Basically, it’s come down to the lesser of two evils. And for now, that’s Fitzpatrick.

But what about Brohm? Well, basically, it comes down to this: Brohm hasn’t performed well enough to win the coaching staff’s confidence. He wasn’t consistent enough at training camp – against the second- and third-string defenses, no less – and though we might see Brohm eventually (especially if Fitzpatrick plays like he’s played his entire career), he’s not ready to take over quite yet.

So for now, Buffalo gets Fitzpatrick. Maybe, we’ll see Brohm later in the year. Maybe, Edwards will regain the staff’s trust.

Either way, Buffalo will be experimenting in the basement of the AFC East.

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Posted on: September 21, 2010 12:48 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 9:47 am
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Quarterbacks droppin like flies

Posted by Will Brinson



Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park .

Up until Kevin Kolb's concussion, it sure seemed like the only quarterback controversies we'd see this season would be on a bunch of crummy teams. Now, the Eagles could still end up stinking, but it sure doesn't look ilke that will be Michael Vick's fault -- through one-and-a-half games, he's been absolutely dominant on the offensive end, prompting pundits to point out that he may finally be maturing into the quarterback everyone wanted him to be in Atlanta.

So, yes, he will be making a LOT of money this time next year, thanks for asking. Because, as we'll detail shortly, there are plenty of teams in the NFL that could use a potential Pro Bowler who can rush for 100 and throw for 250 all in the same game.

But, having said all that, it's necessary to understand that Michael Vick won't be starting for the Eagles and there is no "technical" quarterback controversy.

For now.

Kevin Kolb will get the nod this weekend against the Jaguars who, fortunately for him, appear to be vulnerable through the air, sitting at 29th overall against the pass (an even 300 yards per game allowed).

Also fortunate for him is the game being played in Jacksonville, as far away from the only people who believe there's a debate about who to start under center (that would be the ever wonderful Philadelphia fans) for the 'Guls.

One good game from Kolb and we all go back to not freaking out about Vick starting, watching him perform well in spot action, and debating about who'll overpay him this offseason.

Well, at least until Kolb's next bad game anyway.

The same can't be said for a number of other quarterbacks in the NFL, though.

****

Matt Moore, for instance, may never see the field as a Panther again. That depends solely on how Jimmy Clausen plays this Sunday.

Admittedly (I use that word because I'm a Panthers fan who also dislikes Notre Dame and therefor find myself consistently conflicted about Clausen), the team has looked better offensively during the short stretches that Clausen's played.

He's young and he seems like he might be a bit of a bag, but at least he doesn't try to do his best David Carr impersonation by hanging in the pocket for as long as humanly possible before making ill-advised decisions.

Which, you might have noticed, is what Moore's been doing.

Oddly, it never made sense that John Fox wouldn't bother using Clausen unless the Panthers season was completely down the drain; he seems destined to leave Charlotte regardless of the outcome for 2010. But the early move to the rookie presents an interesting situation -- if the Panthers reel off a slew of victories and make a run (they're not winning their division or making the playoffs, but they can at least try), maybe it gives Jerry Richardson some hope that Foxy can coach up the young franchise quarterback and give him reason to offer the long time coach a deal.

Of course, Foxy might tell him to get bent and it won't matter. But that's another story for another day.

****

Buffalo's "controversy" is only "controversial" in that it involves multiple quarterbacks -- anyone who didn't think that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards were going be taking turns as the official Bills hide-a-mole all season along hasn't followed that team closely enough.

Really, the only surprise is that Chan Gailey decided to make a move this quickly. Or is it that he waited this long? I can never tell with that team.

****

Vince Young and Kerry Collins have been taking turns swapping jobs for as long as Reggie Bush has been immorally gripping a Heisman trophy. However, all indications from Jeff Fisher are that VY is still the QB and Collins' cup o' joe on Sunday was merely because of the Steelers defense and how poorly it matches up with Young's game.

(Aside: Pittsburgh's just good, y'all. People are going to have to start profusely apologizing to Peter King in February if Troy Polamalu stays healthy. Unless those same people drafted Ryan Mathews on their fantasy teams anyway.)

That doesn't mean that Vinsanity is free of getting the hook in the future though; he simply has to keep his head together moving forward, and not be the reason why the Titans beat themselves. That's entirely possible, although games against the Giants, Denver and Dallas aren't exactly that first week freebie Young got against the Raiders.

****

Oakland is now a "controversy free zone." Or something -- Tom Cable doesn't want to talk about whether Bruce Gradkowski is going to start, he just wants to know why JaMarcus Russell is wearing a Jason Campbell mask and still on his roster.

It's really outstanding just how horrible Oakland has made Campbell; not that he was Jim Plunkett (well, he wasn't Plunkett to anyone that has a modicum of sanity remaining anyway) before, but it sure seemed like he could be a shade above mediocre and manage to help the Raiders make a run. So much for that though -- Campbell's been 30 of 52 for a TD and two INTs so far in the season, good enough for a stinker of a 61.9 QB rating.

Gradkowski isn't exactly Plunkett either, but at least he's not Curtis Painter. Although, in hindsight, maybe Painter's job would be a lot less difficult if he just got traded to Oakland and had the opportunity to back up someone who's not Peyton Manning.

****

David Garrard is our final quarterback who got benched in Week 2 for poor play. Fortunately, he was able to pull a Judge Smails on Luke McCown's hamstring just before the backup led the Jaguars to their second score of the day, allowing Garrard to sneak in and toss a potentially job-saving TD.

The removal of Garrard in a painful blowout to San Diego is interesting, if only because he'd looked so stout in Week 1 while the Jags were dismantling the Broncos. Oh, and because everyone spent all preseason demanding that Jack Del Rio infuse controversial concern into the depth chart, only to have him firmly reject the notion that Garrard might lose his job.

It's safe to say that Garrard is safe to play … for now. But if the Jags keep sink further behind the leaders of what appears to be a very difficult division, people could get panicky.

****


Jamaal Charles and Jerome Harrison have to have kidnapped the children of their respective coaches (Todd Haley and Eric Mangini). There's no other explanation for why they see so few touches despite being so clearly the better backs on their team.

And I hear you, Chiefs fans who say "HEY SHUT IT, WE'RE 2-0, HALEY RULEZ!1" Also those of you who say, "Excuse me, Mr. Brinson, but Charles really doesn't do that much damage with his carries" -- I hear you too. But the thing is, and this is the thing: why not, you know, actually utilize Charles? Not that he should get the rock 30 times a game in between the tackles -- that would be silly. But a screen or two perhaps? That's not so much to ask, right?

As for Harrison, he has fumbled plenty and he has seen some shoddy rushing behind a Browns offensive line that only seems concerned about getting to the golf course; it just seems like Mangini keeps putting him in worst-possible scenarios, like getting three straight carries while being backed up against his own end zone. Don't worry, though, Peyton Hillis is there to not punch it into the end zone!

But, hey, maybe Haley and Mangini just really appreciate having two running backs that can handle the rock. It's not a problem like with quarterbacks.

Unless you're in Philly, of course. Then it's a "beautiful thing".

Well, at least until that first next bad game from Kevin Kolb.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 3:49 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 4:05 pm
 

Another quarterback sent to the bench

Posted by Andy Benoit

Add Trent Edwards to the growing list of benched quarterbacks. The Bills have announced the Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start in Week 3 against the Patriots. Edwards has just 241 yards passing in Buffalo's two losses this season. His passer rating is 58.3. The Bills have scored only 17 total points. Need we say more? T. Edwards (US Presswire)

Like with the Panthers and Jimmy Clausen, it’s somewhat curious that the Bills would make this decision public knowledge so early in the week. The Patriots will now spend their time preparing for Fitzpatrick when they could have been wasting their time preparing for Edwards. But the Bills, at least, won’t spend their time denying rumors and dealing with a controversy these next few days.


Though both ineffective, Edwards and Fitzpatrick bring different characteristics to the table. Edwards is a more traditional pocket passer; Fitzpatrick is more improvisational. The Bills’ offensive line is bad, so having a quarterback with the mobility to elude a pass-rush is critical. Fitzpatrick provides the mobility needed to buy time, but he lacks the dynamic athleticism to be a playmaker. His greatest attribute is moxie, which is never a good sign.

Part of the reason Fitzpatrick focuses on eluding the rush is because he doesn’t have a strong enough arm to make throws downfield with bodies around him. That said, he’s at least willing to attempt those throws downfield. Edwards has been maddeningly cautious these first two weeks, settling for dumpoff passes the way Dancing with the Stars settles for B-list celebrities. Even in a desperate come-from-behind effort at the end of the Miami game, Edwards still didn’t look to stretch the field.

If Bills fans had a vote, they’d probably elect Brian Brohm to start. They can hold out hope. Knowing what we know about Fitzpatrick (who started multiple games in 2010), it wouldn’t be a surprise if Chan Gailey makes more quarterback changes this season.

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.20.10 Some box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

In this week’s 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention, we focused on how LaDainian Tomlinson appears to be handling a much heavier load than expected for the Jets. This is supposed to be Shonn Greene’s backfield. Well, the man Tomlinson essentially replaced, Thomas Jones, is doing the same thing in Kansas City. Jones carried the ball 22 times against the Browns Sunday (83 yards). Jamaal Charles, who is coming off the bench, had 11 carries (49 yards).

Third-round rookie tight end Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs with five catches for 58 yards.

Ndamukong Sun flashed dominance for the second week in a row. Suh recorded a sack against Michael Vick (he may have gotten away with a facemask on the play) and consistently pushed the interior pocket.

How about these rushing statistics for the Cowboys: Marion Barber 11 carries for 31 yards; Felix Jones 7 carries for 7 yards; Tashard Choice 1 carry for -1 yard. Somehow, you can’t help but think this is Tony Romo’s fault.

Trent Edwards was 11/18 for 102 yards and two picks against the Packers. When Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards to end the first quarter, that brought Buffalo’s net yardage on the day back to zero. C. Matthews (US Presswire)

Jermichael Finley has his second career 100-yard game. Expect at least five more this season for the best tight end in the NFC.

Should we just go ahead and vote for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award now? Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks for the second week in a row. This for a guy who sat out virtually the entire preseason with a hamstring injury.

Actually, we’d better not crown Matthews yet. Mario Williams followed his stellar Week 1 performance with a shimmering outing against the Redskins. Williams recorded three sacks, two tackles for a loss and two pass deflections. It’s safe to say the Texans probably don’t win that game without him.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries against a fairly-staunch Dolphins D. There wasn’t a cheap yard in the bunch. Peterson put on an absolute show late in the second half, showing his familiar powerful burst and uncanny change-of-direction prowess. However, his show came to an abrupt end on the second to last drive, when the Dolphins kept him out of the end zone on four-straight plays from inside the 10.

Chris Johnson had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at 12 by a Steelers D that has given up just one 100-yard rushing performance in its last 36 outings. Johnson managed just 34 yards on 16 carries. He had an 85-yard touchdown called back because of a Eugene Amano holding penalty (even with nose tackle Casey Hampton out, the Titans center had a rough afternoon).

A week after his impressive return to the NFL, Seahawks wideout Mike Williams had just one catch for seven yards against the Broncos.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss were both held to 38 yards receiving.

The Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 yards on 12 carries. Rashad Jennings actually got nine carries, producing 38 yards.

Philip Rivers 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an unofficial 3 screams at his offensive linemen against the Jaguars.

Shawne Merriman got on the field for the first time all season and recorded three tackles.

Tim Hightower was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals. With Beanie Wells still out with a knee injury, the third-year running back carried the entire load Sunday. Hightower rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown scamper in which he showed newfound quickness and acceleration.

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: September 17, 2010 11:02 am
 

Podcast: Week 2 early game previews

Posted by Will Brinson

It's Friday, which means we're one good night's worth of sleep from getting about 48 straight hours of glorious football.

Saturday is fun, of course, but Sunday is where the real action happens -- Andy Benoit and I hopped on the old podcast machine this week to preview the games that will be played. This particular segment previews the early games on Sunday, and we discuss whether Marshawn Lynch to Green Bay makes sense (and whether Buffalo can beat Green Bay), what the mess is wrong with the Jets offense (and whether they can hang with the Pats), if Jimmy Clausen's time has come in Carolina, whether Chad Henne needs to just go ahead and retire and give his starting job over to Chad Pennington, and whether or not teams like Kansas City and Arizona can magically go to 2-0.

Click play below or make it easy on yourself and Subscribe via iTunes .

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .


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Posted on: September 16, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Bills say no change on stance of trading Marshawn

Posted by Will Brinson

Yesterday, Andy wrote an excellent post regarding the possibility of Marshawn Lynch getting traded to the Green Bay Packers. There wasn't any speculation that it was going to happen -- after all, no sources have indicated any sort of discussion between the Bills and Pack -- just that it makes a ton of sense for everyone involved.

And it does: with Ryan Grant now officially out for the season and with Green Bay only having one more running back (Brandon Jackson) on their roster and with Marshawn being the odd man out in a three-headed backfield monster in Buffalo, the logical move for the Bills here is to trade Lynch and recoup something that will help the franchise in the future.

But apparently, they don't feel the same way and have not, according to the Bills' official blog , changed the way they feel about dealing Beast Mode. (Random aside: I'm currently drinking out of a "Beast Mode" coffee cup; it's my favorite bizarre NFL swag item of all-time.)

Chris Brown points out Buddy Nix's comments at the draft ("our intention is for Marshawn Lynch to be [in Buffalo]") and then notes Chan Gailey's comments as well, before pointing out that in the first preseason game, the Bills lost both Lynch and Fred Jackson to injury, which "further strengthened" the team's belief that you can't have too many good backs.

That's an absolutely valid point -- if Jackson is reinjured, the Bills would need Lynch on the roster to help provide support for C.J. Spiller. But here's the problem: the Bills are not going to contend for the playoffs this year -- they just aren't.

And therefor the logical, forward-thinking move is to take Lynch, while his value is maximized, and get something that will help the franchise grow in the future. In fact, the single most problematic part with drafting Spiller in the past year's first round was (and still "is" by the way) is that having a bunch of good running backs is only nice if you have other parts on the team that can help them succeed.

The Bills don't have that right now, but by dealing Lynch to someone like the Packers for, hypothetically, a second-rounder or a third plus a player, they would immediately bolster the team's future. And that should matter more right now than stubbornly trying to hold onto a low-salary, high-talent player that the organization gave up on without actually admitting that they did.

Update: Marshawn himself talked about the possibility of being traded and whether it affects him.

“No, because if it’s going to happen then it’s going to happen,” Lynch said. ”What will I be able to do about it? If they say I’ve got to go then what am I going to do, tell them no? If they say I’m going to stay, I’m here, if they say I’m not going nowhere then let’s continue to build on this thing and get better.”

He also made a fairly provocative comment about the Bills' rushing attack against the Dolphins on Sunday. Or, at least a reasonable one for a team with the passing "weapons" that the Bills have.

“It wasn’t what us as a group wanted it to be,” said Lynch. ”The most carries by a back I believe was seven. That’s not good for any running back to get a feel for it. I’m not saying what should’ve been done or could’ve been done. All I know is we’ve just got to do something to get on track with it.”

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Posted on: September 15, 2010 6:27 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 9:57 pm
 

Rodgers would love for Pack to get Marshawn Lynch

Posted by Andy Benoit

With Ryan Grant out for the season (ankle), the hot rumor Wednesday is that the Packers will trade for disgruntled Bills running back Marshawn Lynch. There are no specific sources propagating this rumor – it’s just coming about because this particular trade would make all the sense in the world.

Even if the Packers like what they have in Brandon Jackson (which, by the way, they don’t – the guy is a former second-round pick who saw only scant playing time his first three seasons and, at one point, lost snaps to washed up midseason pickup Ahman Green), they still have no backup running back on the roster. Fullback John Kuhn is currently listed as the No. 2. M. Lynch (US Presswire)

Jackson, thanks to improved blitz pickup skills and decent hands, is a quality third down option. But as a featured starter, he has not shown innate awareness or big-time endurance.

Lynch is not a resoundingly better option – he too lacks awareness, and there are major character issues. Still, he is a better option nonetheless. And, there is at least one prominent Packer who thinks trading for him is a good idea.

"Bring him on," Aaron Rodgers said, without hesitation, according to CBS Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Asked about the character concerns with his former Cal teammate, Rodgers replied, "(Lynch is) a great player. And any character issues the team might see, I think in a situation like that, and I think you've seen that with other players across the league, when you give a guy a change of scenery and a guy like that who feels he might have something to prove, and surround him with two guys, (Desmond) Bishop and myself who played with him...I think that can only help him feel comfortable and see a lot of production."

Lynch will visit Green Bay this week…with the rest of his Bills teammates. Expect the rumors to continue to swirl. (If Lynch shows up at the Green Bay airport with multiple suitcases, you can bet the swirl will become a tornado).

Bills head coach Chan Gailey mentioned the Packers when asked about a trading one of his three running backs, but it wasn’t in the context Packers fans (and perhaps Bills fans) would hope.

“Opinions vary about whether (three running backs are) too many or not,” Gailey said. “Obviously in preseason we didn’t have too many, and I know that Green Bay wishes they had one more than they had, so I know everybody’s got opinions on what’s right and we feel like having the three that we’ve got right now is a very good situation for us.”

Don’t read too much into this. The Bills offense has three quality running backs but approximately zero quality everything else’s. Gailey and the front office know that trading Lynch makes perfect sense – expect them to at least field calls.

Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports says the Bills turned down another team's offer of a third-round pick and a player for Lynch prior to the draft. A third-rounder for Lynch now would be a fair price, though considering Green Bay's Super Bowl aspirations, GM Ted Thompson may want to offer as much as a second-rounder.  

UPDATE: CBSSports.com rapid reporter Greg Bedard says that Lynch is not available for trade. The Bills are not even entertaining offers.


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com