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Bills Today: Top tier performers from Sunday's snow game

Posted Dec 12, 2017

Here's the Bills news of note for Dec. 12th.


1 - Top-tier performers from Sunday’s snow game
Sunday’s matchup between the Bills and Colts was far from a traditional football game. It was debatably the snowiest game in Buffalo history, as the lake effect snow band buried New Era Field. Despite the very trying conditions, several Bills players performed at a high level.

According to Pro Football Focus, LeSean McCoy (88.9), Preston Brown (83.4), Jordan Poyer (82.4), Matt Milano (81.2), and Micah Hyde (80.4) were Buffalo’s top-five performers. PFF had high praise for McCoy, and even rewarded him with their game ball.

McCoy took over the game towards the end of the second quarter and became a one-man offense for the Bills against the Colts. His offensive line struggled to move defenders around in the snow as he averaged just 0.56 yards before contact. However, McCoy averaged 4.31 yards after contact and broke eight tackles on his 32 carries, including one forced missed tackle on his game-winning touchdown in overtime.

McCoy finished the game with a career-high 32 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown. Aside from Buffalo’s running back, the team had four defenders round out the top-five performances.

Brown notched seven tackles, which was the second most for the team. The two safeties, Hyde and Poyer, each tallied six tackles in the back end. Rookie linebacker, Milano, posted a career-high with 11 tackles. His performance was good enough to secure the starting job in Week 15.

It’s only Tuesday, but there’s more snow in the forecast for this weekend in Orchard Park. With the Dolphins coming to town on Sunday, the team will look for more prolific performances from the Week 14 standouts.

2 – ‘The Straw’ addresses Bills players
Former MLB legend, Darryl Strawberry, made the trip to Buffalo this weekend to speak to Bills players. On Saturday night, prior to the Colts game, he spoke to the team Saturday night before the game at their chapel service and gave them some first-hand advice about not making some of the same mistakes he did as a young athlete.

The four-time World Series Champion joined the John Murphy Show on Monday. He explained what brought him to blistering-cold Buffalo.

“I’m here because of (Bills team chaplain) Len Vanden Bos. The chaplain is a good friend of mine. He asked me if I’d come out and speak to the team and players,” said Strawberry. “Just really encourage the players about sports and being in this kind of life. I just want to be able to encourage players about the temptations of being a professional athlete.”

Strawberry had a 17-year career in the MLB. Now, he’s traveling around the country doing a lot of ministry work. He’s delivering spiritual messages about making good decisions and having faith in God.

His message seemed to resonate well with the players, as they battled to a 13-7 overtime victory less than 24 hours later.

“I really like what the Bills are doing here,” said Strawberry. “I like the fact that they’re bringing spirituality into the guy’s lives. To help the guys build some character.”

3 - Coaches in booth had treacherous hike at half
The players on the field in Buffalo’s overtime win over the Colts weren’t the only who had a tough time getting through the snow at the game. Members of Buffalo’s coaching staff, who were up in the coach’s booth, had to find their own way down to the locker room at halftime and back up to their positions in a span of about eight to 10 minutes.

Typically, the coaches are driven down to the locker room by golf carts to save time, but with eight to 10 inches of snow on the ground the golf carts were no match for the conditions. The only option for the Bills coaches was to hoof it.

The problem was none of them were certain of the quickest route to the locker room from the booth at midfield. So, they asked any personnel they could find for directions on their way down.

“We had to go through the concourse with all the fans. It was a rough deal, because the golf carts couldn’t go,” said offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. “I missed the kickoff and first play of the defense, because we were kind of stuck going up there.”

“There was a challenge a little bit with getting down and getting back up because of the weather,” said McDermott of his staff of booth assistants. “The staff around the building did a phenomenal job. It was a little tighter than we’re used to, but our defensive coaches were up there in time.”

The defensive coaches were most important since Buffalo was kicking off to Indianapolis to start the second half. Dennison admitted that he did give some thought to going down on the sidelines for the second half to call plays.

“I would’ve if I had known what I had to do to get up there at half time,” he said. “Once you make a decision I don’t think you can change the sideline to quarterback. I think I had to go back up no matter what.”

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