-As good as they’ve been with interceptions this year, the Bills had not achieved much success in forcing fumbles--until Sunday. The Jaguars coughed it up three times in the the game and all three fumbles were forced by Buffalo’s defensive backs.
The Bills went into the game with 7 forced fumbles for the season, with none of them caused by the secondary. Buffalo played seven of their first 14 games without forcing a fumble and they are 2-5 in those games.
The three plays illustrate the continuing progress being made in the Buffalo defensive backfield. The DBs now have 16 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles this year, accounting for 70-percent of the Bills 27 takeaways. Only four other NFL teams have more takeaways than Buffalo.
-It’s only ten games of data, but it looks like rookie QB
For the season, Manuel has a 52-percent completion rate in the first quarter and a quarterback rating of 60.8 He seems to come around eventually, with his his QB rating in the 2nd quarter 88.5,; in the third quarter: 79.1; and in the fourth quarter: 76.8
Head Coach Doug Marrone says he’s aware of the trend and the coaching staff is trying to fix it.
“You do try things that he’s successful with and knows what he’s doing to get him off to a good start,” the coach said Monday. “I think when you see something like that happening during a game there’s only really two ways to go. You can rely on a running game that eventually will get stopped or you start him getting a good feel and doing things that he feels comfortable with and get him in to a rhythm. “
The good news is that Manuel hangs in there and eventually makes plays in the passing game, as he did Sunday against the Jags.
“The one thing about the kid, “Marrone said, “what you’ve seen over the course of him playing in 10 games now, he can fight his way through that and learn.”
Bills fans no doubt would much rather have Manuel be in the habit of strong finishes rather than starts.
-The Bills would love to see Manuel running the ball as a regular part of their offense. And he had his busiest day carrying the ball in the victory over Jacksonville. Manuel had 10-carries for 37 yards, with several rushing attempts called runs. He ran a perfect read option play with 7:00 left in the first quarter on 3rd and 2 at the Buffalo 22. Manuel watched Jags DE Jason Babin crash down the line of scrimmage chasing
-It may not have been his best run of the year, but Fred Jackson’s 19-yard pickup in the second quarter was my favorite Fred Jackson run of the year. On 1st and 10 at the Jaguars 21, with 3:30 left in the half, Jackson made a quick, nifty move outside as he crossed the line of scrimmage to get into the Jacksonville backfield. Then, he hammered Jaguars DB Josh Evans as he got to the 12 yard line. Jackson delivered the blow, not Evans, and the Jacksonville DB was momentarily stunned. A big first down pickup on Buffalo’s 72-yard scoring drive, with the veteran RB producing 40-of those yards on the ground. Quintessential Fred Jackson.
-Another longtime Bills vet had his best day of the year. Punter
“I thought Brian Moorman did a great job switching the field when we need a big punt, “Marrone said. “He came up with with five second hang times. “
-One of the best moments of the game came just after
“It’s been a long road for me in this league, I’ve been here a while,” Summers told me in the locker room after the game. “This is my first time really, really playing. Just knocking on the door, kicking it down, and getting excited with the team.”