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Top 3 things we learned from Bills-Buccaneers

Posted Oct 22, 2017

Shady led a revitalized run game, Deonte Thompson made an immediate impact and these takeaways just keep on coming.


1 – Shady’s back
Though he was annoyed about his fumble after the game, the overriding theme of Sunday’s game on offense was that LeSean McCoy was back. After a four-game stretch in which McCoy averaged 2.6 yards per carry, the Bills feature back broke out for 91 yards on 23 carries to average four per rush.

While it certainly wasn’t vintage McCoy it was a marked improvement as he went for 122 total yards from scrimmage.

“We changed the scheme up a little bit,” said McCoy. “I had more one-on-one opportunities and I felt I ran solid too. Overall, I thought I ran the ball well. Maybe a play or two I wish could’ve been different with the outcome. Overall though we ran the ball solid.”

McCoy also found the end zone logging a pair of touchdowns, including one that tied the game at 27 with just over two minutes remaining.

“It felt good for sure,” said McCoy. “I was so happy to get in there, and the guys up front were really happy for me to get in there. It’s been a while. I’m used to being in the end zone so it felt good. I really enjoyed that second one to get it after that fumble.”

Those two touchdowns gave McCoy a total of 75 for his career.

Tyrod Taylor’s rushing exploits helped boost Buffalo’s rushing average in the game. His 53 yards on six carries helped push the team’s yards per carry average to 5.2 for the game.

2 – Thompson turns heads
There were a contingent of fans and observers that thought he should’ve made Buffalo’s 53-man roster in 2015. He didn’t. Deonte Thompson wound up spending the next two seasons in Chicago. After being released by the Bears, Thompson signed with the Bills on Tuesday and had the first 100-yard receiving day of his career on Sunday in Buffalo’s victory.

“Credit to D.T. and the coaching staff on offense for getting him up to speed,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “I love his attitude man. He loves that mentality that we have, which is mental and physical toughness. The underdog, he embraces that. He made a huge play late in the game, but also some other plays in the game as well.”

Thompson had 107 yards receiving on four catches, with no reception bigger than his 44-yard grab down the left sideline with three minutes left in the game and Buffalo down a touchdown (27-20). The receiver also took a shot from CB Robert McClain at the tail end of the play that earned another 15 yards for a personal foul penalty.

“I just knew what time it was in the game, so I was like if he throws it to me I’m coming down with this ball, regardless,” said Thompson. “I had a corner go route, he made a hell of a throw. I made sure I caught it for him. I didn’t even see guy that hit me and until he hit me—I wasn’t really worried about him.” 

Two plays later Buffalo was in the end zone with the tying score.

“It was great to see him come in and have the game that he had. Me and D.T. go back to the US All-American game in high school,” said Tyrod Taylor. “So I’ve known D.T. for a while now. Proud of the way he played.”

“D.T. was a big addition to our team,” said McCoy. “He just caught the ball and made some plays. He’s fast.”

3 – Takeaway pace continues
It’s hard to believe the Bills can maintain the trend they’ve been on, but Buffalo’s defense forced three more turnovers in Sunday’s win. None bigger than Tre’Davious White’s forced fumble on Bucs slot receiver Adam Humphries with 2:28 left in regulation at the Tampa Bay 33-yard line.

White said he decided to go for the strip based on how Humphries was handling the ball.

“Absolutely,” said White. “Carrying it like that I just went and punched it out.”

Buffalo had one turnover of their own leaving them at a plus-two for the game on turnover differential. For the season the Bills are now a plus-10 in turnover margin. It’s the team’s best mark through six games since 1993 ( 13).

“It’s fundamentals and running to the football and it’s working on it in practice every week,” said McDermott. “They do a phenomenal job of that, coach (Leslie) Frazier and his staff and the players. They see how important it is to winning football games.”

Despite getting those three takeaways the defensive players were more focused on the plays they failed to make.

“Honestly the number one thing about our defense is we’re not talking about the three takeaways,” said Micah Hyde. “We’re talking about those missed opportunities that we had. We obviously want to compliment each other when when good plays are made and obviously Tre’ made a huge play at the end. However, we are not satisfied with those takeaways because we could have had plenty more.”

Hyde himself was lamenting an interception that he had in his hands, but lost when he hit the ground instead going as an incomplete pass. Lorenzo Alexander also forced a fumble, but the defense couldn’t come up with the ball.

Though Buffalo only managed three points off turnovers, they were the three points that won the game.

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