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From the booth: Bills at Browns

Posted Sep 25, 2012

Now, they’re in the business of stacking up wins.  And the victory in Cleveland definitely falls under the heading of “taking care of business” for the Buffalo Bills. 

With four of their next six games on the road,   the Bills could not afford to stumble against the Browns on Sunday.  Four of those next six games are against teams that made the playoffs last year.  The combined record of the next six Bills opponents is 11-7, for a .611 winning percentage.  It’s safe to say the road gets rougher in the next six weeks.

But the win over the Browns deserves another look.   Here are some observations “From the Booth”

  • It was another Bills victory for the “big uglies.”  For the second straight week, the Bills won the battle in the trenches with great work from the defensive and offensive lines.  Trent Richardson, the Browns sensational rookie running back, was held to an average of 2.3 yards on 12-carries.

    After struggling against the run a year ago, the Bills rush defense has improved considerably thanks to their offseason acquisitions.  On Cleveland’s second possession, on first down,  Bills DE Mark Anderson did a tremendous job of “setting the edge” and stringing out Richardson, a play that resulted in a two yard loss.

    Veteran Kyle Williams says the Bills now have the people up front, at defensive end, to “set the edge.” 

    “Personnel has a lot to do with it.  We can set the edge, we can hold doubles in the middle and when we get one on one blocks in the middle, we get push in the backfield and disrupt plays,” he told us Monday.
  • The Buffalo coaching staff should get a lot of credit for their offensive strategy in the Browns game.  With two games on tape for the Cleveland coaches to look at, the Bills unveiled a new formation on offense, with three wide receivers in a “bunch” formation on one side of the field.

    They used the formation on the 32-yard screen pass to C.J. Spiller that produced the Bills second touchdown.  After bunching three receivers to the right side, the Bills threw to Spiller on the left side.  The Browns were in disarray in the defensive backfield going into the game, with some benchings and upheaval in personnel.  The brand new looks the Bills unveiled proved to be very confusion to the young Cleveland secondary.
  • Leodis McKelvin is emerging as one of the most dangerous return men in the league.  His 20-yard punt return early in the first quarter set up the Bills for their 58-yard scoring drive that put them up 7-0.  His second punt return went for 33-yards, and produced a 49-yard scoring drive for the 14-0 lead.

    The Bills lead the league in punt return average, and McKelvin has been a difference maker. “I think he is an extremely talented returner and he has a chance to take every ball, whether it is a kickoff or a punt, he has a chance to take it all the way as we saw two weeks ago,” Head Coach Chan Gailey  says.
  • Who do you blame for the ten penalties the Bills took in Sunday’s game?  It’s almost double their average penalty total from the 2011 season.  But upon further review, there appeared to be some phantom holds that were called that skew the total.