4 Observations from Bills-Colts and Week 7 of the NFL

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1 – Anderson shoulders the blame

In no way was the outcome of Sunday’s game at Indianapolis all on Derek Anderson. But when it was over the veteran quarterback had four turnovers on his stat sheet and it left him supremely frustrated.

To Anderson’s credit, he did what the quarterback of the team usually does when things don’t go well. He shouldered the blame.

“I’ve got to be better. That’s just the facts,” he said. “I gave them points before the half. I came right back out in the second half and turned it over again and they get seven points.”

Knowing the circumstances in which he was given the starting role at quarterback, coupled with the limited amount of time he had with Buffalo’s playbook, expectations were tempered for the Colts game even by Buffalo’s offensive staff.

Anderson, with Chris Ivory providing run support, did find ways to move the ball. On four of their first six possessions they moved the ball to midfield or into Indianapolis territory. The problem was on two of those drives they turned it over.

Charles Clay had a fumble and Anderson threw an interception when he overshot Kelvin Benjamin on a crossing route over the middle. It led to 11 points for the Colts and very quickly the Bills were down 24-0 at the half.

Anderson admitted he was pressing a bit to make something happen in the second half. It led to two more interceptions and a fumble lost for a total of four giveaways.

What had Anderson so disappointed was all the preparation time he put in, spending every waking hour working to master Buffalo’s offensive scheme and the game plan for Sunday’s contest.

“I felt very prepared for it,” said a glassy-eyed Anderson. “I was here for 10 days and the way these guys jumped in and grabbed onto to me. The way the week went and spending extra hours trying to make sure I was comfortable with what we were doing. I probably watched every single one of our games four or five times, just trying to get a feel for it. I put a lot of time in and that’s the most frustrating thing about it.”

2 - Numbers to know

220 – Yards rushing for the Colts
166 – Yards passing for Andrew Luck

5.9 – Average yards per carry for Colts
6.1 – Average yards per carry for Bills

54% - Colts third down conversion rate (7-13)
22% - Bills third down conversion rate (2-9)

26:42 – Bills average time of possession coming into Colts game (31st)
26:41 – Bills time of possession Sunday

2 – Number of fumbles lost by the Bills before Sunday’s game
2 – Number of fumbles lost by the Bills on Sunday

3 - Around the AFC East

The New England Patriots held on to beat the Chicago Bears 38-31 to earn their first road win of the season. Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes to RB James White and Cordarelle Patterson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in the victory to lift the Patriots to 5-2 on the season.

The Miami Dolphins fell to the Detroit Lions, who rolled up almost 250 yards rushing against Adam Gase’s defense, averaging more than seven yards a carry. Lions RB Kerryon Johnson had almost 180 total yards from scrimmage and the Dolphins lost WRs Kenny Still and Albert Wilson to injury in the loss that sinks their record to 4-3.

The New York Jets couldn’t measure up to the Minnesota Vikings. Rookie QB Sam Darnold was picked off three times and the Vikings never trailed in a 37-17 win at MetLife Stadium to drop the Jets to 3-4 on the season.

4 - They said it “We played competitively. Getting 14 points in the kicking game was big for us. It was one of those unusual back and forth games. We didn’t have the ball a lot, but we were able to score a lot of points. Big plays on both sides. Good to win and good to be 5-2 and we’re back to the division.
--Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on 38-31 win over Bears

“We have a never give up mentality. That’s what we have in our locker room. We were that close, one or two yards away. But it’s never one play. There’s a culmination of plays throughout the game that make the difference. We’ve got to find those plays and be hard on ourselves with the film and make sure we make those plays next week.”
--Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky on Hail Mary pass at end of loss to Patriots that just came up short

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