1. Buffalo believes Cincinnati is a dangerous opponent for this reason
Last year, the Bills were in the Cincinnati Bengals situation. Buffalo was 0-2 before earning their first victory in a Week 3 upset over the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Bills don’t want the script flipped and lose their home opener this Sunday.
“We just have to understand that no one wants to be 0-3 in this business,” Jerry Hughes said. “So they’re going to come out and they’re going to give us the best game. We’ve got to match that intensity with the same energy that our fans are going to bring into the stadium.”
Hughes is familiar with Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, each attended Texas Christian University at the same time. Dalton leads the NFL in completions this season with 61 and has thrown for 729 yards and four touchdowns in the Bengals first two games.
“It’s always the next game in hand. We understand it’s going to be a tall order. Andy [Dalton] and this offense, he’s been throwing for 300 yards a game so far. Both receivers are putting up big numbers, he’s got two strong runners and he’s got a great offensive line. We understand it’s going to be a tall task for us.”
2. What did Bengals QB Andy Dalton have to say about Tyler Kroft?
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he won’t receive as warm a welcome this time at New Era Field. Dalton and the Bengals were integral to the Bills playoff drought ending and Buffalo reaching the playoffs in 2017. In response, Buffalo fans donated over $400,000 to his foundation, he says.
As familiar as this city has become with Dalton, one thing Buffalo fans have been waiting to see is Tyler Kroft hit the field. Kroft has been sidelined since the second day of OTAs with a foot injury. On Wednesday, Kroft was a full practice participant for the first time.
“He’s a do-it-all tight end,” Dalton said. “He goes really hard in the run game, understands offenses really well. I know when he was here he was a true pro. He handled everything in the right way. In the passing game too he can do it all so he’s a guy that I really enjoyed having here and I know he’s going to be successful. Obviously he’s had the injuries that have set him back, I think this will be his first week back, and I’m happy to see him again on the football field.”
Across his four NFL seasons Kroft has accumulated 661 yards and eight touchdowns. His best season was in 2017 where he had 42 receptions for 404 yards and seven touchdowns.
3. Wide receivers prove to be an important part of Bills run game
There’s been a common theme on the majority of the Bills touchdown runs. On each of the runs last Sunday there was at least one non-offensive lineman blocking downfield. Josh Allen’s touchdown run involved Mitch Morse and Jon Feliciano pulling to lead the blocks while Frank Gore was threw a block late to allow Allen to reach the goal line.
Allen says his teammates have bought into the mentality of blocking downfield.
“It’s extremely important for us. We take pride in what we do,” Allen said. “Our receivers know during the run plays they’re not getting the ball but they’re still doing their job and blocking on the field. Everybody wanted to go celebrate with Isaiah McKenzie on the little jet sweep on Sunday but I was the first to go over to get Dawson Knox and make sure he knew that I understood what he did and how crucial it was.”
Allen followed up by stating the way the Bills practice translate into the way they play in games.