1 - Defense determined to slow down opposing QBs
The last two games have been uncharacteristic for the Buffalo Bills defense. They allowed a combined 712 passing yards against the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most recently on Sunday the defense allowed a season-high 384 passing yards to the Bucs.
Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston each picked their way through the Bills secondary. Dalton and Winston each surpassed 300 yards passing against Buffalo's defense. Prior to the Bengals game, the last time a quarterback threw for over 300 yards against the Bills was Week Eight of 2016. To no surprise, the QB was Tom Brady.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, is aware of the defense's recent vulnerability.
"Well, it is a concern. I don't take those things lightly. We've got to look at everything," he said. "From what we're doing schematically, personnel. We've got to make sure we've got some things buttoned up on that end, and that we continue to affect the quarterback. Quarterbacks drive this league, and we have to do a good job of affecting quarterbacks."
The Bills have this week to prepare for a lethal Oakland Raiders passing attack. Their QB, Derek Carr, just scorched the Kansas City Chiefs for 417 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Buffalo's defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, gave his input on the road ahead for his unit.
"You know [we] probably got to get a little tighter coverage and figure out a way to get a little more pressure on the quarterbacks, but it could happen in our league. We're going to face one that's more than capable this week of putting up big numbers as well," he said.
"But the key is, even if some of those guys get their numbers, we've got to find ways to take the ball away during the course of a drive and either score on defense or put our offense on the short field. It can happen, but we're going to try to do some things to slow some of these great quarterbacks down as much as we can."
2 - Third down offense has been efficient**
In Sunday's win the Bills offense set a season-high in third down conversions. Buffalo went 10-for-16 on third down against Tampa Bay. The most notable conversion was Taiwan Jones' 11-yard reception on third-and-nine in the fourth quarter. The Bills have had success all season on third down. They rank in the top-10 in the NFL in that category.
Through six games the offense has gone 40-for-93 on third down. That's a 43-percent success rate, good enough for ninth in the league.
Offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, talked about what he's drawing up on third down of late.
"We ran the ball on some of the third downs, we did a good job converting on those," he said. "It's an equal balance of running and throwing, and keeping within the scheme. Obviously, Taiwan came in and made a big third down at the end of the game, with a little bit [of a] different play. Just mixing it up, making sure that we keep a good balance." Buffalo's offense should find success on third down this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders defense has allowed opposing offenses to convert on 47-of-100 third downs. That's 47-percent, putting their defense at 30th in the league in that category.
3 - Thomas records first NFL touchdown
Three-year veteran, Logan Thomas, recorded his first NFL touchdown on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The former quarterback, who converted to tight end, caught a 22-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to tally his first score in the league. It was a Hokie connection, as Taylor and Thomas both attended Virginia Tech.
The 6-6, 250-pound tight end joined KISS 98.5 on Tuesday to explain his first experience in the end zone.
"It felt good," Thomas said. "When I came across the formation I realized it was man [coverage] … ended up making a play for the team to get six points on the board."
Thomas accounted for 77 touchdowns in his four seasons at Virginia Tech. None of those quite felt like his first TD in the NFL.
"That one was definitely in slow-mo," he said. "It felt like that ball was never going to come down."
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