1 - McDermott appears on multiple midseason award lists
First-year head coach, Sean McDermott, is officially midway through his first regular season. He's led the Buffalo Bills to 5-3 and he's receiving recognition for it.
If the season were to end today, McDermott and Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams would be highly considered for Coach of the Year. They're both in their rookie seasons and changing the fortunes of their franchises.CBS Sports came out with their 2017 NFL Midseason Awards. This is what Will Brinson had on why McDermott edges out McVay.
Really tough call between this [Sean McDermott] and Sean McVay for me, but the biggest difference I think is the Bills winning in the Patriots division and doing it with a lot less talent. Turning this roster into chicken salad after trading away Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby (and then later dealing Marcell Dareus) is crazy impressive. One more win and they beat their projected Vegas total of 6.5.
McDermott is more than familiar with winning. During his six seasons with Carolina prior to coming to Buffalo he tallied three division titles and a trip to Super Bowl 50. Before his days with the Panthers he was with the Philadelphia Eagles for 12 seasons. There he contributed to six division titles, five NFC Championship appearances, and a trip to Super Bowl 39.
Buffalo's new head coach has brought his winning ways to Orchard Park. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports believes McDermott gives the Bills a chance of ending their 17-season playoff drought.
He's taken a mediocre Bills team and fashioned them into winners… This team stands in stark contrast to the mistake-laden Rex Ryan outfits that preceded it. And now they have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
McDermott will have a chance to add to his already impressive resume next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The game's at New Era Field where McDermott is a perfect 4-0. He's the first Bills head coach in franchise history to win his first four home games. A win against the Saints would extend that record to five.
2 - Experts recognize Hyde on midseason All-Pro teams
The Bills landed Micah Hyde this offseason and he's been their full-time starting safety ever since. Hyde spent his first four seasons in Green Bay and was never an every-down player. He's practically on the field every snap for Buffalo and it's resulting in a career year.
Chris Simms of Bleacher Report came up with an NFL All-Midseason Team. He recognized Hyde for his strong play and elected him to that team.
Safety Micah Hyde was a massive acquisition for the Buffalo Bills in the offseason. A lot like [Devin] McCourty, Hyde is extremely versatile. Not only is he great in the middle of the field, but he also can come down in the box to make tackles and play man coverage like a corner.
Hyde's athleticism is evident on the field, but his numbers are there to back it up. He's the NFL leader in interceptions with five. He also has the most passes defended in the league among safeties with eight. His fellow safety, Jordan Poyer, is right behind with seven. Simms mentioned the playmaking ability of Hyde.
*Hyde understands how the Buffalo secondary is being attacked, and if a ball touches his hands, he's going to make the catch. It's no fluke that he already has eight passes defended and five interceptions. That's the type of playmaking ability I want in my secondary.
3 - Buffalo's top performers in Week Nine
The Bills 34-21 loss to the New York Jets was disappointing, but you can't help but to be satisfied with a 5-3 mark midseason. As Week 10 approached let's see who performed well in Week Nine for Buffalo.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Bills had five players with a grade of 80 or higher against the Jets. The team's top-five performers were: Kyle Williams (86.1), Leonard Johnson (85.8), Preston Brown (84.8), Zay Jones (82.3), and Ryan Davis (81.3).
Brown led the way for the Bills on Thursday with eight tackles. Here's what PFF said about the linebacker after his solid game.
Brown was one of the few players who played pretty well against the run. He had six defensive stops overall, five in run defense and one in coverage. Brown missed a tackle, but on a night where the Bills had 12 players combine for 22 missed tackles, doesn't seem quite as bad and his five run stops outweighed the one missed tackle.
Buffalo returns to New Era Field in Week 10 and is going to need a more collective effort to avoid a two-game skid.
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