1 - Tate makes contributions against former team
One of the surprise performers from yesterday's game was Brandon Tate. He was inactive in Week Four against the Atlanta Falcons, but made the most out of his opportunities in Week Five against his former team.
Tate was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011-2015. He spent most of his time there serving as a wide receiver and a return man. Similar to his role here in Buffalo. The nine-year veteran's last touchdown was in 2015 with the Bengals. That all changed yesterday, when Tate tip-toed his way to six points.
Tyrod Taylor threw a stellar 12-yard touchdown pass to Tate in tight coverage. The score marked Tate's first touchdown with the Buffalo Bills.
"That was a great throw by the quarterback. Good job by the o-line holding their blocks," Tate said.
Offense wasn't the only phase of the game where Tate had an impact. He had a huge 40-yard punt return that ended up placing the Bills on the Bengals 12-yard line.
"I knew around that time of the game it was time for a play. Me personally I thought I started slow. I told the coaches I have to play better," Tate said. "I made a play, but just came up short today."
Tate was disappointed that he didn't bring the punt all the way back for a touchdown.
2 - Taylor tosses first turnover since Week One
It took well over 100 passing attempts, but Tyrod Taylor has finally thrown an interception. Taylor's last interception was on the Bills first drive in Week One against the New York Jets.
Buffalo's game plan early was to throw the ball. Taylor threw it a ton in the first half. He had more attempts in the first half (25) than he did in the entire game last week (20) against the Atlanta Falcons. In the end Taylor finished with 37 passes against the Cincinnati Bengals, a season high. Eventually that caught up to the signal caller, as his last pass of the game was picked off.
"Just trying to get a ball down field to Zay and was obviously high, bad ball, interception," Taylor said.
The Bills defense gave their offense many opportunities to put up points. They forced three turnovers on the Bengals, two interceptions and a fumble. Taylor talked about needing to convert on those turnovers.
"We had a bunch of opportunities, left some plays out there on the field. We didn't convert on a couple of turnovers that the defense did a good job at getting us the ball back," he said. "Offense didn't play the way we needed to win this game… I'll take the blame for that."
3 - Streak of holding QB and WRs down ends
Dating back to Week Eight and Nine of last year, the Bills haven't allowed a 300-yard passer or a 100-yard receiver in a game. Their streak came to an end Sunday in a 20-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. A.J. Green and Andy Dalton were the players who had big days against the Bills defense.
Entering the Bengals game, the Bills hadn't allowed a 300-yard passer in 12 games. That streak stretches back to Oct. 30, 2016. Dalton snapped that streak with a 328-yard passing performance.
Buffalo also hadn't allowed a 100-yard receiver in 11 games entering the Week Five matchup. The last receiver to go for triple digits was Jimmy Graham on Nov. 7, 2016. Green ended that feat with 189 yards receiving on Sunday including a long touchdown in the first half.
"It just looked like a good throw good catch. We have to make sure we're in lead position and on top of those routes," Sean McDermott commented on the 77-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Green. "That's not how we play defense." Part of the problem was the injury suffered by slot corner Leonard Johnson. His hamstring injury forced Shareece Wright to move to the slot and put rookie Greg Mabin outside opposite fellow rookie Tre'Davious White.
"We had two rookies out there at corner," Wright said. "He made just two big plays on us and he's going to get those from time to time, but we have to overcome that and deal with the adversity that brings to us and keep our calm and our poise and keep playing."
The Bills are entering their bye week where they can recuperate from the loss. The team resumes play in Week Seven at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They'll look to start a new streak of preventing big plays.
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