1 – These Bills earned national awards for Buffalo’s Week 10 victory
Buffalo’s offense put on a show in its Week 10 rout of the Jets.
The team established new season highs in net yards and points, totaling 451 net yards en route to the 41-10 win. Matt Barkley shined in his first start as a Bill, completing 15 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Just one day after being promoted to the active roster, Robert Foster made an impact, reeling in three passes for 105 yards. Even left tackle Dion Dawkins got in on the fun, catching his first career touchdown pass.
It was an unexpected offensive explosion that left fans and analysts pleasantly surprised. NBC Sports writer Peter King was impressed with the Bills’ offensive outing, crediting Barkley and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll in his Week 10 edition of Football Morning in America.
King listed Barkley as one of his offensive players of the week.
It’s weird to even type those words. “Matt Barkley, quarterback, Buffalo.” Barkley was gone. His NFL career was kaput. The only reason he started Sunday was because of injuries to the 1 (Josh Allen) and 2 (Derek Anderson), and the badness of the 3 (Nathan Peterman). Quarterbacks will have better days than Barkley (15 of 25, 232 yards, two TDs, one interception), but there won’t be many who win a road game with a heretofore hopeless offense after being on the team for less than two weeks.
King also gave Daboll “Coach of the Week” honors, praising his inventiveness in the win.
Points scored in the Bills’ four-game losing streak: 33. Points scored Sunday: 41. When you’re in the middle of a crisis, you’ve got to resort to desperate measures, which Daboll did. He designed a pass to left tackle Dion Dawkins, and it worked, going for a 7-yard touchdown, and it actually broke up the route of the Jets. Daboll’s imagination went a long way in this game.
2 – Rookie Levi Wallace plays every snap in NFL debut
It’s been a whirlwind of a month for Buffalo cornerback Levi Wallace.
At the start of November, the undrafted defensive back out of Alabama was stashed away on the Bills’ practice squad, where he had been sitting since he was cut by Buffalo after its fourth and final preseason game.
Just 11 days into the month, Wallace had not only been promoted to the active roster, but he was getting ready to start his first NFL game.
“I just wanted to go out there and compete,” Wallace said. “Have fun with my teammates, play for them. Do the best that I could for them, honestly.”
‘Compete’ is exactly what Wallace helped Buffalo do in its Week 10 win over the Jets. Although the 23-year-old didn’t light up the stat sheet in his NFL debut (one tackle, one pass deflection), he served as a steady presence for the Bills’ defense, someone that the unit could rely on to make a play if needed.
Wallace was the only Buffalo defender to play on every single defensive snap in Week 10.
That stat sounds almost surreal, an undrafted free agent playing on every snap just days after being promoted to the active roster. Wallace, however, hasn’t had the opportunity to reflect on that just yet, as aches are the only thing that he can feel after his debut.
“Feels sore,” Wallace said. “I haven’t played since the last preseason game. Just getting back into it, it felt good. I just need to get back in the flow again. I had a lot of fun [Sunday] for sure.”
3 - Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie bring speed to offense
Speed was something that Buffalo sorely lacked on the offensive side of the ball throughout the first half of the 2018 season. Identifying explosiveness as a desperate need, Buffalo’s front office made a few moves ahead of its Week 10 matchup with the Jets, claiming Isaiah McKenzie off waivers before promoting Robert Foster from the practice squad.
The moves immediately paid dividends.
The additions of McKenzie and Foster allowed Buffalo to spread the field in its Week 10 win, something that helped the team put up a season-high 41 points. McKenzie played well on special teams in addition to getting four touches on offense, totaling 121 yards. Foster reeled in three passes from Matt Barkley, two of which went for more than 40 yards.
Head coach Sean McDermott was impressed with what McKenzie and Foster were able to accomplish on Sunday.
“Yeah, Brandon (Beane) and his staff did a good job,” McDermott said. “It is something we talked about this week. We felt like we were just lacking in that area in terms of team speed, so those guys — both Isaiah and Robert — did a nice job.”
Having a deep threat like Foster helped the Bills open up other facets of their offense. LeSean McCoy feels as though he benefited from Foster’s presence, and he thinks that the former Alabama wideout has a bright future ahead of him.
“The ability to stretch the field,” McCoy said. “That’s something that I’ve been preaching to them. I played with one of the best at doing that with DeSean Jackson.
“When you have that threat the defense has to pay respect to that. On defense, they feel like, okay I can give up a five-yard gain, or a three-yard gain, but you don’t want to give up a 36 or 48-yard gain. I told him to make sure he builds on this. He can be one of those deep threats. He’s very explosive.”