Three Bills to have surgeryIt was a big win Sunday, but it came at a cost. Three Bills suffered injuries that will require surgery.
LB Ramon Humber and WR Jordan Matthews will both undergo thumb surgeries after each suffered thumb injuries in the win over Atlanta.
"This is life in the NFL," said head coach Sean McDermott. "This is what happens. Again, put this under the headline of how long a group of men and women can hang together through adversity.
"We're certainly facing adversity. We've faced adversity before. This is only going to make us stronger. This is where real leaders and leadership has to step up and get out in front of it and that's what good teams do. That's what leaders do. I expect that we'll do that this week. This is an important week for us for a lot of reasons and we've got to handle this the right way."
In addition to Humber and Matthews, special teamer Colt Anderson will also undergo surgery on his forearm after sustaining the injury in Sunday's game too.
Matt Milano is expected to fill Humber's role on defense at linebacker. Filling Matthews role could fall to Brandon Tate and Kaelin Clay with Andre Holmes and Zay Jones expected to handle the top two roles at receiver.
Addicted to the processCoach McDermott has talked ad nauseum about respecting the process of earning the right to win. And the Bills got a very big win this past Sunday in Atlanta. But McDermott and his players were always looking for ways to fix some of the shortcomings in their performance.
"We have a lot of room to grow as a football team. We have a lot of work to do when you look at penalties," said McDermott speaking about his offense. "We had opportunities and a drive stalled. Then at the end of the game we've got to finish when we're in those situations and we have an opportunity to finish a team we have to finish. That's where I expect us to grow this week."
Defensively, McDermott had items for the team's to-do list as well.
"As good as it was at times we gave up some big plays," he said. "We didn't tackle as well as I would've liked to see us tackle. Communication could've been better. So those are all areas we have to continue to improve."
The Bills sideline boss also lamented the 61-yard return their kickoff coverage team allowed right after breaking a 17-17 tie with a field goal drive.
"A lot of good spots special teams-wise with what Hauschka did and what Colton (Schmidt) did in the punt game as well, but we have some work to do there," said McDermott. "There are roles on this team for special teams and it takes a special individual to do that and that's what we're looking for. We had a return get out on us in a critical part of the game on kickoff coverage. That can't happen.
"It's a lengthy list and we have to be focused. That goes for myself, our entire staff and our players. Our team has to be focused on the Cincinnati Bengals moving forward.
"I believe it's a big challenge for our building, to keep things in perspective. If we're going to get addicted to anything let's get addicted to the process of what leads to winning."
Taylor's decision making solid on third downsBy no means were things perfect when it came to third down for Buffalo's offense, but on the whole Tyrod Taylor had some of his most consistent decision making in helping the offense convert on almost half of their third downs in Sunday's game.
"I think he did a really good job," said offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. "I think in general as an offense we were better. Six of 13 is good, but we have another step we can take, but I think we did a good job. He did a good job organizing and operating on third downs. The 3rd-and-1s help. The offensive line played well, especially in those situations."
Buffalo's first three third down situations were all 3rd-and-15 or more, none of which were converted. After that however, they went on to convert five of their next seven third down situations.
Taylor had a pair of scrambles for first downs to convert a 3rd-and-5 and a 3rd-and-3 despite being pursued by a spy linebacker in Atlanta's Deion Jones. LeSean McCoy picked up a pair of 3rd-and-1s on run plays.
But the Bills quarterback also converted with his arm. His best third down play of the day came on a 3rd-and-9 from the Falcons 19-yard line. Taylor hung in the pocket with great protection from his line and waited before Andre Holmes came open beyond the first down marker in the middle of the field for a critical 10-yard gain to set up first and goal.
Buffalo only got a field goal on the drive, but it pushed their lead to seven (17-10) early in the fourth quarter.
"There's a good balance there," said McDermott of Taylor's decision to hang in the pocket or take off and run. "I think he understands where that balance is. And really what I like about what he's done is he's put in an unbelievable amount of work to get to where he is.
"I think he has a good time mechanism in his mind that goes off when it's time to move. That's tough to defend when you have to defend all 11 guys on the field in terms of coverage and in terms of a spy. I like what he did in the game and he's only going to continue to get better."