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The Breakdown: Marcus Murphy's returns provide a bright spot in week 1 loss


On a day where yardage was hard to come by on offense, the exploits of Marcus Murphy were a welcome sight.

Murphy, operating as the team's primary kick returner, averaged 33 yards per return and helped set the offense up in positive field position for drive starts.

His returns on the day went for 28, 25, 36, 27 and 49 yards to give Buffalo's offense drive starts at their own 32, 25, 40, 27 and 49-yard lines respectively.

Murphy also had a punt return for nine yards as he split duty with Jeremy Kerley.

He was also the team's leading rusher come game's end with 31 yards on six carries.

All told, Murphy's yardage gained on five kick returns (165) exceeded the yardage gained by Buffalo's offense on 153 on 61 plays.

Numbers to know


Buffalo went 0-for-7 on third down conversions in the first half, but the big reason why was they were stuck in long down and distance situations. Of the 23 plays the offense ran in the first half, nine of them had distances of more than 10 yards to reach the first down marker.

Whether it was lost yardage on run plays, holding penalties, false starts or sacks, the Bills offense was behind schedule most of the first half. Buffalo went 2-for-15 on third down conversions in the game.


The Bills first half penalty yardage more than doubled Buffalo's total net yards on offense in the first half (33). Buffalo committed seven, first-half penalties. By game's end the Bills had drawn 10 yellow flags for a total of 100 yards. The offense proved to be the most egregious offender with seven penalties for 65 yards.


That was the number of possessions for Buffalo's offense that resulted in negative yardage. Seven of Buffalo's 15 possessions in the game went backwards. Those seven drives went for minus-26 yards.


The total number of tackles for Buffalo's three starting linebackers. Matt Milano paced the defense with a team-leading eight tackles, including two for loss. He also had a fumble recovery.

Tremaine Edmunds had seven tackles in his rookie debut and became the first rookie to record a sack and a forced fumble on kickoff weekend since 2015, when Preston Smith and Angelo Blackson did it.

Lorenzo Alexander had six tackles, including a de-cleater on the Baltimore sideline. He also had a pass breakup.

Around the AFC East

- The Miami Dolphins opener against the Tennessee Titans was delayed due to lightning. The game didn't finish until almost 8 pm. Miami scored 17 fourth quarter points to defeat in a 27-20 victory.

- The New England Patriots opened their 2018 campaign with a victory as they were a touchdown better than the Houston Texans in a 27-20 win.

- The New York Jets play Monday night against the Detroit Lions.

How'd the Chargers do?

- Buffalo's Week 2 opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers ran into a buzz saw in their division rival Kansas City. Tyreek Hill provided three touchdowns, two on touchdown catches from Pat Mahomes and one on a 91-yard punt return. It helped the Chiefs sprint out to a 31-12 lead before ultimately beating L.A. by a final of 38-28.

Around the NFL: They said it

- "I'm disappointed for our fans, didn't want them to go home without a victory. Didn't want our players to go home without a victory. So we weren't able to get it done -- didn't finish it. Obviously a tie -- a tie."

--Browns coach Hue Jackson after Cleveland's 21-21 OT tie with Pittsburgh

- "It's fun to be out there thinking you're going to score on every possession. It had nothing to do with who we were going against, it was just the confidence we had going into the game."

--Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick after Tampa Bay's 48-40 win at New Orleans

- "It was amazing. It was a great feeling, but it was a feeling that came and went. One touchdown is not going to win the game, and that touchdown didn't win the game this week, but to get in there, it was a dream come true to find the end zone."

--Giants RB Saquon Barkley on his first career rushing touchdown

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