No. 9 – Buffalo Bills
Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy are the Chris Taylor and Justin Turner of the Bills, setting the table for everything else.
This week: vs. Raiders, a critical AFC contention game
No. 9 – Buffalo Bills
Picked up to the Bills' broadcast team toward the end of Buffalo's close call against the Bucs. They really get their money's worth out of Steven Hauschka: He's Hausch-money ... The Bills are playin' with Hausch-money ... It's the game-winner from Hausch-money. Tyrod Taylor to Nick O'Leary made the Bucs' defense look like ... wait for it ... a Hausch of cards. That was a heckuva effort from Buffalo's full-Hausch backfield, with LeSean McCoy, Mike Tolbert and Taylor. Newly signed receiver Deonte Thompson proved to be quite the rental ... Hausch ... OK, I'm done.
No. 10 – Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills continue to find ways to win. They dominated the Buccaneers early, ran the ball well, and Tyrod Taylor made some big plays off play action and the bootleg.
Perhaps more importantly, Buffalo seems to have found some receiving help. Former quarterback Logan Thomas—now a tight end—had a big touchdown grab. the Bills need him to contribute with Charles Clay out. Wideout Deonte Thompson had a breakout game with four catches and 107 yards.
If these receivers can help add an explosive element to the offense, Buffalo could be dangerous. This is already a balanced team, and the defense isn't going to beat itself. The one concern is that Buffalo lacks the kind of cornerbacks who can consistently play man defense. Against elite receivers, this has and will continue to be an issue.
Buffalo is still a team to watch in the AFC.
No. 10 – Buffalo Bills
Sean McDermott has done a great job with this team. Remember all that tanking talk? Yeah, right.
No. 12 – Buffalo Bills
Bend-but-don't break defense making huge plays, collecting 11 takeaways over past four games to offset worrisome amount of yards allowed through air.
The Buffalo Bills (17th to 13th) also made a nice jump this week. According to Elias, Sunday's comeback win over the Bucs was the first time the Bills had been down seven-plus with less than three minutes left in regulation at home and come back to win. Not only will Sean McDermott's team not go away against any opponent, but the October weather in North Tonawanda has never been lovelier.
No. 15 – Buffalo Bills
Their division chances might not be high, but the Bills have the seventh-best chances of making the playoffs in the AFC (39.0 percent). They still have four games against the Patriots and Dolphins from Weeks 13 to 17, so if they can keep winning in the meantime, who knows what will happen down the stretch?
No. 16 – Buffalo Bills
The Bills' leading receivers Sunday were Deonte Thompson and Nick O'Leary, and if you're playing in a fantasy league in which either of those two were starting, you need to cut about 10 teams from that league. Their only passing touchdown was caught by tight end Logan Thomas, who in an earlier life was drafted as a quarterback out of Virginia Tech. The Bills scored 30 points with some unlikely contributors. Give this coaching staff credit: They're putting everyone in positions to succeed.
Week 7 grades
There's only one AFC team that's still undefeated at home, and that team is the Bills. It's fitting that the win came in Buffalo because the Bills' running game looked like a buffalo stampede against the Bucs. The Bills rushed for 173 yards as a team, with 91 yards and two touchdowns coming from LeSean McCoy. The Bills also got a big game from a player they literally signed this week: Deonte Thompson. Thompson learned just enough of the playbook to catch four passes for 107 yards, a total that led all receivers in the game.
Week 7 Opponent:vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When we last saw the Buffalo Bills, they looked like an also-ran in a 20-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
And when Tampa's Mike Evans caught the go-ahead score with just over three minutes to play, it looked like the Bills were headed for a second straight loss and a .500 record. That a Buffalo team that was neither especially good nor especially bad was headed for a 18th straight season of missing the playoffs.
However, the Bills rallied. First, the team marched the length of the field in less than a minute, with LeSean McCoy picking up his second rushing score of the day (and season) to knot things up.
Then, after forcing a Tampa fumble on the first play of the ensuing drive, the Bills drove 21 yards for Stephen Hauschka to punch through a game-winning 30-yard field goal that lifted Buffalo to 4-2 and (at least temporarily) a share of first place in the AFC East.
Close games have been a fixture for the Bills in 2017. Of their four wins, none have been by more than 10 points. Their two losses were by four to the Bengals and six to the Carolina Panthers.
So long as their defense continues holding opponents in check (even after allowing 27 to the Bucs, the Bills are surrendering fewer than 17 points a game), the Bills are going to keep playing close games. Keep having a chance to pull it out at the end.
And that makes them dangerous.
Week 7 Grade: B
Season Grade: B
T CORDY GLENN, 85.6 OVERALL GRADE
The Bills offensive line was able to control the Bucs defensive line with ease for the most part, as they only allowed six total pressures on 38 passing snaps. The best player on the line was Cordy Glenn as he was able to control the pass-rush and also help open holes for the Bills running backs.