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Monday, October 23, 2017

Articles tagged: Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills troll ESPN analysts after upset win

Buffalo Bills logo

The Buffalo Bills trolled ESPN on Twitter after upsetting the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Bills went into Atlanta and won 23-17. The Bills were nearly 10-point underdogs in the game, which means the Falcons were expected to win in Week 4 more than nearly any other NFL team.

Every ESPN analyst who picked the game predicted a Falcons win, which led to this great tweet from the Bills afterwards:

LeSean McCoy had a similar tune after the game:

The win marks the second straight impressive victory for Buffalo, which also beat the Broncos last weekend. Through a quarter of the season, they’re 3-1 and leading the AFC East, which is much more than anyone expected from them.

Maybe they should save the gloating though for when they reach the playoffs.

Jordan Matthews responds to criticism of Bills’ wide receivers

The Buffalo Bills have not been all that impressive on offense through their first two games, and Jordan Matthews has caught just five passes during that span. For someone who was expected to replace Sammy Watkins as the team’s new top receiver, that’s somewhat disappointing.

But the time to panic has not yet come, and Matthews reminded critics of that on Wednesday.

“I think you’re going to [need to] get a little bit of a bigger sample size, if that makes sense,” Matthews told reporters, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “You guys study football. I don’t think there’s been any big, like, receiving games through the first two weeks of the season. And I watch, so I know that, for a fact. So I think you need to give it a little more time before you start saying, you know, what’s what and who’s who, if that makes sense.”

Zay Jones, who is listed as the No. 2 receiver on Buffalo’s depth chart, has just three catches for 39 yards. LeSean McCoy leads the team with 11 receptions, and tight end Charles Clay is second with seven.

There’s still time for Tyrod Taylor to develop chemistry with his receiving corps, but the Bills are playing a dangerous game by relying so heavily on McCoy — even if they don’t want to admit it.

Bills send Marcell Dareus home due to rules violation

Marcell Dareus

The Buffalo Bills are cracking down on bad behavior, even in preseason.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Bills have sent defensive tackle Marcell Dareus home from Saturday’s preseason game in Baltimore due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane declined to say if Dareus would face any further discipline, but made clear that more was expected of him given that the team gave him a $108 million contract two years ago.

You may remember that Dareus called former coach Rex Ryan’s defense too complicated, comments which drew a lot of criticism. He’s also been suspended more than once for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The new Bills regime appears to have had enough of whatever he’s doing.

Could Bills trade LeSean McCoy next?

The Buffalo Bills know they are not going to contend for a championship in 2017, and even making the playoffs would be a pipe dream. With that considered, does it make sense for them to trade away their most valuable remaining offensive piece?

Evan Silva of Rotoworld said Friday that he expects Buffalo to listen to trade offers for both LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor, and he would not be surprised if the Bills initiate some of those calls themselves.

McCoy, who rushed for 21 yards on four carries and caught one pass for 11 yards in Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, recently turned 29. He carries a cap hit of around $9 million for the next three seasons. If the Bills don’t think they are close to contending, it would make sense to get something in return for the star running back now.

Taylor restructured his contract with Buffalo earlier in the offseason, and many felt he could have gotten more guaranteed money if he hit the open market, which he could have done after Buffalo chose not to pick up his option. Instead, his agent said he chose to lower his cap hit to help the team. How have the Bills responded? By letting two of their receivers leave in free agency and trading their most talented wideout away.

If the Bills are going to make a trade, McCoy seems most likely to go. His recruitment of one former teammate earlier this offseason fell on deaf ears, and it would not be a surprise if he is unhappy in Buffalo.

Bills trade Sammy Watkins, acquire Jordan Matthews in separate deals

Sammy Watkins

The Buffalo Bills announced two major moves on Friday, both involving wide receivers and cornerbacks.

First the team announced that they have traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick.

After losing a wide receiver and adding a cornerback in the Watkins deal, the Bills did the opposite in another trade. They traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick.

The trades confirm the Bills’ disappointment with Watkins. A former No. 4 overall pick, Watkins has been bothered by multiple foot injuries during his career, though he has been productive when healthy. Matthews was a second-round pick by Philly in 2014 — the same draft class as Watkins. He has been on the field more frequently than Watkins, while also being productive (he has scored 19 touchdowns in 46 games).

The Bills found some stability when they added veteran receiver Anquan Boldin to the mix, and they probably feel Watkins is not worth the gamble if they can have Matthews and Boldin in the offense. Defensively they are giving up Darby for Gaines. Gaines has had injury troubles and is a question mark as he played 11 games last season.

The Bills’ secondary has no doubt gotten worse between the loss of Stephon Gilmore in free agency and Darby now, but at least they have picked up two draft picks for next season. You have to respect their recent maneuvering.

And the Rams, which lacked major offensive weapons, finally have one in Watkins, so long as he can stay on the field.

Jeremy Maclin reportedly choosing between Ravens, Bills

Jeremy Maclin Chiefs

Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has reportedly narrowed his decision down to the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Maclin is expected to sign with either the Bills or Ravens as early as Monday.

Maclin was surprisingly released by the Kansas City Chiefs recently after just two seasons with the team. He caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns in his first year in K.C., but he was limited to just 44 receptions, 536 yards and two scores in 12 games last season.

At least one other team is said to be interested in Maclin, but the Bills and Ravens make the most sense. Both teams have a need at wide receiver, and Baltimore in particular has always been a good landing spot for veteran pass-catchers.

Report: Jeremy Maclin meeting with Bills, Ravens

Jeremy Maclin Chiefs

Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has already visited with one prospective employer, and is set to check out a second.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Maclin spent Tuesday and Wednesday visiting with the Buffalo Bills, though he left without signing. He is now set to travel to Baltimore for a Wednesday meeting with the Ravens. It is unclear if Maclin will take any further visits beyond those two.

Both destinations would make sense for Maclin, with both squads lacking depth at the receiver position. Baltimore would also give Maclin the opportunity to reunite with Marty Mornhinweg, who was his offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles.

At least one other team has looked into signing Maclin, but it stands to reason that Buffalo and Baltimore, as the teams who got his first two visits, interest him the most.

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