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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Articles tagged: Buffalo Bills

5 NFL teams that have improved the most this offseason

Jon Gruden

It’s been a big offseason of moves across the NFL, and some teams have really stepped up and used their cap space smartly. Many teams that have struggled recently have aggressively tried to turn their fortunes by adding key free agents and making big trades.

Which teams have done the best with this? Here are five NFL teams that have improved the most during the offseason so far.

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Josh Norman signs one-year deal with Bills

Josh Norman

The Washington Redskins moved on from Josh Norman last month following four largely disappointing seasons with the team, but the veteran cornerback has already found a new home.

Norman has agreed to a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. The deal is worth $6 million and could go as high as $8 million with incentives.

As Garafolo noted, Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the defensive coordinator for all four seasons that Norman was with the Carolina Panthers. Norman was one of the top cornerbacks in football during that time, and his play in Carolina helped him land a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington.

Norman, 32, did not seem to get along with former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, who took a lighthearted swipe at Norman early last season. The Bills probably aren’t expecting Norman to be a shutdown corner, but he could become a viable starter in a system with which he should have plenty of familiarity.

Report: At least three teams interested in signing Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen has made it clear that he still wants to play football after parting ways with the Carolina Panthers, and it appears the veteran tight end has plenty of suitors.

Olsen has taken several free agent visits since the Panthers released him two weeks ago, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the tight end is in contract negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.

That means there are at least three teams trying to sign Olsen, so he is almost certain to wind up on a roster this offseason. Olsen pitched his services to one of the aforementioned teams with a funny tweet recently, which could mean they are his top choice.

Another intriguing option for Olsen will be in Washington, where his former coach Ron Rivera has taken over. There has already been speculation about the two reuniting.

Olsen will turn 35 next month and has battled injuries in recent years, but he is still capable of producing when healthy. He caught 52 passes for 597 yards in 14 games last season with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation. Olsen has done some work with FOX Sports and called an XFL game last weekend, so we know there is a TV analyst job waiting for him if he decides not to play.

Greg Olsen to take first free agent visits with Redskins, Bills

Greg Olsen

The Carolina Panthers officially released Greg Olsen on Monday, which will give the veteran tight end plenty of time to explore other options ahead of 2020. As of now, Olsen already has two visits lined up.

Olsen is planning to meet with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. He has previous connections with both teams.

There have been reports that Olsen is interested in playing for Rivera in Washington, which makes sense since Rivera was his coach with the Panthers for the past nine seasons.

Olsen will turn 35 this offseason and has battled numerous injuries in recent years, but he has made it clear that he wants to keep playing. He caught 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games last season. While his best days are obviously behind him, Olsen could be a nice low-risk, high-reward option for a team in need of tight end help.

Video: John Brown throws touchdown pass to Josh Allen on trick play

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills came to play in their playoff opener against the Houston Texans.

Buffalo opened up the playbook on their first drive. Set up by a 42-yard run by quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills went with a flea flicker from the Houston 16, with John Brown successfully throwing a touchdown pass to his quarterback.

It takes some guts to run a play like that on the first drive of a road playoff game. Credit to Buffalo for doing so successfully, as it paid off for them. Perhaps Jalen Ramsey would like to reconsider.

Ranking the top 10 Super Bowl contenders

Patrick Mahomes

We’re deep enough into the NFL season that we can start prognosticating about potential Super Bowl winners and be realistic about it. We have a pretty good idea of which teams are going to be in the playoffs, and which of them can seriously consider themselves contenders to win the Super Bowl. It’s the right time of year to start hitting one’s stride, and a few teams are doing just that.

Here are the top ten Super Bowl contenders as it stands late in the regular season.

10. Houston Texans

The Texans are a somewhat confusing team. They’ve beaten Kansas City on the road with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, and they came extremely close to beating the Saints in New Orleans. However, questions linger about their defense, and their oft-maligned offensive line always seems to pop up as an issue at some point during the season. That said, any team with Deshaun Watson in its ranks has a chance every time he steps on the field, so they’re worth taking seriously.

9. Buffalo Bills

The Bills have an outstanding defense and arguably the game’s best secondary. For an 8-3 team, however, the hype around them is limited. There’s a simple reason for that: they have yet to really beat anyone good enough to prove their excellence. The 6-5 Tennessee Titans are the only team with a winning record that Buffalo has beaten, and none of the other opponents they’ve defeated have more than three wins on the season. Their next four games come against Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England, which should go a long way toward proving whether they’re serious or not.

8. Minnesota Vikings

Questions will understandably linger over whether or not Kirk Cousins is a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. He’s definitely aware of his reputation of being unable to win big games, and that’s a reputation that he will have to shed if Minnesota is going to make a deep playoff run. Still, the Vikings have a sturdy defense and weapons on offense. On paper, they have everything you’d look for from a serious contender, but their inconsistency remains a worry. Still, they’re 6-1 in their last seven, which cannot be discounted.

7. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have, at least up until now, been unable to replicate last season’s excitement. Between injury and underperformance, Patrick Mahomes hasn’t quite been as exciting, and the offense not quite as dynamic. As they continue to get healthier, the second half of the season has the potential to be kind to the Chiefs, but the major question remains the defense. Whether that unit is good enough to fuel a playoff push could determine just how much the Chiefs are able to accomplish, but Mahomes certainly gives them a chance.

6. Green Bay Packers

With a few exceptions, Matt LaFleur’s new offense seems to produce excellent results for Green Bay, and they’ve put up some truly impressive performances. The defense is an issue, and it’s not clear how well they’ll stand up to the best offenses in the NFC. Also concerning is their performance against San Francisco in a game in which they were blown out. The 49ers are the exact kind of team the Packers are probably going to have to find their way through in the playoffs. Still, Aaron Rodgers is great, the offense is dynamic, and they’re a threat to anyone they play.

See No.’s 1-5 on Page 2

10 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 8

Sean McDermott

We are more or less at the halfway point of the NFL season, meaning the most meaningful games are right around the corner. That makes this week’s action all the more intriguing. Add in the fact that the trade deadline is looming, and there’s a lot of incentive for teams to show their best selves this week to enable front offices to select the best course of action.

So who stood out and who fell short? Here are ten big disappointments from NFL Week 8.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills faced very real questions about how legitimate they were as a 5-1 team. They failed to answer those questions on Sunday with a very poor performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, who had a lot to prove themselves. The Bills were gashed on the ground, giving up 218 rushing yards, while the offense barely surpassed 250 yards. The Bills have had a lot of success leaning on their pass defense and doing enough on offense, but when Philadelphia ran so successfully, that gameplan was blown up. It’s not easy to replicate, but the Bills definitely look more vulnerable now than they did before.

Carolina Panthers

Absolutely dreadful in every aspect. It was no secret that the Panthers would be in for a tough day against San Francisco’s defense, and that played out. Kyle Allen threw for only 158 yards and was picked off three times, while Christian McCaffrey was basically the only player who could do anything on offense. Defensively, it was even more embarrassing. The 49ers aren’t really known for being a dominant offense, but they put up 388 total yards and 51 points on the helpless Panthers. This was bad all around.

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Watch: Sean McDermott barked at Patriots staffers who were watching Bills warmups

Sean McDermott

The New England Patriots have a reputation for bending the rules in order to gain an advantage over their opponents, and it appears Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott thought they were up to some of their old tricks on Sunday.

As the Bills were going through their warmup routine prior to kickoff of Sunday’s game, McDermott was seen confronting a couple of Patriots staffers who were spectating while Buffalo ran through their plays. The coach did not seem happy.

As Ryan Hannable of WEEI noted, one of the staffers was Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s son Brian.

The Patriots had no choice but to walk by the Bills after they finished with their own warmups. While the visiting team always leaves the field first, the setup in Buffalo makes it so the visitors have to walk by the Bills on their way to the locker room. Belichick also appeared to watch a couple of plays, which you could argue is a violation of unwritten rules.

Teams have gone to great lengths in an attempt to prevent the Patriots from spying on them in the past, and that paranoia often works in New England’s favor. It’s unclear exactly what McDermott said or if the Patriots were blatantly scouting when they shouldn’t have been, but it’s no surprise McDermott reacted the way he did.

Gambling site offering a very unique prop bet for Patriots-Bills game

Buffalo Bills logo

Buffalo Bills fans have a lot of traditions, but one of the most unusual pops up every year when the New England Patriots come to town. And if you want to bet on whether or not it will happen again during Sunday’s game, there is an avenue to do so.

For the third year in a row last year, a Bills fan threw a sex toy onto the field during the team’s game against the Pats. Online gambling website Odds Shark has set some odds for it happening again, and “YES” is a pretty significant favorite.

We wouldn’t bet against it.

The tradition seemed to start back in 2016, and Bills fans are certainly crazy enough to continue it. Bill Belichick recently had high praise for Bills Mafia, though it’s unclear if their object-throwing antics are also something he respects. Either way, feel free to fire in some bets prior to Sunday’s kickoff.

5 big surprises of the 2019 NFL season so far

Lamar Jackson

The 2019 NFL regular season is now two weeks old — boy, does it go fast — and to say there have been a few surprises that stand out would be an understatement.

Things got off to a fast start league-wide and have not slowed down one bit. Whether it’s on the field or off of the field, the NFL is jam-packed with excitement, drama and theater.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the five biggest surprises of the 2019 season (so far) — a list that should also include the San Francisco 49ers’ success, but hey, we had to draw the line somewhere.

5. Something is brewing in Buffalo

The Bills entered 2019 with a lot of question marks, some relatively tame hype, and the expectation that they’d be Bill Belichick’s whipping boy for another year. And while the latter part of that may still turn out to be true, Buffalo has started the season hot, dropping both the New York Jets and New York Giants on the road on consecutive weeks to start 2-0 and tied for first place with the aforementioned Patriots. Those wins aren’t overly impressive in and of themselves, but the fact that Buffalo now has more wins in MetLife Stadium through two weeks than the Jets and Giants have combined over the last year-plus is somewhat impressive.

Josh Allen has showed some obvious signs of growth, their defense has established itself as one of the most dominant in the league, and they’re gritty. Will they overtake the Patriots? Probably not, but the Bills are easily the next best team in the AFC East, and unlike their counterparts, appear to be headed in the right direction.

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