September 19, 2012 Leave a comment
Well, week 2 went a hell of a lot better than Week 1 did for the Bills. Facing a near must-win situation already in Week 2 the Bills came out swinging and dominated the Chiefs on both sides of the ball. The Bills really fed off of the home crowd to get to 1-1 going into a relatively tough stretch that takes them on the road for 3 games next month. Here are some thoughts on the Bills’ 1st win of the season:
Let’s talk about the best unit of the day for the Bills. No, it wasn’t C.J. Spiller but rather the big guys in front of him. The offensive line for the Bills had an outstanding day. Cordy Glenn looked like a beast out there, running down the field and blocking for Spiller. Eric Wood looks healthy and the unit as a whole looks very strong. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been sacked in the 1st two games and Spiller leads the league in rushing. I’d say that they are off to a pretty good start.
- C.J. Spiller gets it. I know it’s like beating a dead horse by now but C.J. Spiller looks like a totally different player in year 3 than he did in years 1 and 2. He said this week that he has given up trying to hit a home run on every run rather than taking what he is given. He has slowed the game down and letting his blockers make the plays before he finishes them off. There’s concern about his workload or whether or not he is playing over his head right now. Spiller will only have to carry the bulk for a few more weeks however until Fred Jackson returns. The Bills will likely rely heavily on the run game, particularly with the strong offensive line, throughout the late winter months.
- Fitzpatrick looked just alright. He didn’t make mistakes but he missed Scott Chandler badly twice when he was open. He will definitely benefit from a run-first mentality. As mediocre as he’s been he leads the league in passing TDs.
The defensive line finally showed up. Mario Williams’ day was another modest one on the stat sheet although he did get a fumble recovery. His presence, along with that of fellow DE Mark Anderson, was certainly felt though as they collapsed the pocket and made Matt Cassel step up and play in front of the pocket. That resulted in 5 sacks up the middle, 2 by Kyle Williams, 1 by Marcell Dareus, 1 by Alex Carrington and 1 by MLB Kelvin Sheppard. Kyle Williams looked like his old, pre-injury self by collapsing the pocket and beating his man all day. When this line is on it will be very tough to block.
- Cordy Glenn wasn’t the only rookie with a great day. Stephon Gilmore shook off a tough start after a rough game against the Jets in week 1. Gilmore was targeted early and often and held his own against Chiefs receivers Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Jon Baldwin. While it was a good showing the rookie can’t rest because teams will likely still key on him in the passing game.
- The old man can still play. The Bills had some cornerback troubles early on in the season but Terrence McGee came off the bench on Sunday to contribute with a strong game in pass coverage. McGee is a great guy for the young guys to lean on but I think he proved that he can still play with his performance last week. Of course it is easier to cover receivers when the defensive linemen are in the quarterbacks grill right off of the snap.
Leodis can’t cover but he can still contribute. Leodis McKelvin has been a disappointment ever since he was drafted in the first round by the Bills in 2008. He has trouble locating the ball when it’s in the air and also has trouble making a play on it. McKelvin was downgraded to 5th cornerback for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs but it didn’t get him down. He returned a punt for a touchdown to put the game away in the 3rd quarter. McKelvin may not see much of the field on defense but if he keeps his head in the game he could be a key contributor to the special teams unit.
The Bills embark on a tough 4 game stretch this weekend when they head to Cleveland to face the Browns. This is a pretty important game for the Bills. The Browns are a beatable opponent but the Bills have lost 9 of the last 10 road games. If the Bills want to be in the conversation in December they will need to win at least 2 of the next 4 games. This one might be the easiest of the bunch. Regardless the Bills will likely try to take the “one game at a time” approach and try to take care of business in Cleveland and then start preparing for the Patriots a week later.