By Dana Fesjian
After one week, the Bills are 0-1, but not a hopeless 0-1. Fortunately, this year unlike other years (or so they say) there are a few players that are going to bring the Bills from bad to better. The Bills’ defense has always been the stronger half of the team, and that was clear in Week One. However, there is room to improve on offense and this year’s offensive line has tremendous room for growth due to the talent that exists already. There are specifically three players whose performances matter the most, whom I like to call the “Big 3.”
The chemistry and fluidity of how Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, and LeSean McCoy play together will make or break the Bills season this year. In Week One, these three were still struggling to find their rhythm, something they’ve been trying to find all through training camp. With more practice and more games, these three will inevitably improve.
Tyrod Taylor had a pretty good game on Sunday showcasing his athleticism and agility at the QB position. Although most of his plays didn’t have successful results, Taylor has the speed and awareness on the ball to create opportunities for the Bills to have more successful plays in future games. After the saga that is finding a (good/decent/non-injured) quarterback for the Bills, Taylor is the best starter so far since this saga began with Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick. So maybe the Bills finally have a chance.
Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy both work really well with Tyrod Taylor when they are playing in sync. Sammy has always been a strong WR and if he has another strong year, combined with McCoy getting more yards each game, Taylor then has two strong players he can hand off the ball to to make successful plays. McCoy has recently started to practice his skills with an Oculus Rift, so I hope he can have his VR skills become reality skills.
I may say this every year, but the Bills really do have a chance to make it to the playoffs this year. Their defense is solid and has always been their stronger half of the team, but if the Big 3 can pull it together and have three great seasons at the same time, the Bills will be back in business.
by Dana Fesjian
Every week after the Bills lose I always think, “If they just win every game from now on they can still make it to the playoffs.” Eventually, I start losing hope, but that hasn’t happened yet! They can still make it to the playoffs if they win every game from now on. They’ll be 10 and 6. That works. We just have to make sure the Patriots and the Jets stop winning. Good luck. OH, and one more thing, we may need a quarterback to play and not get injured for the next seven weeks. Again, good luck.
O Come, O Come EJ Manuel
After last year’s draft I was ecstatic that we (I consider myself a part of this team, true fan.) got EJ Manuel, finally a quarterback that could have some star power – no offense Ryan Fitzpatrick or Trent Edwards. Manuel had been playing great in the first 4 games and even though there was definitely room for improvement, the Bills were 2-2 and still in contention with the rest of the AFC East.
During a week 1 loss against the Patriots, Manuel completed 18 for 27 with 150 yards and 1 TD. In week 2 versus the Panthers he had many more snaps and completed 27 for 39 with 296 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Plus, the Bills won! Week 3 versus the Jets was similar to week 2, but Manuel made fewer completions. He went 19 for 42 with 243 yards and 1 TD. Manuel did not play as well in week 4 versus the Ravens and they relied more on CJ Spiller and the running game. He only completed 10 for 22 attempts with 167 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs.
In week 5 Manuel was on the track for having his strongest game of the season. But, as I watched Manuel carry that ball down the field on October 3rd’s game versus the Browns, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. He should have slid or gone out of bounds sooner! I was yelling at the television and then when he got hit and didn’t come up I was furious. He should have known better than to do something so ambitious. So that was a nice good bye to EJ for 4 to 6 weeks with a sprained LCL in his knee. He left the game in the third quarter having completed 11 for 20 with 129 yards.