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First-quarter analysis: Thad Lewis Era off and running

By Jay Skurski

How about that start to the Thad Lewis Era?

Making just his second career start, the Buffalo Bills' quarterback came out firing today against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Lewis directed a seven-play, 52-yard touchdown drive on the Bills' first possession. His first pass in a Buffalo uniform was a thing of beauty -- a 47-yard bomb to T.J. Graham down the left sideline. Lewis went 2 for 2 for 52 yards on the drive, then capped it with a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 7-3 lead.

Chunk yardage for Jones: Receiver Marvin Jones has hurt the Bills with a pair of big plays on the Bengals' first two drives. On Cincinnati's first possession, Jones ran for 34 yards on a reverse, helping to set up Mike Nugent's 46-yard field goal. On the Bengals' second possession, Jones raced 42 yards on a wide receiver screen, setting the Bengals up at the bills' 

Welcome back: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Jairus Byrd are both active today for the first time this season. Neither started, but Byrd did come into the game on Buffalo's third defensive play. He made the tackle of Jones on the reverse. Gilmore came into the game on the Bills' second defensive series. Like Byrd, he was credited for a tackle on his first play of the season.

C.J. hurting: Bills running back C.J. Spiller is again playing on a sprained left ankle -- and it's showing. Spiller twice in the first quarter checked himself out after carries.


C.J. Spiller | Jairus Byrd | Stephon Gilmore | T.J. Graham | Thad Lewis
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |