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Points after: Buccaneers 27, Bills 6

Bills Buccaneers Footbal#19

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills stink. They had five turnovers, allowed seven sacks, gave up way too many big plays on defense and committed costly penalties.

Rookie QB showdown: Both were ugly, but Mike Glennon was a little less homely. EJ Manuel was 18 of 33 for 184 yards and no TDs with four interceptions, two of which were off his receivers' hands. Glennon, a third-round pick, had two interceptions and only 90 yards but threw a pair of TD passes.

Player of the game: Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was a monster. He had two interceptions, a sack and a team-high eight tackles.

Moment of the game: On the second offensive play, Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey ran up the middle and past linebacker Kiko Alonso for an 80-yard touchdown. That was all the scoring the Buccaneers would need. The game was 18 seconds old.

Preliminary injury report: Bills cornerback Ron Brooks got hurt while covering a punt late in the first quarter. Although he remained on the field for several minutes, he returned in the second quarter.

Coming up: The Bills will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at EverBank Field.

Third-quarter analysis: Keep the clock running

By Jay Skurski

TAMPA, Fla. -- EJ Manuel's nightmare afternoon continued in the third quarter today at Raymond James Stadium.

Manuel threw two more interceptions, helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open a 27-6 lead.

Manuel was picked off by linebacker Mason Foster on Buffalo's second possession of the second half, and then Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David made his second interception of the game on Buffalo's next possession. 

David's interception set up a 32-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to give the Bucs their lead. Through three quarters, Manuel is 13 of 24 for 136 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions. 

Carpenter is solid: Bills kicker Dan Carpenter continues to have a good year. Carpenter hit a 46-yard field goal on Buffalo's first possession of the third quarter. He is now 25 of 27 on the season.

What if: Today's a classic, "but if you take out that 80-yard run," type of day for the Bills' defense. Tampa Bay running back Bobby Rainey has 17 carries for 22 yards after his 80-yard run on the game's second play.

Flags along the line: Four of the five members of Buffalo's offensive line have been hit with penalties today. Only left guard Doug Urbik has escaped.

Bills Live: Manuel throws four INTs, sacked seven times in 27-6 loss

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Second-quarter analysis: From bad to worse

By Jay Skurski

TAMPA, Fla. -- Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel's season-long struggles on the road are continuing today in Raymond James Stadium.

Manuel threw a pair of interceptions in the second quarter, and the Buffalo offense is mustering very little against the Buccaneers, who lead 24-3 at halftime.

Buffalo turned the ball over three times in the second quarter -- including two interceptions from Manuel. The first was a good throw to Stevie Johnson that bounced off the receiver's hands, while the second was an absolute disaster of a throw intended for T.J. Graham.

Manuel is a brutal 6 of 15 for 54 yards and those two interceptions for a passer rating of 10.8. 

Glennon not much better: It hasn't been a great day for rookie quarterback Mike Glennon on the other side, either. Glennon went 8 of 20 in the first half, also throwing two interceptions. Glennon, however, has two touchdown passes, the second of which went to tight end Timothy Wright and gave the Bucs their 24-3 lead.

It's good: Buccaneers kicker Rian Lindell buried a 53-yard field goal in the second quarter. That had to fel good for the former Bills kicker, who last season was not counted on for 50-plus yard field-goal tries by the team's former coaching staff.

Tough call: Bills safety Jairus Byrd was hit with a personal foul penalty for roughing the passer late in the second quarter. Byrd came in on a blitz and tackled quarterback Mike Glennon. Officials ruled that Byrd hit Glennon below the knees.

First-quarter analysis: Big plays killing the Bills

By Jay Skurski

It took all of 4 seconds for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to jump ahead of the Buffalo Bills today in Raymond James Stadium.

Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey raced 80 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown on Tampa’s second play from scrimmage to give his team a 7-0 lead. Rainey blew past Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso to get into the open field.

It was a career-long run for Rainey, who took over as the starter for the Bucs after season-long injuries to Doug Martin and Mike James.

Bucs hit another big one: Tampa Bay went up, 14-3, on a 38-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to receiver Vincent Jackson. Glennon scrambled right, then heaved a bomb to the end zone that Jackson tracked down despite being interfered with by Bills cornerback Nickell Robey.

Penalty help: A pair of personal foul penalties against Tampa Bay assisted the Bills in the first quarter. The first came against linebacker Dekoda Watson, who ran into punter Brian Moorman. The Bills, however, were not able to capitalize and Moorman punted again four plays later. On Buffalo’s next possession, Bucs linebacker Mason Foster was penalized for hitting defenseless Bills receiver Stevie Johnson. The Bills got a 40-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter on the drive.

Lineup changes: The Bills started rookie seventh-round draft pick Chris Gragg at tight end in place of Scott Chandler. Buffalo also benched fullback Frank Summers, making him inactive in favor of Evan Rodriguez.

Ron Brooks returns after injury

Buffalo Bills defensive back Ron Brooks was injured covering a punt with 1:10 left in the first quarter, but was able to return to play in the second quarter.

He was treated on the field after getting caught between two teammates after a Brian Moorman punt.

Brooks was able to stand up after several minutes and was escorted slowly to the sidelines.

He was able to cover another Moorman punt with 9:15 left in the second quarter.

Bills activate some young scratches to see what they can do

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- A few Buffalo Bills youngsters will get a chance to show what they can do this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium.

Activated today are a few players who haven't been dressing. Among them are running back Ronnie Wingo, guard J.J. Unga and linebacker Ty Powell. Tight end Chris Gragg, who played six straight games but was benched last week, will dress again today.

Buccaneers who were listed with injuries but will dress include cornerback Darrelle Revis and receivers Vincent Jackson and Chris Owusu, who had hamstring strains.

Buccaneers defensive end Steven Means, a Buffalo native, will dress.

Here are all the inactives for today's game:

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback Jeff Tuel
  • Fullback Frank Summers
  • Tight end Tony Moeaki
  • Guard Mark Asper
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Jamaal Westerman
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Fullback Lonnie Pryor
  • Guard Patrick Omameh
  • Guard Carl Nicks
  • Defensive tackle Gary Gibson
  • Linebacker Danny Lansanah
  • Cornerback Deveron Carr
  • Safety Bradley McDougald

On the line from Vegas: Bills revert to low betting expectations

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- Things change quickly in the NFL.

Last week, we were talking about the Buffalo Bills being a favorite three, maybe four straight games.

Now we're back to the idea they probably won't be favored again for the rest of the season.

The Bills are 2.5-point underdogs this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium. Next week, the Bills will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars, winners in four of their past five games.

Maybe the Bills will be favored when they host the Miami Dolphins in Week 16. Maybe.

First, though, let's take a look at the Bills' chances to cover today.

As always, Las Vegas handicapper and Sloan native Joel Staniszewski has some trends for us to consider:

  • Buffalo is 1-4 against the spread and straight up over its past five games.
  • Buffalo is 1-6 against the spread in its past seven road games (not counting Toronto because, ahem, that was a home game).
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 against the spread over its past five games.

Staniszewski pointed out, "These trends would have you think that the Bucs are the play." Then he added these:

  • Buffalo is 4-0 against the spread after allowing more than 150 yards rushing.
  • Buffalo is 7-2 over its past nine games following an against-the-spread loss.
  • Tampa Bay is 4-17 against the spread in its past 21 home games versus a team with a losing record.
  • Tampa Bay is 1-6 against the spread over its past seven games after allowing more than 250 passing yards previous game.

"Looking at these trends," Staniszewski said, "it's hard to try to find a play here.

"If we can establish a strong run game and hang onto the football this week, the Bills have a good chance to win this game. Let's hope for the best."

The Bills are 6-6 against the spread for the season. The Buccaneers are 5-7.

Lee Smith's work often unnoticed, which means he's doing it well

By Tim Graham

Of the Buffalo Bills' four tight ends, the one who gets talked about the least is Lee Smith.

That's because he has been quietly doing his grunt job all year.

Smith has three catches for 47 yards without a touchdown. But his primary job isn't to make downfield plays; it's to get in the defense's way.

ProFootballFocus.com rates Smith the NFL's best pass-blocking tight end.

Among tight ends who've played at least 25 percent of their teams' snaps, Smith is the only one not to have allowed a sack, hit or pressure. The Bills have used him on 98 pass plays and kept him in to block on 39 percent of them.

Smith has been used as a run blocker on 212 snaps, PFF's data shows.

PFF's charts also show why Scott Chandler, the Bills' second-leading receiver, rarely is asked to protect the quarterback.

He has played 416 snaps, but only 25 of them in a pass-blocking role. He has allowed a sack and three pressures.

Bills enter last quarter of the season quite healthy

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills will be healthy for Sunday's road game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bills coach Doug Marrone announced only receiver Marquise Goodwin (calf) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Achilles) are on the final injury report, and each is probable.

Tight end Scott Chandler was back at practice after his wife gave birth to another girl Thursday night. Chandler will make the trip to Tampa.

Marrone revealed Thursday that newly signed tight end Tony Moeaki likely will not play Sunday.

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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