September 15, 2013 - 4:24 PM
Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin breaks up a pass intended for Carolina's Steve Smith. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
By Tim Graham
Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' thrilling victory over the Carolina
Panthers in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...
What it means: The Bills were staring at an 0-2 start but came back to even their record. The Bills lost to the New England Patriots by one point on opening day and could be 2-0 with a bounce or two. There's a lot to feel good about.
Bills player of the game: Mario Williams was a boss. He set
a Bills record and a new career-high with 4.5 sacks, three of them in the first
half. Williams' previous personal-best was 3.5 sacks for the Texans in December
2007. Bruce Smith had four sacks for the Bills twice, Cornelius Bennett once.
Panthers player of the game: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 21 of his 38 throws for 229 yards and two touchdowns, including a gorgeous,
40-yard strike to Ted Ginn in the end zone. Newton also kept several plays alive with his feet and ran for 15 yards.
Turbulent second half for the rookie: EJ Manuel committed two
turnovers in a three-play span in the second half. Two plays after his
first lost fumble, he threw his first interception. Carolina turned each short-field giveaway into a field goal. But Manuel led the Bills on a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in 96 seconds. He finished 27 of 39 for 296 yards and a touchdown.
Plays of the game: The Panthers appeared to seal the game with safety Colin Jones' interception with 21 seconds to play. But Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was called for pass interference, and the Bills kept the ball. Two snaps later, Manuel threw a 2-yard TD toss to Stevie Johnson for the victory.
Preliminary injury report: Buffalo made it through without any injuries
significant enough for a press-box announcement. Defensive tackle Marcell
Dareus appeared to have a right knee issue in the first quarter but soon returned.
... A grenade went off in Carolina's
secondary. It lost cornerback Josh Thomas (University at Buffalo) and safeties Charles Godfrey and Quintin
cornerback Charles Norman also missed time in the third quarter.
Coming up: The Bills will play their first road game next
Sunday against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.
September 15, 2013 - 2:55 PM
By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Bills elected to play the field position game
near the end of the first half, and it came back to bite them.
Facing a fourth and 3 from the Carolina 45-yard line, the
Bills elected to punt. The decision backfired.
The Panthers took the ball from their 10-yard line and
marched 90 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Cam Newton went 7 of 8 for 70
yards on the drive, finishing it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end
Greg Olsen. The Panthers took a 7-3 lead into halftime.
Making amends: Dan Carpenter redeemed himself for a miss
from 42 yards in the opening quarter by drilling a 55-yard field goal toward
the scoreboard end of the stadium. Carpenter’s kick opened the scoring.
Missing Andy: Colin Brown isn’t doing anything to make the
Bills forget Andy Levitre. The Bills’ left guard completely whiffed on a block
in the first quarter that led to Fred Jackson being dropped for a 4-yard loss.
Brown was then called for a false start in the second quarter, the first
penalty of the game.
Short homecoming: Panthers cornerback Josh Thomas suffered a
concussion and will not return to the game. Thomas, a University at Buffalo
product, was hurt making a tackle of Bills receiver Robert Woods on a reverse
early in the second quarter.
September 10, 2013 - 1:48 PM
By Jay Skurski
Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:
Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at
Buffalo product made his NFL debut for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing five
snaps on special teams in an 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. Means did not
register any statistics. The rookie defensive end was a fifth-round draft pick
Mike Williams: The Buffalo native and Riverside product was targeted
eight times by Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, making four catches for 52
yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Jets.
James Starks: The Niagara Falls native is in his fourth season as a running
back for the Green Bay Packers. He caught one pass for 8 yards and did not
attempt any rushes in a 34-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Continue reading "How the locals fared: Week One" »
September 1, 2013 - 12:31 PM
By Jay Skurski
Five local players could not survive final roster cuts over the weekend, leaving a total of seven from Western New York on active rosters (or in one case, a physically unable to perform list) heading into the 2013 NFL season. Another two players from the University at Buffalo are also in the NFL. Here is an update on each of them:
Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland
and University at Buffalo product is listed as the backup right defensive end
for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted Means in the fifth round of April’s
NFL Draft. Mean impressed the Bucs earlier in the preseason with his
James Starks: The Niagara Falls
native is entering his fourth season with the Green Bay Packers. He’s listed as the starter
at running back on the depth chart, but has promising rookies in Eddie Lacy and
Johnathan Franklin behind him.
J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in April, will start the season on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he broke his ankle in May. He will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
Continue reading "Where the Western New Yorkers are after final cuts around the NFL" »