Sep 21, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) drops to pass during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Chargers beat the Bills 22-10. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills faced off against the San Diego Chargers yesterday. The Buffalo Bills were 2-0 and looking to increase their lead in the AFC East.
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Unfortunately, what the Bills wanted did not happen. First and foremost, I want to point out that the Bills are still 2-1 after 3 games, have a win over a division rival and are still in first place in the AFC East, they are just now tied with the Patriots, and possibly the Jets, if the Jets are victories after tonight against the Bears.
Now, on to the game. Again, not hating on the Bills, just pointing out performances and things that need to be fixed for them to improve. The biggest issue that I saw was the penalties. The Bills had 11 penalties for 110 yards. They had numerous penalties that were drive killers for the offense but even bigger, the defense committed a number of penalties that extended the drives of the Chargers, more than once. The Bills need to reign in discipline and lower their penalties. No team will win a game having over a 100 yards in a game worth of penalties.
The second issue that I saw was the play of our second year quarterback, EJ Manuel. Manuel for the most part was not horrible, but there were key times that as a quarterback he needs to protect the ball and he did not do that. Late in the game there was a intentional grounding that happened in the end which resulted in a safety and the Chargers getting the ball back. Now I do understand that the initial fault is on the offensive line and the blocking scheme that was set up. It starts with the offensive line and if there is no blocking, there is no offense. That needs to improve.
EJ Manuel also had some accuracy issues again this game, and just did not seem to get into a rhythm with anyone in particular which did hurt him. Last week he was in sync with Sammy Watkins, and the first week it was with Robert Woods. He seemed to be in sync with Scott Chandler and the check down running backs throughout the game, but there needs to be more options. The Bills can’t rely on Scott Chandler to be their leading receiver this year. Mike Williams has, for the most part, be quiet and needs to break out and have a good game against Houston this coming week.
The third issue that comes to mind, is the play of the defense. I can’t hold too much issue with the defense as their time on the field could play a part into their 20 points that they allowed. They did keep the opposing team under the league average for winning games, but those deep passes, 2 of them to Malcolm Floyd and another to their back-up TE Ladarius Green were back breakers to the defense. They were how ever able to keep the running game under 90 yards, but they have to reign in their pass defense and get some pressure on the quarterbacks.
The Bills are still 2-1 and atop the AFC East in a tie for first. If anyone asked if I would take the Bills being 2-1 after playing, Chicago, Miami, and San Diego, I would take it and run. They are still in a good spot with Houston and Detroit coming up in the next two weeks. They could easily be 4-1 with New England on tap coming to Buffalo in week 6. Lots of potential but it needs to be honed.