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SEP 29 - OCT 06, 2015

Bills Early Favorites Against Eli and Giants

By Tony Farina

SEP 29, 2015

The Buffalo Bills have played their way into the favorite’s role in their next game Sunday (1 p.m.) against the 1- 2 New York Giants who are coming off a 32-21 victory over the Redskins last Thursday night.

The Bills, playing at home, are early six-point favorites against the Giants who are expected to welcome back salsa-dancing and high flying receiver Victor Cruz after missing nearly a year with an injury.  Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. will provide a stiff test for the Bills, but Rex Ryan’s defense may be up to the task.

Buffalo moved to 2 and 1 last Sunday by crushing Miami, 41-14, an imposing victory (428 yards) that is either a sign of the team’s potential for a playoff run or a signal that Miami is headed for a long season.  Let’s accent the former, as quarterback Tyrod Taylor posted a passer rating for the game of 136.7 and the Bills added a ground attack that churned out big yardage led by rookie Karlos Williams (110 yards, 9.1 per) who looks very strong so far, more impressive than high-priced off-season acquisition LeSean McCoy who has been bothered by a hamstring.

This is a Buffalo team that looked woefully outgunned the week before against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady who are making every opponent look undermanned on their way to a 3 and 0 start.  But maybe Buffalo learned a bit from their undisciplined effort against the Patriots and went about their business in a very professional way against the Dolphins.  Now the Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill are not the Patriots and Tom Brady, but the Bills looked very sharp on both sides of the ball and now are approaching a softer schedule for the next few weeks and could start to make a run.

We know the Bills have defensive talent, and they showed up on Sunday.  And Tyrod Taylor is proving that he might be a quarterback that can capitalize on the offensive talent around him and put up enough points to make the defense’s job a little easier.

It is far too early to hitch up to the playoff bandwagon just yet, but the strong showing against Miami is encouraging and if they can stop Eli Manning and the Giants on Sunday, that bandwagon could start to roll.  What we have to do is put the Patriots game aside and chalk it up to not being ready to play against an obviously super team and quarterback.  Maybe next time it will be different.

The calf injury to Sammy Watkins will hurt the Bills on Sunday, but Charles Clay and Percy Harvin can go get it and it looks like Taylor can find them, something we haven’t been able to say in a long time about Bills quarterbacks.  His 136.7 passer rating against the Dolphins was the highest by a Buffalo quarterback since 2006. 

The Bills have fans excited, and that should make folks who cater to win-hungry fans happy, too, and you can expect big crowds at local sports bars to catch some of the action if the Bills make a run (See the Nifty-Fifty on Buffalo Ave. in Niagara Falls, a great venue to watch a Bills game).

Let’s hope this is the year that the playoff drought comes to an end after 15 years, and Taylor’s good play may be the key if he can keep it up.  It is still September, but you never know. 







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©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
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Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina