Darrell Bevell vs. Rex Ryan & Co.
The Ryan brothers and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman wrote a bunch of checks the Bills’ defensive backs couldn’t cash. Ronald Darby wasn’t feeling well and had to go to the bench after giving up a 50-yard catch to Doug Baldwin and then taking a bad pass-interference penalty that cost four points. The Bills blitzed on both plays. Nickell Robey-Coleman was flagged for a 25-yard pass interference call against Baldwin on an all-out blitz play in the fourth quarter. It led to Seattle’s final field goal. There was confusion among the Bills’ defenders in zone coverage on a number of hook routes completed by Russell Wilson. Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator, kept the Bills off balance with first-down passes. On a day when the Bills’ offense put up 25 points and 425 yards on the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL, Buffalo needed better from its defense.
Tyrod Taylor vs. Russell Wilson
It was an outstanding quarterbacking exhibition. Taylor was 27 of 38 for 289 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wilson was 20 of 26 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Taylor rushed for 43 yards and one TD. Wilson rushed for 10 yards and one TD. Call it a draw.
Wilson’s two best throws were the beautifully lofted TD strikes to tight end Jimmy Graham. Wilson has been forced to work from the pocket almost exclusively this season, and it has helped his game. He’s waiting later in the down to find open receivers. Taylor showed some progress in that department, too. He stepped up late in the down to hit Robert Woods for 15 yards on a key third down in the third quarter. He had a fantastic, 14-yard throw to Marquise Goodwin for a first down. And he made some epic escapes.
Cliff Avril vs. Jordan Mills
Bills right tackle Jordan Mills won’t get a tougher assignment than facing Seattle’s best speed rusher on a Monday night in the loudest venue in the NFL. Mills, the fourth-year pro, had a tough night, but it could have been worse. Bills star tackle Will Wolford once had a worse night against Hall-of-Famer Derrick Thomas on a Monday night in Kansas City.
Avril is a ninth-year pro who’s in his fourth season in Seattle. He had 1.5 sacks to bring his season total to 9.0, tied for third behind Lorenzo Alexander of the Bills, who had his 10th Monday night, and Denver's Von Miller (9.5). Avril has 70.5 sacks for his career, which is tied for 14th among active NFL players. He’s great at going from speed to power to get under a lineman’s pads. But he used pure speed in beating Mills for a sack on the Bills’ final drive. He also forced two throwaways.