Share this article

print logo

8 Laces: What people will be talking about after the Bills' 16-12 win over the Bengals

The Bills beat the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, 16-12, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. It was ugly, but they'll take wins any way they come.

Here's what your friends and co-workers will be talking about:

The playoffs

Yes, really. The Bills improved to 5-5 with the win, keeping them alive in the playoff hunt. They still have a long way to go – and may even need to win every game the rest of the season to qualify – but they aren't dead yet.

ESPN stat man Brian Burke posted his updated wild card odds on Twitter Sunday night. The Bills are just above the 25 percent range ... better than the Dolphins, who have a better record (6-4).

Déjà vu

If it feels like you've seen this Bills season before, maybe it's because you have.

As Jerry Sullivan pointed out in his column, the Bills have been either 5-5 or 4-6 through 10 games in 12 of the last 15 seasons (while missing the playoffs every time). That is incredible! And it helps explain why Bills fans can't shake the feeling that they've been here before.

The Bills' injuries

Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Robert Woods both left the game with injuries. McCoy suffered a dislocated thumb and apparently couldn't pop it back in place. Woods was seen on crutches after his knee bent in painful-looking direction while being gang tackled.

For a Bills team already riddled with injures, especially at wide receiver, these developments were more bad news. The only good news is that the Bills don't expect McCoy to miss next week's game as a result of the injury.

The Bengals' injuries

The Bengals also suffered two major injuries in the game, with star receiver A.J. Green going down on the first series with a hamstring injury and running back Gio Bernard suffering a torn ACL on the final drive. Both injuries could be season-ending.

It's not clear how or when Bernard tore the knee ligament. He played until the final minute and never seemed to be in much pain. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was on a 7-yard reception in the final minute. If that's true, Bernard is incredibly tough because he stayed in the game to block on the next play before coming out.

Condolences to your fantasy teams that have any of these injured players. Cincinnati's new top receiver, Brandon LaFell, is owned in only 11 percent of ESPN leagues.

The Bills' defensive backs

After looking things over during the bye week, Rex Ryan determined the Bills' biggest problem was in the secondary. He put several jobs up for grabs last week, ultimately replacing nickel back Nickell Robey-Coleman with Kevon Seymour. Corey White was allowed to compete for Ronald Darby's cornerback spot, though Darby held on to it.

The Bills' DBs responded in a big way Sunday, led by Stephon Gilmore's two interceptions, which may go a long way for the top corner who has struggled in a contract year.

White ended up playing only four snaps in the game. Here's the breakdown among defensive backs:

Tyrod's game

Sunday was another day when Tyrod Taylor made some good plays but didn't do much to cement himself as team's unquestioned long-term starter. He completed 19 of 27 passes but threw for only 166 yards and no touchdowns. He failed to put the game away in the fourth quarter – leading drives that took only 2:41, 1:46 and 1:44 off the clock – and missed Percy Harvin on a key third down. One thing that wasn't totally on him, however, was his interception. As Mark Gaughan notes, the throw wasn't terrible, but Marquise Goodwin didn't help him much, allowing Dre Kirkpatrick an opportunity to make a great play on the ball.

Dan Carpenter

On a day when NFL kickers missed a record 12 extra points (including two by Cincinnati's Mike Nugent), Bills kicker Dan Carpenter was a perfect 3-3 on field goals and 1-1 on extra points. His solid day powered the Bills to an A- grade on special teams.

The Jaguars

Jacksonville (2-8) comes to New Era Field next Sunday. You know what that means: The return of Doug Marrone.

Final word: Prayers up for this camera man in Minnesota.

There are no comments - be the first to comment