There is now plenty of room on the Buffalo Bills’ bandwagon.
Spots that filled up after the Bills raced out to a 5-2 start are once again available as fans filed out of New Era Field early on Sunday with their team looking downright abysmal for the second game in a row. A 47-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints dropped the Bills to 5-4.
They are still holding onto the sixth and final playoff spot through Week 10, but hardly looked like a team worthy of a postseason spot. The loss sets up the biggest game of the season in Week 11 at the Los Angeles Chargers.
A loss there means the Bills are starting at the possibility, maybe even likelihood, of a five-game losing streak, with games at Kansas City and home to New England following. Beating the Chargers, however, would get the Bills back on track and keep them in a playoff position in a watered-down AFC.
Here is a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the loss to the Saints:
• QB Nathan Peterman: The rookie did well in garbage time, going 7 of 10 for 79 yards and a touchdown pass – the first of his career. He can only be evaluated on what he was asked to do, and in that regard it was a successful appearance.
• WR Kelvin Benjamin: The production wasn't overwhelming, but Benjamin did have a team-high 42 receiving yards on three catches. He was targeted six times. He also played a team-high 41 of 48 snaps among wide receivers. That shows the coaching staff is happy with how much of the offense Benjamin has picked up in his short time with the team. He deserves credit for his hard work in that regard.
• LT Dion Dawkins: Starting in place of Cordy Glen for the fourth time this season, Dawkins was the Bills' highest-graded offensive player, according to analytics website Pro Football Focus. In 48 snaps, he did not give up a sack, quarterback hit or hurry.
• QB Tyrod Taylor: The numbers speak for themselves: 9 of 18 for 56 yards and one interception and a career-low 33.6 passer rating. “Horrible game. Our offense didn’t get anything going and that starts with me,” Taylor said. “Just an overall bad game. Something as a team we have to learn from. I definitely have to learn from this one. Just a bad game overall.” Nobody would disagree with that statement.
• WR Jordan Matthews: While Taylor deserves plenty of the blame for the offense’s shortcomings Sunday, it has to be mentioned that the Bills didn’t have receivers exactly running free in the Saints’ secondary. Matthews in particular was invisible, finishing with just one catch (on two targets) for 14 yards.
• LB Ramon Humber: He took a pair of offside penalties, not easy to accomplish as a linebacker, and was also charged with three missed tackles by PFF. Really, any of the Bills' front-seven defenders earned a spot on this list, though.