Mark Gaughan, The Buffalo News
print logo

Mark Gaughan

Sports writer at the Buffalo News for more than 30 years, covers college sports and writes Bills game analysis. Past president of the Pro Football Writers of America. Past selector for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Buffalo native. Buffalo State College graduate.


BILLS-BRONCOS MATCHUP WINNERS Bills O-line vs. Von Miller The premier pass-rusher in the NFL had a huge impact on the game. But he did not ruin the Bills' offense. Miller beat rookie left tackle Dion Dawkins for a sack on the first drive of the game. He beat right tackle Jordan Mills with a spin move and drew a holding penalty in the third quarter. He drew a chintzy …

The Buffalo Bills used play-action passes effectively on first down to keep Denver's great pass rush from dominating the game. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was 10 of 10 on first-down passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Bills called 13 passes and 12 runs on first down (not counting an end-of-game kneel-down). Eight of those passes were play-action run …

Tyrod Taylor played an outstanding game on a day when LeSean McCoy wasn't running wild and directed a big Buffalo Bills win Sunday. Give the much-maligned No. 5 his due. He was on point against the best pass defense in the NFL. He had help, of course. The Bills' defense was sensational, especially the starting cornerback duo of Tre'Davious White and E.J. Gaines. Bill…

Mark Gaughan’s Matchup Watch: Broncos at Bills Von Miller vs. Jordan Mills: Miller is the key matchup in every Denver game, and it won’t likely be one-on-one much of the time. The Bills will have to use a tight end and/or running back to help keep Miller off Tyrod Taylor. Denver will use blitzes to make it harder for the Bills to lock onto No. 58. Miller’s speed a…

Mark Gaughan’s Play to Watch: Trevor Siemian executing Denver’s quick game There are two reasons Denver probably will want to get the ball out of Trevor Siemian’s hands quickly vs. Buffalo. 1, The Broncos are at less than full strength at offensive tackle. 2, The Bills figure to protect deep against the dangerous duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. …

Buffalo Bills first-year defensive end Eddie Yarbrough never will forget the feeling of being passed over when the NFL Draft ended in 2016. "It was an uppercut from Mike Tyson to the gut," Yarbrough said. Yarbrough and 17 other Buffalo Bills players this season beat the odds by making an NFL roster without being drafted. "As me and my guy Ryan Davis say, 'We're f…

Mark Gaughan's Big-Play Breakdown: Von Miller's Wide 9 rush The most famous of Von Miller's 82 career sacks (counting playoffs) was his strip-sack of Cam Newton (1) in Super Bowl 50 that produced a Denver touchdown. What makes Miller's speed rush so devastating is his ability to dip his inside shoulder low to the ground like a speed skater, which gives the offensive tac…

Enjoy this free sample of the extensive Bills coverage available on BNBlitz.com. Click here to subscribe.  The first thing the Buffalo Bills should do in preparing to face the Denver Broncos Sunday is ignore the offensive game plan the Dallas Cowboys used last week. Denver has the best pass defense in the NFL. The Broncos have the best speed rusher in the NFL in Von…

The Buffalo Bills' offense needed the pass game to open up the run game in Sunday's loss at Carolina. The pass game wasn't open. It's no shock that Carolina held LeSean McCoy to just 9 yards on 12 carries. Carolina ranked sixth in the NFL last year against the run and fourth in 2015. McCoy skewered the Jets in Week One with outside zone-scheme runs. Those runs wer…

Here is how the three matchups that we focused on before the game panned out: Panthers DBs vs. Bills WRs. The Bills' wide receivers have 11 catches through two games. Not good enough. There are not any weaknesses in the Panthers' fantastic defense. It's hard to throw to the middle of the field where Luke Kuechly patrols, and it's hard to hit the running back on swing…

Sunday's game could have been a comfortable win for the Carolina Panthers, similar to their 23-3 season opening victory over San Francisco. Bills safety Jordan Poyer kept the Panthers from taking control by saving two touchdowns with end-zone breakups in the first half. Poyer, who started just 10 games in the first four years of his NFL career, now has two straight s…

The Bills' offense is overmatched against an elite NFL defense. Buffalo simply did not have enough top-end receiving weapons to do damage against the dominant Carolina Panthers' defenders in Sunday's 9-3 loss. There's no shame in the fact LeSean McCoy was shut down. Carolina's great front seven is going to shut down a lot of running backs this season. Without Sammy W…

GREG OLSEN SEAM ROUTE Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will be a difficult matchup for the Bills Sunday. He's especially dangerous on seam routes, as he showed in this 19-yard TD catch in Carolina's 31-24 divisional-round playoff win over Seattle two years ago. Seattle was in a Cover 3 zone. Cam Newton (1) froze All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas (29) after taking th…

BILLS-PANTHERS MATCHUP WATCH Bills C Eric Wood vs. Panthers DTs, LBs The Bills center had a terrific start to the season against the Jets' outstanding defensive front. It's a back-to-back heavy lift for Wood Sunday in Carolina. The Panthers will line up either Star Lotulelei or Kawann Short over the shoulder of Wood. Both are 315-pounders and both gave San Francisco …

Louisiana State and Alabama both can claim bragging rights as the top talent-producing colleges for the NFL. Both college powerhouses put 39 players on the NFL's opening-day, 53-man active rosters. LSU had the most starters at 27 to 'Bama's 21, by The News' count. If you count all players on injured reserve and practice squads – which adds a lot of players - LSU…