Mark Gaughan - The Buffalo News

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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

It's hard to believe the New Orleans Saints scored six touchdowns Sunday and didn't need a single scoring pass from quarterback Drew Brees. Yet Brees still made a few key plays that got the Saints' 47-10 rout rolling against the Buffalo Bills. Two pass plays top a run-oriented review of Ten Plays That Shaped the Game: 1. Second-window throw. The Bills trailed just 7-…

Bills

The pass rush needs to be above average to have a good chance at containing a great quarterback. The Bills' pass rush wasn't close to average against New Orleans star Drew Brees early in Sunday's 47-10 defeat. Obviously, the Bills' run defense was atrocious. But Brees got the blowout rolling from the passing pocket. A perfect example was the key play on the drive th…

Bills

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is aggressive. He blitzed the most in the NFL in 2016, and he often sends defensive backs at the quarterback to replace rushing linebackers or defensive linemen. Against New Orleans on Sunday, the Bills need to avoid third-and-long situations, when Allen gets exotic with his blitz package. This was a third-and-12 play agains…

Bills

Mark Ingram vs. Bills LBs New Orleans Saints receiving back Alvin Kamara will be a tough matchup for the Buffalo Bills' LBs in coverage but it all starts with Ingram. If the Bills can't limit the Saints' run game, they have no chance against Drew Brees' passing. The Saints like to run inside zone plays, double-teaming at the point of attack. The Jets did a lot of that w…

Bills

Buffalo Bills safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer know they will be in dangerous cross hairs Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is one of the greatest manipulators of safeties ever to play quarterback. "He's skilled at what he does, and throwing off DBs is just one of the many skills that he has," Hyde said. "He uses his vision to hold the safety in t…

Bills

The Saints' pass offense has been ranked in the top four in the NFL 11 straight years. One of its many strengths is beating zone coverage with three-level stretch plays in which quarterback Drew Brees has options deep, middle and underneath. This was a 21-yard pass Brees hit on Sean McDermott's Carolina defense in a 41-38 win over the Panthers last season. The recei…

Bills

The New Orleans Saints finally look like they have solved their defensive problems. Offense never is a worry in New Orleans. The Saints have ranked in the top six in the NFL in yardage all 11 years quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton have been together, and they've been No. 1 six of those seasons. The defense has been ranked in the bottom five in points allo…

Bills

It was a night to forget for the Bills' offensive line at in the swampland of Northern New Jersey Thursday night. The Bills' line was dominated by the New York Jets' front seven in the 34-21 loss. Guard Vlad Ducasse was victimized on three of the Jets' seven sacks. Guard Richie Incognito was partly to blame as well on two of the sacks that Ducasse had a hand in. T…

Bills

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles blitzed the Buffalo Bills into submission Thursday night. The Jets rushed five men at Tyrod Taylor on 17 of the Bills' first 22 drop-backs. That's an amazing 77 percent. The Jets led the NFL last season with a blitz rate of 40.2 percent and were blitzing at 39 percent this season. The Jets got five of their seven sacks on blitzes in th…

Bills

Jets D-line vs. Bills O-line The Jets' physical, talented defensive line thoroughly outplayed the Bills' offensive line. The result was seven sacks of quarterback Tyrod Taylor. New York frequently played a condensed defensive front, with a nose tackle over the Bills' center and the two defensive ends over the outside shoulder of the guards. Normally the Jets defensiv…

Bills

The New York Jets entered Thursday night's game ranked second-last in the NFL in sacking the quarterback. You never would have known it from watching New York's 34-21 demolition of the Bills at MetLife Stadium. The Jets, who entered the game with 11 sacks on the season, took down Tyrod Taylor seven times. Buffalo entered the game sixth from the bottom in pass prot…

Bills

The New York Jets gave the Buffalo Bills heaping doses of their own medicine in Thursday night's nationally televised football game. The Jets used power running, dominant defense and takeaways to whip the Bills' 34-21. The back-breaking play was a 51-yard run by Bilal Powell in the third quarter to set up the score that put the Jets ahead by 17 points. The Bills h…

Bills

Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins produced little his first three seasons in Tampa Bay, but he's an elite athlete who is starting to emerge for the Jets. Before the 2014 draft, Seferian-Jenkins ran a 4.56 40-yard dash, great for a tight end who is 6-5 1-2 and 262 pounds. Since coming off suspension in Week Three, he has 31 catches. This was a 27-yarder in the J…

Bills

Mark Gaughan's Matchup Watch: Bills at Jets Tyrod Taylor vs. the Jets' blitz Jets coach Todd Bowles' defenses have ranked among the top three in the NFL in blitzing percentage four straight years, according to Football Outsiders. It looks like this year will make it five straight. The Jets blitzed 40.2 percent of drop-backs last year. They're blitzing 39.2 percent th…

Bills

You want to let out a giant exhale at the end of the latest NFL Network special on the life of Jim Kelly. First there's a slew of highlights of some of the brutal hits Kelly took while developing the well-deserved reputation as the toughest quarterback in the NFL. Then there's the heart-wrenching recounting of his son Hunter's battle with a fatal disease and death at…