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Last year around this time, inspired by Brandon Bolden's 137-yard rushing day against the Bills, I put together a list of 12 running backs who had enjoyed a breakthrough game against the Buffalo defense. I've been asked by a couple of readers to update it after two more obscure backs went for career highs against the Bills this season -- New England's Shan…

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Bills' defense has made strides under Mike Pettine this year. They're blitzing more. They caused a lot of problems for Tom Brady and Cam Newton. But after three weeks, the overall numbers look distressingly similar to last year's. In fact, they're worse.  A year ago, the Bills gave up 362.9 yards a game. They allowed …

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One of the big stories heading into Sunday's Jets-Bills game was the matchup between Rex Ryan and his former defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine. On Wednesday, Ryan was asked who would have the advantage in a matchup of defensive minds who favor the same attacking defense."We'll see on Sunday," Ryan said. Well, on Sunday Ryan …

Bills safety Jairus Byrd is questionable for Sunday's game at the New York Jets. (James P. McCoy/News file photo) Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said safety Jairus Byrd and guard Doug Legursky both will be listed as questionable for Sunday's game at the New York Jets. That's an upgrade since last week. Byrd was doubtful heading into the game against Carolina. Marro…

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will be the keynote speaker next Tuesday at a tribute for the late Kent Hull, his long-time center, in Hull's native Mississippi. The Tribute to Kent Hull Banquet will raise funds for a new trophy that will be awarded each year to the top collegiate offensive lineman in Mississippi. Rick Cleveland, the executive director of the Mis…

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone explained his rationale for going for the two-point conversion a bit earlier than conventional wisdom suggests in Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers. The Bills had scored a touchdown with 4:18 left in the third quarter to pull within 14-12. The conversion pass from EJ Manuel to Robert Woods tied the game. It proved critical…

Rex Ryan is almost certainly coaching for his job this season. His Jets were expected by most prognosticators to finish at or near the bottom of the AFC this season. Many observers felt he would get fired after last season. John Idzik, the Jets' new general manager, is probably inclined to get his own head coach.  So Ryan hasn't demonstrated the old swagge…

By Mark Gaughan The Buffalo Bills will be going with veteran kicker Dan Carpenter for a second straight week in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Bills coach Doug Marrone said rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins has been ruled out for the game. Hopkins is dealing with a strained groin suffered the week before the season opener. The Bills were thinking Hopkins mig…

By Jerry Sullivan When two NFL teams meet, there are always connections. It's common for teams to list them in their weekly press notes. For example, Bills special teams coordinator Danny Crossman was a special-teams coach for the Panthers from 2003-09. Bruce DeHaven, who had two terms as the Bills' special-teams coach, is now the assistant special teams coach f…

By Jerry Sullivan We don't pick the Thursday night NFL games in our weekly staff picks column. Maybe in the future, we can figure out a way. It seems we should pick every game in the season and not omit certain games for logistical reasons. Hey, it's one more chance for me to embarrass myself, right? What was I thinking when I picked the Redskins as my best bet …

By Jerry Sullivan Stevie Johnson just concluded a hastily arranged eight-minute press conference with the media at One Bills Drive. He took the blame for his crucial drop, but cut himself some slack by saying the catch wasn't as simple as it appeared to the naked eye. "I feel like it was harder than what it was," he said. He explained he shook his man and…

By Jerry Sullivan Stevie Johnson was a no-show in the Bills' locker room this morning. That makes twice in a row. Johnson bolted the dressing room immediately after the Bills' 23-21 season-opening loss to the Patriots on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. In Aaron Schobel-like fashion, Johnson barely took time to towel off before heading out the tunnel and off to h…

By Jerry Sullivan Remember a while back, when offensive coordinator Nate Hackett talked about running C.J. Spiller until he threw up? Well, another Bills star was talking about losing his lunch late Sunday afternoon, and it had nothing to do with overwork. It was defensive lineman Kyle Williams reacting to the latest heart-wrenching loss to the Patriots. "Listen, if…

By Jerry Sullivan As Tim Graham pointed out earlier on the blog, the Bills have a multitude of factors going against them in Sunday's season opener against the Patriots. Here's one the Vegas boys didn't point out: No Bills head coach has ever won his season-opening debut. Doug Marrone is looking to be the first. Bills coaches are 0-16 in their first crack o…