Here are how my five takes before the Buffalo Bills' 33-13 victory against the Cleveland Browns Sunday worked out:
1. Do not allow yourselves to be "that" team: Check-plus! The Bills took care of business exactly as expected.
They're a middle-of-the-road team. The Browns are pathetic. The Bills were fully expected to win by a comfortable margin – just as defensive tackle Marcell Dareus "boldly" predicted on Wednesday.
They knew their postseason hopes were dangling by a thread and Rex Ryan was likely entering his final few weeks as head coach. Yet, they put forth enough effort to dispose of an opponent that had no real desire to play in cold, windy conditions.
2. Don't give the Browns an ounce of hope. Check-plus! They never really gave the Browns any indication early on that they stood much of a chance, and the Browns proceeded to pretty much stick to the form of a team that is now 0-14 and hasn't won a game in more than a year.
The Bills did it mainly by imposing their will with a power-oriented game plan that sapped the life out of the Browns' defense. The Bills ran for 280 yards and a season-high three touchdowns.
The Browns' quarterback, Robert Griffin III, should not be playing. He had some nice runs, but he looks nothing remotely close to the player he was when he was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, after the Washington Redskins made him the second overall pick of the draft.
Seeing how poorly their QB was performing, the rest of the Browns wasted little time checking out of the game.
3. Try actually tackling the guy with the ball. Check. The Browns didn't have anywhere near the rushing success the Pittsburgh Steelers enjoyed against the Bills last week.
Griffin was Cleveland's most effective rusher, with 48 yards on eight runs.
Running backs Duke Johnson Jr., and Isiah Crowell had 31 and 28 yards apiece, respectively. Crowell had a 25-yard carry.
The biggest difference between this week and last week was the presence of defensive lineman Kyle Williams, who missed the Steelers' game with a back issue. He finished with four tackles, including two for losses. Williams also had 1.5 sacks and two hits on the quarterback.
4. Tyrod Taylor has to start making some strong statements. Not really. This was yet another win that did not depend on Taylor's passing.
The Bills won with a dominant rushing attack. Taylor contributed 174 passing yards and a touchdown throw that he short-armed and forced Charles Clay to make a tremendous effort to barely get a hand under the ball in the end zone. He also ran for 49 yards.
But a strong statement? Nope. It was pretty much the same statement Taylor has made in every game this season. Solid, but nothing special.
5. LeSean McCoy can't disappear again. Check-plus! His 153 rushing yards were his most since the joining the Bills last year.
McCoy, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry, also ran for a pair of touchdowns.
He basically had the kind of day one would expect against the next-to-last run defense in the NFL. But give McCoy plenty of credit for running hard and being his typically elusive self. Also give the Bills' offensive line credit for consistently giving McCoy room to run.