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Vic Carucci's Bills analysis: Loss of playmakers in a passing game hurts

You had to know it was coming.

Sooner or later, Sammy Watkins would have his breakout game in a Los Angeles Rams uniform. Robert Woods would also eventually make some big things happen for the Rams.

Ditto for Marquise Goodwin of the San Francisco 49ers.

Thursday night, all three former Buffalo Bills receivers -- along with ex-Bills defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman, also a Ram -- all did it in the same game, LA's 41-39 victory against the Niners.

If you're a Bills fan and didn't brace yourself for this, you're either delusional or a masochist. Then again, being a Bills fans makes the second part a bit redundant.

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Watkins and Woods each caught six passes for a combined 214 yards. Watkins scored two touchdowns, both on extra-effort plays in which he willed himself into the end zone, and also made a beautiful catch of a 47-yard pass while double-covered. Goodwin had two receptions for 62 yards, including one for 50.

For the Bills fans watching on NFL Network, those performances served as reminders of what their team no longer has: playmakers in the passing game.

Furthermore, they picked at the emotional wounds of knowing that Watkins and perhaps all three receivers could have still been with the Bills, but new decision-makers chose to part ways with them. In the case of Watkins, the return from last month's trade shocker was a second-round draft pick next year and a starting cornerback, E.J. Gaines.

Otherwise, the Bills have left themselves with receivers who do very little to make defenses feel threatened, which has been evident in both of their games so far.

It was more pronounced last Sunday, as the Bills not only failed to reach the end zone in a 9-3 loss against the Carolina Panthers, but also gave their opponents no reason to avoid gearing the bulk of their defensive effort to successfully make LeSean McCoy disappear.

The Bills could be in for a similar nightmare this Sunday against the exceptional defense of the Denver Broncos. With no playmakers in the passing game, Buffalo's offense is susceptible to being smothered for a second week in a row.

Meanwhile, Bills fans are left to be tortured by the sight of Watkins making the sort of plays he made Thursday night – the sort of plays that could very well put an entirely different face on the current state of their passing game.

And brace yourselves. There's likely to be more where that came from.

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