Share this article

print logo

Three up, three down following the Bills' Week Seven win over Tampa Bay

The AFC East is the best division in football through seven weeks of the NFL season.

The New England Patriots (5-2), Miami Dolphins (4-2), Buffalo Bills (4-2) and New York Jets (3-4) are a combined 16-10 so far this year, giving them a record that is 1.5 games ahead of teams from the NFC North, which are 15-12.

If the season ended today, three teams from the AFC East would make the playoffs, with the Bills currently holding the No. 5 seed in the conference. That would put them in a wild-card game at Tennessee. Gee, is there any postseason history between those two teams? Of course, there is a lot of football to be played, but the Bills' win Sunday keeps them in the thick of the AFC race.

Here's a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the come-from-behind win against Tampa Bay.

Three Up

QB Tyrod Taylor: My biggest criticism of Taylor during his time with the Bills has been an inability to pull out games in the clutch, when the Bills are tied or trail in the fourth quarter and need their quarterback to step up and deliver a big play. Taylor silenced that criticism Sunday, needing just 46 seconds to drive the Bills to a tying touchdown after the Bucs had gone up, 27-20. After the offense got the ball back, Taylor controlled the clock perfectly, leaving Tampa Bay with just 14 seconds remaining and no timeouts after Stephen Hauschka's go-ahead field goal. Taylor also had more than 50 rushing yards, adding a needed element to the ground game.

RB LeSean McCoy: Guess who's back, back again? Shady's back. Tell a friend. McCoy finished with 122 yards from scrimmage and his first two touchdowns of 2017, looking like the player he has been since coming to Buffalo in 2015.

LB Matt Milano: The rookie had his first career interception, a takeaway that should have produced points for the Bills at the end of the first half. Milano also had a pair of tackles for loss among five total stops and was part of a run defense that held the Bucs to less than 3 yards per carry.

Three Down

CB Shareece Wright: Pressed into extended action after E.J. Gaines was lost to a hamstring injury, Wright struggled. The analytics website Pro Football Focus charted Wright for allowing 5-of-6 targets to be caught for 90 yards, a touchdown and 24 yards after the catch. He allowed two catches to Mike Evans and was responsible for one of the O.J. Howard touchdowns. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston had a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Wright, per PFF.

WR Zay Jones: The rookie had another drop. Seriously. Jones finished with just two catches on nine targets, for just 17 yards. While it's true that several of those targets weren't possible to catch, it shows that Taylor and Jones aren't even reading from the same book at the moment.

DT Adolphus Washington: He failed to record a tackle in 27 defensive snaps and generally did not have much of an impact when he was in the game.

Story topics: / / / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment