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Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan has been a sports writer at The Buffalo News for 35 years. He covers the Bills and the NFL and is a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America, as well as a past selector for Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Bills

The Buffalo Bills’ wide receivers deserve some unsung hero credit for their block in Sunday’s 13-12 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The wideouts were especially big in the run game on the Bills’ 47-yard drive to the winning field goal. On a 6-yard run by Chris Ivory that got the march going, Andre Holmes executed a crack-back block on defensive end Derrick Morgan …

Analysis

It was a Sean McDermott kind of game for the Buffalo Bills’ defense Sunday. Create turnovers, win a defensive battle. The Bills improved to 10-2 under head coach McDermott when they win the turnover battle. Six of those 10 wins have come in one-score games. The Bills won the turnover battle, 3-1, in the 13-12 victory over the Tennessee Titans. “No. 1 part of th…

Bills

BILLS-TITANS QUARTERLY REPORT FIRST QUARTER Theme: Good opening script by Brian Daboll. The Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator was in a zone to start the game, as the Bills drove 47 yards in 11 plays to a touchdown. Matchup watch: Cornerback Tre White did not follow Titans No. 1 receiver Corey Davis every play. But the Bills got a third-and-2 stop on the Titans’…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills are not built to play catch-up football. They keep falling behind. It’s a troubling trend and a dilemma facing the Bills entering Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. The Bills have fallen way behind in three of four games this season. In fact, they’ve been down by 21 or more in seven of their last 14 games dating to last season. If the…

Colleges

This is part of a series highlighting the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame's 2018 class. The 15-member class will be inducted Oct. 9. For tickets, visit GBSHOF.com.  Some of the great one-on-one basketball games ever in Western New York happened in the backyard of 81 Sidney St., off Fillmore Avenue on Buffalo’s East Side. It was the home of brothers Jimmy and Rick…

Bills

Relief is not in immediate sight for the struggling Buffalo Bills’ offense. The Tennessee Titans come to town this week with a defense superior to the Green Bay unit that just shut out the Bills on Sunday and very comparable to the Baltimore defense that mugged them in the season opener. The Titans have the kind of stout defensive front that is built to smother the Bill…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills' pass protectors will have their hands full with the Tennessee Titans' pass rush Sunday. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is tough to handle on twists and bull rushes. Rookie edge rusher Harold Landry has a big-time speed move. This sack of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson displayed some of the Titans' best defensive strengths, all rolled into o…

Analysis

Largely because the Buffalo Bills have been so far behind so often this season, they have used three-receiver sets (11 personnel) on 70 percent of their plays. Last year they used it 55 percent. The league average for 11 personnel was 59 percent in 2017. The Bills should be able to run well out of 21 personnel (two backs), but they're only using it about 8 percent of their…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills’ defensive backfield survived a big injury in Green Bay and were assignment-sound enough to avoid big plays against a great quarterback. If there’s any silver lining in the Bills’ shutout loss to the Packers, the defensive backfield was it. Pro Bowl safety Micah Hyde went out with a groin injury but the Bills yielded only one touchdown pass to Aaron Ro…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills’ offense dropped to last in the NFL in three-and-out drives and third-down conversions after their shutout loss in Green Bay. The Bills had seven three-and-out drives in 12 possessions and now are going three and out an NFL-worst 38.8 percent of their drives. The NFL three-and-out average annually is about 22 percent. The Bills have been last in the…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills are in a desperate search for an offensive identity a quarter of the way into the NFL season. The offense is geared to execute in the short passing game. However, young quarterback Josh Allen has trouble making quick reads, and the Bills don’t have receivers who get quick separation. Meanwhile, the Bills’ play-calling suggests the coaches have no co…

Bills

BILLS-PACKERS QUARTERLY REPORT FIRST QUARTER Theme: Buffalo Bills offense starts slow. Setting the tone: The Bills showed confidence in their offensive line on the third play from scrimmage, a third-and-1 run up the middle by Chris Ivory. No going. Green Bay’s defensive tackles won the surge up the middle, and Ivory was stuffed for no gain. Injury report: The B…

Bills

The certainty for the Buffalo Bills’ offense Sunday in Green Bay is Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will severely test its protection schemes. As Bills fans will recall, Pettine was defensive coordinator in Buffalo in 2013 when the Bills set their single-season record for sacks with 57. The uncertainty is how much Pettine will feel the need to blitz – send…

Bills

Perhaps no quarterback in the NFL throws the back-shoulder fade better than Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. His anticipation, quick release and arm strength make it an extremely hard play to defend. The key for the receiver is to get a free release off the line of scrimmage and not get too close to the boundary, so the quarterback has enough room to fit in the throw between …

Bills

The back-shoulder fade is one of the many throws that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes look easy. Rodgers is one of the great arm-talent quarterbacks ever to play, up there with Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, John Elway and Brett Favre. Throw whoever else you want into that subjective class. Rodgers' quick release, arm strength and anticipation …