Bills Take Care Of Business With 33-13 Win
Very faint playoff hopes remain alive as they avoid embarrassing loss.
by Steve Saslow
LeSean McCoy ran for a season high 153 yards and two touchdowns as Buffalo avoided an embarrassing loss with a commanding 33-13 victory over the winless Browns. Mike Gillislee added a rushing touchdown giving the Bills a club record 27 on the season. Tyrod Taylor hit Charles Clay for a 19 yard touchdown pass just before halftime to give the Bills a 17-3 halftime lead. Taylor was 17 of 24 for 174 yards and added 49 yards on the ground. Dan Carpenter added two field goals but he once again missed an extra point. The final score could have been worse but Jonathan Williams was stopped on a fourth down goal line run in the final minutes.
The Turning Point:
The Reverse: Gillislee took the snap from the wildcat and ran to his right before pitching it to Brandon Tate on the end around. Tate had to reach for the high flip and it hung on his one hand for about five seconds before he pulled it in and rumbled for 30 yards to the Browns 12. Two plays later Gillislee scored to give the Bills a 10-3 lead.
The Big Drive:
The Bills took up half the second quarter with their second touchdown drive. They went 91 yards in 13 plays in a drive that took 7:29 off the clock. Taylor hit Clay who made a beautiful diving catch of a short pass in the end zone for a 19 yard score. Marquise Goodwin converted two third downs on the drive with a 23 yard catch on 3rd and 22 and a 9 yard diving catch of a short pass on 3rd and 5. McCoy got the drive started with an 18 yard run on the first play to get them out of a hole. Jerome Felton had a 12 yard catch and Clay also had a 13 yard catch on the drive.
The Big Drive II:
The Bills answered a Browns touchdown with one of their own in the third quarter to take away any thoughts of a Browns comeback. The six play, 75 yard drive in 3:08 ended in a McCoy 3 yard touchdown run. Clay had catches of 12 and 9 yards on the drive. They got 15 yards on a roughing the passer call. Taylor then rumbled for 28 yards to setup the Shady score.
Stat I Did Like:
Rushing Yards: They had 280 on the day reinforcing their league leading rushing attack.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Takeaways: The Bills once again did not get a turnover. Fortunately they never turned the ball over themselves.
- The Bills wore their all blue uniforms. Blue jerseys and blue pants.
- The stadium looked about half empty which wasn't a surprise considering how these two teams have been playing, the weather, and Christmas fast approaching.
- Former Bills owner Mary Wilson was on hand for this game.
- The captains for the game were Preston Brown, Zach Brown, Corey Graham, Tyrod Taylor, and Robert Woods.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Christian Kirksey: Winner: McCoy. Shady was the best player on the field in this game. His 153 yards were the most in his Bills career.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Emmanuel Ogbah: Winner: Kouandjio. With Glenn out, Kouandjio played and was rock solid as Taylor had time to throw and there were many holes to run through for the running backs.
DB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Terrelle Pryor: Winner: Gilmore. He was one on one with Pryor an awful lot and shut him down. He had just four catches for only 19 yards.
LB Zach Brown vs. RB Isaiah Crowell: Winner: Brown. Crowell got nothing going on the ground finishing with 28 yards on just 8 carries.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Don't Let Browns Gain Confidence: Success! The Bills got out to a 17-3 lead in the first half and when the Browns scored in the third quarter the Bills responded to not allow the Browns to think about getting out with a win.
2. Run Well: Success! The holes were there and the Bills were very successful on the ground gaining nearly 300 yards.
3. Ignore Outside Distractions: Success! The Bills said they were focused on not letting the Browns get their first win and they followed through. They kept answering when the Browns showed signs of life.
It was nice to see the Bills put a team away something they haven't done much this year. Of course it was a winless team so they are expected to do that. In reality, the win doesn't really do much for them since the playoffs are still a very longshot but it's always nice to win. Of course, it probably does harm to their draft position but that is a discussion for another day.
The Bills close out their home schedule with a division battle against Miami on Christmas Eve. The Dolphins will be without starting QB Ryan Tannehill once again but Matt Moore threw four touchdown passes on Saturday night. The Bills get a chance to play spoilers against a division rival battling for a playoff spot.
LeSean McCoy - Had a huge game with two second half touchdowns and his biggest game as a Bill.
Charles Clay - Was very active with seven catches for 72 yards.
Tyrod Taylor - Had a very good day through the air and on the ground.
Kyle Williams - He had one and a half sacks as he grinded it out with an injured back. I only wish the team had more success during his career. He deserves to be on a winner.
Sammy Watkins - He only had one catch for 10 yards. He dropped a pass and was out of sync on one downfield pass.
Dan Carpenter - He hit two field goals but another missed extra point is becoming a weekly tradition.
Player Of The Week
LeSean McCoy - Showed once again that he is far and away the best player on the team.
Positional Breakdown and Grades
Browns Game Preview