Sal's Sticks: Patriots at Bills

The Bills fall to 2-6 on the season after loss on Monday Night Football

Sal Capaccio
October 30, 2018 - 2:25 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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As has been the case all too often the season, a great defensive effort by the Buffalo Bills gets squandered by an anemic offensive output. That was the case once again on Monday night at New Era Field. Now, sitting at 2-6, it seems this season has already gotten away.

Let’s get to the Sticks:

 

BEHIND THE STICKS

  • The running game

The Bills gained 12 yards running the ball on their very first play from scrimmage. After that, they gained a total of 30 yards for the entire football game. That’s just brutal. For the game, they averaged only 2.4 yards per-carry. After the first run, they averaged only 1.8 yards per-carry. We know this team has enough trouble throwing the football. Add to it these numbers running and it will not be a good outcome, and wasn’t.
 

  • No touchdowns......again

Another game, another on with no touchdowns for the Bills' offense. The last time they found the endzone was the fourth quarter in Houston three games ago. That’s eight straight quarters without scoring a touchdown. For the season, they’ve only punched it in seven times in eight games, have scored more than one touchdown in two of eight games this season, and have no touchdowns in four of the eight.
 

  • Third down offense

The Bills finished the game only converting 4-of-14 third down opportunities. That’s a 29-percent conversion rate. A lot of that had to do with, what seemed to be, constant third-and-long situations, needing at least five yards for the first down.

 

AHEAD OF THE STICKS

  • The defensive effort

Once again, the defense, at least, tried to put the offense on its back. They held a Tom Brady-led offense out of the endzone for over three quarters and gave up only 18 points overall as a unit. That should always be enough to win a game in the NFL. Of course, it unfortunately wasn’t again Monday night.
 

  • LB Lorenzo Alexander

The 35-year old Alexander continues to have his best season yet, collecting a total of six tackles, one for a loss, two sacks, two quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble.
 

  • LB Matt Milano

Milano payed one heck of a game, collecting seven tackles, one for a loss, and coming up with two pass breakups. However, it was the job he did on Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski that really stood out. Gronkowski was almost a non-factor the entire game, grabbing only three balls for 43 yards. His longest catch, a 22-yarder, came when Milano was not covering him.
 

  • CB Tre’Davious White

White was matched up on Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon all game and, once again, did a great job on the opposition’s top-outside wideout. Gordon caught only four balls for 42 yards.
 

  • LB Julian Stanford

Stanford didn’t particularly stand out, and that’s why he’s on this list, actually. He was forced to come in and play for Tremaine Edmunds, who suffered a concussion in the third quarter, and didn’t miss a beat. Stanford was prepared and played his role well, even contributing with a tackle for loss on a third down run.
 

  • Red zone defense

The Patriots had the ball at or inside the Bills’ 22-yard line five times, and came away with only one touchdown. It was a bend-but-don’t-break defense all night.

 

THE BIG PICTURE

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