Beyond the Playbook

The Buffalo Bills were outclassed by the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-13, last Sunday at New Era Field. It was a dispiriting game, says analyst Matt Sabuda, but all is not lost for the 2019 season. He says the schedule is giving the Bills a chance to regain confidence this Sunday against "dysfunctional" Washington, which comes into the game with a 1-6 record.


The Philadelphia Eagles have stumbled to a 3-4 record this season, but they remain a formidable opponent this Sunday for the Buffalo Bills.  As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Eagles won the Super Bowl two seasons ago featuring many of the players on their current roster.  In order to come away with a victory, Sabuda believes quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills offense will need to put together their best performance of the season.


The Miami Dolphins come to New Era Field Sunday without a win. The Bills are 16-point favorites heading into the contest, the largest such spread in over two decades. Still, analyst Matt Sabuda calls it a "must win" game for the Bills. He believes if the Bills were to stumble, the result would extinguish fans' hopes which have reached new heights as the team has rolled to a 4-1 start.


The Buffalo Bills haven't started a season at 4-1 since 2011. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, that year slipped away quickly as the team finished at 6-10. Sabuda sees greater possibilities ahead provided the team addresses some inefficiencies. At the top of that list is the decision-making of quarterback Josh Allen.  The Bills are 8-1 in games when Allen throws one or fewer interceptions; when that number rises to two or above, the Bills are 1-6.


Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans features two of the top defensive units at this stage in the NFL season. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Titans are giving up an average of 16 points per game, the fourth-best mark in the league. The Bills are second in the NFL in allowing 281 yards per game. If the Bills can avoid a letdown after last week's close loss to the Patriots, Sabuda believes they can come away with a win on Sunday.


The records are the same, but the quality of their play to this point has been considerably different.  The New England Patriots have been shutting down opponents on their way to a 3-0 record while the Buffalo Bills have survived third-quarter droughts to get to the same record. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Bills have scored only three points in the third quarter this season. It's a trend that can't continue Sunday if the Bills are to knock off the champions at New Era Field.


With two wins on the road to start their season, the Buffalo Bills will carry an unblemished record to New Era Field for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The home opener should have a "lively atmosphere," said analyst Matt Sabuda with tongue-in-cheek understatement. While he favors the Bills over the winless Bengals, Sabuda warns it's "still a young season where little is really established."


A first-half offensive surge provided the Buffalo Bills with a 14-point halftime lead, and the team's defense made the margin stand in a, 28-14, victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon. Analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Bills defense is again showing that they are among the league's best. Their performance has the team off to a 2-0 start for the first time in five years.


Perceptions of the Buffalo Bills have changed following last week's come-from-behind road victory against the New York Jets. Though they are on the road again Sunday, the Bills are slight favorites over the New York Giants. Analyst Matt Sabuda agrees with the oddsmakers. He thinks quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills offense will be able to move the ball against the Giants poor defense.


After falling behind 16-0, the Buffalo Bills rallied in the second half of their season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday, winning 17-16. After a first half that included four turnovers, Bills analyst Matt Sabuda says the team got a boost once coaches decided to start using rookie running back Devin Singletary, who ignited the offense in the comeback effort.


Buffalo Bills fans are pinning their hopes on the development of second-year quarterback Josh Allen. Sunday's opponent, the New York Jets, are also watching the progress of Sam Darnold, their second-year franchise quarterback. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the play of the young quarterbacks will likely determine the winner of Sunday's game.

With the ninth pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver, a defensive tackle from the University of Houston. The move received favorable reviews from analyst Matt Sabuda who expects Oliver to be a contributor in the 2019 season.  As for the team's remaining nine picks, Sabuda would like to see the Bills add to the offensive line, a unit which struggled throughout the 2018 season.

For most of last two decades, the season finale for the Buffalo Bills has been a dreary affair, a meaningless game for a team that would again be sitting out the postseason. Of course, 2017 finished with the Bills ending their record playoff drought. While the 2018 season didn't feature a return trip to the playoffs, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Bills 42-17 rout of the Miami Dolphins was full of indications the franchise could be ready to return to relevance.


Losing to the New England Patriots continues to be a tradition for the Buffalo Bills. Since the turn of the century--and the arrival of Tom Brady-- the Patriots have dominated the Bills. That was the case again Sunday as New England cruised to a 24-12 win on their home field. Analyst Matt Sabuda says there's plenty of blame to be shared, from the "putrid" Bills' run defense to the inadequacies of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. But Sabuda stresses the game also highlighted the need to upgrade the team's "downright awful" unit of wide receivers.


The Buffalo Bills head into this Sunday's road game against the New England Patriots with no chance of making the playoffs. Despite that sad reality for Bills' fans, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the team has a great opportunity this weekend. The Bills could deliver a blow to the Patriots pursuit of home-field advantage in the playoffs. The game also offers rookie quarterback Josh Allen a chance to show his progress against a traditional NFL power.


Almost since quarterback Nathan Peterman's disastrous season-opening start at Baltimore, the playoff hopes for the Buffalo Bills have been dim. Consistently recognizing that reality throughout the year has been analyst Matt Sabuda. He's been encouraging the franchise to build toward the future and now has "a sense of intrigue" for the remainder of the season. While some see three meaningless games on the schedule, Sabuda is eager to watch how the Bills' young players continue to progress.


Rookie quarterback Josh Allen continues to excite fans with athletic runs and his strong arm. With Sunday's performance against the Jets, Allen became just the fourth player in Buffalo Bills history to rush for 95 yards or more in three consecutive games, joining Fred Jackson, Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson on that list. Of course, the effort wasn't enough as the Bills lost Sunday to the New York Jets, 27-23.  Allen took a step back, says analyst Matt Sabuda, who believes the quarterback would be better served to use his running ability to establish a more effective passing game.


It's the first of what many fans hope will be many meetings between quarterbacks Josh Allen and Sam Darnold. The rookies are scheduled to face each other for the first time this Sunday when the Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, Darnold has stumbled since a strong start to his first NFL season. For Allen, it's been a different story. His mixed start to the year included some awful performances, but Allen's play in the last two weeks compares favorably to some of the league's best quarterbacks.


Analyst Matt Sabuda is looking beyond the final, 21-17, score in the Buffalo Bills' loss Sunday to the Miami Dolphins. "I have to say as someone who wants to see Buffalo sports thrive, I was thrilled with yesterday." Specifically, Sabuda was impressed with the performance of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. Allen threw for 231 yards and set a team rushing record for a quarterback by running for 135 yards.

With the Buffalo Bills finishing their 46th season at their stadium home in Orchard Park, a look to the future was inevitable. The organization started the process earlier this week by announcing it was launching a study to examine stadium needs and options. During WBFO's Beyond the Playbook, analyst Matt Sabuda offered a sketch of what is likely to come: a community conversation over the costs and benefits of being home to the NFL franchise for the foreseeable future.


In his return to his starting role, rookie quarterback Josh Allen helped the Buffalo Bills to a 24-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon. His big plays--a long touchdown pass and a rugged scramble for a touchdown--were important elements in the win, says analyst Matt Sabuda. Also key was a fight which broke out late in the third quarter. As Sabuda points out, the scuffle prompted the ejection of the Jaguars' top player Leonard Fournette and fired up the fans at New Era Field, making for a memorable victory.

It was ten months ago when the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars met in the AFC playoffs. Now, the teams continue their disappointing seasons when they meet Sunday at New Era Field. Both come into the game with 3-7 records and only slim chances of returning to the postseason. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, Sunday also marks a pair of returns: former Bills coach Doug Marrone makes his first appearance in Buffalo since becoming Jacksonville's head coach; and rookie quarterback Josh Allen is expected to return to his starting role for the Bills.

Leave it to the bye week to build optimism among Bills' fans, even when their team has a 3-7 record. In looking to the future, analyst Matt Sabuda sees some positive developments. While he's guarded in his mixed assessment of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, he points to how the team can add a surge of talent to their depleted roster. Sabuda says the Bills will have $91 million in salary cap space to spend on players next year. 


After breaking their record streak of seasons missing the playoffs in 2017, the Buffalo Bills are likely to be sitting out another postseason this year. Analyst Matt Sabuda looks back at what has gone wrong with the Bills, who head into the bye week with a 3-7 record. The offense has been horrid, and the play of injured rookie quarterback Josh Allen hasn't been much better.

With 41 points in their win over the New York Jets Sunday, the Bills managed to score more points in four quarters than they scored in their previous four games combined. According to analyst Matt Sabuda, two factors are behind the offensive outburst: the competent play of surprise starting quarterback Matt Barkley and the overall ineptitude of the New York Jets.

After the first quarter Sunday at New Era Field, the Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears were scoreless. One quarter later, the Bears led by 28 on their way to an easy 41-9 victory. Analyst Matt Sabuda calls the game a "complete disaster and the latest entry in an increasingly disastrous season." At this point, he believes the team needs Josh Allen to return to the lineup. While the rookie quarterback still has much to prove, his play would be a major upgrade over recent starters Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson.


Through eight games this season the Buffalo Bills have scored only 87 points. That failure to produce points doomed the team again in last night's 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots.  Analyst Matt Sabuda says the offensive failure ruined another fine performance by the Bills' defense.

The New England Patriots have made themselves at home when visiting New Era Field. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Patriots have won nine of their last 10 games in Orchard Park, enjoying large margins of victory in most cases. Unless the Bills can improve upon their recent stumbling efforts, that dominance is likely to continue.

In throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble, Derek Anderson lived up to the low expectations which accompanied his first appearance as the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. Equally notable for analyst Matt Sabuda was  the crumbling of the team's defense in the 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. In recent games, the unit helped to keep the Bills competitive, but Sunday's performance only adds to the concerns the 2019 season may be heading for disaster.


As the Buffalo Bills stumble through the process of establishing a starting quarterback capable of playing at an NFL level, one aspect of the team has been performing above expectations. Analyst Matt Sabuda points out the defense has been among the league's best over the last four games. Heading into Sunday's game at Indianapolis, Sabuda wonders if the unit will be strong enough to support newcomer Derek Anderson, the Bills' fourth starting quarterback in their last eight regular-season games. 

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