Buffalo Bills Stock Watch: 3 Up, 3 Down For Week 4
Buffalo Bills Week 4 Stock Watch
The Buffalo Bills pulled off somewhat of a stunner on Sunday when they beat the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens 23-20. It was a strong showing for all three units and perhaps the most complete performance by the Bills so far this season. E.J. Manuel had a pedestrian game ,but the running game was a monster gaining 203 yards on 55 rushing attempts. On the flip side the Ravens could only muster up 24 yards rushing between Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.
A week after being beaten up in the trenches by the New York Jets, the Bills turned the tables on the Ravens. They put pressure on Joe Flacco all day and neutralized the run game. Offensively they smashed the ball right up the gut on the Ravens' stout defensive front and set up some easy play-action passes for Manuel. It was probably the best coached game for Doug Marrone and his staff all year long.
The game wasn't without hiccups for the Bills. The offense stalled in the red zone on three separate occasions and had to settle for field goals. The Bills are making a habit out of turning turnovers into three points instead of seven, and that may be something that comes back to bite them eventually. It almost did on Sunday as the Bills only won by three points despite intercepting Flacco five times.
On defense the Bills still have weaknesses at cornerback. Their top CBs can't come back soon enough as Justin Rogers was picked on again on Sunday. On the flip side it is becoming increasingly clear that the Bills are not exactly missing Jairus Byrd at the safety position so far this season.
It's a short week for the Bills as they are right back to work on Thursday night for a game against the Cleveland Browns. For now, however, their stock is trending up. Here is the stock watch for the Bills after Week 4.
Stock UP: DT Marcell Dareus
In a word, Dareus was a beast on Sunday. He had seven tackles and two sacks. Dareus has been a bit inconsistent so far this season, but he showed up in a big way on Sunday. If he is ready to step up his game then the Bills are going to look very good up front.
Stock DOWN: WR Stevie Johnson
Johnson was held to only one catch for minus one yard on Sunday. Rookie Robert Woods actually saw more snaps than Stevie for the second game in a row. With the chemistry growing between Manuel and Woods it's starting to become a legitimate question to ask how long Stevie Johnson will remain the Bills' No. 1 receiver.
Stock UP: LB Kiko Alonso
As I said yesterday Alonso is looking like a major rookie of the year candidate. Kiko already has four interceptions so far this year and is a play-maker all over the field. It's hard to see this guy slowing down any time soon. This looks like a home run pick for Doug Whaley and the Bills.
Stock DOWN: T Cordy Glenn
Glenn has still played a good left tackle for the Bills, but he made some crucial mental mistakes on Sunday. After giving up a sack he had a clear opportunity to recover a Manuel fumble, but he awkwardly botched it. He still looks like a premiere blocker, but he needs to keep his head in the game.
Stock UP: CB/S Aaron Williams
Williams was the guy under the microscope on Sunday, and he played the game of his life. Williams had two interceptions and some nice pass breakups against the Ravens. He's played really well this year, regardless of if he's playing CB or S, and should look good back there when Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin are back in the lineup.
Stock DOWN: S Jairus Byrd
Byrd's absence has not seemed to make a difference in the secondary of the Bills. The trio of Da'Norris Searcy, Jim Leonhard and Williams has done a good job back there in his place. While Byrd was once the ball-hawk of the defensive backfield it seems as if Williams is ready to take that role when the CBs are healthy. I think a trade may be a real option at this point.