Buffalo Bills’ Week 6 Stock Watch
Buffalo Bills' Week 6 Stock Watch
The Buffalo Bills lost their second heart breaker of the year when they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime by a score of 27-24. The big story for the Bills was the start of QB Thad Lewis in place of the injured E.J. Manuel. While Lewis did enough to put the Bills in position to win, it was the defense that ultimately let the Bills down in Sunday's loss.
The Bills' defense would have given up points in every drive of the first half for the Bengals if Jim Leonhard didn't pick off an Andy Dalton pass late in the first half deep in Buffalo territory. As it was, the Bengals put 17 on the board and then stalled after a missed FG by Mike Nugent, after a holding penalty pushed the field goal attempt back farther. After a heroic comeback by Lewis and the Bills' offense pushed the game into overtime, it was the special teams that failed the Bills when they gave up a long punt return to Brandon Tate to set up the game-winning field goal.
It was a good enough performance in the first of a stretch without your starting QB, playing a tough team close and even getting a chance to win it in overtime, but the Bills need a more complete team effort moving forward. The defense was horrible early on and gave up too many big plays. After an initial surge by Lewis, the offense started to struggle towards the middle of the game. You'd have to think that a complete team effort would have given the Bills a much needed W.
They'll need to shake this one off quickly and move on to their matchup against the division rival Miami Dolphins. There were some good things and bad things that the Bills showed this week. Here's a look at whose stock is up and whose is down after Week 6.
Stock UP: QB Thad Lewis
Okay, so it wasn't always pretty for Thad Lewis, but he got the job done. His numbers were good; he went 19-of-32 for 216 yards, two TDs and no INTS, but he was sacked five times. He also had a costly fumble in which he turned the ball over to the Bengals right after halftime. He fought back from behind though, and threw his two TD passes in the fourth quarter. He needs some work on his pocket presence, but he looks to be an adequate backup in this offense.
Stock DOWN: CB Stephon Gilmore
Stephen Gilmore looked brutal in his return to the lineup. The big club that he wore over his fractured bone was a major liability. He couldn't tackle anyone, so the Bengals started running plays right at him. When a tackler can't wrap up his opponent, the chances are pretty low that he is going to bring the guy down, and the Bengals figured that out pretty quickly. There is no sense in putting him out there if he can't tackle.
Stock UP: WR Marquise Goodwin
Marquise Goodwin had been out since Week 1 and the Bills were anxious to see what they had in the rookie. He didn't disappoint with two catches for 51 yards and a TD, and his 40-yard TD in the fourth quarter tied the game with just over a minute left. Once this guy gets comfortable in this offense, he could turn into a very dangerous weapon for Manuel, Lewis or whoever is playing QB.
Stock DOWN: WR Robert Woods
Robert Woods needed to step up with Stevie Johnson out of the ballgame and a backup QB starting, but he was nearly invisible all game long; he caught only two passes for nine yards. There's been talk that Woods was ready to supplant Johnson as the Bills' No. 1 receiver, but a lot of talk will be tempered with his performance on Sunday.
Stock UP: G Doug Legursky
Colin Brown started at left guard for the first five games of the season and performed very poorly, and it only took one game of action for Doug Legursky to supplant Brown permanently. He played so much better than him, that they cut Brown on Tuesday. Legursky will be the guy at left guard going forward, and the Bills hope that they will get more performances like his debut one.
Stock DOWN: DT Kyle Williams
Kyle Williams wasn't himself on Sunday. He took a few bad penalties and failed to clog the middle for the Bills. Sure, some of the flags were ticky-tacky, but the wily veteran has to know better than that. Williams' last few seasons have been hampered by leg injuries, and hopefully this isn't the start of another injury-plagued second half for him.