Buffalo Bills Week 7 Stock Watch
Buffalo Bills Week 7 Stock Watch
The Buffalo Bills beat the division rival Miami Dolphins on Sunday by a score of 23-21. It was a good team effort and the Bills were pretty solid, if unspectacular, in all phases of the game. Each unit stepped up at various times to make enough plays for the Bills to go into Miami and take their first division road win since 2010.
Offensively it was another mixed bag for Thad Lewis in the passing game, but he did enough to get out of town with a W. The disappointing aspect of the day was the Bills' rushing game. They were third in the league in rushing going into the game but could only manage 90 yards on the ground with a 3.0 yards per rush average. In the passing game Stevie Johnson was a welcome return to the lineup with six catches and 61 yards. Lewis did enough to protect the ball, and luckily he jumped on the ball the only time that he put it on the ground. He had an INT but was hit as he threw the ball.
On the defensive side it was a solid but inconsistent effort all around. Both the secondary play and the pass rush was spotty all game long, but when both units showed up they showed up big. The defense made three huge plays at times when the team needed them the most. If this unit ever gets to click on all cylinders then it could become a top defense.
Dan Carpenter was an unsung hero for the Bills on Sunday with three field goals and a big tackle on the last kickoff of the game that stopped the Dolphins from possibly getting the ball near field goal range. Carpenter was the one who gave the Dolphins a returnable kick, however, and could have easily ended up the goat if things went a different way.
Here is a look at three players whose stock is up and three whose stock is down after Week 7.
Stock UP: RB Fred Jackson
Jackson only finished the day with 36 yards on 11 carries, but it was his final run on a third down play late in the game that gave the Bills a first down that may have been the difference in the game. The running game had a tough time finding holes all game long, but Jackson did what he does, found space when there wasn't and kept the clock moving. His four catches for 49 yards helped greatly as well.
Stock DOWN: RB C.J. Spiller
Spiller may have had his worst day as a pro on Sunday. He only managed 11 yards on six carries and minus-four yards on three receptions. His lingering ankle injury is obviously taking a toll, and you wonder if it would be wiser to just shut him down for a few weeks and see if they can get him healthy for the stretch run. He's not helping anyone right now with only the one leg.
Stock UP: DE Mario Williams
Williams showed once again why he was the No. 1 pick in the draft on Sunday. He almost single-handedly took over the game in the fourth quarter. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had not been sacked all day until Mario got him to stall a drive halfway through the fourth quarter. Then on the next drive Williams got to him again, this time forcing a fumble that Kyle Williams recovered. The fumble recovery set the Bills up for the game-winning field goal. Games like these are why Williams got the contract that he did before last season.
Stock DOWN: LB Kiko Alonso
Alonso has been the clear favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year through the first six weeks, but Sunday was the first game in which he was basically invisible. He was held without a tackle into the third quarter and finished the day with only four. He did make a nice tackle on the third down after Williams' first sack, but his play-making was missed on defense on Sunday.
Stock UP: CB Nickell Robey
Robey made a huge play on the Dolphins' first drive by intercepting a Tannehill pass and bringing it back for a TD. Tannehill was clearly rattled and didn't regain his composure until the end of the first half. Coming off of a bye week it was a huge play to throw a rested QB out of his rhythm. The truth is that Robey, an undrafted CB, has played great for the Bills all season long and finally got some due recognition.
Stock DOWN: WR Marquise Goodwin
There was a lot of excitement to see what Goodwin could do after his big plays last week, but if he wasn't back to return kicks you wouldn't have even known that he played at all. I don't remember Lewis targeting him with a single pass all day. Goodwin is a work in progress, but that's tough to remember when he makes a big play like he did last week. He'll have games like this, but hopefully he makes those opportunities count when they present themselves.