Buffalo Bills: Week 9 Stock Watch
Buffalo Bills Week 9 Stock Watch
The Buffalo Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday by a score of 23-13 to fall to 3-6 on the season. It was a good day for the defense and a good day for the running game, but the passing game let the other facets down. It's hard to win in the NFL when you are starting your third different QB on the season and you're only at Week 9. Jeff Tuel tried, but he was ultimately not up to the task of winning his first ever start.
The Bills had 241 yards on the ground and they held the Chiefs' offense to only 210 total yards total, yet they still lost by 10 points. The Chiefs made the Bills pay for each of their three turnovers by converting them for 17 points, 14 of which came directly from the defense on an INT and fumble return. Tuel killed all of the Bills' momentum when he threw the pick-6 at the goal line on the first drive of the second half after the Bills had rammed the ball right down the Chiefs' throat.
The Bills also had a Leodis McKelvin punt return for a TD called back for by an illegal block in the back penalty. The most crucial misplay, however, might have been the turnover that the Bills didn't create when McKelvin botched a fumble recovery on a Jerry Hughes strip sack that would have given the Bills prime field position in the first half with a chance to go up by two TDs. You could make the argument that the Bills could have won this game if they had simply made the plays that were there to be made.
All in all, it was one of those infuriating games for the Bills -- one where many positives were nearly wiped out by a few negative plays. Here's a look at this week's stock watch after the effort against the Chiefs on Sunday.
Stock UP: WR Marquise Goodwin
Marquise Goodwin showed his wheels again with a big 59-yard TD catch. There is an argument to be made that many other receivers in the plague would not have caught up to the ball that Goodwin caught. It was an overthrow by Tuel, and Goodwin caught up to it. He would have had another big catch in the second half if it wasn't called incomplete on the field. The more you see of Goodwin, the more it becomes clear that he is the third best receiver on the team at this point.
Stock DOWN: WR T.J. Graham
T.J. Graham put up another stinker on the day, with a few key drops and a costly fumble. He coughed up the ball on his only catch of the day and it was returned for a TD, in what was ultimately the difference in the game. The more you see Graham and Goodwin on the field at the same time, the more you question exactly what it is that Graham does better than Goodwin. Sooner or later, it will be more of Goodwin and less of Graham in the offense.
Stock UP: RB C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller was out of the lineup last week, but returned on Sunday with a bang. He had 116 yards on 12 carries with a long of 61. He set the pace for the Bills in the second hal,f and if they could get the ball in the end zone, the team would have likely gotten a win on the backs of him and Fred Jackson. Spiller's cuts looked as good as they have all season on Sunday, and if he's ready to get back into top form, he could have a big second half.
Stock DOWN: QB Jeff Tuel
I almost feel bad putting Jeff Tuel here, but on Sunday, he showed why he is an undrafted rookie from a minor program and E.J. Manuel was a first round pick from a college powerhouse. Tuel was in the game until his first mental mistake, and then he lost all consistency. He was badly missing receivers without prejudice, he threw as many over throws as under throws, and finished the day 18-of-39 for 229 yards with a TD and two INTs. I'd be shocked to see Tuel on the field again for the Bills, at least during this season.
Stock UP: DE Jerry Hughes
Jerry Hughes was down last week, but played himself up this week. He struggled with injured Manny Lawson's assignments last week, but with Lawson back in the lineup, Hughes was focused on doing what he did best -- rushing the passer. He recorded his fourth sack of the year, which ties his career high with seven games left to play. More importantly, he would have forced the only KC turnover of the game if McKelvin could have handled the ball on his strip sack of Smith.
Stock DOWN: CB Stephon Gilmore
Stephon Gilmore came back strong last week after getting the awkward club off of his hand with no catches given up, but struggled mightily against KC a week later. Dwayne Bowe had his way with Gilmore and finished with seven catches for 67 yards. You expect more out of your No. 1 pick from a year ago. He's had a few weeks back in the lineup and needs to be the player he was in year one to give the Bills a chance in the second half.