Buffalo Bills: Week 10 Stock Watch
Buffalo Bills Week 10 Stock Watch
The Buffalo Bills had an overall ugly performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in a 23-10 loss. The game was what is becoming an ongoing trend for the Bills -- a defense that tries to keep them in the game, but at the end of the day, there is just not enough on offense to put points on the board.
While the Bills had a poor performance from the previously four-week idle E.J. Manuel, he wasn't helped by his receiving corps. There were passes being dropped and bad routes being run all over the field. The running backs also didn't help much either as neither C.J. Spiller nor Fred Jackson could get anything going against a Steelers' defense that has given up the second-most rushing yards per game this season.
For the defense, it was more of the same. They were asked to work miracles, and while the defense is improved, it's not improved enough to single-handedly win games. They did what they had to do, though; they got to Ben Roethlisberger four times and LeVeon Bell was relatively kept in check all game long. They only managed to force one turnover, though. They were staying in games when they were forcing turnovers early in the season, but they have only forced one in their current three-game losing streak.
All in all, it was another below-average performance for the Bills in what will likely be the final nail in the Bills' playoff coffin. The rest of the year will likely focus on getting younger players, especially Manuel, as many reps as they can to evaluate and prepare to try and take the next step next season.
For now, here is whose stock is up and whose is down after the week 10 matchup in Pittsburgh.
Stock UP: DE Jerry Hughes
Hughes' stock keeps getting higher and higher for the Bills. He recorded two more sacks on Sunday and now has six on the season, which is more than he had in his entire three-year career before being traded to Buffalo. The Bills needed to find the perfect complement for Mario Williams in the pass rush and may have found their guy with Hughes. He's likely the most pleasant surprise on the Bills' roster.
Stock DOWN: QB E.J. Manuel
It's tough to put Manuel on this list because I think about 90 percent of his struggles were because of the rust factor, but he played so poorly he needs to go on here. It tells you all that you need to know about why this team is where it is in that the QB has been on the stock watch as trending down three times in the past five weeks with a different QB each time. At some point, the WRs will have to step up and make plays for their QBs. Right now, we need to see more accuracy from Manuel or he'll be in for another long day this Sunday.
Stock UP: S Jairus Byrd
Boy, has Byrd been stellar since his return from injury. I said a few weeks ago that it was only a matter of time before he picks off the QB and he got to Roethlisberger in the first quarter on Sunday. On a unit that has been inconsistent all season long, Byrd has been a rock back there for the Bills ever since he returned from injury. After ducking the lineup for the first month or so of the season, Byrd has come back with a vengeance as he seeks that new contract.
Stock DOWN: RB C.J. Spiller
Spiller was downright terrible on Sunday; there is really no other way to slice it. He was missing holes all over the line and ran timid against a porous run defense. Spiller reverted back to his early-career self that was too unsure of himself to make the cuts that led to big plays. The Bills need last year's Spiller if they are ever going to go anywhere, so he needs to lose his bad former traits soon. They can't take many more performances from him like the one they got on Sunday.
Stock UP: LB Kiko Alonso
With the Bills on a losing streak, Alonso has lost a lot of the buzz that had surrounded him at the beginning of the season. He is still producing and is still on pace to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He led the team in tackles again on Sunday with 10. He hasn't made a sack, INT or forced fumble in a few weeks, but that doesn't mean that Alonso hasn't been the Bills' most consistent performer in the back seven of the defense all season long.
Stock DOWN: TE Scott Chandler
Chandler has pulled a Houdini act in the Bills' offense. He had only three catches for 21 yards on Sunday. You'd think that an erratic QB could settle down by finding his 6-foot-7 TE on the field, but Chandler just wasn't getting open for Manuel. Chandler's production has dropped steadily in the past few weeks and rookie Chris Gragg actually outperformed him on Sunday. With the young players in the spotlight from here on out, Chandler better step up or he may see himself losing playing time to Gragg.