The Bills return home this week to face Tampa Bay after two straight road games and a bye week. Here are some keys players to watch for this matchup.
This may be a make or break week for our 3rd year signal caller Tyrod Taylor. Having horribly botched his chance to solidify his position as the starter for the rest of the season and really cement Buffalo’s status at 1st place in the AFC East for their bye, he made many fans truly question his ability to play quarterback in his last game against Cincy. Bad throws, missed throws, bad sacks, he truly had an awful game, and it bears watching how much more of a leash McDermott gives him if he can’t hang some points on a Tampa defense that ranks 29th in the league against the pass giving up almost 300 yards a game. If he can’t seem to right the ship soon, it might not be long until Coach McDermott pulls the plug on Tyrod and checks out what the rookie has.
Vladdy Daddy/John Miller/Ryan Groy
I’m still blown away about how this is even still a topic and position battle for McDermott. Ducasse has been absolutely DREADFUL in just about every aspect of playing offensive lineman. He even hit a new low last week, blocking his own TE Nick O’Leary while he was trying block someone else. Ducasse should’ve had to pack his bags at the end of training camp. However, on a more interesting note about the offensive line competition, Ryan Groy has entered the mix to start at RG. Now THAT could actually be a competition, seeing as how Groy performed admirably in Eric Woods absence last year when he broke his leg. Perhaps it’ll be a game time decision, much like last week when Ducasse was given the start, blindsiding the fans by making Miller a healthy scratch.
Zay. Freaking. Jones. C’mon kid, you GOTTA start catching these passes. As up and down as Tyrod has played, he has given you some decent chances to really gain confidence and get some catches under your belt. However, for having looked like an absolutely catching machine that had super glue on his hands during college with his FBS record 399 receptions, it’s been tough sledding for Zay through his first 5 games in the pros. But I don’t think it was an accident he broke the record for college receptions, so I think we can chalk it up to having rookie yips. He should be able to get back on track against a Tampa defense that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations this season. And if Jordan Matthews, who’s now been upgraded to day-to-day status, plays, he might have some breathing room to work with come sunday afternoon.
What are we to make of this former quarterback menace turned backup rotational player? It’s a truly headscratching situation, considering the insane production he put up only 3 years ago in almost the same 4-3 defense he’s in now with 10 sacks, then losing almost all his mojo with Rex over the past 2 years. It’s like the Monstars from Space Jam sapped him of all his pass rushing powers and now he’s just riding the training bike off to the side of practice for eternity. I don’t know what happened to him, but if he’s going to rebound and try to earn the ludicrous contract former-GM Doug Whaley gave him, he has a chance to make it happen against a stingy Bucs O-Line that’s only given up 7 sacks all season. Let’s hope so-called “Mr. Big Stuff” can actually make some big stuff happen this weekend.
There they are, my Players to Watch for this weeks matchup against Tampa Bay. Leave your comments below Bills fans!