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These are the season grades for the key starters on the Buffalo Bills offense in 2019.
The Buffalo Bills entered this past season with almost an entirely new offense from a season ago. In fact they only had two starters, left tackle Dion Dawkins and fullback Patrick DiMarco, for their Week 1 game against the New York Jets that also started the first game of the 2018 season.

The Bills front office was aggressive this past offseason, both in free agency and through the NFL Draft, and had new additions like John Brown, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary and Dawson Knox all play pivotal roles this season.

These new weapons helped Josh Allen take the next step in his career and the offense showed flashes but lacked consistency. They finished the year 24th in total yards, 26th in passing yards but eighth in rushing yards.

These are the grades for the key players on the Buffalo Bills offense in 2019.

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1. Bills provided these surprises for Lorenzo Alexander’s potentially final home game

Lorenzo Alexander isn’t done just yet, but Sunday marked his final home game in a Bills uniform.

“Yeah, obviously that was a decision I made before the season,” Alexander said. “You know at this point we still got to play Houston next week, so my mind hasn’t even processed transition yet. I’m still in this thing 100% and I think once you start thinking about life after, you take some of the focus away from the guys and what’s important.”

What’s important to Alexander is his family. The Bills surprised him by having his 11-year old daughter Zoie sing the national anthem prior to the game while Alexander was standing with his family.

“It’s one of the proudest moments as a father I’ve had,” Alexander said. “It was real emotional and I didn’t know she was singing it. It was a cool experience and I thought she did a great job.”

Alexander was even given a curtain call early on in the game. Head coach Sean McDermott used a timeout early on in the first quarter to bring more attention to the substitution.

“I don’t know how to explain to you how Lorenzo Alexander has changed a lot of people in this locker room, including myself,” Micah Hyde said. “It’s the way he carries himself off and on the field. He just flies around. He’s the oldest guy in the locker room and he plays like the youngest. He definitely is a role model.”

Zoie Alexander surprised @onemangang97 and sang the national anthem before today’s game.

That’s one proud dad.

2. Bills ready to prepare for playoff matchup with Houston

The Bills playoff matchup is set. Buffalo will play the Houston Texans. The game marks the third straight playoff opponent from the AFC South and the first time the Bill will have played a playoff game in Houston.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us, they have lots of weapons on both sides of the ball,” Micah Hyde said. “I haven’t really watched them too much throughout the season. They had a primetime game and they looked amazing, so I know it’s going to be a big challenge.”

It’s the second time the Bills have made the playoffs in three seasons, but they still lack a lot of experience with a younger roster. Key contributors this season like Jordan Phillips have never played in the postseason.

“It’s going to be a fun experience for everybody,” Phillips said. “It amps up a lot and every play is crucial and everybody is going out there and giving it all they got every play. It’s such a battle in there that you have to get your mind right so it’s not easy.”

Leading Houston this season has been their quarterback Deshaun Watson. The third-year signal caller rested in Week 17 but started every other game this season. He threw for 256 yards per game to go along with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

“He can do everything,” Hyde said. “He beats you with your arms and legs. I don’t think he gets enough credit for how smart he is and how he can read coverages. Then when the play breaks down that’s when I feel like he makes his plays the most.”

Coach McDermott: “From this point on, it’s a one game season. Wins in the playoffs don’t come easy and we need to earn everything as a team.”

Isaiah McKenzie played wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner, and cornerback for the Bills on Sunday. McKenzie was only used at corner for a few snaps, but it was necessary after injuries and precaution.

“It looked like he did good so maybe we’ll evaluate that,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “He didn’t blink which is admirable at that point. Just trying to protect ourselves more than anything at that point.”

The Bills sat Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace was taken out with an ankle injury, Kevin Johnson was taken out as precaution, leaving just Taron Johnson, Dean Marlowe, and Siran Neal at corner. Then Taron Johnson got hurt. McKenzie was the next man up.

“Aw man I thought he was like Deion Sanders out there,” Duke Williams said. “They did a run play and I was like ‘oh lord they’re going to Isaiah’s side’ but he set the edge and the defense got the stop.”

The Bills primarily used a lot of backups on Sunday since their playoff seeding was already determined. On defense, Corey Thompson had five tackles while Daryl Johnson and Julian Stanford each had four. Offensively, the leading receivers were Williams with 108 yards and tight end Tommy Sweeney with 76.

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, 2019 will go down as the best Buffalo Bills team of the decade. Sad, I know.

With their second trip to the postseason in the last three seasons on the horizon, the Bills front office has built a team trending in the right direction. So as we shift our focus to wild card weekend, let’s hand out some awards for the best [and worst] players in 2019.

Offensive MVP: John Brown

I’m not sure the John Brown addition could’ve gone much better for the Bills. After pursuing the 29-year-old receiver last year, Brown signed a three-year, $27M contract in March. In his first season with the Bills, Brown led the team with 72 receptions, 1060 yards, and six touchdowns. Brown is the Bills’ first wideout to surpass 1,000 yards since 2015 [Sammy Watkins, 1047].

What has been most impressive about Brown is his instant chemistry with second-year QB Josh Allen. When the pocket started to collapse, Allen often looked for Brown, who had 115 targets in 15 games. With two years left on a team-friendly deal, the bond between Brown and Allen should continue to blossom next season, especially if the Bills add a few more weapons on offense.

John Brown will finish the regular season with 72 receptions, 1060 yards and 6 TD.

Cole Beasley will finish with 67 receptions, 778 yards and 6 TD.

bUt ThIs Is HoW Bad TEAms StAY bAD

— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 29, 2019
Honorable mention: Cole Beasley

It’s hard to praise Brown without giving some love to Cole Beasley. Like Brown, Beasley had an exceptional first year with the Bills, finishing the regular season with 67 receptions for 778 yards and six touchdowns. As teams started to put more of an emphasis on stopping Brown, Beasley provided the Bills with a mismatch in the middle of the field. With three-years left on his contract, Beasley should be the go-to guy up the middle for years to come.

Defensive MVP: Micah Hyde

In the Bills home opener against the Bengals, safety Micah Hyde noticed cornerback Kevin Johnson was lined up in the wrong spot. Before the ball was snapped, Hyde ran over to Johnson and pointed for him to move to the other side of the field. A few seconds later, Johnson recorded an easy sack and it was further proof of the importance of Micah Hyde to the defense.

While his stat line doesn’t jump off the page, Hyde is the glue that holds the Bills’ defense intact. He makes adjustments on the fly, plays a responsible game and makes everyone on the defense better.

Most underrated: Matt Milano

It’s easy to overlook the impact Matt Milano makes on defense until he’s not able to play. In the one game the Bills played without Milano [Week 7 vs. MIA], the defense looked out of sync and a step slow. While Bills fans fully appreciate how talented the third-year linebacker is, he is still far from a household name around the league.

With only one year left on his rookie contract, Milano is going to get a hefty raise and he deserves it. Keeping both Milano and MLB Tremaine Edmunds together for the next several years should be a priority for the front office.

Rookie of the Year: *Tie* Ed Oliver & Devin Singletary

The Bills have their running back of the future. Devin Singletary spent the first few weeks of the season sharing the workload with veteran Frank Gore but has solidified the starting job since. The 2019 third-round pick finished the regular season with 775 yards on 151 carries [5.1 yards per carry]. Along with two rushing touchdowns, Singletary added two receiving touchdowns and 29 receptions. Barring a major surprise, Singletary will likely be the Bills feature back next season and he’s earned the promotion.

Devin Singletary & Frank Gore explain what it’s like sharing a backfield and why they’re so close #Bills @WKBW pic.twitter.com/Vfsq9mO5Yb

— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 24, 2019
On defense, it took Ed Oliver a few weeks to get going but he has been dominant since the Bills Week 11 trip to Miami. With every passing week, his role on the defense increases and he’s becoming a problem for opposing offensive lineman. Arguably his best game came on the big stage, registering two sacks in the Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys. Along with rookie tight end Dawson Knox, both Singletary, and Oliver should have fans excited about the potential of the 2019 draft class.

Rookie with the most still to prove: Cody Ford

Cody Ford left a lot to be desired during his first season in Buffalo. More often than not, Ford was the weakest link on an offensive line that did a pretty good job protecting Josh Allen. Working in a rotation with veteran Ty Nsekhe, Ford took over the job after Nsekhe was injured during Week 11’s game against the Dolphins.

In his first game back, Nsekhe was once again injured in the third quarter and was carted off the field with an ankle injury. If Ford is forced to start in the playoffs, that could be a big mismatch for opponents.

Ford’s early struggles don’t mean he won’t turn into a solid starter down the line — but it also means the Bills should consider drafting another right tackle or addressing the position in free agency. Perhaps Ford is better suited at guard.

Most improved: Shaq Lawson

You could argue Shaq Lawson has been the Bills’ most effective pass rusher this season. Jordan Phillips leads the team with 9.5 sacks but Lawson’s consistent pursuit and explosion off the line have been a pleasant surprise in 2019.

After an injury-plagued start to his career, Lawson was declined his fifth-year option by the Bills and has made an impression since. At the beginning of the season, the 25-year-old defensive end said he would use that as motivation and it has worked. With 6.5 sacks, 32 total tackles and a forced fumble Lawson is having his best season as a pro. Deciding what to do with Lawson and Phillips is going to be something to monitor in the offseason. With plenty of cap space, the Bills can look to bring both players back. But they might prefer to use their money elsewhere and keep plenty of cap space.

LVP: Trent Murphy

When Trent Murphy signed a three-year, $22.5M contract last year he was expected to bring the Bills someone who could consistently pressure the opposing QB. After missing three games last season, Murphy said at the beginning of this year he was starting to feel like himself again. But the production hasn’t consistently been there.

Murphy finished the 2019 regular season with five sacks, two of which came in a meaningless win against the Jets in Week 17. While Murphy has shown flashes, more often than not he’s been the forgotten name on the Bills defensive line. With a cap hit of nearly $9M next season, don’t be surprised if the Bills part ways with Murphy before his final year of his contract. If he’s brought back for another year, he’ll need to be far more productive to be worth his contract.

Team MVP: Tre’Davious White

This one way pretty easy. In his third season with the Bills, Tre’Davious White has cemented himself as one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. Some experts have even thrown White’s name into the conversation for defensive player of the year. And while I think he should be considered, I’d be shocked if a CB from the Bills took home the award.

White finished the regular season with six interceptions, tying him with Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and Vikings CB Anthony Harris for the most interceptions in the NFL. White added 17 passes defended, 48 solo tackles and two forced fumbles on the season. Signing White to an extension should be of the utmost importance in the offseason as the market for cornerbacks continues to rise. He’s one of the best players at his position and the biggest reason why the Bills had one of the best defensive units in the league. He’s also a great goalie.

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The Bills are going to the playoffs, after clinching a spot against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Bills safety Micah Hyde is no stranger to the postseason. Last season is the only year of Hyde’s career in which he hasn’t gone to the postseason.

To chat about the win over the Steelers, the upcoming matchup with New England, and the season as a whole, Hyde joined Schopp & the Bulldog as part of Buffalo Bills Football Monday. Here’s some of the best from Hyde’s time with the guys.

On the team being healthy all season:

“Guys have their routines, hot tubs, massages, cold tubs. Coach later in the week & late in the year does a good job helping us stay healthy. Sean brought in a culture where he’s like ‘hey get your rehab, get in the training room’. How healthy we are starts with McDermott. As a professional you should be in the training room, getting your body right for the next game. It shouldn’t be looked at as ‘oh you’re soft’.”

On staying optimistic when down in games:

“Our mindset has been different. Ups & downs, we feel like we’re going to win the game. Even down a field goal, we felt like we were going to win.”

On a different routine for Sunday Night Football:

“It was a long day, not playing on Sunday night in a while. I woke up at the regular time, ate breakfast, watched film. Took a nap.”

On fans showing up to the airport:

“What’s amazing is it was a work day the next day for people. Players on other teams acknowledge Bills Mafia. It’s safe to say we’ve got the best fans in the NFL right now.”

You can hear Micah Hyde’s full segment with Schopp & the Bulldog below.

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Usually these analyses focus on a specific aspect of the team or player. To close the season I thought it would be fitting to look at, well, the close of the season. Not counting the punt, the Buffalo Bills had a ten-play drive in overtime that sealed their fate for the 2019-2020 season. We’ll use the coaches film to take a look at each of these ten plays (sorry Corey Bojorquez and Reid Ferguson) and ride the roller coaster one last time.

Play 1

No matter any other message I try to convey, there’s no avoiding at least some conjecture on what could have been. It’s easy to second guess plays when I have frame-by-frame at my side. Don’t think of this as finger pointing though. Think of this as an illustration of the razor’s edge on which many NFL plays live. With Quinton Spain’s man working inside, the lane behind Morse is also narrow and makes the resulting choice understandable.

Play 2

On second down the safer play may have been the wisest, but again we’re dabbling in what if. Brian Daboll and Josh Allen gamble on winning it all. Just like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects Patrick DiMarco to run a go route. The pass travels over 50 yards downfield and is perhaps a couple feet off. DiMarco’s brakes leave him open in what is one of the better performances tracking a deep ball all year. The razor’s edge will sometimes cut you.

Play 3

Josh Allen moves to his right to give himself the option of running or gunning. The Houston Texans have his number and eyes on Allen’s best target at this point, Dawson Knox. Both young players execute and keep the team alive.

Play 4

A lot of chatter this week has been how the Bills collapsed. That’s not entirely unfair. This play illustrates a strong counterpoint, though. The Texans came ready to play too. The same determination and execution the Bills used to gain a lead in the first place happened to be present on the other side of the ball too.

Play 5

Josh Allen’s best option is to throw it away. The Texans have again dialed up the right play at the right time.

Play 6

After the last few plays, it looks like Allen might have felt pressure that wasn’t there. Moving right leads to real pressure, which he navigates expertly, all while keeping his eyes open for a target. Devin Singletary understands the situation and gives Allen a target. One incredible throw later and the Bills are still in it.

Play 7

Brian Daboll calls a designed run for Allen and it’s a doozy. A small army of blockers have gotten well ahead of the Texans’ defense and a decent gain looks all but certain. One miss is all it takes sometimes.

Play 8

Plays like this fuel Allen’s critics and this, too, is not entirely unfair. I’ll defer to one of my old defenses of Tyrod Taylor. A quarterback can be a limiting factor in a team’s offense and hold them back. As a starter, Taylor led the Bills to respectable finishes in points for. The simple conclusion then is that if Taylor was the biggest limiting factor, he wasn’t an anchor.

Allen deserves some blame for this pass and other plays. And yes, Allen could still turn out to be the limiting factor. But as of right now, the Allen “anchor” helped force overtime in a playoff game and came up with great plays in this drive to keep it alive to this point.

Play 9

One thing that should not be questioned is the team’s heart. It’d be a tough challenge to find a play where they weren’t giving it their all. I froze at the end to show McDermott. Instead of opting for simple self preservation, he’s keeping his eyes on what’s happening, protecting his QB and possibly about to pick a fight with the refs. Culture starts at the top and is displayed in all the little moments that make up a game.

Play 10

The Texans have an easier play to defend than the one we won’t discuss going the opposite way. The Buffalo Bills play this fairly safe and cross their fingers. The Texans remain disciplined and only bite to Duke Williams’s side when it’s clear that Allen is throwing that way. Even if the ball was caught, or thrown to the other side of the field, this was resulting in a punt.

This didn’t end the game either. While a score was the desired outcome, the Bills did manage to flip the field and force the Texans to drive.

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Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins took time out of his offseason to jump on The Players’ Tribune.

The outlet, made for and by professional athletes, allows players all across sports to touch on topics personal to them with a personal touch. What is near and dear to Dawkins? Bills Mafia.

Dawkins used the outlet to pen his thoughts on the season that was and that teammates that are special to him. But an overlying topic was Bills fans and he had two key thoughts.

First, if you’re in, you’re in. If you’re not, don’t try to become a bandwagon member of Bills Mafia.

“I have an important message for those people,” Dawkins explained. “DO NOT TRY THIS.”

“The bandwagon is full,” Dawkins added.

But Dawkins wasn’t just trying to warn outsiders, he was excited to thank the Day 1 members. The left tackle explained throughout his football career, folks only knew he was a football player because he was big. But not in Buffalo.

Dawkins writes:

In Buffalo, man, it’s crazy. It’s crazy! Y’all are crazy. And I mean that in the best way possible. I’ll be at Wegmans, just shopping around, minding my business — and it’s not, “Big man over there, I think he might play for the Bills??” It’s not even, “Oh yeah, that dude, he plays for the Bills.” It’s, “DION!” It’s, “Shnowman!” It’s, “You already shnow!” And maybe that sounds like a small thing….. but I have to tell you, it’s really big. Those interactions, those moments with fans, those quick little hellos where the whole thing just lodges in your brain, like, Wow, what I do matters to these people? And they don’t just know me….. they know ABOUT me?? No lie: I cherish those moments. I will forever.

Friday and no work? #[email protected] pic.twitter.com/XP8J8v45yO

— Sam-Jarvis Green-Carges (@carkeys33) January 10, 2020

For Dawkins’ full article in The Players’ Tribune, click here.

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Without Stephen Hauschka, the Bills wouldn’t have been close against the Houston Texans.

In the end, many would’ve preferred the kicker to stay away from the field. At least until after touchdowns for an extra point.

Buffalo blew a 16-0 lead against the Texans in their Wild-Card showdown, as the story goes. The Bills only had one touchdown on the day, failing to get into the end zone besides their opening drive.

A bit overlooked? Hauschka, 34, was 4-for-4 kicking in the game. But wait, there’s more. He tied things up on a 47 yarder to send the game to overtime. No pressure there, right?

While most wanted Hauschka to stop before he got started, he told the Buffalo News he didn’t want to stop at four. He was ready for No. 5… specifically, the game-winning kick.

“I was hoping I was going to get that chance to win the game at the end,” Hauschka said.

Unfortunately that chance never came. Texans kicker Kai Forbath got his chance and converted a chip shot instead. There’s always next year?

That seems like a real possibility now, at least.

Hauschka had his struggles this season. His 2018 season wasn’t very bright, and he ended up with the same conversion percent in 2019, 78.6 percent. That’s down from 87.9 percent in 2017. Along with the playoffs, Hauschka also settled down toward the end of the Bills’ season, despite going 1-for-5 from 50-plus this season.

While not 50, he did hit the game-tying kick from 47, again, so… worth noting.

“I felt like I kept us in the game,” Hauschka said. “It’s an emotional game. Everybody put everything out there that they could. We didn’t get the job done and it makes us hurt. We’ll heal and recover from this and this will motivate us in the offseason to train even harder, to come back even more focused.”

Repeatedly the Bills and head coach Sean McDermott expressed their confidence in Hauschka this season, even during his struggles. The one telling move was a wavier claim the Bills put in for Chase McLaughlin. Hauschka beat McLaughlin out for the Bills’ job in training camp, but eventually McLaughlin impressed with the Chargers this season, went on waivers, and was claimed by the Bills.

The Colts got him due to the waiver wire order, though.

More recently, the Bills did subtly give a nod of confidence for Hauschka once again. Kaare Vedvik was signed by the Bills on Tuesday. He’s a dual-threat kicker and punter.

But the Bills made sure to specify that he was going to battle Corey Bojorquez for their punting job when announcing Vedvik’s signing, not Hauschka’s job.

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1. Tre’Davious White earns All-Pro recognition from these media outlets

Tre’Davious White is having a career season in many ways with six interceptions and the league’s most targets in coverage without giving up a touchdown. Due to the success, White is receiving national praise landing on three All-Pro teams so far including NFL.com, Bleacher Report and Pro Football Talk

Bleacher Report

CB2: Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills (4 votes)

Scoring touchdowns is the entire point of football.

If a Buffalo Bills opponent wants to score six points, it shouldn’t target cornerback Tre’Davious White. According to Pro Football Focus, he recorded 599 coverage snaps without allowing a single touchdown.

NFL.com

Wesseling: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills. Gilmore finally allowed a touchdown in coverage on John Brown’s 53-yard bomb in Week 16, leaving White as the cornerback with the most targets (83) without surrendering a score, per NFL Research. It’s not every year that the interception leaderboard is headlined by the stingiest cover corners, but Gilmore and White sit atop the charts with six apiece while also ranking first (26) and second (23) in passes defensed, respectively. Gilmore ranked among the top three corners with an opposing passer rating of 47.4. Those numbers are all the more impressive considering New England’s secondary lines up in man-to-man coverage as frequently as any team in the league. Gilmore is the key chess piece on a defense that is only the third since 2002 to amass 25 or more interceptions while holding opposing passers to a rating under 63.0. Capable of taking over games by erasing No. 1 wideouts and forcing timely turnovers, White is perhaps the lone week-to-week difference-maker on a Bills squad that reached double-digit victories for the first time this century.

Pro Football Talk

CB: Tre’Davious White: As important as anyone to the Bills making the playoffs.

2. Tre’Davious White on Texans WRs: Those guys are explosive

Tre’Davious White and his teammates in the secondary will have their hands full with a few talented receivers in Houston including DeAndre Hopkins. When asked about the much anticipated matchup between he and Hopkins, White said he doesn’t see it as just a one-on-one matchup.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a one-on-one matchup because there are 11 guys on the field,” White said. “Whenever he aligns to the left side, I’ve got to be on my best game. When he aligns to the right side, Kevin [Johnson] has to be on his best game. It’s going to take all 11 of us to limit him because we know he is one of the best in the league. If we play team total defense and everybody runs to the ball, whenever he lines up to either side and we are on our A game, we will be fine.”

White understands it’s not just Hopkins, the defense needs to limit Kenny Stills and Will Fuller who will be a game-time decision.

“Those guys are explosive. It’s going to be tough, but I feel like with our preparation we will be fine.”

With how skilled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can be outside of the pocket, it will be important to keep him contained.

“He puts his team in a position to make plays,” White explained. “He has been explosive the last three years in the league. He has a big time arm, he’s accurate too. He can escape the pocket, so we have to have a little bit of luck going in there because that guy is tough.”

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went into detail on how each NFL team left made it into the playoffs and what they need to do to keep winning. The list was organized by ESPN’s FPI to win the Super Bowl, which meant the Bills were No. 12. Barnwell explains it’s Buffalo’s defense that got them to the postseason.

How they got here: With a defense that won a few games outright and kept the team close in just about every other contest. The Bills allowed 24 points or fewer in 15 of 16 games, a figure no defense has topped since the Eagles went 16-for-16 in 2001. Over the past five years, teams that held their opponents below 25 points have won 74.2% of the time, which is roughly the pace of a 12-win season. Josh Allen and the offense have chipped in with four fourth-quarter comeback victories, tying the second-year quarterback for the league lead.

To keep the season alive, Barnwell says the Bills need to improve in the red zone.

Where they need to get hot in January: In the red zone on offense. Allen’s running ability gives the Bills a valuable weapon, but Buffalo is just above league average at 14th in red zone efficiency this season. That’s fine, but against the league’s best teams, they need to turn their goal-line opportunities into touchdowns, because they might get only two or three shots there per game.

Comparing the Bills to previous Super Bowl winners, ESPN thinks they are similar to the 2001 Patriots.

Past Super Bowl comp: 2001 Patriots. Bills fans might not be enthused about being compared to their archrivals, but that Patriots team was built around a strong defense that slowed down offenses in the red zone and a second-year quarterback whose job was mostly to avoid turnovers. Tom Brady didn’t have Allen’s rushing ability, and the Bills’ defense is better than that Patriots defense was by DVOA, but they win games with the same style of play.

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Eric Washington on Friday to become their defensive line coach.

Washington has 12 years of NFL coaching experience. His future with the Panthers was uncertain under newly hired coach Matt Rhule.

Washington succeeds Bill Teerlinck, who left Buffalo this week to become Virginia Tech’s defensive line coach.

In Buffalo, he’s reunited with head coach Sean McDermott and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Washington coached Lotulelei as the Panthers defensive line during McDermott’s tenure as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Washington is best known as a defensive line specialist. He will oversee a unit that helped Buffalo make 44 sacks — the most in five seasons — and had seven in a 22-19 overtime loss to Houston in an AFC wild-card playoff on Saturday.

Buffalo, however, was inconsistent against the run despite allowing the third-fewest yards offense in the NFL last season.

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Heading into Sunday’s game against thew New York Jets, Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy had three sacks on the season. That would have been the lowest total since his rookie season, but the veteran had other ideas.

On Sunday, Murphy took down Jets quarterback Sam Darnold twice to raise his season sack total to five. That also earned Murphy a $350,000 bonus according to Tim Graham of The Athletic. This is an incentive built into his contract.

Murphy totaled four sacks in 2018.

It’s only the second two-sack day of his career and first as a member of the Bills. Murphy received extended playing time thanks to an injury to Shaq Lawson and extra rest given to Jerry Hughes. He played 72% of the defensive snaps, the third-highest percentage on the year.

While Murphy hasn’t reached the lofty expectations of Bills fans following his signing as a free agent, he’s been steady and a good “process” guy in the locker room and weight room. With Lawson hitting the free-agent market, it wouldn’t surprise us if Murphy is back next year even with a salary of $6 million and a cap hit approaching $9 million.