Consulting With The Coaches
Following the Bills’ 38-10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in the home opener at Highmark Stadium, Head Coach Sean McDermott, Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey and Defensive Line and Assistant Head Coach Eric Washington addressed the media.
McDermott gave an update on defensive end Leonard Floyd (ankle) and safety Micah Hyde (hamstring), saying that both were considered day-to-day going into Week 3 at the Commanders.
The Bills scored on six of their eight drives vs. Las Vegas, excluding their final possession designed to drain the clock. Nine different receivers had at least one catch and all three running backs contributed in significant ways in the Bills’ dominant offensive performance. Gabe Davis finished with 92 yards and a catch, James Cook had 159 all-purpose yards and both Damien Harris and Latavius Murray found their way into the end zone.
“It really speaks of an unselfish approach and a mindset of this is what we’re planning to do during the week and then executing that on game day,” McDermott said Monday. “It really starts with the mindset and then people staying as unselfish as they possibly can throughout the course of the week when their roles may not be what they want them to be and but also remaining ready to go when their numbers are called in the game.”
Dorsey said that the versatility of the Bills’ three running backs opened up the offense in the running game as well as the passing attack.
“When we got the room that we have, I think we can really work a number of different combinations. All three of those guys complement each other so well,” Dorsey said. “When you’re having first and second down production, whether it’s run or pass, you’re able to stay in those rhythms.”
Behind the Bills’ productive offense was quarterback Josh Allen, who bounced back from a spotty performance in Week 1, throwing for 274 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“He did a great job of working progressions and making good decisions,” Dorsey said. “He did a great job taking the underneath throws. We want to be able to attack all areas of the field and I think it’s important to be able to throw the ball short, intermediate and deep.”
On the defensive side, the Bills held running back Josh Jacobs, who led the NFL in rushing yards last season, to -2 yards on the ground. They also came up with two interceptions and, outside of the Raiders’ opening touchdown drive, allowed just 3 points.
“When you can hold a rusher as explosive as Jacobs to what we were able to do that always gives you a chance to have the kind of outcome that we had,” said Washington. “And the guys got their hands up and really, really did a good job of creating the takeaway. … So overall, very impactful. Not perfect, there’s some things we will continue to improve upon, but really pleased with how they fought.”
Linebacker Matt Milano was responsible for one of the defense’s takeaways, intercepting a pass from Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by snatching the ball from Jacobs.
“I was as impressed after the game as I was watching it unfold during the game,” McDermott said. “It was just amazing. It’s weird though because I almost expected him to do that when I saw the position he was in and he’s so strong – people don’t give him credit for his strength – and that’s what he did.”
Linebacker Terrel Bernard also had an interception, after a Garoppolo pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive end Greg Rousseau.
“Every game, theoretically speaking, things hopefully they continue to slow down for Terrel,” Washington said. “He’s still learning but he has demonstrated that he clearly belongs in the role that he’s in.”
McDermott said the impetus of the defense’s success was their ability to control the line of scrimmage, take away the Raiders’ ability to run and consistently put pressure on Garoppolo.
“It started up front with the run game,” McDermott said. “They control the line of scrimmage, played well at the point of attack, which was the point of emphasis during the week. … It’s really about affecting the quarterback, you get your hands up, you tip passes.”
The Bills will have an off day on Tuesday before returning to the practice field to prepare for their road game against the Washington Commanders.
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