1) Maybe I was expecting too much from Kellen Moore's first start? I thought he would have given this team a chance to win today, but it was very similar to what we have seen from the other backup quarterbacks that have taken snaps this season. He wasn't as accurate and poised as we saw him last week. Call it weather or nerves, there were some throws that he missed that might have put his team in a position to win, but he just wasn't able to handle it. His calling card has always been his accuracy, but unfortunately he was far from it on Sunday.
2) That game had a feel as if Sean Lee made every single tackle on defense. They needed Lee to play well because it took Rolando McClain a half to wake up.
3) Interested to see how Rex Ryan took Jason Witten out of this game. It's never easy for Witten without Dez Bryant in the lineup to pull that safety out of the middle of the field. I am sure on film I will see him having to deal with double coverage all day.
4) Darren McFadden continues to run the ball tough. Buffalo got a little banged up on the defensive line with Marcell Dareus out of the lineup, but still, McFadden was able to not only make the physical inside runs, but also bounce outside when he needed to.
5) DeMarcus Lawrence now having seven sacks says a lot about his development as a pass rusher. He has always been a guy that could play the run, which is why he is on the left side. But his ability to generate pressure consistently has been even more than they expected, in my opinion.
6) Deji Olatoye made his first start at cornerback and I thought held up well. The Bills appeared to get him a couple of times in off or zone coverage, but when locked up on man, he was right where he needed to be. On his interception before halftime, he was in perfect position, reading the route and keeping his eyes on Taylor, who threw the ball short.
7) I thought that Jerry Hughes was the Bills' best defensive lineman. The majority of the game he was lined up across from Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith, which is a great matchup. For Hughes to end up with no sacks and only one tackle tells you the kind of day that Smith had against him.
8) I was worried about Tyrod Taylor beating the Cowboys with his legs in this game, and I think he was able to do just that. He ended up with 67 yards rushing, but it was his ability to keep plays alive that I thought was the difference in this game. His movement in and out of the pocket put too much pressure on the Dallas defense, especially on that final drive that put the game away.
9) On Mike Gillislee's 50-yard touchdown run, from field level I thought that the officials missed a holding call by wide receiver Chris Hogan on cornerback Brandon Carr. We had seen this crew make a couple of calls that went against the Cowboys in earlier drives, but this one was in plain sight and wasn't flagged.
10) Cole Beasley should have received more than just two catches in this game.
I was thinking that Scott Linehan would call this like a college game and
hit him with some quick stuff to help Moore along, but that just wasn't
the case. Just felt like Beasley was open more than two times.[embeddedad0]
11) Better adjustment by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli in the second half with the third-down defense. Instead of rushing three and dropping eight, he brought Barry Church and Terrance Mitchell on two separate situations with both moves resulting in getting his defense off the field. It appeared that the blitz affected Taylor instead of allowing him to be comfortable in the pocket.
12) These games sometimes feel like life and death. Walking out of the stadium, I had the chance to meet former Bills great Jim Kelly. The few moments I spent with him made me realize there is more to life than just this game. As much as I love it, for him to shake my hand and wish me a Happy New Year meant a lot.