The Buffalo Bills were able to find a way out of danger once again, this time during Thursday Night Football, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18. After going up 24-10 early in the third quarter, the Bills’ offense sputtered and couldn’t find a way to score more points. The defense had a great game throughout, and forced an incompletion on a Buccaneers Hail Mary attempt to end the game.
So who, and what, stood out in Week 8? This series is our take on the stock/arrow up/down idea. Remember, “Bleu Cheese” is the preferred choice here, while “Ranch” plays the down role.
QB Josh Allen
Quarterback Josh Allen played at an MVP level on Thursday. Allen completed 31-of-40 passes for 324 yards, three total touchdowns, and an interception.
Allen delivered the ball quickly post-snap, with an average time to throw of 2.27 seconds per Next Gen Stats (NGS). This was the fastest time across the NFL in Week 8. Allen also used his legs more, totaling seven carries for 41 yards.
Allen needs to find this rhythm again next weeked as he faces a big test against the Cincinnati Bengals.
P Sam Martin
This is the first time punter Sam Martin has made an appearance. Martin pinned the Buccaneers inside their own 20 not once, not twice, but three times.
This puts the defense in a favorable position to get stops and give the ball back to the offense. Plus, the offense is often better able to get favorable field position because of Martin’s efforts.
S Jordan Poyer
After a slow start to the year, some thought safety Jordan Poyer was on the decline in his career. Not so fast. Poyer had himself a game on Thursday. He was the highest-graded defender (89.1) per Pro Football Focus (PFF). Poyer played 25 snaps at linebacker due to the injury to linebacker Matt Milano and the uncertainty behind him at the position. Poyer excelled, playing close to the line of scrimmage and filling run gaps all night, while covering the middle of the field.
Poyer finished with two pass break-ups — and they could have been interceptions. Stellar performance for an important piece to the Bills defense.
All season, it’s felt like the offense has been reliant on the success of wide receiver Stefon Diggs. While Diggs was able to catch nine passes for 70 yards on Thursday, he wasn’t the leading receiver in the game. As a matter of fact, four different players went for 65-plus yards against the Buccaneers.
Wide receiver Khalil Shakir had six receptions for 92 yards. Wide receiver Gabe Davis, used in a way we hadn’t seen, had nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid finished with five catches for 65 yards and one touchdown.
If offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey can get this production from the team’s receiving weapons, it could take the offense to another level.
RB Latavius Murray
Running back Latavius Murray has been a solid addition for the Bills this season, but he only carried the ball five times for seven yards on Thursday. He also failed to score a touchdown or move the chains where he had multiple chances to do so.
They need more from their complementary running back.
DE Von Miller
Edge rusher Von Miller still isn’t 100% back to form following a torn ACL he suffered 11 months ago, so don’t expect much right now.
Miller is struggling to show his trademark elite level of play we’ve all talked about and watched. He recorded one hit, zero sacks, zero pressures, and zero QB hurries in Week 8 per PFF.
Despite the lower production right now, expect Miller to continue to improve in all facets as the games get more important for the Bills.
After the Bills scored on their first possession of the third quarter to extend the lead to 24-10, they failed to score the rest of the way, allowing the Buccaneers to hang around with a chance to win on the game’s final play.
As an offense, the Bills need to find ways to keep their foot on the gas pedal and close out games.
CB Kaiir Elam
Being a healthy scratch in five of eight games as a the team’s 2022 first-round draft pick isn’t a favorable development for Kaiir Elam.
Although he didn’t play, Elam being inactive in favor of 35-year-old street free-agent cornerback Josh Norman is a troubling good sign, and might mean his time in Buffalo is close to the end.