The Buffalo Bills are 2-0 for the first time since the 2011 season following their rock-solid, 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Now that your humble narrator has seen the full game, here are a few observations on the Bills' latest win, and what is to come for the team.
- Things are by no means perfect on offense - there is still a training-wheels vibe permeating through the passing attack, though to a lesser extent than last season, and the team's issues in the red zone will be discussed ad nauseam this week - but I'm betting that 100 out of 100 Bills fans would have signed up instantly for the stat line that EJ Manuel has put up through two games. He's completed two-thirds of his passes (32 of 48) at 7.8 yards per attempt (375 yards) with two touchdowns and one interception, while adding a rushing score and taking only one sack. His quarterback rating is 95.4, which puts him in the top half of the league in that (admittedly flawed) statistical category. He is playing winning football, and that's all the Bills have needed from him so far.
- C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins combined for 195 of the Bills' 315 yards of total offense (62 percent) - and that's not counting Spiller's 102-yard kick return touchdown that put the game firmly in the Bills' control in the third quarter. The two Clemson products were fantastic in their respective roles, and their big plays erased a lot of small errors and inconsistencies that are otherwise holding back the offense right now. Which is, of course, why these two players are so unbelievably valuable.
- The first item on the All-22 docket this week: watching Seantrel Henderson work against Cameron Wake. (I imagine I won't be alone there.) One thing to quickly note on how the Bills schemed around that matchup disadvantage: the use of misdirection. The Bills worked end-around wrinkles into their running game early, and with Miami's ends forced to play contain on that action, that's at least one way that the Bills decided to slow down the Dolphins' excellent edge rushers, even by just a fraction. Expect that to continue.
- Nigel Bradham had himself a game, didn't he? There weren't many plays when Buffalo's best linebacker wasn't around the ball against the Dolphins. Add in the fact that Preston Brown - who was significantly better (though still not great) than he was in Chicago - still hasn't missed a snap, and the Bills have to be feeling very good about their long-term at linebacker with Bradham, Brown, and Kiko Alonso in the fold.
- Corey Graham is hotter than a popcorn fart. He has registered a whopping six defended passes in the first two games of the season - most, if not all of them, coming in critical situations - and has an interception, as well. He has been Buffalo's best defender by a country mile in the first two games, and has clearly earned the right to start full-time once the team is done rotating corners to account for Stephon Gilmore not being 100 percent. To put things in perspective, compare Graham's six defended passes in two games to the respectable figure that Leodis McKelvin put up in an excellent 2013 campaign: he broke up 20 passes in 15 games.
What stood out to you, Bills fans?