Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Buffalo Bills got the job done on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
After falling behind 20-3, Buffalo showed plenty of grit as they worked their way back into the game.
On offense, Josh Allen and company put turnovers behind them. After a slow start, the unit put up three straight scoring drives, one before halftime and their first two series of the third quarter, to tie the game.
Defensively, the unit became lights out after finding themselves in a 17-point hole. Not including a one-play kneel down, here are the Ravens’ series after building their 20-3 lead.
Minus the Ravens’ final drive, Buffalo wasn’t giving up much in terms of yards. The unit locked down one of the league’s most dynamic QBs and his offense.
It was a strong effort on both sides of the ball to prove that they could go toe-to-toe with one of the AFC’s best despite being down multiple players. The 23-20 win also put the “can’t win close games” narrative to bed.
Following their third win of the season, here are reasons to be encouraged and worried about the Bills.
Matt Milano & Tremaine Edmunds
Matt Milano is playing at an All-Pro level through four games in 2022. The linebacker seems to make one or two big plays each week and that occurred again on Sunday against the Ravens.
On a 2nd and goal play from the one, Milano was able to fly into the backfield and tackle J.K. Dobbins for a loss of three. Two plays later, Buffalo created a turnover.
Milano finished with two tackles for loss and 13 total tackles in the 23-20 win.
Tremaine Edmunds is also playing at a high level this season. On the play in which Milano tackled Dobbins for a three yard loss, Edmunds filled one of the potential gaps that Dobbins could have taken. Like Milano, Edmunds finished with two tackles for a loss in the victory while finishing with nine total tackles and one QB hit.
Absolute stars @BuffaloBills LB’s
If you believe there’s a better duo I’ll respectfully disagree pic.twitter.com/hcx2w5C73S
Geoff Schwartz did a great job illustrating why Milano was able to shoot into the backfield against the Ravens late in the game. It turns out that Brandin Bryant’s swim move at the start of the play threw everything off for Baltimore. With Bryant immediately winning his one-on-one matchup, he was able to eventually take out three Ravens blockers on the play.
Bryant, an unheralded DT on Buffalo’s roster, may have made the play of the game.
Check out Schwartz’s video below.
The box score reads "J.Dobbins right end to BUF 4 for -3 yards (M.Milano)" … However this crucial 4th quarter run stop was made by @BuffaloBills DT Brandin Bryant. He eats up 3 Ravens blockers with his swim move! Check it out. pic.twitter.com/lK7Pv1tduE
Buffalo had several outstanding performances on defense, but Jordan Poyer was the star of the show with two clutch interceptions.
Buffalo was not able to take advantage of Poyer’s first interception in terms of putting up points, but it allowed the Bills to flip the field. Sam Martin uncorked a 56-yard punt to bury the Ravens at the five yard line on their following drive.
His second interception, however, was the game changer.
Instead of forcing a turnover on downs that would have pinned Buffalo deep in Baltimore territory, Poyer’s interception in the end zone gave the Bills the ball at their 20. The difference of 18 yards proved huge for the Bills.
With four interceptions in three games, no safety is playing better football than Poyer at this time.
Sunday was not a typical Josh Allen type of outing. He only completed 19-of-36 passes, threw one interception and had a few other close calls that could have resulted in turnovers.
When the Bills needed Allen to provide a big play, however, the quarterback was able to deliver. Before halftime, with Buffalo desperately needing a touchdown, Allen engineered an 11-play, 78 yard drive. Allen was calm, cool and collected as he marched the team down the field and found Isaiah McKenzie for a touchdown before the half.
Allen would lead Buffalo to 10 more points to open the second half, but he saved his best for last. On Buffalo’s final drive, Allen delivered a ridiculous pass to Dawson Knox for 20 yards on a 3rd and 2 play. It was a throw that only a handful of QBs in the league could make. Two plays later, Allen eluded two Ravens defenders while delivering a sideline strike to Khalil Shakir. After marching the team down near the goal line, Allen used his intelligence to seal the game. More on that later.
Greg Rousseau/Von Miller
Buffalo’s top pass-rushers continue to be difference makers.
Rousseau recorded one-half sack in the win over the Ravens. He has recorded 0.5 sacks or more in every game this season.
Miller notched his third sack of the season and would have had his fourth had Lamar Jackson not Houdini’ed his way out of it.
As long as Rousseau and Miller continue to make plays up front, the defense will find themselves in favorably situations.
Down Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips, Prince Emili stepped up for Buffalo.
The UDFA from Penn helped Poyer record his first interception of the game by simply getting his hand on a Lamar Jackson pass and batting it up in the air.
Emili was released from the team’s practice squad on Tuesday, but he deserves praise for a heads up play.
Time management has not always been a strength for the Bills. Against the Ravens, the team knew exactly what it was doing.
On their final drive, Josh Allen and company knew exactly how many timeouts the Ravens had left and forced the team to burn them. Needing just one more first down to seal the game, Allen ran a QB sneak and got down at the one-yard line.
Baltimore could do nothing but watch the remaining time tick off the clock on Allen’s two kneel downs to set up a chip shot Tyler Bass field goal as time expired.
Buffalo played things perfectly at the end of the game.
Elam found himself coming off the bench early this season with Christian Benford and Dane Jackson starting. When Jackson suffered a neck injury that knocked him out of action, Elam recorded his first start and played well against Miami. His second start, this time opposite Jackson, was just as strong.
According to NFL Rookie Watch, Elam was targeted once by the Ravens and did not allow a reception. He was on the field for 43 coverage snaps overall.
Buffalo’s first round pick is playing up to his draft status.
Tyler Bass was perfect against the Ravens. He won the game with a short field goal, but managed to make three total field goals and two extra points in sloppy conditions.
Khalil Shakir had his number called in the second half of Buffalo’s win over the Ravens after Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie both exited the game.
Shakir’s first catch came on Buffalo’s touchdown drive to tie the game at 20. He caught a short pass from Allen, made a nice cut to get around a Ravens defender and protected the football for a 14 yard gain.
On the team’s final series, Shakir got open along the sidelines after Allen eluded pressure from Baltimore. The nine yard strike put Buffalo at the Ravens’ 36 yard line.
Two catches for two first downs is not a bad day at the office. Going forward, Shakir may see a bigger role where he receives even more looks from Allen.
Perhaps it was the rainy conditions or players gutting out injuries, but Buffalo’s receivers and backs had a lot of trouble hauling in passes on Sunday. Gabe Davis had at least two uncharacteristic drops while Jamison Crowder just couldn’t seem to catch Allen’s strikes. At the running back position, both Singletary and James Cook had drops.
Buffalo’s receivers and backs need to do a better job of hauling in Allen’s throws.
Wide receiver injuries
Gabe Davis is still not 100 percent. Anyone watching the last two games knows this.
Jake Kumerow remains out due to a high-ankle sprain and the team suffered two injuries against the Ravens.
Isaiah McKenzie was placed in the concussion protocol after suffering a head injury while Jamison Crowder will be out of action for a few weeks after breaking his ankle.
Over the next few weeks, Buffalo may have to depend on Tavon Austin, Isaiah Hodgins and/or an outside signing to provide depth at the position behind the likes of Stefon Diggs, Davis and Shakir.
Stefon Diggs has 4-word message (with a 4-letter word) for Ravens fan
Lamar Jackson’s big mistake? Throwing at Jordan Poyer, who called his shot
Von Miller’s getup might mean Beyonce is a Buffalo fan
Pay Poyer? Bills DB comes up clutch in win over Ravens (Report card)
‘Super soldier’ Josh Allen proves no lead is safe in comeback win over Ravens, Lamar Jackson (instant takeaways)
Be sure to check out and subscribe to “SHOUT! The Buffalo football podcast” with beat writers Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to get weekly updates about Bills news in your inbox. Check out the links below.
Newsletter | YouTube | APPLE | SPOTIFY | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.