The Buffalo Bills are alone in first place in the AFC East after the first week of the NFL season. Read that sentence again and let it sink in, because it’s been a while since the was the case.
The last time that happened was more than 1,000 days ago, all the way back to Week Two of 2014 – so it’s worth celebrating for the team’s fans. That the win Sunday came against a Jets team that looks like it will be the favorite to land the No. 1 draft pick isn’t something the Bills need to apologize for.
“Good to win as a team and extremely proud of the players the way they played,” coach Sean McDermott said. “It’s never easy to win in this league and they played hard for four quarters. I certainly appreciate that.”
Here’s a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling for the Bills after Week One:
• LB Ramon Humber: So much for the idea that Humber is a “special teams guy” forced into playing defense. A team-high 13 tackles highlighted an impressive performance from Humber, who showed the type of speed required to excel in Sean McDermott’s defense.
• TE Charles Clay: That’s five touchdowns in the last four games Clay has played with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. A team-high nine targets resulted in four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. “We had some favorable matchups,” he said. “A lot of those plays you have to take advantage of.”
• RB LeSean McCoy: I mean, this one is fairly obvious, right? McCoy was electric, picking up 159 yards from scrimmage on 27 total touches. He gave fans a scare in the fourth quarter when he came out holding his wrist, but the injury wasn’t serious and he returned to the lineup. McDermott said last week the team would give it to McCoy “every snap” if needed, and there just might be games where that’s the case, because let’s face it, who else would you want on offense to have the ball?
• DT Marcell Dareus: No tackles, no passes defensed … no anything. Dareus was held off the stat sheet entirely against the Jets. He also saw his snap counts reduced from what you would expect from the team’s highest-paid player – taking just 34 of 58. The Bills need Dareus to be a difference-maker. On Sunday, he was hardly noticeable.
• K Stephen Hauschka: It didn’t matter in the end, but it was a little troubling to see Hauschka miss his only field-goal attempt Sunday. He was wide left from 46 yards out in ideal weather conditions. The Bills will need Hauschka at some point this season, and it couldn’t have help
• WR Andre Holmes: Yes, he did have a 1-yard touchdown, but that was his only target of the game. Holmes will have to become more involved in the passing game moving forward so that the offense can have some semblance of balance.