This two-week trip through the NFC North was supposed to be one of the

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panxing18
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This two-week trip through the NFC North was supposed to be one of the

Post by panxing18 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:08 am

toughest stretches of the Buffalo Bills' schedule.At Minnesota. At Green Bay. After two double-digit losses to open the season Youth Tre'Davious White Jersey , the Bills seemed destined to have a miserable time in the Midwest.The outlook has changed after a stunning 27-6 win over the Vikings.It's off to Lambeau Field now for resurgent Buffalo (1-2) to face the still out-of-sorts Packers (1-1-1) on Sunday."The Minnesota film is a big difference," Packers receiver Davante Adams said. "You see, the urgency kind of went up. They were more physical."One road win as a heavy underdog might be passed off as a fluke. A second victory in another tough road environment might make a lasting impression."On the scoreboard, I understand what people see," Bills coach Sean McDermott said. "The biggest thing for us is that we A) move forward, and B) that we embrace that growth mindset of getting better every rep, every day."This weekend might be an ideal time to try to beat Green Bay. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has played relatively well, especially given he is playing through a left knee injury. But the Packers have been prone to stretches of inconsistency on both sides of the ball. So far, they have rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat the Bears; lost a big lead in the fourth quarter in a tie with Minnesota; and trailed by 18 at the half of last week's 31-17 loss to Washington."I'm not making any excuses, but you kind of go through some growing pains each and every year," coach Mike McCarthy said. "But this is a great group as far as their attitude and energy, we just have to stay after it."Some other notes and things to watch:BRACING FOR ITPlaying with a brace on his left knee, Rodgers doesn't have his usual mobility outside the pocket White Charles Clay Jersey , though he was able to move around a little more last week. One problem last week: uncharacteristic drops by receivers, including two by Randall Cobb.Rodgers was held out of practice at midweek the previous two weeks so he could focus on rehabbing his injury, while returning for the team's' light workouts on Saturdays.Rodgers missed practice Wednesday again, but the quarterback was cleared to practice on Thursday, which is the team's most intensive day of on-field preparation. Rodgers still does his usual extensive work with receivers in the film room, too."I'm one who always loves being out there because you're not just competing but you're working on things with the guys and working on the game plan," Rodgers said. "That's the trade-off - not being out there for practice but the trade-off is I can actually get out there and play on Sunday."ROOKIE ARMThe Buffalo offense remains a work in progress with rookie first-round pick QB Josh Allen preparing to make his third career start and second on the road. He took over two series into the second half in a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore after Nathan Peterman threw two interceptions and oversaw an offense that managed one first down through 10 possessions.The Bills traded up five spots to select Allen out of Wyoming, despite questions about his accuracy. Otherwise, he's a strong-armed and mobile player who showed off his abilities against Minnesota. He scored twice rushing and added another passing in the first half.ON THE LINEThe Bills' defense rebounded in a big way against Minnesota, led by end Jerry Hughes. He wreaked havoc in the Minnesota backfield with a sack, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. The Bills' four sacks against Minnesota were the most since getting six in a Week 2 loss last season at Carolina.The Packers are dealing with injuries on the right side of the line. Tackle Bryan Bulaga was limited at midweek with a back injury that knocked him out of last week's loss, though the veteran appeared to be in good shape to play against Buffalo. Guard Justin McCray missed practice at midweek with a shoulder injury.SEEKING HYDEMicah Hyde returns to Lambeau for the first time since leaving the Packers as a free agent in 2016. He has gone from a jack-of-all-trades in the Green Bay secondary into a solid player at safety for the Bills."We know Micah Hyde. He's going to be everywhere. His instinctiveness and awareness (are) as high as it comes," McCarthy said.CLAY'S DAYKeep an eye on Packers linebacker Clay Matthews Youth Shaq Lawson Jersey , who has drawn roughing-the-passer flags in each of the first three games. The calls, especially over the last two weeks, have raised questions among players on both sides of the ball around the league: Just what constitutes a legal hit on a quarterback?"Yeah, I'm with Clay, man. This is frustrating," Hyde said. "That's not even me, but I know what type of player, what type of person Clay is, and that's just bogus."AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo contributed to this report. Josh Allen learned plenty while working out with Los Angeles Chargers starter Philip Rivers in Southern California in March before the Buffalo Bills drafted him in the first round.Allen hopes he picked up a few more pointers during his first career start in watching how Rivers carved into the Bills defense during the first half of the Chargers 31-20 win on Sunday."You know he gets the ball out super quick. He's not afraid to throw it one yard in front of him," Allen said, while also noting how Rivers controlled the play clock and set his protections. "To have my first start against him, a guy that kind of helped mentor me, was definitely kind of cool."The Wyoming product didn't come close to matching Rivers in a game the Chargers broke open by building a 28-3 lead in scoring touchdowns on four consecutive drives in the first half. And yet Youth Josh Allen Jersey , the Bills showed more spark under Allen than they did under Nathan Peterman in a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore a week earlier.Allen finished 18 of 33 for 245 yards with a touchdown. Though he threw two interceptions and was sacked five times, he also showed off his strong arm by completing a 57-yard pass to Zay Jones in the closing minutes of the second quarter.Rivers liked what he saw."Each and every week he's going to improve," said Rivers, who finished 23 of 27 for 256 yards and three touchdowns . "There's going to be some ups and downs. There always is. There still is for me in year 15. But I think he's got the right approach."The Chargers offense was less productive but more efficient a week after lacking finish in racking up 541 yards in a 38-28 loss to Kansas City.Melvin Gordon matched a career high by scoring three touchdowns, two receiving and another on a 20-yard run .Their defense limited Buffalo to 293 yards of offense, while also applying pressure despite missing linemen Joey Bosa (foot) and Corey Liuget (suspension).Rivers became the ninth NFL player to surpass 51,000 career-yards passing by upping his total to 51,028.Some things that stood out in a game:QUITTING TIMEBills cornerback Vontae Davis informed coach Sean McDermott he was quitting the team at halftime, and then announced he was retiring after 10 NFL seasons a few hours following the game."This isn't how I pictured retiring from the NFL," he wrote in a statement posted on the NFL's Twitter account. "But today on the field, reality hit me and hard. I shouldn't be out there anymore."Davis' abrupt departure didn't sit well with his now-former teammates."I don't have nothing to say about Vontae. I'll give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today as far as quitting," defensive end Lorenzo Alexander said.UNWELCOMED TAUNTChargers coach Anthony Lynn was angered by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that second-year cornerback Desmond King II received in the first quarter. After the Bills threw an incomplete pass on third down, King waved goodbye at Buffalo receiver Zay Jones and pantomimed a kicking motion before leaving the field."Very stupid on his part White Jordan Poyer Jersey ," Lynn said, who expressed his disappointment to King on the sidelined."I can't say it on camera," he said when asked what he told King.SHADY IN PAINBills running back LeSean McCoy's status is uncertain after sustaining a rib injury in the final minutes of the third quarter. McCoy was tackled from behind when Buffalo center Ryan Groy fell backward and landed on left side of the running back's chest.McCoy was still experiencing pain during a brief appearance in the locker room.DEFENSIVE CHANGEMcDermott revealed he took over the defensive play-calling duties from coordinator Leslie Frazier to start the second half. The switch showed immediate dividends. Buffalo allowed 65 yards of offense, four first downs and a field goal, while generating two sacks over the final 30 minutes.UP NEXTThe Chargers prepare for their first regular-season meeting against their new crosstown rival Rams next week."It's a heck of a defense and we know what we've got over there against Wade's scheme," Rivers said, referring to Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. "But looking forward to that and that atmosphere."The Bills are off to their second 0-2 start in three seasons, and face a daunting tests in each of their next two games. Buffalo plays at Minnesota next week, followed by a trip to Green Bay.

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