Sunday, December 8, 2013
Halftime thoughts: Buccaneers 24, Bills 3
By Mike Rodak
TAMPA -- Offering some halftime thoughts as the Buffalo Bills trail the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-3:
1. This is an ugly one. The Bills have struggled in all three phases of the game. On offense, EJ Manuel has thrown two interceptions, including one that bounced off the hands of Stevie Johnson. Defensively, the Bills allowed an 80-yard touchdown run to Bobby Rainey on the game's second play, which set the tone. On special teams, Leodis McKelvin muffed a punt that was recovered by the Bucs.
2. This doesn't mean much within the game itself, but it's important in the larger context of where the Bills are this season: Bottom-of-the-roster players have begun to see playing time, likely for evaluation purposes. J.J. Unga played a few drives at right guard in place of Kraig Urbik, while linebacker Ty Powell stepped in for Manny Lawson for another drive. Expect to see more of that the rest of the afternoon, with Ronnie Wingo in line to see some carries in the later stages of the game.
3. Buffalo's running game has been hot and cold all season. Despite the warm Florida temperatures, they've been cold today. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have combined for 24 yards on nine first-half carries.
4. The Bills have dodged a few injuries today. In the first quarter, punter Brian Moorman went down after getting hit in the leg after a punt. He was on the field for the next punt. Then in the second quarter, cornerback Ron Brooks stayed down for an extended period with an apparent neck injury, but later returned.
5. Hey, at least this game isn't being played in snowy Philadelphia, right?