Matthews: Bills Win 13-12!

BOB’S “MR. NICE” TWEETS: BILLS 13, TITANS 12

Congratulations to long-time peers Sal Maiorana and Jerry Sullivan for correctly picking the Bills to beat the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday: Buffalo 13, Tennessee 12.

I couldn’t go that far. But thumbs up to the Bills for getting the job done.

My tweet-by-tweet game account:

“I’ll be tweeting the Bills game. I know I was mean and sarcastic last week during the 22-0 loss at Green Bay. Just being honest. I hope the Bills give me reasons to be nicer today.

“The Titans (3-1 record) are favored by 5 points over the Bills. Tennessee is not good. But not bad. The Bills have been bad three out of four games. But you all know that.

(After a few early catches by Zay Jones) “Zay Day! Zay Day

(After Bills QB Josh Allen ran for a 14-yard TD) “We’re still wondering about Josh Allen’s throwing accuracy but his legs sure know where the end zone is.

“Good to see the Bills using their best player for a change (LeSean McCoy had 26 touches for 108 yards).

“Tennessee is not built to be a strong come-from-behind team. 10-0 would be a big deficit to overcome.

“INT by Teron Johnson. (Titans QB) Marcus Mariota is not sharp.

(after a timely catch by Ray-Ray McCloud III) “Ray-Ray Day! Ray-Ray Day.

(After the Bills downed a punt inside their 5-yard line): “Good to see a positive special teams play. ..Titans need to go the length of the field. They might need a few days.

“TV guy says Josh Allen and Kelvin Benjamin haven’t been on the same page this season. More like the same chapter!?!

“If the Bills weren’t so desperate for a victory, this would be a pretty lousy game.

“The Titans do not deserve to win. Hard to believe they’re only one point behind (10-9). The Bills deserve to win a little bit more – fewer mistakes.

“Marcus Mariota D+...Josh Allen C—

(When the Titans were leading 12-10) “All things considered, a 13-12 victory(for Buffalo) would be appropriate. The Bills have done OK on defense and have been a little less stinky on offense than the Titans.”

FACTOIDS ON NEW BILLS’ BACK-UP QUARTERBACK DEREK ALEXANDER

The Bills reportedly are about to sign veteran QB Derek Anderson to back up and mentor rookie Josh Allen.  Some factoids:

He’s a little bit younger (born Jun 15, 1983) than new teammate LB Lorenzo Alexande r(born May 31, 1983). He’s slightly taller than Josh Allen (6-6 to 6-5). He is the best NFL QB ever born in Scappoose, Oregon. Played at Oregon State. Selected in the sixth round (No. 213 overall) in the 2015 draft by Baltimore. Has played 12 NFL seasons with Arizona, Cleveland and Carolina.

Career record 20-27-0 in 76 games (47 starts)....867-of-1,604 (.541) for 10,413 yards; 60 TD passes; 60 INTs; 71.1 passer rating...Best season was 2007 with Cleveland: 10-5-0 record; 298-of-527 (.565); 29 TDs; 19 INTs; 236.7 pass yards per game; 12.7 yards per completion led NFL.

On October 11, 2009, in a 6-3 Cleveland win at Buffalo, he was 2-of-17 for 23 yards....In 3 games with Carolina last season, he was 2-of-8 for 17 yards with 0 TDs and 0 INTs.

AROUND THE NFL

The first four quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft were a perfect 4-0 on Sunday:

Baker Mayfield (#1 by Cleveland) – 25-of-43 for 342 yards, with 1 TD pass, 1 INT, sacked 5 times, 81.7 rating in a 12-9 home overtime win over Baltimore...Season: 3 starts; 2-1 record; 63-of-107 (.589) for 838 yards, 3 TD passes, 3 INT, 81.4 pass rating, 8 carries for 31 yards.

Sam Darnold ($3 by the New York Jets) – 10-of-22 for 198 yards, with 3 TD passes, 1 INT, sacked 1 time, 98.1 pass rating in a 34-16 home romp over Denver...Season: 5 starts, 2-3 record, 83-of-149 (.557) for 1,066 yards, 7 TD passes, 6 INTs, 77.2 passer rating...13 carries for 13 yards.

Josh Allen (#7 by Buffalo) – 10-of-19 for 82 yards, with 0 TD passes, 1 INT, sacked 1 time, 42.0 rating in a 13-12 home win over Tennessee...Season: 4 starts, 2-2 record, 65-of-122 (.533) for 748 yards, 2 TD passes, 5 INTs, 60.4 passer rating, 31 carries for 135 yards and 3 TDs.

Josh Rosen (#10 by Arizona) – 10-of-25 for 170 yards, 1 TD pass, 0 INT, sacked once, 77.1 passer rating in a 28-12 home win at San Francisco...Season: 3 game, 2 starts, 1-1 record, 29-of-59 (.492) for 386 yards; 2 TD passes; 1 INT; 74.5 passer rating, 6 carries for 22 yards.

+++So the Bills are 2-3-- the same record as the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles -- and will play at Houston Sunday and at Indianapolis Sunday, October 14, before the Monday Night Football Game home versus New England, October 29.  A 2-5 record wouldn’t be completely embarrassing for the Bills and 4-3 would be surprisingly respectable entering that rare Bills prime-time game.

+++I feel sorry for Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby, who missed four field goals and one extra point in Sunday’s 31-23 loss at Detroit, AND former San Diego Chargers kicker Rolf Benirschke, who had to be reminded via ESPN that he had been the most recent NFL kicker – 1980 – to miss 4 FGs and 1 XP in a game.

+++Entering Monday night’s Washington at New Orleans game. Home teams are 11-3 for Week 5.

+++Dumbest coaching move on Sunday: By Jason Garrett of Dallas in a 19-16 loss to Houston. With 5:40 remaining in overtime at Houston, he decided to punt on fourth-and-1 from Houston’s 42-yard line. He has battering ram Ezekiel Elliott,, mobile QB Dak Prescott a strong OL at his disposal. The Cowboys punted to Houston’s 10-yard line. Eight plays later, the Texans kicked the game-winning field goal. Owner Jerry Jones was not happy.

‘+++Carolina has won eight straight home games.

+++San Francisco has lost seven games in as row to Arizona – including an extremely odd 28-18 home loss Sunday. The 49ers outgained the Cardinals 447-220, had a 33-10 advantage in first downs, had a 92-49 advantage in total plays, led in time of possession 40:12 to 19:48 – and lost by 10 points. Not supposed to happen.

+++The only team without a victory against the Las Vegas point spread (ATS) through Week 5 is the Denver Broncos (0-4-1).

+++The New York Jets are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 home games.

+++The Bills have a better record through Sunday’s games than six teams (Arizona, Atlanta, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Oakland and San Francisco)..Eight teams, including the Bills, are 2-3.

+++There have been fourteen 300-yard passing performances so far Week 5. Those QBs were 7-7. 3—yard passing performers are 26-28-2 in those games...There have been 24 100-yard rushing performances this season. Those players are 19-4-1 in those games.

YOU MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH ME BUT...

The post-fight brawl involving the UFC main-eventers and their support staffers after last Saturday night’s Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over Conor McGregor might have turned off some observers, but it did nothing but thrill most of the brand’s loyal fans. It’s a very tough business and emotions can run very high. Fortunately, there was no full-scale riot and no paying customers were injured.

+++I don’t see how any team in the MLB playoffs could beat the Houston Astros in a best-of-seven series. They have a surplus of solid pitchers and more than enough hitting. In fact, I believe they’re the best team in as long time.

+++I’m concerned about the apparent lack of firepower on the Amerks. The defensemen and goalies have solid credentials and should be among the best in the AHL. But where will the goals come from? Most of the veteran forwards signed in the offseason were not productive scorers on their previous AHL teams.

SHORT SHOTS

Rochester native Jon “Bones” Jones is expected to return to the octagon in UFC 232, December 29, possibly against Alexander Gustafsson. Jones, 31, has served a reduced 15-month suspension for doping and is eager to boost his reputation as one of the all-time great MMA fighters.

he Buffalo Sabres claimed 23-year-old left wing Remi Elie off waivers from the Dallas Stars last week. He might be playing for the Amerks soon. He was a teammate of Conor McDavid and Nicholas Baptiste on the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League) in the second half of the 2014-15 season. Including the playoffs: McDavid 67 games, 65 goals, 104 assists, 169 points...Baptiste 61 games; 38 goals; 38 assists; 76 points...Elie 42 games; 20 goals; 46 assists; 66 points.  In two AHL seasons with the Texas Stars, he had 15 goals and 30 assists in 117 games. Last season with the NHL Dallas Stars, he had 6 goals and 8 assists in 72 games.

In a possible USL playoffs preview, former Rochester Rhinos coach Bob Lilley’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds played a 0-0 draw against the FC Cincinnati before a modest crowd of 3,205 at Pittsburgh’s Highmark Stadium.  Cincinnati extended its unbeaten streak to 22 matches and has a record of 23 wins, 3 losses, 7 draws and is outscoring opponents 69-31 (+38) this season. Defensive-minded Pittsburgh is 15 wins, 4 losses and 13 draws and outscoring opponents 45-23 (+22). There are two weeks remaining in the 34-game regular season.

Monday, October 8

Taylor Featherston 29...Raffi Torres 37...WWE’s Miz 37..Sadia Khan 48....Martin Mayhew 53...Matt Biondi 53...Andrew Townsend 56...Tony Eason 59...Mike Morgan 59...Bill Elliott 63...Enos Cabell 69. Bella Thorne 20, Bruno Mars 33, Matt Damon 48, Sigourney Weaver 69, Chevy Chase 75, Jesse Jackson 77 and Paul Hogan 79 are invited to the birthday party.

Tuesday, October 9

Jerian Grant 26...Jake Lamb 28...Starling Marte 30...Stephen Gionta 35...Jason Pridie 35...Brian Roberts 41...Dexter McCleon 45...Roman Oben 46...Annika Sorenstam 48...Kenny Anderson 48...Trevor Matich 57...Mike Singletary 60...Steve Ovett 68...Brian Downing 68...Shep Messing 69...Joe Pepitone 78. Sean Lennon 43 and Guillermo del Toro 54 are invited to the birthday party. John Lennon was born on this date in 1940 and died in 1980 at age 40.

ON THIS DATE IN SPORTS...

October 8

200 years ago (1818), two English boxers were the first to use padded gloves...91 years ago (1927), the Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 24th World Series...79 years ago (1939), the Yankees swept the Cincinnati Reds for their fourth straight World Series championship...68 years ago (1950), the Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 in their all-time first meeting...62 years ago (1956), Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history, beating the Brooklyn Dodgers...24 years ago (1994), in the sixth college football Holy War, Boston College beat Notre Dame 30-11...23 years ago (1995), Miami’s Dan Marino broke Fran Tarkenton’s NFL career completions record.

October 9

109 years ago (1909), Ty Cobb stole home in a World Series game...102 years ago (1916), Babe Ruth began his World Series pitching streak of 29 2/3 scoreless innings...90 years ago (1928), Babe Ruth his three home runs in Game 4 of the World Series as the Yankees became the first team to sweep consecutive World Series...53 years ago (1965). Byron Nelson captained the United States to a 19 ½ to 12 ½ victory over Great Britain in the Ryder Cup...52 years ago (1966), the Baltimore Orioles swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 63rd World Series...44 years ago (1974), the Washington Capitals played their first NHL game and lost 6-3 to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden...32 years ago (1986), Gilbert Perreault of the Buffalo Sabres became the 12th NHL player to score 500 goals.

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