Bills vs. Browns 1st Half Thoughts

Tyrod Taylor played well in his audition as starter for the Buffalo Bills.

The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns are tied at three at halftime. Buffalo was dominating the time of possession in the first half until the Browns put together a nice long drive to end the half. Here is what stood out in the first half.

Taylor performs well

Tyrod Taylor led the Buffalo Bills into field goal range twice in the first half. Dan Carpenter was only able to convert on 1-of-2 kicks, but Taylor moved the ball well with backups all around him.

In the first half, Taylor went 7-of-10 for 65 yards passing and added 41 yards on four carries. Buffalo’s offense also went 4-of-7 on third down in terms of moving the chains. Considering the lack of starters on the field, it was an encouraging performance. It may not have been enough for Rex Ryan to end the quarterback competition, but it was a positive start for Taylor.

More WR injuries

Buffalo was missing their top three wide receivers on Thursday night. Without Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Percy Harvin, Buffalo expected Chris Hogan and Marquise Goodwin to see extended time on the field. Instead, both receivers were shaken up on the field in the first quarter. Both injuries were classified as ankle injuries and Goodwin was able to return to the game.

Deonte Thompson steps up

Thompson has been making a case for a roster spot and that continued in the first half against the Browns. The receiver led the Bills with 35 yards on two receptions. Thompson could have hauled in a touchdown pass in the first half but it turned out falling incomplete. You could argue that Thompson was interfered with on the play.

Injuries have allowed Thompson to see extra time on the field and he’s making the most of it. Don’t be surprised if Thompson lands a spot on the 53-man roster.

Ronald Darby records two interceptions

The rookie cornerback started the game with a pass interference penalty, but he followed it up with two interceptions on Josh McCown. The first came on a pass that was deflected into the air and the second was all Darby. It was a bounce back performance after the cornerback had been picked on by Cam Newton and the Panthers.

Defense swarming

Buffalo’s defense forced McCown into two interceptions in the first half and they also added three first half sacks. It was the type of performance that Bills fans expect from their dominant defense.

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