Benjamin remains day to day
The Bills did not bring WR Kelvin Benjamin on their road trip to Kansas City this past weekend. His knee injury suffered the week prior in Los Angeles kept him out of practice all last week, and ultimately Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.
Head coach Sean McDermott however, said his receiver’s status is unchanged as he works to return to the lineup.
“He’s working hard and he’s going to be day to day as we move forward this week and we’ll see how the week unfolds,” said McDermott of Benjamin.
When asked if the report over the weekend that Benjamin had suffered a torn meniscus and would miss multiple weeks was true, McDermott said it was not. But the Bills head coach misunderstood the question thinking the report was about a torn ligament.
McDermott later confirmed that Benjamin does indeed have a torn meniscus, but his day-to-day status is unchanged.
Defense trending up
Buffalo’s defense had an encouraging rebound performance against the Chiefs on Sunday following a three-game stretch that set a couple of team records that no defense wants to have.
“You start with the run defense,” said McDermott. “Mindset, number one, then the run defense and gap integrity, technique, good assignment in being one-eleventh of the defense. That’s really where it starts. That’s what I’ve told you when you’ve asked me about the problems with the run defense. That’s really where it started up front.
“The guys have put in a lot of hard work. Leslie Frazier and his staff upstairs did a phenomenal job implementing a plan and the players have worked hard the last three weeks.”
The Bills held the Chiefs to the second-lowest total of net yards by an opponent this season. Only the Jets in Week 1 accumulated less total yardage than Kansas City’s 236 yards Sunday. But McDermott saw this kind of performance coming after carefully examining the game tape from the game against the Chargers.
“There were signs a week ago that it was getting better. Statistically it probably wasn’t there, but when you drill down watching the tape it had gotten better last week. This past Sunday it took another step. Are we there yet? No. Still a lot of work to do.”
Punt coverage unit dominating
Buffalo’s punt coverage unit had another strong day Sunday, against one of the elite returners in the game in Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs return man had two returns for zero yards. The lack of production by Hill helped move Buffalo’s punt coverage unit up to third in the league, its highest ranking so far this season.
“I thought they did a good job,” said McDermott. “I thought coach Crossman had a good plan with the coverage units. Colton (Schmidt) punted extremely well. That was key with that type of returner back there. Then the offense got us some favorable field position too, which enabled them to pin them deep. That helped the defense also. Really, I think what we’re talking about here is good complementary football amongst all three phases of the team. And a good plan special teams-wise as well. So well done.”
Schmidt also had four of his seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line with no touchbacks on the day.