Bills-Jaguars Key Match-Up: Jerry Hughes vs. Cam Robinson

KEY MATCH-UP Each day this week, the Times-Union will examine a key match-up in the Jaguars’ AFC playoff game against Buffalo on Sunday: JAGUARS LT CAM ROBINSON VS. BILLS DE JERRY HUGHES Why it’s important: The best chance for a road playoff underdog to win? Turnovers in general and strip-sacks in particular. But the Bills’ 27 sacks were tied for third-fewest in the NFL this year and the Jaguars’ 24 sacks allowed were tied for third-fewest. If the Jaguars can keep quarterback Blake Bortles upright, the better chance he has to get back to his efficient ways of early-to-mid December. Bortles has five interceptions in the last two games. Hughes is Buffalo’s co-leader in sacks (four) and usually works against an opponent’s left tackle. Robinson, the Jaguars’ rookie second-round pick, allowed 3 1/2 sacks in 15 games. Why Buffalo could have the edge: Robinson (abdomen) missed the Jaguars’ loss at Tennessee and even if he plays, may not be at top condition. Plus, he has shown signs of struggle in the final half of the year – 2 1/2 hits allowed at Cleveland, one sack at Arizona, three pressures vs. Indianapolis and three hits vs. Houston. Hughes (6-2/253) has at least four sacks in each of the last six years and knows how to use his hands to get into a left tackle’s pads and has enough athleticism to win the edge. Why the Jaguars could have the edge: Robinson is a mauler who can use his strength and agility to contain a rusher like Hughes by steering him wide and away from the pocket or standing up a bull rush attempt. Also, Robinson would have an edge in the run game. Advantage: Hughes. If Robinson plays, it will be a good match-up to watch because the Jaguars will likely trust him without any help in pass protection. If Robinson can’t play and Josh Wells gets the start, the Bills should feel they can take advantage and the Jaguars will have to consider giving Wells help. Ryan Continue Reading

Advanced Stats: Jerry Hughes erupts for Bills against backup left tackle vs. Dolphins

In a must-win game against the Dolphins in Week 17, Jerry Hughes busted out of his slump. Through the first six games of 2017, he registered 28 quarterback pressures (three sacks, seven hits, 18 hurries) on 190 pass-rushing snaps. In his next nine contests, leading into the regular-season finale, he generated just 10 quarterback pressures (one sack, two hits, seven hurries) on 229 pass-rush snaps. In Miami on Sunday, Hughes exploded with seven quarterback pressures (seven hurries) on 36 attempts rushing the passer. With starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil out with an injury, the Dolphins started Zach Sterup, an former undrafted free agent who entered the league in 2016. He had only taken four snaps – all at right tackle – this season for Miami before his matchup with Hughes in Week 17. Hughes' seven-pressure performance tied for the second-most he's had in a single game since joining the Bills in 2013. He had one other seven-pressure game this season... in Week 3 against the Broncos. Clearly, Hughes was at an advantage against a young, inexperienced left tackle who wasn't drafted. And he didn't squander that opportunity. His effort against the Dolphins led to the highest Pro Football Focus pass-rushing grade for a single game thus far in his tenure with Buffalo. In the playoffs, Hughes will square off against second-year pro Cam Robinson. The Jacksonville left tackle finished the regular season with the third-lowest overall grade among 87 qualifying offensive tackles. He allowed 41 quarterback pressures (two sacks, 12 hits, 27 hurries) on 454 pass-blocking snaps in the regular season, which equated to a Pass-Blocking Efficiency score of 93.1, the 61st-best score out of 81 qualifiers at his position. (Grades and stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.) Continue Reading

Bud? Edible Arrangements? Whatever he wants. Bills’ Hughes will be Dalton’s Secret Santa

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The unbridled joy is what stood out most. No one was too cool for school in the Buffalo Bills’ locker room Sunday; these grown men, very large and hardened men, erupted into the ebullience of victory as if they’d all just been presented with lifetime coupons for free pizza and wings anywhere in Buffalo.“It was pretty crazy,” tight end Charles Clay said well after the Bills’ 22-16 victory over Miami helped secure the franchise’s first playoff berth since 1999. “The biggest thing for us was obviously getting the win today. But then to come in and kind of see the (Cincinnati-Baltimore) game, kind of how it was going and for it to come down to the end like that, it was crazy. It was definitely a good feeling for them to come out with a win and for us to go to the playoffs for the first time in a long time. That was big.”Clay was talking, of course, about Cincinnati’s improbable comeback 31-27 victory over Baltimore. That game came to its dramatic conclusion about 15 minutes after the Bills had finished off Miami and were back in their locker room anxiously awaiting the outcome.When Tyler Boyd caught Andy Dalton’s pass and scampered to the end zone to complete a 49-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-12 play with about a minute left, the locker room exploded in glee, a scene captured on video by kicker Stephen Hauschka. It’s priceless, and a moment no one in that room will ever forget. Bills report card: The 'process' works, Buffalo earns an 'A' “It was electric,” said defensive end Jerry Hughes. “A lot of heads were down, I’m not going to lie. We didn’t think Cincinnati was going to convert it. Then to see them not only convert it and score, that was huge. We went crazy. I’m pretty sure they heard us from inside of the stadium, how loud we were.”Andy Dalton. The same Dalton who was a college teammate of Hughes at TCU, the same Continue Reading

Bills’ Hughes, Hyde don’t expect NFL fines after Gronk hit

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes and safety Micah Hyde tell The Associated Press they don't expect to be fined by the NFL for their actions in the aftermath of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's blindside hit on Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White last weekend.Hughes and Hyde both told The AP on Wednesday they received no notification from the league that they'll be fined.The NFL normally issues formal notification to players of fines by Tuesday of each week during the season, and confirms them publicly on Friday.Both were penalized after Gronkowski dived and drove his forearm into the back of White's helmet while the rookie was on the ground after intercepting Tom Brady's pass in the fourth quarter of Buffalo's 23-3 loss.Gronkowski was flagged for unnecessary roughness during the game and has since been issued a one-game suspension by the NFL.Hughes was penalized for an unsportsmanlike conduct foul against an official. Hughes said he was flagged for repeatedly urging an official to eject Gronkowski.Hyde was penalized for unnecessary roughness after exchanging shoves with Patriots receiver Danny Amendola.___For more NFL coverage: and Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Continue Reading

Bills DE Jerry Hughes hit with more than $30K in fines, including $8K for head-butting Giants rookie Ereck Flowers

The Buffalo Bills were hit with 17 penalties against the Giants on Sunday. On Friday, the NFL piled on a couple more. The league smacked Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes with more than $30,000 in fines for his actions during the very chippy fourth quarter of the Giants’ 24-10 over the Bills. Hughes was fined $8,681 for unnecessary roughness — head-butting Giants rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers. And he was slammed $23,152 for abusive language toward an official. That’s the second fine for abusive language toward an official for Hughes in the last year. He was fined $22,050 for the same offense last November. Amazingly, that was the extent of the fines handed out to the Bills. Their linebacker, Preston Brown, who appeared to be one of the main instigators and drew both an unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, was not fined by the league. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. There was also an unidentified Bills player in street clothes who threw a punch at Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins at the end of a play that ended up by the Bills bench. According to an NFL spokesman, “the matter has been addressed with the club (the Bills).” As for the Giants, their lone known fine was the one reported earlier this week — $8,681 to receiver Odell Beckham for throwing a punch at Bills safety Duke Williams. Beckham said he “of course” will appeal the fine. Continue Reading

New York Mets third baseman David Wright’s wrongs hurt Jerry Manuel most

A huge moment in Game 1 of the Subway Series felt like a huge moment in the Mets' season, maybe because every day feels like life and death for this ballclub and their manager at the moment. So here was David Wright, the face of the franchise whose troubles at the plate are at the center of all the Met drama, stepping in against Mariano Rivera, a base hit away from tying the game in the ninth inning and changing the course of this game, and perhaps the season. After all, if this weekend turns into an embarrassment for the Mets, Jerry Manuel could very well pay for it with his job. Yes, with his team trailing the Yankees 2-1 at the time, this was a chance for Wright to do so many things, for himself and his ballclub, but if you have been watching the Mets this season, you knew better. Wright, for whatever reason, is a lost soul at the plate these days. Two innings earlier he had taken a 3-2 fastball from Joba Chamberlain for strike three in another huge spot, with two runners on base. It was his second strikeout of the night and, incredibly, his 57th of the season, and at the time it seemed all too symbolic of the state of the Mets. Yet he had a chance to redeem himself in the ninth with Rivera looking vulnerable, having surrendered booming doubles to Jason Bay and Ike Davis. Only this time Wright grounded out to second base on the first pitch, and that was that. You hate to think the worst, but you got the feeling Wright just wanted to make contact early in the count, so he wouldn't be put in the position of striking out to end the game. Wright said it was a matter of not wanting to fall behind Rivera. "He's got such great stuff, you want to try to hit the first good one you see," he said. "I got a pitch and just grounded out." Whatever. On a night when Hisanori Takahashi should have inspired the Mets with six shutout innings in his first start in the majors, they sent their fans home from Citi Field with a 2-1 loss, once again thinking the worst Continue Reading

Suzyn Waldman during World Series Game 1, scolds New York Yankees reliever Phil Hughes on air

Phil Hughes was walking back to the dugout Wednesday night after being yanked by Joe Girardi in the eighth inning of World Series Game 1. Hughes was barking at home plate umpire Jerry Davis. You could hear it on the radio. "He shouldn't be doing that," Suzyn (Georgie Girl) Waldman said. "A rookie pitcher yelling at an umpire in a World Series. He shouldn't be doing that." This was vintage Waldman. Ma Pinstripe scolding one of the kids. Of course she meant well. She cares. Wednesday night was special. Not only was it Waldman's first trip to a World Series radio booth, as the Yankees lost to the Phillies, it marked the first time a woman had ever worked a World Series broadcast. Quite an accomplishment, especially considering the road Waldman traveled to get there. She's made her mark in a business that's never been kind (that's being polite) to women. But this ain't the time to preach. This is about last night. Of course Waldman had company in the WCBS-AM booth, John Sterling. He's been to the World Series. If you listened, it was business as usual. You would not know Waldman was in the process of making history. There was something we did learn about Waldman, who has been on the Yankees beat, in one form or another, for 23 years, the last four working with Pa P. In the second inning, with the rain falling, Waldman talked about how a delay could burn out both starters, CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee. "I don't trust people anyway," Waldman said. "So, I really don't trust weathermen." Did this lack of trust come from years of working at WFAN? She trusts Sterling, right? Sterling did get discombobulated in the fifth inning after Jimmy Rollins snagged a soft Robinson Cano liner, then threw to first to double up Hideki Matsui. One umpire initially ruled Rollins caught the ball, but the first-base ump, not realizing the ball was caught, said Cano was safe at first when Ryan Howard came off the bag. The umps huddled and correctly ruled a double Continue Reading

Brian Cashman says Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes likely starters for New York Yankees in 2010

CHICAGO - Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain finished the season as relievers, but Brian Cashman believes the two youngsters will enter spring training as starting pitchers. "I look at them as starters that can relieve," Cashman said. "We haven't had our meetings, but I would anticipate going to spring training with as much starting depth as possible." Chamberlain made 31 starts and one relief appearance this season, going 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA while dealing with the infamous "Joba Rules" during the final two months of the season. Chamberlain finished the regular season with 157-1/3 innings, then threw another 6-1/3 in 10 postseason appearances out of the bullpen. The Yankees would likely allow Chamberlain to throw 200innings next season, which would be his first season without any strict limitations. Hughes threw only 86 innings during the season, appearing in 51 games, including seven starts. He added 7-1/3 frames in nine postseason outings, so he would likely be restricted to a more stringent innings count in 2010, similar to what Chamberlain was forced to deal with this year. "We'll act accordingly if guys approach a danger zone," Cashman said. "If we believe they need to be protected, we'll protect them." UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Instant replay was expected to be a major topic of discussion this week, but GMs opted not to vote on any potential changes to the league's current system at yesterday's meetings. "We talked about the mechanics behind instant replay, the structure, where it's housed, the umpires' procedure - but it was all confined to the current instant replay system that we have," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive VP of baseball operations. "There was no other vote or any other discussion on any other things than the instant replay that we currently have." INTEREST IN IAN: The Yankees have fielded several calls from teams interested in trading for RHP Ian Kennedy, but Cashman said he has no plans to move the 2006 first-round draft pick at the Continue Reading

Johan Santana lets Jerry Manuel wear his poker face

WASHINGTON - Jerry Manuel had been joking, of course, when he said Johan Santana might have to throw 170 pitches. But there is nothing funny about the state of the Mets' bullpen, so you waited to see just how far the manager would push his ace Thursday night, big lead and all. Considering the near-debacle Wednesday night, Manuel could have justified sending Santana out for the eighth inning, even with a 7-1 lead and pitch count of 107 for the lefthander. Fortunately for the Mets he's not that desperate yet. Bullpen anxiety and all, Manuel was still looking at the big picture, knowing the Mets might need Santana at the top of his game twice more over the next 10 days to make it to October. For that matter, they might even need him to pitch on short rest if they are in a win-or-else situation next weekend. So Manuel did the right thing, pulling Santana after seven. And even though Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis were both shaky, the bullpen avoided disaster on this night and the Mets actually had a relatively angst-free 7-2 victory over the Nationals. Afterward the manager smiled when he was asked if he had been tempted to use Santana for another inning. "No question," he said. "but it was good we were able to limit him because we're going straight through (with no off-days) and we're going to need him to be as sharp as possible." It's nice to have an ace, isn't it? You think the Mets aren't forever grateful that the Yankees chose Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy over Santana last winter? You could tell it was Santana's day to pitch just by walking into the Mets' clubhouse yesterday afternoon. The place had a loose, confident vibe even before the Cubs' Geovany Soto hit a ninth-inning home run to tie their game with the Brewers, setting off a roar as players watched the game on TV. With Santana on the mound, even the beleaguered bullpen could relax a little. "When Johan pitches, I kind of sit back and watch him like a fan," reliever Nelson Continue Reading


Horse Trainer Jockey Last start Next start Comment Pool 1 odds. 1. Latent Heat B. Frankel P. Valenzuela Maiden 1-23/4 Allowance Drilled a bullet 5f at Hollywood on Saturday in :59.60. Field 2. Stevie Wonderboy D. O'Neill G. Gomez San Rafael 2-11/2 Santa Catalina, 3/4 Slated to have 1st work since San Rafael loss today. 8-1 3. Brother Derek D. Hendricks A. Solis San Rafael 1-11/2 Santa Catalina, 3/4 Breezed 4f in :49.40 yesterday at Santa Anita 16-1 4. First Samurai F. Brothers E. Prado BC Hutcheson 2-11/4 Fountain of Youth, 3/4 Ran well in return; will move forward. 7-1 5. Achilles of Troy J. Pedersen A. Garcia Count Fleet 1-14 Whirlaway, Saturday May switch riders to Ramon Dominguez for Saturday. 26-1 6. Private Vow S. Asmussen S. Bridgmohan Kentucky JC 1-21/4 Undecided Breezed yesterday for the second time in a week. 14-1 7. Bluegrass Cat T. Pletcher J. Velazquez Remsen 1-13/4 Sam F. Davis, 2/18 One of 38 Pletcher nominees for the Triple Crown. 15-1 8. Barbaro M. Matz E. Prado Holy Bull Stakes 1-3/4 Fountain of Youth, 3/4 Proved he could handle the slop with gutsy win. 19-1 9. Lawyer Ron R. Holthus J. McKee Risen Star 1-81/4 Southwest Stakes, 2/20 Is taking the Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex Derby route. 21-1 10. Bob and John B. Baffert V. Espinoza Sham Stakes 1-41/2 Santa Catalina, 3/4 Got paid for a public work when winning the Sham. 31-1 11. Your Tent or Mine N. Drysdale P. Valenzuela Hollywood Futurity 2-1 Undecided Is pointing for a mid-March return to the races. 21-1 12. Barbican E. Harty C. DeCarlo Allowance 1-41/2 Southwest Stakes, 2/20 Son of A.P. Indy has won two in a row. 18-1 13. Continue Reading