Bengals will have to work for interceptions vs. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick should have been happy about picking off Eli Manning near the Giants end zone on Monday night, but in the wake of a 21-20 loss, it was a hollow victory.

Now Kirkpatrick is going to have to work harder for that next interception.

The Bengals (3-5-1) are desperate for a win, and they're facing a quarterback who doesn't turn the ball over much. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has been hit-or-miss in his play this year, but what he has done well is protect the football, with only three interceptions this year.

Taylor has been sacked 23 times however, so the Bengals might be able to get him down even if they aren't able to force him into mistakes.

Here are six Bills players to watch, courtesy of ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak.


QB Tyrod Taylor: Over 23 games as a starter, Taylor has been a hard player to pin down. Taylor ranks seventh in the NFL with a 68.6 Total QBR, partly because he's good at protecting the football: he has thrown three interceptions on 268 pass attempts this season. Although some metrics might favor Taylor, he doesn't always pass the eye test as a passer. His 1,769 passing yards are the fewest of any quarterback to start at least eight games this season.

RB LeSean McCoy: The Bills need McCoy to regain his form from before his Oct. 19 hamstring injury. Over the Bills' four-game winning streak in late September and early October, McCoy rushed for 470 yards and as a team the Bills averaged over 200 rushing yards per game. That's their recipe for success over the second half of the season, and it appears that McCoy has close to fully recovered from his injury, giving him a shot to replicate that earlier production.

C Ryan Groy: The Bills lost one of their locker room leaders and stalwarts of their offensive line when center Eric Wood broke his leg in last Monday's loss to Seattle. Groy replaced Wood for the remainder of that game and will compete with Patrick Lewis this week in practice for the starting job Sunday. The best bet is that Groy gets the call for only the fourth start of his career, with the tall task of dealing with Geno Atkins on the middle of the Bengals' defensive line.


DT Adolphus Washington: A Cincinnati native who was a football and basketball star at Taft High School, Washington was a third-round pick this season by the Bills. He's played mostly in the base defense this season, and not sub packages, which has limited him to playing in 33 percent of defensive snaps. He has been graded this season by Pro Football Focus as the third-best defensive lineman for Buffalo.

ILB Preston Brown: Another Cincinnati native who played at Northwest High School, Brown has worn the Bills' defensive coach-to-player radio helmet since his rookie season in 2014. He ranks 16th in the NFL this season with 72 tackles and has been graded as the NFL's 37th-best linebacker by Pro Football Focus.

CBs Ronald Darby & Corey White: Coaches this week have opened up the competition for the starting cornerback spot opposite Stephon Gilmore. Darby, a second-round pick in 2015 who finished second in the Associated Press' defensive rookie of the year voting, has slumped this season. He was benched during last Monday night's loss in Seattle for what Rex Ryan called an "illness," and was replaced by White. According to White, the two split reps in Monday's practice and who starts Sunday in Cincinnati remains to be seen.