Jezioro: AFC East Predictions

With NFL free agency underway, the focus now shifts to the NFL Draft taking place in April. The Buffalo Bills have already made some moves signing free agents, but the biggest acquisition they made was trading for wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. The following day was even better when Bills killer Tom Brady left the New England Patriots after 20 years of dominance, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Besides Brady, the Patriots lost some key pieces on defense, but the mastermind of Bill Belichick is still there. The head coach is without Brady for the first time in two decades, giving the Bills a realistic chance to take over as division winners. However, there are a couple of things that need to happen in order for them to accomplish that goal.

First up is better play from quarterback Josh Allen. Last season, Allen showed some signs of being a good quarterback, but he struggled in some situations. It’s expected to have a second year player to struggle. It’s going to happen. However, there were times where Allen was just awful. This year, he needs to step it up. Buffalo’s passing offense was not good last season, despite having some good receivers (John Brown and Cole Beasley). Now that Diggs is a Bill, there are hopes that the passing offense will be top ten in the league. No excuses, Allen needs to take it to the next level this upcoming season.

Next up is the offensive line. They need to protect Allen better so he doesn’t have to escape the pocket every single play. If they can give him good protection for a good part of each game, then Allen will be successful. They can’t be perfect every play but for the majority of each game will be ideal. A good example is the game against the Dallas Cowboys last season on Thanksgiving. There was a play where the offensive line blocked so well that Allen just stood perfectly still like a statue for two or three seconds, but it seemed like ten seconds. That’s how much time Allen had to find an open receiver and throw the ball. If they can play good consistently, then it will be really good for the team and Allen.

Lastly, sophomore running back Devin Singletary needs to do a better job of protecting the ball. As a rookie he dropped the ball four times. He has the speed to be a good running back but if he can just fix up his ball handling, then he’s all set to go.

Staying healthy and winning the most games in the AFC East also needs to happen but that’s common sense. The most important thing is Allen improving, that’s the number one thing in my opinion. There are other scenarios that need to happen but it is critical that Josh gets better. With the improvements made in the offseason, it is very possible the Bills could win the AFC East for the first time in a long time.

Q&A: The Bandits’ Chase Fraser

Chase Fraser, the third-year forward for the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, is having a great season. In only eight games played this season, Fraser has 16 goals and 10 assists. The Bandits are looking to win it all this year after losing to the Calgary Roughnecks. At this moment, the Bandits are currently sitting in second place in the North Division and have the second-best record in their division (7-4). With a very lethal offense, the team has a great chance to get back into the finals this season. Recently, the Scribe’s Zach Jezioro had a chance to interview the star forward.

The Scribe: What made you want to become a lacrosse player?

Chase Fraser: I was watching a game and I saw a huge brawl break out. I said to myself “I want to be in that.” Also, my brother plays lacrosse as well

TS: Who inspires you the most?

CF: My uncle.

TS: Why did you choose the number 95?

CF: It was the year I was born.

TS: After a disappointing finish last season, what’s motivating the team to win it all this year?

CF: Having a gritty attitude and also having a stronger mentality.

TS: Is there any atmosphere like Banditland?

CF: Not even close, nothing compares to it.

TS: What do you hope to achieve by the end of your career?

CF: Winning a championship with whatever team I play for, finishing top ten in points, and winning the MVP.

TS: What’s it like playing with this group of players?

CF: It’s great. We always make sure we’re on the same page and we always motivate each other.

TS: What’s it like playing for John Tavares?

CF: It’s awesome, he brings so much knowledge and it really benefits me and the rest of the team.

The Scribe: Line Changes

Scribe reporter Zach Jezioro recently did a podcast with two of his buddies about some things in the sporting world. On the episode, we discussed the Mookie Betts trade and our thoughts on it. Staying in the baseball category, we also gave our predictions about the AL East. Transitioning into the NFL, we talked about the Super Bowl and gave our thoughts about tight end Greg Olsen visiting the Buffalo Bills. Then, we talked about the recent struggles of the Buffalo Sabres. To wrap up the show, we touched a little bit on the Buffalo Bandits.

Hawks Edge Keuka

Hilbert college men’s basketball team won a nail-biter over Keuka College earlier this month, by the score 98-97.

The game was an extremely exciting contest for the fans as it went back and forth all afternoon long with the Hawks holding on after Keuka had a chance to win the game with the game’s final possession.

Hilbert started the game on fire being up as many as 13 points at one point in the first half, before going down early in the second half. However, they closed out the game strong and ended up winning the game by one point.

Any fan who bought a ticket was definitely entertained, but these games can be tough for the coaching staff to watch. Head coach Rob deGrandpre was happy that his team managed to hold on to the game and get the win, but not overly pleased with how they played.

“I like our start, I don’t like the fact that we give up a lot of points,” deGrandpre said. “It puts a lot of pressure on us to rally. I’m sure the people who bought a ticket tonight got their money’s worth but that’s not how we draw it up,”

One key to the high score was the amount fouls taken by Hilbert’s defense. To start the second half the hawks had seven defensive fouls in the first five minutes. That’s a lot of free points to be handing out to the opposing team.

“Usually in practice we certainly harp on defending without fouling,” deGrandpre said regarding the Hawks’ foul troubles. “It really comes back to being fundamental. You’ve got to be a disciplined team if you want to have success. And while we try to take advantage that when other teams do it, we can’t do that and expect to win games”.

A huge positive in Saturday’s win was the way bench stepped up for the Hawks, scoring 39 points. deGrandpre pointed out, “The good news for us is we have other guys that can step up and contribute and they did for us tonight. One of the keys going into the game was for the bench to contribute and give us a lift.”

One of those bench players that provided the team a huge lift was Kyreese Fisher who had five points in the Hawks win Saturday afternoon. He provided a spark on defense and was trusted to be on the floor in the final minute with the hawks protecting a lead.

“Coming off the bench I just try to focus on my defense because I need to ty and bring energy to the game,” Fisher said. “The easiest way for me to do that is being up on defense and pressuring the opponent.”

Another Hawk who really brought his game was senior Alex Karamanos, who played 27 minutes for the hawks and scored 24 points in the contest. He was very energetic and physical all night long being hard to handle for Keuka.

“We’re all really close and we all trust each other that any five of us can make a shot and I think that’s how we keep our composer and it worked out pretty well,” Karamanos said.

The Hawks are now 4-1 on the season and will play their next game on Tuesday November 26th at 6:00pm in University of Pittsburgh Bradford.

AFC Playoff Predictions

It’s currently week 15 in the NFL and the playoff race is starting to get hot. For the first six weeks it looked like only the NFC would be a competitive race down the stretch but here we are in week 15 and it’s pretty tight for those beloved spots. So let me give you my not so biased, bills favored playoff bracket predictions.

In this article we’re going to focus on the AFC. right now as it stands the Patriots lead the east, the Ravens lead the north, the Texans lead the south, and the Chiefs lead the west. I’m not so certain all of these teams are leading their divisions at the end of the year with the Bills, Steelers, Colts, and Raiders all breathing down their necks respectively. Anyway let’s categorize the tiers of the Afc.

THE LOCKS

New England Patriots– The defense is hanging tough but people are slowly starting to score on them, not their biggest worry with the way the offense has been struggling and that can be a major issue that even Bill Belichick and Josh Mcdaniels might not be able to fix. Dare I say Tom Brady has hit the wall? And yes of course another cheating allegations looms large.

Remaining schedule:  @ CIN; vs BUF; vs MIA

Final record: 12-4

Baltimore Ravens– They’re the hottest team in football winning 9 in a row and holding onto the win vs Buffalo by sixteen yards. Lamar Jackson is by far getting it done and the defense is the hottest in football. BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ

Remaining schedule: vs NYJ; @ CLE; vs PITT

Final record: 13-3

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS– The offense speaks for itself, Andy Reid is pushing all the right but and the defense is even making plays which could make the Chiefs the scariest team in football.

Remaining schedule: vs DEN; @ CHI; vs SD

Final record: 11-5

BUFFALO BILLS– That win in Dallas was so huge for national attention but more importantly for their playoff hopes. The defense is top 3 again this season and the offense is starting to hit their stride. WIN AND YOU’RE IN BUFFALO!!!!

FInal record: 11-5

Remaining schedule: @ PIT; @ NE; vs NYJ

BUBBLE TEAMS

HOUSTON TEXANS–  The path to the playoffs is beat the Titans twice, easy as that. Their defense isn’t looking too hot with Clowney gone and Watt hurt but Desean Watson will keep you in any game, but it’s very possible that the Texans miss the playoffs.

Remaining schedule: @ TEN; vs @ TAM; vs TEN

Pittsburgh Steelers– For the longest time the Steelers were dead in the water but the Defense has brought them all the way up to sixth place and the offense is staying out of their own

Remaining schedule:  vs BUF; @ NYJ; @ BAL

Final Record: 10-6

TENNESSEE TITANS– The Ryan Tannehill resurgence is happening!!. I’d like to pat myself on the back for predicting him taking over for Mariota when he signed there. Their defense is a real threat now it’s a matter of them vs the Texans twice that will ultimately determine their season especially with the Saints coming to town in between.

Remaining schedule: HOU; vs NOLA; @ HOU

Final record: 9-7

IN THE HUNT BUT NEED A MIRACLE

OAKLAND RAIDERS– They would need to win out and hope for some help but stranger things have happened so it’s not impossible

Remaining schedule: vs vs JAC; @ LAC; @ DEN

Final record 8-8

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS– To me the Brisset injury weeks ago took the wind out of their sails but with the Titans and Texans playing each other twice a win out from INdy could give them a shot.

Remaining schedule: @ NOLA; vs CAR; vs JAC

Final record 8-8

The rest of the crew

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS– Did I say San Diego, whoops I meant Los Angeles. The fan base in LA is atrocious and the stadium gets filled by opposing fans week in and week out. Anyway the Chargers need to start thinking about life after Phillips Rivers.

 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS– Foles needs to come back better next year because of that contract or Minshew mania needs to make everyone forget about that so far putrid Foles deal. Either way Doug Marrone is out the door and has no fingers left to point at other people. Just two years ago they were one stop away from a super bowl appearance. Funny how that works doesn’t it?

DENVER BRONCOS– The Broncos defense is good and really good at that but their offense is very poor and they can’t find a way to win tight games, hence the -21 point differential. All in all they aren’t in bad shape for the big picture but John Elway better find his quarterback of the future unless Drew Lock is the answer.

CLEVELAND BROWNS- MAybe next year Brownies and maybe next year Odell Beckham jr. will stop being selfish and Freddie Kitchens will figure it out.

MIAMI DOLPHINS– the Dolphins definitely aren’t the 2016/2017 Cleveland Browns dilemma as the Fitzmagic is getting them a couple wins and I really like Brian Flores as a coach. Maybe this full on rebuild works but I want to see Josh Rosen to get put in a good system with good players around him because he’s been thrown in the worst offenses back to back seasons and hasn’t gotten a fair chance.

 NEW YORK JETS– J-E-T-S suck suck suck! Remember when some national media had the Jets in the playoffs in the summer, welp that died pretty fast just like the ghosts that Sammy Darny sees on the field apparently, and yes Adam Gase should be canned too.

CINCINNATI BENGALS– Their defense sucks and they were starting Ryan Finley at quarterback. Clearly this is a rebuild and they’re definitely going after the likes of Joe Burrow, Tua taga, Jusstin Herbert, and Jaylon Hurts. But as buffalonians we will always love Andy Dalton

AFC PLAYOFFS

Wild Card

4v5     Bills @ Texans

3v6     Steelers @ Chiefs

BYES: Patriots and Ravens

That’s my outlook and projection to date, hopefully reality includes the Bills with a bye and a home game.

 

 

Buffalo Fanatics Bring Unique Perspective

The Buffalo Bills fan base keeps on growing each year. In particular, The Buffalo Fanatics, a fan-run media group is the strongest and largest fan base community. For example, their Instagram account has 62.5k followers. They state in their social media bios that they are the largest Bills community on social media.  Buffalo Fanatics (formerly known as Bills Fanatics) was created in 2013 by Pierre Gabart, known as Kingpin, in the lead up to the NFL draft. Kingpin is his online persona nickname. This started off originally as a Facebook group. The aim was to gather like-minded Bills fans and them a platform to share their thoughts and opinions about their beloved team. Social media has played a crucial role for them, and keeps getting fans from other states and countries.

They are currently on almost all social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Discord, along with a podcast network that uploads on all the podcasting platforms. Their mission is to deliver striking, unfiltered and unapologetic Buffalo Bills content for fans.

Kingpin stated their goal.  “One reason for this media company, is not to regurgitate the same news. Buffalo Fanatics wants to be there for the fans. Their goal is to keep football fun and to bring a unique take to the wide agglomeration of Bills Media.”

Buffalo Fanatics recently held an event in September to engage with fans. This was during the home opener for the Buffalo Bills. It was called the Buffalo Fanatics Tailgate and consisted of food, meeting the BF team, games, music, and a good time. Over the summer, they had raffle a raffle for a BF swag bag which included a t-shirt, wristbands and lanyards. Also they had a raffle to win 2 tickets for the opener that day. The person who won, go to sit with the BF team.

One of the main purposes for this event, was to show love for all over their fans. People who follow BF are from many states and countries, not just from Buffalo. Some members of Buffalo Fanatics grew up in Buffalo. They are all die hard Bills fans.  BF wants to engage with their fans, and to spread their awareness.

The Scribe had the chance to speak with BF President, Pierre (Kingpin) Gabart.

The Scribe: How do you feel engaged with Bills fans for BF?

 Pierre Gabart: It’s probably the most enjoyable part of Buffalo Fanatics. Being able to interact with the fans, and build those relationships with Bills fans. That is probably the most part of Buffalo Fanatics takes pride in. This is not cookie cutter. It is brash and direct. No sugar coating, and that is why Bills fans enjoy BF. I personally enjoy the fan engagement, like interacting with their comments. Throwing jabs back and forth is what fans do, and that is pretty enjoyable.

TS: What is the importance of spreading BF content?

PKG: The one thing that I learned over the years, is that the many fans are from other states. Fans that don’t have a lot of avenues to gather information from social media. Not all the fans are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Being able to tap in all the markets to share content where the fans are at. Content is king. Spread the news as best as we know how, at the end of the day!

TS: How was meeting the fans at the BF Home Opener Tailgate?

PKG: That was absolutely awesome! We were able to talk to fans throughout the year. Being able to put a face to the name was pretty cool! We have debates with fans all the time. We know who we are talking to, and to put a face to them is really cool. Many fans showed up to take pictures as well. Being able to make it bigger and better for the years to come, is our goal.

International Athletes Bring Their Game to Hilbert

Being a college athlete is almost every high school athlete’s dream, including those who grow up outside of the United States.

According to NCAA.org over 20,000 international students are enrolled and competing at the NCAA level.

International student-athletes bring much more than talent to intercollegiate athletics such as different bonds, friendships, and great opportunities.

Connor Buziol, a freshman basketball player from British Columbia, Canada, said he wanted to play collegiate athletics in America to meet new people and have new experiences.

“I wanted to branch away from where I grew up my whole life,” Buziol said.

Brandon Job, a junior baseball player from Ontario, Canada, came to Hilbert after playing his first two years at Erie Community College.

“I chose Hilbert because it was a nice and small, enjoyable environment,” Job.

Jessie Price, a freshman basketball player from Brisbane, Australia, came to Hilbert for basketball and new opportunities.

”I thought Hilbert was actually closer to New York city,” Price .

When we talked to each athlete the second question we asked them was what major was.

Brandon Job,  is an English major, who is currently 1 full year away and looks to continue his education here at Hilbert and play baseball.

”I look forward to finishing my degree here at Hilbert but planing to move back to Canada after school, ” Job.

Connor Buziol is a business management major he currently is a freshman so he still needs 4 years before he gets his bachelor’s degree.

”I plan on staying in the united states after I graduated, I want more experiences, and a new place to start my life, ” Buziol.

Jessie Price, is a business law major in his first semester of college.

”I plan on staying in the United States after I graduate because there is better opportunities, jobs, plus I have family and friends here, ” Price.

All 3 athletes came for different places around for two reasons. The first one being to play their sport at a college level. But the most important reason is schooling being able to graduate with a college degree when their time is up at Hilbert.