It’s week 10 and we’re back! After somewhat of a mini bye week and a humbling loss, Bills are back at it against a daunting opponent in the New Orleans Saints. Before we get our feet wet with that matchup, how awful was that Thursday Night game? In my opinion it really wasn’t all that bad! These Bills are on the upward trend even with that loss. After all the media coverage all week of Bills being the surprise team or being playoff contenders, that beat down is exactly what this team needed. Some fans have vented this past week, claiming that the loss was “the typical Bills”. In the words of the late Dennis Green; “they are who we thought they were,” and who did we think they were? The hapless Buffalo Bills. Some fans have chosen that mindset, but I am choosing not to dwell on the loss. The important thing here is to realize it’s not over; they’re still the sixth seeded wild card as of this post. Snap back to reality, and most importantly don’t string together losses. Through the first eight games Bills are 5-3, mirror that for the second eight and it’s a nice 10-6 record. Ten wins is normally the magic number for getting into the playoffs. Is it a guaranteed playoff berth? No, but I think it’s something the Bills can legitimately shoot for and would go a long way for this organization and first year head coach Sean McDermott. First things first though, stop the Saints who have marched forward for six straight wins. They’re due for a loss, right? How can the Bills achieve victory over this team? Let’s jump into the matchup of the week.
Saints Running Backs vs. Bills Front Seven
Did anyone think I was going Brees vs. secondary here? Would have been a fine choice but with how poorly the Bills played against the Jets run game and how great the Saints have looked thus far on the ground, I decided to go the Ingram/Kamara route. Since Adrian Peterson’s departure out of New Orleans, the Ingram/Kamara combo have been an impressive one-two punch, averaging 4.4 and 6.0 yards per carry respectively. These numbers are concerning after Buffalo let up 77 yards on 14 carries to Matt Forte (5.5 per carry) and 74 yards on 9 carries to Bilal Powell (a whopping 8.2 yards per carry). Fortunately for Buffalo fans these numbers are not the norm for this defense as opponents are only averaging 3.7 yards per carry against them thus far. Even so, with how they played Thursday and how well the Saints have been running recently, it’s a cause for concern. Not only that, but both these backs are great at catching the ball out of the backfield. Alvin Kamara is third in receiving yards on the Saints (341 yards) and Mark Ingram is no slouch either only four yards less than the fifth leading receiver with 192. The defense, front seven especially, will have their hands full with these two. I would say stop this running game and the Bills will get the win…however, the Saints have an all-time great at quarterback. Fortunately for Buffalo players and fans alike, this game will be in Buffalo. That means the 38 year old Brees will have to play in the cold temperatures of New Era rather than his dome sweet dome. The high on Sunday in Orchard Park is only 44. This is why I am convinced that the matchup of the week is the Saints running backs against this front seven.
Let’s not get any talk of people second guessing trading Dareus due to an inefficient run defense. If the Bills can’t control this running attack it’ll be another long week of fans and media alike questioning if this team is a pretender or a contender. As Sir Andrew Barton said, and made famous to Bills fans by the great Marv Levy; “Fight on my men, I am hurt but I am not slain; I’ll lay me down and bleed a while, and then, I’ll rise and fight again.” Circle those wagons Buffalo!