Week 10 is officially kicking off Thursday night, and we are now over the halfway point in the NFL season. There’s still much left to be decided, and the Buffalo Bills are right in the heat of the Wildcard race, holding a playoff spot since Week 1. Buffalo’s chances took a hit on a Thursday night stinker just one week ago, but the team; with a new X-receiver, a freshly healthy Charles Clay and EJ Gaines, and 10 days of rest will look to prove that game was just a fluke. Coming to town are the 6-2 Saints, who are riding high as they try to extend their streak to 7 games. Buffalo will look to break their stride, and send the Saints home with their 3rd L. If Buffalo wants to come out on top, they’ll need to accomplish these 3 keys.
Win The Trenches:
Buffalo’s loss to the New York Jets was attributed to half a dozen things, but one major reason they lost was because they lost the trench-battle. The O-line couldn’t block to save their lives, and the defensive line gave McCown time to giftwrap each ball before he threw it. Shady was shut down for just 25 yards, and Tyrod was sacked 7 times. The O-line looked absolutely miserable, and it was inexcusable. On the defensive side, they let the Jets put up 194 rushing yards and gave up 4 total touchdowns. That all starts with the D-line. They had zero pressure on McCown all night, and when it came to the run game, they just could not seem to block any holes. To beat the Saints, they need a complete 180. Stuff the run lanes, and force Brees to get the ball out fast, that will allow the secondary to make their own plays. On offense, same idea. Block some lanes for Shady, and give Tyrod some time to find his new target down field. The game starts and ends in the trenches, so Buffalo needs to be up to the task.
Contain Drew Brees:
Drew Brees is one of the most prolific passers of this era…and he will come ready to play. Whether it’s the D-line, our stellar secondary, or even just the cold winds of Buffalo, Brees will need to be contained, somehow or someway. It certainly won’t be easy, but a mix of all three should be able to get the job done. Keep Brees uncomfortable in the pocket, force him to release the ball quick and then let the secondary make their magic happen. Forcing Brees to commit a couple of turnovers will do wonders for this Bills team’s chances which is something they couldn’t force McCown to do.
Keep It Simple:
As fans, we know what wins the Buffalo Bills games. A successful run game, that classic bend-but-don’t-break defense, an efficient day from Tyrod Taylor, and a turnover or 2 for the D. Sean McDermott needed to bring this team back after that terrible outting in New York. The team looked sloppy, lost and overall like a team without a purpose. McDermott had nothing much to say on the sideline. His clapping stopped, he was staring blankly. With that said, last week was a learning experience, and it’s time to get back to the basics. Play a simple game in front of the home crowd, play a full 60 minutes, and just play the Buffalo Bills game that works. If they can return to form, there’s no doubt in my mind that they can win the game. Thanks for reading and as always, let’s go Buffalo!