Happy Thanksgiving Buffalo Authority Faithful! Hope you got your fill of turkey, family and football. We are officially into week 12 which means the downward spiraling Bills are back in action. Was the Tyrod benching a bad move? Was bringing him back after just one half as our starter a worse move? Can Bills right this Titanic-sized sinking ship? It’s been a rough three weeks for the team and us fans. Toughest three week stretch I can ever remember if I’m being honest. Difficult task this week as Bills take on a daunting opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. This will be a tough team to face when the Bills are trying to fix their losing ways. They can do it though, right? Let’s check out a few players to keep our eye on this week.
Obvious right? This guy has been the focal point of the Buffalo controversy since the beginning of this struggle. Is this three game losing streak Tyrod’s fault? Not entirely, but he has played a role in this for sure. Even before the benching happened, I was onboard with it. The sky was falling in Buffalo and in my opinion it was time to see if we had something better at quarterback. Did it work out? Not even close. Regardless of our feelings on what was right and what was wrong with this “Quarterback Controversy,” Tyrod is again the guy. Let’s see what he has this week. Maybe all he needed was to realize his job wasn’t secure and he can be yanked if he continues to struggle moving the ball downfield. When Tyrod came in for the second half of the Chargers game last week he finished with 15 completions for 158 yards and two total touchdowns. That’s more than he had in the entire game against the New Orleans Saints a week earlier. Let’s see what Tyrod has this week. If somehow he throws together a good stat line, takes chances down field and comes out with an upset, the Bills can try and play catchup and get back into that playoff race. Last week’s bench could have just served as a wakeup call.
Hunt is quite the talented rookie. Bills defense has been abysmal for three weeks, namely their rush defense. It’s such poor timing as it makes everyone and their mother question; “Was that Dareus trade a good one?” I get that he only played about a third of the snaps this season but he also took pressure off our linebacker corp on those running plays, freeing them up to make a tackle for the team. But I digress, whether Bills rush D is good or really, really, really bad, Kareem Hunt is a great running back who could spell problems for this defense. Though Hunt hasn’t found the endzone since week 3, his rush yard average is still impressive, with 5.0 a carry. Not only that, but he is second in the league in rushing yards. The only guy ahead of him is LeVeon Bell and it’s by a mere 13 yards. Bills will have their work cut out for them with Hunt in the backfield. Let’s just not see a repeat of that brutal Saints rush attack, please?
How can Bills pull off this upset? They need to not only win the turnover battle but take advantage of these turnovers. Who leads the team in interceptions? Micah Hyde with five. As I have already stated, this defense has struggled mightily. Best way to mask a struggling defense is force turnovers. Hyde was brought in to be a veteran of this defense. He needs to be a ball hawk back there on Sunday. With Alex Smith playing a bit looser this year and airing it out more often Micah Hyde and the Bills need to take advantage of this. Hyde needs to be aggressive and bring this D back to the greatness we saw earlier in the year. It’s easier said than done to say “win the turnover battle” however, with how talented our secondary has been in the past, this team needs to lean on them. Time to put the team on your back Micah.
Number 50 on the Chiefs, Justin Houston, is their team leader in sacks with 7.5. The Bills offensive line needs to protect Tyrod better. Their protection issues are just as big of a concern as Tyrod’s struggling to move the ball downfield. Linebacker Justin Houston needs to be seeked out before every play. He’s a huge part of this defense and after he saw how easily it was for the Chargers to cause a disturbance in the backfield of Buffalo last week, he’s gotta be licking his chops this week. Here’s a stat for you; In games where Justin Houston has at least one sack, the Chiefs are 5-0. In games where he fails to sack the quarterback? The Chiefs are 1-4 in those games. Stop Justin Houston, he’s the definition of a key player.
Who are you making a point to watch this weekend friends? Do Bills stand a shot in this one? I’m strangely optimistic. For some reason this teams’ woes never kill my spirits. Every week I come back for more thinking, this week they got it. Comment below, follow me on twitter @BBlehar. We’ll chat about our toxic love for the Bills. Have a good weekend all!