The Bills squeaked by against a mediocre Titans team last week and head back to Buffalo to play the undefeated Bengals. The Bills are extremely dinged up and have been very up and down in the first five weeks. This is a very important early game was 4-3 at the bye is not good considering the second half of the schedule.
Sammy Watkins is the best player on the offense. When he gets the ball, good things happen. He’s been nicked up the past two games as the Bills have been extra cautious with his health. Right now it sounds like he will be good to go which means he needs to get the ball. In the first three games, he was not the focal point of the offense and he clearly wasn’t happy about the gameplan, telling reporters yesterday his concerns with the lack of targets. Considering the talent Watkins is, he should be getting at least ten targets a game and whenever it is a one on one match-up, he should be the target. The Bengals don’t have great CBs which means Watkins is a mismatch to whoever is covering him.
Reinforcements Coming at RB?
The top two backs Shady McCoy and Los Williams were greatly missed last week as the Bills could do nothing in the run game with the RBs. The good news is they might have at least one RB return this week. Shady has been practicing this week and it looks like he might be available. Los has been dealing with a concussion and has not been able to pass the concussion protocol yet. He is a game time decision most likely as he can play as soon as he passes the test. One of the two will give the Bills a big boost at RB as Boobie Dixon and Boom Herron don’t scare opponents. Since the Bills like to run a lot, they need to at least have someone who scares opposing defenses to help the passing game.
Shut down Green and Eifert
The Bengals offense goes through AJ Green and Tyler Eifert this year. Both are top ten at their respective positions. The biggest key to beating the Bengals is shutting those two down. The Bills have two solid corners in Darby and Gilmore and both should be able to shut down Green with safety help. Eifert will be the bigger problem. With Aaron Williams out, the Bills don’t have a safety whose great at playing man coverage with a TE. This is where I expect the Bills to do a group effort covering Eifert with the linebacker chipping him and then the safety handles him. Overall both Green and Eifert need to be stopped as they are the biggest threats in the Bengals offense.
Force Bad Andy
Andy Dalton has two different forms. There is good Andy and bad Andy. Good Andy is what he has been so far while bad Andy is what he is in every big game. If the Bills want to win, they need to force Bad Andy. It will be a tough task as the Bengals have a pretty good offensive line. The Bengals will more than likely at first try to copy what the Giants and Patriots did but if the Bills play press coverage, Dalton will be forced to hold the ball longer and get sacked. Pressuring Dalton will be key as this will force him to make his usual horrible mistakes like throwing the ball into double coverage and turning it over. The Bills need to force Bad Andy because without turnovers, it might be difficult for the Bills to win.
Even though it is week 6, this is a crucial game for the Bills. If they lose they go 3-3 and will most likely be 4-3 heading to the bye. Considering how tight the wild card picture is, the Bills need to get this win and head to the bye 5-2. The quarterback position is a question mark as it is still up in the air on who will start, at least according to Rex. This looks like another week where the defense will need to carry the team to victory and it is a good chance they do.