The Bills head to Detroit and try to hold onto their lead in the AFC East. It is a tough game as Detroit currently holds the #1 defense in the NFL plus Buffalo has been terrible the past two weeks. It is also more than likely the last week before Terry Pegula is officially voted in as owner of the Bills.
When the Bills are on Defense
The Bills currently hold the 3rd best run defense in the NFL. Last week against the Texans they held them to 37 yards rushing. The Lions are in the bottom of the NFL in regards to running the ball and their two headed monster at running back will more than likely struggle to get any positive yardage in the ground.
While the Bills will shut down the run game, the Lions have a very deadly passing game similar to what the Bears had in week 1. Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the NFL and is near impossible to cover. At the other wide receiver spot is Golden Tate who is no slouch himself. The Bills will have their hands full covering both guys. Stephon Gilmore will have his work cut out covering Megatron and the best plan would be contain him. The good news is the Lions don’t have a real threat at tight end minus Eric Ebron who drops 1 out of every 3 passes thrown his way. The bad news is the Bills do not have even a serviceable linebacker in coverage besides Nigel Bradham who might not be ready to go. Overall, the Bills better hope Stafford does some of his vintage bad plays, or else it will be a long day.
The Offensive Bills
The first two weeks the Bills offense was clicking. They were able to run the ball and pass it effectively. The past two weeks, the opposite happened. The pass game struggled, the offensive line forgot to block and the run game either got stopped or the Offensive Coordinator decided running the ball was overrated. The Bills then decided to make the switch at QB and now it is the Orton Era.
Uncle Rico, I mean Kyle Orton is a meh QB. He has a 35-34 career record, 58.4 career completion % and a 79.7 passer rating. His two best years came in 09-10 when he threw a combined 41 TDs to 21 INTs. However after that he lost his job to SEC Network Analyst Tim Tebow and has kind of been drifting around various backup jobs. Orton is not the savior many in the media/fanbase are making him out to be. He is a serviceable backup who at best will give the Bills the production they have been getting from EJ Manuel, just less ups and downs. His short accuracy is his best attribute and with the type of players the Bills have at receiver, it should mean good news. However he has the tendency to make the boneheaded throw in coverage. Pretty much he is Ryan Fitzpatrick without the beard.
The bigger concern is the offensive line which gave up 16 QB hits last week. The worst player on that line is Erik Pears who somehow is still the starter despite being the worst guard in the NFL. Cyril Richardson got the start at LG and he was an improvement over Chris Williams and hopefully the Bills still with him. Seantrel Henderson has looked good but he has the occasional lapse where he forgets to block his man, the latest example being the JJ Watt pick six. The Lions have a pretty good front four and Orton is nowhere near as mobile as Manuel. Unless the Bills decide to actually block, the Orton era may be done by halftime.
Overall the Bills have the defense to keep them in the game but what is going to hold them back is the offense, particularly Nathaniel Hackett. Against the Texans who have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, only ran the ball 23 times despite the success they had and let their QB throw it 44 times, even though it was obvious he was stinking up the joint and needed some help. I expect this horrible playcalling to continue and with how poor the line is, expect Orton to get hit a lot by the likes of Suh and Fairley which will lead to turnovers. The defense will keep it close, but just like the Chargers game, it will feel like a blowout because of offense ineptitude.
Bills 13 Lions 24