With the poor running game of the Lions and their change at quarterback, the Bills need to find a way to stop the passing game (both Johnson and Pettigrew) while, at long last, keeping the run game bottled up. There was improvement in stopping the run last week versus the Bears and if that continues, the Bills will be on the right track for their first victory.
On the offensive side of the ball, Chan Gailey needs to not abandon the run game so quickly. Freddy Jackson was electric last year in getting to 1,000 yards and a 4.5 yard average. This year his production has dropped to 3.0 yards per carry which simply doesn’t cut the mustard.
Both Jackson and C.J. Spiller have stated that they would prefer to be ‘the’ guy as it allows them to get into a ‘groove’. This school of thought makes sense. With Gailey stating that Spiller is not necessarily ready yet, it’s high time Jackson is left in and allowed to do what he does best: run like the wind. Spiller can come in, as he has been, on third downs.
A push back to the running game will get some of the load off of Ryan Fitzpatrick and aid in controlling the clock while simultaneously allowing the Bills porous defense to not cause any damage while seated comfortably on the sideline. Each time I think of the Bills defensive ends I shiver as they (Marcus Stroud and Spencer Johnson) just don’t do anything: no pressure, no containment, no demanding double teams.
Gailey is clearly a great offensive mind. He has taken an offense with minimal talent and figured out a way to create points with them. To keep the run game as part of the repertoire just makes sense regardless of Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch. The line will have to be in rare form to handle those two and not make the Bills (again) one dimensional.
A look at the schedule leads one to believe that this may very well be the Bills only chance for a victory this season unless the Patriots and/or Jets are resting personnel at the end of the year. The Bills simply aren’t good enough to overcome the opposition yet.