Bills vs Packers Preview and Prediction


This afternoon the Buffalo Bills will play host to the Green Bay Packers in a very important late season game. The Bills are fighting for their playoff lives and the Packers are trying to stay atop the NFC North and continue to fight for the #1 overall seed in the NFC. The game marks the last home game in the 2014 season for the Bills, who would like a sold out and fired up crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium to help the Bills win over the Packers and continue their playoff hopes for another week.

The Green Bay Packers are arguably playing the best football of any team in the NFL right now and the biggest reason is quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been playing MVP caliber football. Rodgers has only thrown 3 interceptions all season long, and all 3 were deflected off his receivers hands. He will look to continue his hot play this afternoon and help the Packers achieve their first win in Buffalo in the history of their franchise.

For the Bills, quarterback Kyle Orton had to answer questions about his job security all week long. Luckily for him, Bills head coach Doug Marrone made a statement that sounded like baring injury that Orton would remain the starter for the remainder of the season. Orton put up nice numbers last week, but the majority of them game when the Bills were training by 21 points. In recent weeks Orton has seemed reluctant to throw the ball down the field and has begun looking like the quarterback he replaced after week 4.

For the Bills to compete with the Packers on Sunday two things will have to happen: 1) The Bills defense will need to hold Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense in check. If they can put up a similar performance to last week in Denver than the fans really cannot ask for more. While the Bills defense was held without a sack last week, that was mostly due in part to the Broncos reluctance to let Peyton Manning drop back and pass the ball. 2) The Bills offense will NEED to score. Last week the Bills offense looked inept and incapable for the first 3 quarters and did not seem to get much of anything going until the game was nearly out of reach. For the Bills tin win today they will need to score early and often. When you play a team like the Packers you can never score enough points.

Here are 5 keys to victory for the Bills this afternoon:

1) Pressure Aaron Rodgers: Aaron Rodgers is a mobile quarterback who is capable of making big plays on the run. The Bills defensive line will need to try and contain him in the pocket and pressure and sack him as much as possible. If they could manage to force Rodgers into an interception it would only be his 4th of the season, but would be a huge boost toward winning.

2) Take shots down the field on offense: The Packers defense is not as good as hyped and is vulnerable to the big play in the secondary. Kyle Orton needs to remember how to throw a football past the line of scrimmage and trust his receivers to go up and make a play. When you have a guy like Sammy Watkins who can literally take every catch the distance, you need to take some chances on offense.

3) No stupid penalties. The Bills took some really stupid penalties last week and kept shooting themselves in the foot. They cannot do this afternoon. They need to play smart football and not give the Packers extra plays and yards (or take their own big plays off the board).

4) Do not turn the ball over: Last week the Bills killed one of their own good drives when Kyle Orton threw an interception near the end zone. The Bills ended up losing the game by 7. You do the math. The Bills cannot afford to kill drives with turnovers or give the Packers extra possessions. Kyle Orton also threw an interception on his own side of the field that lead to the Broncos scoring. The Bills cannot afford to give points away to Green Bay.

5) Run the ball effectively. The Packers run defense is vulnerable and if the Bills can run the ball they will hold onto the ball longer and this keep Aaron Rodgers and crew on the sideline more. The Bills passed way to much last week. They need a more balanced attack on offense today.

My prediction:

Most people are saying that the Bills defense will keep it close but the Bills offense won’t be able to score enough to win the game (similar to last week). I am going to be an optimist and say that for the first time in what seems like forever, the Bills offense will have a good day and they will win the game and extend their playoff hopes another week.

Bills 27 Packers 23