Buffalo Bills: Keys to victory and final score prediction for Week 9
Collapse the Pocket
After many successful years in the NFL, spectators are familiar with Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays with his legs. In any scenario, Wilson extending plays will be bad for the Buffalo Bills defense.
If the Bills allow him to escape the pocket, that will mean one of two things. It could mean that he is buying time for his receivers to get open, or that he will simply use his legs to get rushing yards. Either outcome is bad for the Bills defense, but this is why it is supremely important for the Bills to contain what Wilson can do with his legs.
There are a couple of ways the Bills can contain Wilson in Week 9. The first option is to use a quarterback spy on most plays. The main issue with this option is that this will take a player out of coverage. Yes, this player will be responsible for Wilson, but because his eyes will only be on Wilson, this hypothetical Bills defender will have no idea where the routes are being run behind him and will then only be able to drop six defenders into coverage while rushing four.
The second option is to rush the passer with the intent to collapse the pocket. The Buffalo edge rushers will be primarily responsible for this task, as Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, and others will have to rush the passer while simultaneously setting the edge.
It will be difficult, but the edge rushers will have to make sure they don’t rush wide around the tackles to get to Wilson in the pocket. By doing this, it will open up a run lane for Wilson between the offensive tackle and the offensive guard. If the Bills edge rushers remain disciplined and don’t get too wide on their pass rush, the interior rush should be able to get to Wilson, without giving him enough room to escape the pocket.
With 260 yards rushing already this season for Wilson, the Buffalo Bills need to keep him in the pocket as much as they can in Week 9 if they want to give themselves the best chance to win.