The Buffalo Bills offense looked pretty lethargic against the New York Giants in their 14-9 win on Sunday Night football last weekend. One of the more consistent things was the ground game which was mostly propelled by running back James Cook.
Cook struggled the week before last against the Jacksonville Jaguars as Buffalo seemingly could not run the ball. However, against New York, he finished with 71 yards on 14 carries leading to his second best yards per carry average so far this season.
So, the question heading into Buffalo's game at Gillette Stadium remains this. Can the offense get it going and even more specifically, can Cook be the one to do so?
Buffalo Bills need to get James Cook more involved in the passing game
One way Cook can help the offense aside from his legs is with his hands. Against the Giants, he caught no balls and had zero targets. But, when he has been targeted by Josh Allen out of the backfield, it has been for yardage of at least 7 yards a catch in four of the last five games the Bills have played in this season.
If Allen can get Cook involved in the receiving game, it may not only help the two of them out, but it will help get Buffalo's offense back in shape.
It also has been apparent in 2023 that when Cook runs the ball well, the Bills usually find themselves winning. When rushing for 50+ yards (Cook has done so in half of his games), Buffalo is 3-0. This also happens when the Buffalo playcalling gives him plenty of touches. In games of 50+ yards, Cook has gotten at least 14 carries.
The number of touches is huge to get Cook going. But the Bills are facing a good run defense in New England this weekend. They give up the third fewest yards per carry (3.4) and are in the top half of the league in rushing yards per game allowed (104.0).
It will be a clash and battle to watch throughout Sunday's game and if Cook can get it going against the Patriots' run defense, it will not only help Buffalo get a win, but it will help the momentum going forward in his season.