By BBD Editor: Mike Watkins
Every week new BBD Editor Mike Watkins will bring you his five keys to success for the Bills. This week Mike focuses on the questions and concerns that still exist for the Bills offense as they head into a match-up v. the Cleveland Browns.
1.Gameplan for Spiller: CJ Spiller is no longer going to take any team by surprise. Many sports outlets have noted his 10 yard per carry average and the Browns have no doubt taken note of the explosive RB. They also have likely taken note of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s struggles with accuracy in the early going of this season. It doesn’t take a football mastermind to figure out who the Browns will have a bull’s eye on if they want to win this game. I imagine this will be the first time in Spillers NFL career where he will be the focal point of an opposing teams game plan, so it will be interesting to see how they go about stopping him and how CJ Responds. If you look at the matchup from a stat standpoint Spiller should be in for a big day but it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t clip 100 yards on the ground in this game.
2.Fitzpatrick needs to show up: With the Browns likely game plan focused around stopping CJ Spiller this could be a real opportunity for Fitzpatrick to get his game right. He has had shaky at best accuracy for the first two games and needs to improve on this if the Bills have any shot at the postseason this year. This game against the Browns could present that opportunity. The Browns have a average defensive backfield at best and a very below average one that will play against the Bills with arguably their best defensive player and one of the better young CB’s in the league, Joe Haden, not playing in the game. Fitzpatrick could be in for a big day if he can improve on his accuracy woes of late
3.The Browns offense does not match up well against the Bills defense: This should be a good day for the Bills defense. The Bills have already shown they have far improved their run defense from last year and with no big time WR threat and a Rookie QB the Bills can focus a lot more energy on stopping the Browns best offensive weapon in Trent Richardson. I expect the Bills to try and make life real uncomfortable for rookie QB B.Weeden because much like in college, his effectiveness goes way down when he feels any pressure or is moved from the pocket
4. A number two has to emerge: In complete agreement with what Eric wrote in his preview I’ve also been saying this since preseason and I’m going to keep saying it until a player steps up, the Bills still have not had a player make a statement that he should be the #2 WR on this team. The coaching staff thinks and looks like wants it to be Donald Jones but his play has still left the door wide open. TJ Graham is young with a lot of upside but clearly has a ways to go. Now, as mentioned before this weeks game presents a great opportunity for one of these young WR’s to make that statement, because as noted earlier the Browns secondary isn’t exactly filled with a who’s who of defensive backs in this league with Joe Haden out. I want to see one of these WR’s step up and take the job
5.Playoff teams win these games: Put simply, if the Bills want to start garnering respect around the league this is a game they should win and win outright. Even the casual football observer would look at this game and see that it’s a very favorable matchup for the Bills. The Bills have had a tough go of it on the road for a long time and a win in Cleveland would get the momentum of this team rolling in the right direction heading into a big divisional game next week.