By BBD Editor Mike Watkins
Much like Eric’s preview from yesterday Mike knows the key to beating the Pats is establishing our rushing attack and taking away Rob Gronkowski. Both of those are easier said than done, but below are those keys to success along with three others.
1. I might need a new TV: The Patriots game will give a good sense of the mental fortitude of the current Bills coaching staff. The reason Bills fans will get a good sense of this is with how we see the Bills use B.Scott in this game as opposed to the last. The use of Scott and failure to adjust when the Patriots started to exploit Scott was a big reason the Bills lost the game last time. If you start seeing Scott in the game play after play and the Patriots running the ball straight down the Bills throat again, the entire coaching staff should only be allowed in the building after the game to gather their belongings and leave forever.
2. Crowded: The Patriots are going into this game with priority number 1 being to stop the Bills from getting any type of run game going. They know that Spiller is the Bills best weapon and will stack the line of scrimmage to stop him. The Bills can get them off the LOS by completing a deep pass or two. This has become a tall order for the QB so I don’t expect it. This however does not mean the Bills should abandon the run game all together. The Bills have to play to their strengths and use the big OL they spent a lot of time building to grind down the Patriots defense. The Bills can use the Patriots crowding the LOS to their advantage if they keep at it. By this I mean if you can get Jackson or especially Spiller into the second level with 9 in the box there really isn’t much left to stop him, which could mean big gains for the offense
3. Its pretty Simple: No matter how you look at this game the Bills DL has to have a dominate day if the Bills are going to have any shot at all. You let Brady sit back there and it doesn’t matter what defense you are playing he will eat you alive. In the run game if you cant keep blockers off you’re LB’s then the opposing teams RB’s will be 4 yards down the field before anyone even touches them. Combine them both and the Bills are looking down the barrel of a blow out
4. Exploit: Fitzpatrick has to play better period. The weakest part of the Patriots by far is their secondary. The idea is to get Spiller and Jackson the ball for the running game but the Bills also cannot go into this matchup without a game plan devised to take advantage of arguably one of if not the worst secondaries in the league. This also falls on the Bills WR group, most notably D.Jones and TJ Graham.
5. Take away: The Bills have been notoriously abused by TE play for over a decade now. It doesn’t seem to matter the coach the personal or the scheme the Bills get abused by, good TE’s in the league eat them up. The Bills tried using Scott on them last game and it worked a little in the early going. The problem was, as stated earlier, the Patriots eventually exploited it in the run game. The Bills have to do something different this time around. I personally would try to mix it up and give Brady a different look every time he takes the snap. Have a LB them one play, CB next, SS after that. If you keep giving Brady the same look he’ll eventually pick it apart.