Bills vs. Saints: Key Points to Know Before Buffalo's Game Today
The Buffalo Bills (3-4) are looking to get back to .500 for the first time since Week 4, but it will not be easy. They will be going up against their toughest opponent to date when they take on the 5-1 New Orleans Saints.
The fact that the Bills have not won back-to-back games yet this season and are playing on the road against a Saints team coming off a bye points to this game not being close.
However, Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone and the rest of the Bills coaching staff have done a great job of game-planning and keeping games close. The Bills' four losses have only been by an average of 6.25 points per game.
These are three key points Bills fans should look for that will have an impact on the final score.
Both Teams Could Be Without Key Offensive Weapons
C.J. Spiller has been dealing with an ankle injury the past couple weeks, and the fact that it has not gotten better may force the team to give him the week off. He is listed on the injury report as doubtful, and the Bills elevated running back Ronnie Wingo from the practice squad to the active roster.
This game will come down to which team can game-plan while missing these great offensive weapons.
Fred Jackson has done a great job to date picking up the slack with Spiller hobbled. Tight end Benjamin Watson will see an increase in playing time if Graham is not able to go, but New Orleans will look to its running backs, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, as well as wide receiver Marques Colston to make up for the lost production.
Can Bills Defense Get Pressure on Brees?
Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today, and if he is able to sit in the pocket, he will pick defenses apart. The Bills defense, and especially Mario Williams, will have to win the battle with an improving Saints offensive line to keep this game close.
The Bills will look to Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams to collapse the pocket so Brees can't step up to avoid Mario Williams or whichever defensive player is coming off the edge. If the Bills are not able to get to Brees, this game could turn into a shootout and Buffalo's chances of an upset will diminish greatly.
Buffalo Has a Need for Speed
The Bills will be playing their first game of the season inside a dome, and this game sets up great to be a track meet. Luckily for the Bills, they have a number of former track stars, including T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin.
Against the Bengals, these two wide receivers were able to use their speed to get over the top of the defense and make big plays. Last week, though, this part of the offense was nonexistent, as the Dolphins did a good job of not allowing these plays to develop.
Goodwin's impact may not come in the passing game but on special teams. He has returned six kicks this season and only averaged 23.8 yards per return. However, the last time he played in a dome he returned a kick 107 yards for a touchdown against the Colts in preseason.