Buffalo Bills Vs. Green Bay Packers: Five Ways The Bills Can Pull Out a Victory
Are the Buffalo Bills going to get embarrassed once again when they play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday?
The local and national football experts will tell you yes.
In 10,000 simulations done by ESPN's Accu-Score, the Packers won 75 percent of the time by an average of ten points.
Whether you've already called it a season after last week's optimism-draining 15-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, or you're like me, and always grasp on to that last piece of hope with dear life, here are the five ways in which the Bills can sneak out of Lambeau Field with a miraculous victory.
Stranger things have happened, right?
5. Run, Run, Run
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Usually the most important aspect is saved for number one, but I can't get this offensive scheme out fast enough.
Buffalo went into this 2010 season "boasting" one of the best running back trios in all of football. (maybe not production wise, but on talent alone)
After an above-average (Bills average) preseason, I thought the offense was ready to escape from the quick-sand that's sunk them to the bottom of nearly every offensive statistical category in the NFL.
I envisioned quick screen passes, plenty of runs, and the occasional deep ball to Lee Evans to stretch the field. None of that happened with any sort of effectiveness against Miami.
The biggest facet of last Sunday's game-plan that really puzzled me was Chan Gailey's dedication to throwing the football. Sure, there's a chance he wanted to see if Trent Edwards was up for the challenge—he certainly was not.
The Bills were in the shotgun 41 of 52 offensive snaps against the Dolphins and finished the game with a grand total of 14 rushes.
That cannot happen if the Bills want to win any games this season. I try to stick up for the much-hated and pocket-shaky Edwards, but Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch are gifted enough to make the Bills' brutal-at-times offensive line look decent, thus relieving pressure from the quarterback.
I don't know much about offensive line blocking, but I've heard run blocking is more natural and easy than pass blocking—just throwing that out there.
The Packers gave up 150 rushing yards last week to the Eagles (mostly from the legs of Mike Vick) and are much better at getting after the quarterback than they are containing the run.
So, with that, Mr. Gailey, I'm telling you to pound the rock, over and over on Sunday, if you want to stay in the game whatsoever.
4. Double Team Clay Matthews
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Yet another linebacker the Bills passed on from USC.
Anyhow, Matthews, whether he juiced or not in college, is an insane, downhill pass rusher.
He accumulated three sacks last week and basically played the entire game in Philadelphia's backfield.
Couple that with Bills' right tackle Cornell Green coming off one of the most matador—like offensive line performances I've seen in quite some time and you've got yourself a gigantic problem if your the Buffalo Bills.
You're scared to death if your Trent Edwards.
...And you're buckling your chin-strap getting ready to play if you're Ryan Fitzpatrick.
There's no way on God's green earth, or in this case on Lambeau's natural green grass, that the Bills' tackles can even limit Matthews on any type of rush he unloads.
Chip blocks from backs and double teams from tight ends like David Martin or Johnathan Stupar must occur.
Edwards is timid and sometimes seemingly frightened even when there's no rush, so imagine what could happen with Matthew's flowing blonde locks flying his way.
Green right now, is the team's biggest liability and Chan Gailey has to find a way to mask this huge weakness.
3. Use The Screen Play
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Alright, I'll give Chan Gailey credit, he did all he could to utilize the screen pass against the Dolphins, but rarely did his plans work out.
Trent Edwards must do a better job to sell the screen play, and even using Fred Jackson or Marshawn Lynch would be in the Bills best interest.
Expect Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers to dial up an array of complex blitz packages Edwards' way, so the screen play is actually quite obvious.
Let's see what Spiller, Jackson, Lynch and Roscoe Parrish for that matter, can do in the open field against a defense that is filled with young secondary members.
Which brings me to my next point....
2. Use Receiving Options Other Than Lee Evans
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I've constantly stated my sympathy for Lee Evans and how he'd be a perennial Pro-Bowler on any other team.
Charles Woodson was back to practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday, and with the Bills luck, will suit up alongside the Bills' number one on Sunday.
Evans is faster than Woodson, but remember, he tied Bills safety Jairus Byrd with nine interceptions last year—he might not be the guy to pick on.
With that being said, the Bills should have no issue getting the ball to the likes of Steve Johnson, David Nelson and especially Roscoe Parrish.
Al Harris is already out with injury, and the rest of the Packers' secondary is relatively inexperienced.
If there's one part of the Packers' play that's consistently inconsistent it'd have to be the defensive backfield, minus all the turnovers they forced in 2009.
Whatever the Bills do, the must get these secondary receivers the football.
1. Trouble Aaron Rodgers / Jermichael Finley
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As if this isn't taking a stroll down Obvious Lane.
Rodgers is receiving the most media hype these days for the quarterback position and most of it is well-deserved.
He's got a football-shooting cannon as a right arm, has underrated pocket presence and possesses keen downfied accuracy.
The Bills secondary flexed their muscles last week, holding Chad Henne to 182 yards and keeping Brandon Marshall under 60 yards receiving, but this is a much tougher test.
Outside of deep threat Greg Jennings, and possession hard-knock Donald Driver, Rodgers constantly targets tight end Jermichael Finley, who is a total freak even for a position loaded with big, quick and super strong athletes.
The Bills have had their fair share of disasters with tight ends, but last week held Anthony Fasano, a much lesser version of Finley, to three catches.
Finley can be taken (somewhat) out of the game with pressure on Rodgers, whether it be up the middle or from around the edge. The Packers star signal caller has the tendency to force the issue when flustered and the Bills corners and safeties have a fabulous turnover-creating history.
I'm still wondering who covers Finley down the seam on Sunday. Keith Ellison? Donte Whitner? I guess Bryan Scott is your best bet?