Coming in this week at 6-6, the Buffalo Bills are still in playoff contention but they will need to win out the rest of their four remaining games. The four game stretch will start with facing the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have already been eliminated from the playoffs so they may be looking to eliminate the competition that is competing for a playoff spot.
Over the last five weeks, the Bills have went 1-4 with their only victory being against a declining Kansas City team. Midseason has not been friends with the Bills and with the way they have been performing, who knows whether or not their playoff drought will continue into 18 years. Week 14 is very crucial for the Bills as is the upcoming weeks but the winning to get into the playoffs needs to start this Sunday against the Colts.
Righting the Wrongs for the Offense…
The offense has been a major struggle for Buffalo especially in their four out of last five games against the Jets, Saints, Chargers and Patriots. In those games, the Bills only put a combined total of 58 points while those opponents have scored a total of 158 points on them. In two of those games against the Saints and the Patriots, Tyrod Taylor threw a combined total of 121 passing yards and two interceptions.
Taylor, who will be a game-time decision for the Bills after suffering a knee injury against the Patriots needs to utilize his weapons that he has down the field. With Jordan Matthews being placed on the injured-reserve for the rest of the year, it will be tough but he still has Kelvin Benjamin, assuming that he will play after tearing his meniscus a couple weeks ago. Taylor also has Charles Clay, Deonte Thompson and now he will have the potential services of Brandon Reilly. In this passing offense that is ranked 30th, it’s time to step it up and throw the ball.
In order to points on the board, Taylor needs to stop throwing the five yard passes to the running backs in which a majority of the time they always come up short of a first down. Throw the ball down field and let the receivers go up for it to make a play.
The running game for the Bills is not the same. LeSean McCoy cannot seem to have breakout plays as often as we would have wanted to see. Why would this be? The offensive line is not playing the same way they have been over the past two years. While the offense is in the top ten in rushing, it still does not feel like the Bills are dominating on the ground. McCoy, along with Travaris Cadet could very well convince that the combo of them two can be dangerous.
The offensive line has been great at times and horrible at times whether it is in the passing or running game. They have affected the running game more because McCoy has only been in the end zone four times this season. With the weather starting to get cold, we could very well see more action from McCoy and he may carry the team on his back.
Righting the Wrongs for the Defense…
What went from the top scoring defense in the NFL in the beginning to one of the more underperforming defenses’ in the league in past weeks. In their last five games, the Bills have faced Josh McCown, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Alex Smith and Tom Brady. They played against quarterbacks that are playing well this season. The secondary has had a challenge, but their tasks would be easier if the defensive line could get pressure on the quarterback.
Opposing quarterbacks have had time to get the ball out to their receivers or have had time to scan the field because the pocket has been well-protected. The more time that is given for a quarterback, the more likely he is to complete a pass. The Bills defense struggled in their last five games except against the Chiefs.
While the defensive line needs to work on getting pressure, the secondary has been separated from receivers which allows opposing offenses’ to make plays through the air. What happened to the defense that we saw play against the Panthers, Broncos, Falcons and Raiders? That defense was dominant and helped the Bills to victories.
It’s make or break time for the Bills. It starts with the Colts this Sunday. The Bills need to focus one game at a time. The Colts are not playing for a playoff spot and they know that the Bills are. Offense needs to come together and the defense needs to limit Colts from going off.
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