Looking forward as the bye hits


By Brandon J. Koch

The Buffalo Bills head into thier bye week after a 20-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bills are 3-2 through 5 games, something many fans have not thought would be possible during the preseason. 

As we all get a week off from Bills football, moving forward, where do we go from here? Time to take a look.

Running game: It needs to get going, it sets up the whole offense. LeSean McCoy has been struggling, but I consider the running game a whole side of the ball effort. The line has had its struggles in thier outside zone blocking scheme, where they had a lot of success the past two seasons with inside zone blocking scheme. If the Bills want to be in playoff contention late in the season, the running game has to get going against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vertical threat: I understand Sammy Watkins is gone, but they have to take more shots deep. Keeping defenses honest. Yes, they’ve done it with Charles Clay, but they need to add someone else as well. How can you establish a running game when you have the box filled with eight?

Throwing to wide receivers: I get it, you’re probably saying, “Brandon what wide receivers?” I get it. But there has to be ways of getting Zay Jones more touches, getting Clay who has speed the ball. Using Andre Holmes in the red zone. Obviously the wide receiver corp is not sexy. But yesterday’s game for example, out of 20 completions, only 3 went to receivers. THREE. Two of them went to Brandon Tate. 

Can the defense sustain this? That’s a real question we all have to think about. What the defense has done is very impressive, but doing it over 16 games is asking way too much. It’s very difficult in this day and age in the NFL to sustain what the Bills defense is doing. 

Margin for error is slim: we’ve seen it through the first five weeks. The Bills need multiple turnovers from thier defense, Hauschka hitting long field goals and the offense doing just enough. It’s a formula that says. It’s really tough in the National Football league to continue the play that we’ve seen from this team with little margin for error. It seems like everything has to go right. 

Getting healthy: It’s the NFL, there are a lot of injuries, but the Bills aren’t deep enough. Sean McDermott hinted at that multiple times with what happened in the offseason. They need to use this bye week to get healthier. Charles Clay is number one on that list. 

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