On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field for an out-of-conference tilt with the Buffalo Bills. Corey Giacovelli of Buffalo Rumblings was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the Bills and provide insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: Last Sunday, the Bills authored the biggest upset of the season, coming into U.S. Bank Stadium to topple the Vikings. What surprised you most about Buffalo’s game, and do you think the team can replicate that performance moving forward?
The biggest thing that surprised me was the play of the defense. This was a defense that was getting beaten down for the whole game against the Ravens and then for a half against the Chargers. Ever since then, they have a new fire under them and have been playing lights out. The Vikings have a variety of weapons at their disposal and the secondary was able to shut down every last one of them while the front seven was getting constant pressure on Cousins. I think they can replicate it going forward because now this defense has a confidence and swagger that they were lacking to start the season. Now they are hungry and ready to push forward the rest of the season.
APC: While few expected the Bills to pull off the upset against the Vikings, perhaps even fewer foresaw Josh Allen’s three-touchdown performance against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Through three weeks, what has stuck out to you most, both positively and negatively, about Allen?
Allen looked great and obviously played much better than he did in week 2. He had a confidence to him and control of the offense that fans everywhere were wishing that they would see. Allen was getting the ball out a full second faster than he did against the Chargers and the results showed, his sack numbers were down and the offense was moving the chains when it needed to. The one area he still needs to work on however is ball security. There was one point towards the end of the game where it was clear Allen was about to take a sack but left the ball hanging out and he ended up fumbling it. If he clears that up than the sky’s the limit for him.
APC: LeSean McCoy missed last week’s game with a rib injury. Does he appear likely to return this week against the Packers? If not, how will the Bills account for his absence?
McCoy is still day-to-day so it is hard to determine if he will be a go on Sunday but I expect him to play. If he doesn’t than look for the same type of game plan the team used against the Packers using a heavy dose of play action. Chris Ivory was one of the more forgotten players on this team but he showed up on Sunday rushing for a good chunk of yards and he had a key 50 yard reception during the game. If Shady does play watch out because he will more than likely be used as a receiver just as much as a rusher.
APC: If you were in change of game planning against the Bills this week, how would you attack them on offense? On defense?
The weakness the Bills defense has had for a while now is at the linebacker position. They have been prone to bit a lot on the play action fakes leaving tight ends open all over the field or leaving receivers open over the middle. Last week, they did a good job on that but the Vikings only rushed the ball only six times. If you get the run game going against the defense then the tight ends should feast on play action. On defense the key is to just do your job and stay in your lane. The Bills like to use a lot of misdirection on offense so it is important for every player on defense to stick to their assignment and track the ball. If you start to cheat leaning one way or another than the Bills will take advantage on it.
APC: Finally, it’s prediction time. Which team wins on Sunday and why?
This is the part I always struggle with because it is a mind versus heart matter. With the Bills winning last week it only makes me want to pick them even more. The biggest question mark is obviously the health of Aaron Rodgers but even when unhealthy the guy is a superhuman and always finds a way to perform. The Bills will put up a fight but I have to give this one to Green Bay at home 24-17.
We’d like to thank Corey and Buffalo Rumblings for answering our questions. Be sure to check out our Q&A session over there, as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Bills. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Bills versus Packers.