Key Matchups for Bills vs. Lions

The Buffalo Bills coaching staff did not like the direction the offense was going and made a change at quarterback with Kyle Orton now leading this team. It won’t be easy as the Bills travel to Detroit to take on a talented Lions team. These are three key matchups to watch that will determine the outcome of the game.

Bills’ Secondary vs. Matthew Stafford

It is hard to get a read on the Bills secondary. It would seem they are one of the worst in the league based purely on yards. They currently rank 27th and have given up an average of 266 yards per game. However the run defense is so good that teams are forced to throw the ball as this defense has seen the second most passing attempts this year (160).

This week is sure to be more of the same as Matthew Stafford is a quarterback who could throw it 40 to 50 times a game. Last year, Stafford averaged 39.6 attempts per game and has stayed pretty close to that this season with 37 attempts per game. The Bills secondary is going to be tested on Sunday and only time will tell if they can rise to the occasion.

 

Bills’ Interior Offensive Line vs. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley

 The weak line in the Bills offensive line has been their interior, primarily the guard position. The three players who have started at the left and right guard position (Chris Williams, Erik Pears, Cyril Richardson) are a combined -23.9 overall rating, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams, who has graded the worst, looks to be out for a second straight week. This means rookie Cyril Richardson would get the start at left guard for the second straight week.

Richardson and Pears have a tall task ahead of them as they will be responsible for keeping Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley out of the backfield. Through the first four games, the two defensive tackles have combined for 18 tackles, two sacks, and three tackles for a loss. Both of these defensive tackles are very good at what they do and it could create a ton of problems for the Bills offense.

 

Bills’ Linebackers vs. Reggie Bush

The Bills linebackers have been really good at one thing (run defense) and really bad at another (pass coverage). Through the first four games the Bills defense has given up on average six receptions and 48 yards to opposing running backs.

Reggie Bush is one of the best receiving RBs in the league and has 18 receptions already this season. He should have an expanded workload against the Bills with Joique Bell unlikely to play due to a concussion.

This could spell trouble for the Bills linebackers who have struggled covering running backs when they run out of the backfield for passing plays. One positive for this defense though is the expected return of Keith Rivers, who is arguably the team’s best coverage linebacker. If Rivers is able to play, he should help in trying to contain Bush.

What matchups are you looking forward to watching on Sunday? Be sure to let me know in the message board!


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