by Pat Freeman
The Buffalo Bills upset the Indianapolis Colts 27-14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday to open the season. This was a game dominated by our defense that forced multiple turnovers and frustrated the Colts quarterback Andrew Luck most of the day. Buffalo ’s quarterback on the other hand Tyrod Taylor had a very efficient day going 14-19 for 195 yards, one touchdown giving him a passer rating of 123.8. He also rushed 9 times for 41 yards on a day that was not ideal for a football in Orchard Park , New York .
The issue of concern in the first game was our inconsistent run blocking which was statistically misleading. Our average yards per rush was a little over four yards a carry but, 86 of those yards were compiled on two runs by Karlos Williams and Tyrod Taylor. LeSean McCoy rushed 17 times for a mere 41 yards which illustrates that we have some problems at the most critical area of running in the NFL which is between the tackles. This problem has been a problem for the core group of this offensive line the last couple of years for the hometown team. Last year embattled former Coach Doug Marrone was heavily criticized for not going for it in short yardage running situations the entire year. That means the problem is still present even with a regime change, and that makes the problem one of personnel. My focus during a game is heavily focused on the play of our offensive line, and who wins the battle of the trenches. What I have found since last year is that we have a weak point of attack in our offensive line that has to be addressed or we will struggle to run the ball in between the tackles all year.
Coach Rex Ryan will have to make a decision very soon on the less than stellar play of our veteran center Eric Wood. Since last year it has become apparent that he is struggling at the point of attack, and is being stood up, plus failing to get leverage against other defensive linemen around the league. This why our running game has been absolutely sporadic in between the tackles over the last couple of years. If a team wants to be successful in the NFL they must be able to consistently run the football late in games in between the tackles.
This week our division nemesis the New England Patriots comes to town, in a critical AFC East Division match up. It has been no secret that during the last 15 years New England has absolutely dominated the Buffalo Bills, and the AFC East.
My prediction this week is the Buffalo Bills-31- New England- 24
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