National Football Post columnist and former Bills safety Matt Bowen (though a leg injury cost him his only season in Buffalo) put together his five ways that the Bills can make the playoffs this year.
While I share his enthusiasm, I don’t completely agree with some of his assessments.
First, regarding his stance that Buffalo has to play more man-to-man defense on the back end. I’ll be the first to say I’d like to see more press coverage, than painfully watch talents like Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin giving WRs a 10-yard cushion.
Even McGee himself felt they should be playing more press coverage. But I think the reason Perry Fewell had his guys play off so much was because his four man pass rush couldn’t get home, and 24 sacks last season serves as proof.
As good as McGee and McKelvin are asking them to cover man-to-man for more than four seconds is unrealistic. I think until Fewell sees that Schobel and Maybin can consistently make the four man front work, you won’t see a whole lot more man coverage calls.
I agree wholeheartedly with his second point about getting T.O. involved, but that’s kind of a no brainer. He’s right about the coverages though (lots of cover-2 and 2-man). I just hope that Trent doesn’t just settle for working underneath with Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish when he sees that. Reed and Parrish are great weapons in the middle of the field, but Trent has to throw some passes into the teeth of the defense because he has proven playmakers in Owens and Evans who can work the deep middle and both fight for the ball.
Bowen’s right about Jackson and Rhodes. I think together they can hold the fort while Lynch serves his suspension.
He’s dead on with his pass rush point, and Fewell knows how to be creative with his blitzes and creeper LB packages. He’s been forced to use it the past two seasons, so he’ll be ready if he has to go into his bag of tricks again.
The home field advantage point is a tricky one. The Super Bowl era Bills of the early 90’s reveled in the winter weather they had at home and used it to their advantage. I know there are a lot of fans that would like to see the current Bills make better use of that advantage.
The only problem is the only teams on the schedule slated to come to the Ralph when the weather begins to affect games and might not be accustomed to it are Miami (Nov. 29) and Indy (Jan. 3). The only other home games on the back end of the slate are two northeast based teams in the Jets and Patriots and Buffalo is playing New York in Toronto on Dec. 3.
So while I respect Bowen’s opinion in most cases, points one and five have some caveats.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Aaron Schobel, Dominic Rhodes, Fred Jackson, Josh Reed, Lee Evans, Leodis McKelvin, Marshawn Lynch, Perry Fewell, Roscoe Parrish, Terrell Owens, Terrence McGee, Trent Edwards
Posted in Inside the Bills