The Buffalo Bills are 8-3 for the first time in 23 years, thanks mostly to their dominant defense. The number three-ranked unit in the NFL in total yards per game (288.6) and passing yards per game (184.3), will be facing their biggest challenge on the year when they step on the field to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day.
We’re talking about a very talented Cowboys team, which, despite the 6-4 record, has enough talent to go deep into the playoffs. They’re led by a strong offense that is the top-ranked group in the league in total yards per game (433.4) and passing yards per game (303.5).
“Yeah, it’s an elite offense. [Dallas] will be a big challenge for us defensively. As we saw yesterday, as I mentioned, I think [Dallas has] five players with 30 or more catches,” said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. “You don’t often see that, all one team, year-to-year. And so, with [Jason] Witten, with [Amari] Cooper, [Michael] Gallup on the other side, [Randall] Cobb in the slot, obviously, Ezekiel [Elliott] and Dak [Prescott] and what they do, and then they’ve got [Tony] Pollard, their young [running] back doing a good job, all with their offensive line that’s playing at a high level. They’re tough to defend, real tough.”
In fact, that’s a loaded group across the board, with QB Dak Prescott playing the best football of his career, earning himself a fat new contract. He has explosive targets to spread the ball around and a proven offensive line and running back at his disposal. It’s a completely different monster from everything seen so far in 2019.
“I think they have explosive players. They have receivers that can run, and run past people,” continued McDermott. “They do a good job protecting up front, giving Dak [Prescott] time. Dak’s really playing at a high level, an elite level in my opinion. So, you get a very potent offense.”
The most explosive threat in this dangerous group is WR Amari Cooper. He has been an impact player since joining the team via trade last year, becoming Prescott’s favorite target and opening up Dallas’ offense. Despite amassing 886 yards and seven TDs on 56 receptions (81 targets) on the year so far, he’s coming off of his worst game as a pro. Being shadowed by the former Bill, Stephon Gilmore, Cooper was shut out in a game where Prescott targeted him just two times. When asked about it, McDermott was assertive:
“Listen, whether he’s held without a catch or he’s coming off of 20 catches, which he’s done before, he’s a dangerous receiver in the league and he’s an elite player,” said the HC. “Like I said, they don’t, you don’t have a number, the number one-ranked offense without having weapons like they’ve got at quarterback, offensive linemen, you go across the board. They’re a talented offense. And it starts with their offensive line.”
The Bills’ defense entered 2019 looking for national recognition after two really good years under McDermott. This Thanksgiving matchup against Dallas should be the perfect opportunity to earn more of it.