The Buffalo Bills and Bills Mafia are back to their friendly time slot of 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, a place with which we were all formerly fat, happy, and familiar. Hopefully, for Buffalo, it’s an advantage with the Raiders coming to town for the home opener in Orchard Park. The two teams come in off of opposite performances; the Raiders surprised many with their win at Denver on Sunday, while Buffalo stubbed its toe against what was basically an Aaron Rodgers-less New York Jets team. The Bills are currently 8.5 points favorites to even their record with a win over Las Vegas in Western New York. With that, here are my five keys to a Buffalo victory.
Footballs Are Friend
When thinking of Josh Allen giving the ball away and how he needs to treat the pigskin like a close friend, two moves came to mind. 1) Finding Nemo. I kept thinking, “Footballs are friends,” like Bruce the shark saying, “Fish are friends.” 2) Full Metal Jacket when they recite the Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed “My rifle (football), without me, is useless. Without my rifle (football), I am useless. I must fire (throw) my rifle (football) true.” In short, coming off a four-turnover outing, Allen needs to protect the ball.
To The Maxx
The Bills must do whatever it takes to slow down Las Vegas defensive end Maxx Crosby. He is, by far, the team’s best defensive player and their only true game-wrecker on that side of the ball. It’s just one game, but Pro Football Focus has him as the fifth-best defensive grade for DEs. They also have him seventh in pass rush grade. Crosby is the one Raider you must identify on each play.
Take A Profit
Allen had a few YOLO throws that led to picks and killed the Bills on Monday. What was worse (as you can see below) is that on some of these poor decisions, very obvious, good choices were right in front of him. There’s an old line that you’ll never go broke taking a profit. Allen needs to keep Buffalo from seeing red.
RUN, JOSH. RUN! pic.twitter.com/2s9H6COhFV
— Greg Vorse (@GregVorse) September 12, 2023
Chips Are Yummy
Buffalo needs to do whatever it can to help Spencer Brown. The right tackle was bullrushed, walked back, and beat around the edge by the Jets on Monday. Whether it’s having Dawson Knox line up on his hip, keeping a back in to chip, or sliding protection his way, the Bills need to do something to help Brown. Especially if he is lined up across from Crosby.
Running back Josh Jacobs is the defending NFL rushing champ, and one of two real weapons on the Las Vegas offense with wide receiver Davante Adams. Jacobs didn’t have a great week one, totaling just 48 yards on 19 carries. The scary thing for Buffalo is that he didn’t have a camp or preseason, so if Week 1 was just a tune-up. Watch out!