Keys to the Game: Bills vs. Saints

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Offense

Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Saints 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Well, if there’s a perfect time for the Saints to blow up on offense, Sunday would be perfect. The Bills come in 21st against the pass (256.9 yards/game) & 28th against the run (123.6 yards/game).

The main key here is containing Mario Williams. He’s having a solid season, tied for 2nd in the league with Kansas City’s Justin Houston, with 10 sacks on the year. Williams had a huge sack last week which forced a fumble, and eventually help the Bills come from behind to win. Sean Payton had this to say on Williams.

You know, he plays that weakside/outside linebacker position which can put him right or left based on your formation in the base. In the nickel snaps, he’s more to our right and to his left. He’s had an exceptional season. He’s had sacks from inside. He’s had sacks from outside. He’s someone who is comfortable on either side of the tackle. So you’ve seen that production. He’s healthy. He’s long. Certainly he is a player that you have to account for because he changed the game last week, we saw in the final snaps. He’s really playing well.”

Don’t be surprised to see some double teams on Williams Sunday, and assuming the Saints can solve for his pass rush, it should open some nice opportunities for Brees to find the open man down the field.

Drew Brees hasn’t thrown for 300 yards in two games now. Should you be concerned? No. Part of the missing element that I think should change on Sunday, is that Marques Colston returns to form with the return of Lance Moore. Colston has only 5 targets in the past two games, and 3 receptions for 26 yards. Speaking of targets/receptions, 69 of Drew Brees’ 157 completions

The Saints should be able to run the ball with their three-headed Hydra of Thomas-Sproles-Robinson. If Ingram does indeed play (ruled officially as Questionable), it will be interesting to see if Robinson takes a seat. I think the Bills will have to stay honest to their defensive schemes, as Brees can identify them, and change the play. I look for some big plays in the screen game this week. The Bills did a good job of getting the Dolphins off the field on 3rd down, holding them to just 23% (3/13).

If Graham Doesn’t Play

  • It’s a huge opportunity for the younger receivers (Stills & Toon) to potentially step in to be targeted on several of Drew’s passes.
  • Potentially helps the team to potentially focus more on running the ball against the Bills.
  • Drew & company have plenty of weapons even without Jimmy Graham. In the game that he missed last season against the Bucs, Drew passed for 377 yards & 4TD.
  • Ben Watson is ready for an increased role, and is up for the challenge. Before Graham went out, Watson was a huge factor, as he caught 3 passes for 64 yards on the day against New England.
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Tags: Buffalo Bills Doug Marrone Keys To The Game New Orleans Saints Sean Payton Week 8 Matchups