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Keys to the Game: Bills vs. Saints

hispandrix
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Defense

Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints staff escort defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) off the field during the second half of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills are known for their rushing attack, as they average 140.4 yards/game on the ground, which is good for 5th in the league. On the flip side, they are 30th in league in their passing game, at 192.9 yards/game. Don’t think for a second Rob Ryan doesn’t know this. Ryan said today that he has a great deal of respect for Fred Jackson, and plans to get after Thad Lewis.

It is encouraging that Cam Jordan has progressed this week, so having our best pass rusher should help cause the pressure Rob Ryan is looking for. Lewis is still a rookie, and could prove to be extremely vulnerable. He fumbled twice, was sacked four times, and was intercepted once in last week’s meeting against the Dolphins. I look for the Saints to force Lewis into some bad situations, which will create some turnovers, and take a good bit of sacks.

As far as the run game goes, the Bills are likely to be without C.J. Spiller, who is dealing with an ankle injury. So, that means Fred Jackson should handle the bulk of the workload for the day.  The Saints inside linebacker duo of David Hawthorne & Curtis Lofton should be able to handle the Bills rush attack accordingly. It’ll be the read option/mobility of Lewis that would likely bring concern.

The other side of the equation lies in the ability to cover Stevie Johnson, as Lewis looked his way 13 times last week. Johnson hauled in 6 catches for 61 yards. Keenan Lewis likely sticks with Johnson here, but the Saints will also look to cover young rookie Robert Woods & tight end Scott Chandler. Fred Jackson also sports versatility in the passing game (similar to Sproles/Thomas), so expect some check downs to him when anything downfield is unavailable.

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