Catcalls: “Multiple defensive fronts” put Buffalo Bills in position to contend
- Updated: September 15, 2013
The Carolina Panthers (0-1) visit Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET to face off with the Buffalo Bills (0-1).
This week I sat down with Matt Warren of BuffaloRumblings.com. My editorial comments are in italics.
WCS: What is your take on the poor performance by running back C.J. Spiller last week against the New England Patriots? Fred Jackson, who has a very similar skill set, seemed to do fine in the game; what was the difference? How can you see that progressing against the very stout Carolina front seven?
BR: Our editor-in-chief Brian Galliford broke it down on our website earlier this week. It was a combination of poor blocking and poor field vision by Spiller added to the fact that defensive tackle Vince Wilfork can be pretty darn good. Spiller said he reverted to some mistakes he made as a rookie. A fumble on the second play from scrimmage and a hard hit that briefly knocked him from the game could also have played a part. Hopefully he can move forward and regain his dynamic form.
Wilfork is every bit of “pretty darn good,” but the Carolina defensive line is collectively better than New England’s. Will they be as disciplined this week? If yes, this will be another very bad week for Spiller. All those football fans who used a high pick on him in fantasy football will make him the most reviled Buffalo back since O.J. Simpson.
WCS: Name a Buffalo player with whom casual Carolina fans may not be familiar but who will impress them in tomorrow’s game.
BR: I’ll go with linebacker Manny Lawson, who will be charged with setting the edge in the run game and staying home to prevent quarterback Cam Newton from running wild on pass plays. He’ll drop into coverage, too.
WCS: Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the Bills have only faced one rushing quarterback: Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks last December 16th. In that game, Buffalo surrendered 270 rushing yards at an 8.4 yards per carry, allowing Wilson to scramble for 92 yards and three touchdowns. They lost 50-17. What is different about Buffalo or about the Carolina run game that similar results will not occur this time? Does facing another running, read-option quarterback worry Buffalo fans at all?
BR: The big difference is Mike Pettine has replaced Dave Wannstedt as defensive coordinator. The Seahawks knew exactly where the Bills defenders were going to be. If there’s one thing about Pettine’s defense that he picked up in Baltimore and with the Jets, it’s the multiple defensive fronts. Buffalo went into the offseason seeking versatile players to keep offenses guessing, and that’s the main difference.
His point about Pettine is the only thing I have heard that makes me consider the possibility that the Bills will be able to contend in this game. I have great respect for what his former teams have accomplished defensively. The homer in me wonders if last week against the Patriots was all Buffalo or the numerous growing pains and miscommunications from the New England offense that we saw again on Thursday.
WCS: Name three Buffalo players who need to have strong performances for Buffalo to win the game. Why? And why do you think they can or can’t?
BR: First, quarterback E.J. Manuel. The Bills installed a simple gameplan for the rookie’s first game. Against this front seven, Buffalo’s going to need to throw to move the ball and score. That means the rook needs to step up and he proved capable last week.
Second, Kiko Alonso. Another rookie, Buffalo’s middle linebacker will need to help control the Panthers rushing game. I’m less confident this will happen.
Third, wide receiver T.J. Graham. He’s the guy that needs to take the top off of the defense to allow the other receivers and backs a little more freedom underneath and in the run game. One solid shot from Manuel down the field to Graham could make all the difference.
I don’t know that one early completion deep to Graham or anyone will alter the Panthers’ gameplan. Carolina does not need to send extra players to the line to pressure the quarterback or cover the running backs, but numerous successful deep passes would alter things for the offense.
WCS: Assuming Buffalo wins, would you rather it be by less than a touchdown or by over 20 points? Why?
BR: After a two-point loss to the Patriots, I’ll take whatever win we can get. I don’t think I will be any more excited with such a young, inconsistent team if it’s a blowout.
WCS: Both teams have more similarities than just narrow defeats to highly ranked conference opponents in Week 1. Both teams lean more on their run game than passing. Both teams have scramblers at quarterback. Both teams have just one high-quality wide receiver with a supporting cast of uncertain guys orbiting around him. Riff a little on your view of the two teams. How are they different, what are key match-ups, and what do you see as the final score in the game?
BR: I’ll start with the score. I think the game plan will be opened up for E.J. Manuel. I think Buffalo’s receivers group has a little more potential as Stevie Johnson is the only guy with more than one season of experience. Facing a tough front 7, Buffalo will open up the pass plays with big plays going for their offense and the Panthers defense. I’ll pick 28-24 Bills just because I liked what Buffalo’s defense showed me last week. The secondary wasn’t as devastatingly bad as I anticipated but there are a lot of young guys there, too. It’s a pattern repeated down the roster. The two secondaries are going to determine the outcome.
Thanks for having me and GO BILLS!
If the secondaries decide the game that means at least interceptions get brought back for long returns. If that happens, I would think it is more likely that the interceptions are thrown by a rookie quarterback who is being harassed all day by a top-five front seven. I’m not sure I would be so high on the Buffalo defense. They allowed 5.4 yards per rush last week against New England. Now they face DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton. The Buffalo Bills’ softest spot will get gouged and the Panthers get a comfortable 24-13 win.
I hope the Packers lose today on a horrible call from the refs.
SDL's head might explode due to an abundance of curse words trying to escape his body too fast.
Biggest diff b/w the Fail Mary and the Fucktard Zebras public ass-raping of the Badgers:
80% of the viewing public was asleep when the shit went down
MKE keeping us updated from Lambeau with pics of sill Packers fans.
Are we linking that other chat site or just waiting to see how long until Livefyre shits it's pants?
Why don't you hold your breath waiting for that to happen, guppy. I make no effort to control the string of obscenities I post here
It's cathartic, dumbass
(better Google it.. you're in NC, after all)
@MNvikeinNC you're a sick bastard
@MIBearFan That close?
I would find it hard to believe that 96 points can be scored on a horse pasture.
don't tell PETA
@Natesweet go hawk! fuck that pigeon up
@Natesweet Probably looks like Allen going after Cutler today.
Fucktard NCAA zebras pulled the biggest incompetent and corrupt fuck up in the history of college football**
Pubilcly ass-raped the Badgers and influenced the outcome of the game.
Without explaining shit to the coaches.
Without even fucking consulting the replay.
Utterly fucking disgraceful.
**I'm not a college football fan - so take it with that fucking grain of salt
@Natesweet I'd get in a fight for sure if I spent $150 on a ticket and that douchebag was sitting in front of me.
@robertj72 27 mins..keep up!
@aciddragon In equally stunning news ... Kate Upton has big tits, Clay Aiken is a fruit, and it gets cold in Alaska.
@aciddragon I bet it warms up and the low lying clouds burn off. Same here in Portland today.
@matt_vfalcon32 They are such hypocrites...Those foul mouths bleeped out are 50% of their NFL Films sideline coverage.
@matt_vfalcon32 That's poopy.
@The Most Interesting Horse in the World really? Two profiles at once?
You misspellted-ed "shoot with a varmint rifle from a safe distance and establish an alibi"
@MIBearFan not you