The Lead: Its All About Josh Allen
Josh Allen finished last week’s game going 8-12 for 102 yards and a game winning touchdown. He needs to build off that and have a career game this week. For Allen, this is a week to transform his stat lines from “serviceable” to franchise caliber.
Dak Prescott scorched the Giants defense last week going 25/32 for 405 yards and four touchdowns. It would be re-assuring to Bills Mafia to see Allen go over the 300 yard mark for the first time and throw multiple touchdowns. It would also be a nice jolt of life to see the Bills attack down the field more than 2-3 times in this game.
Key To The Game: Josh Allen
This may sound redundant but I honestly feel this game rests on the shoulders of Allen. If we see another four turnover performance, it will be hard to envision the Bills pulling off another come from behind win. Allen not only needs to move the ball on offense, he needs to take command of the huddle and finish inside the 50 yard line.
I would like to see a slightly more balanced attack, despite the fact the Giants are also stout against the run, just to take a bit of the pressure off Allen. Dropping him back on 20-25 straight plays is a recipe for turnovers. It allows edge rushers to pin their ears back without even thinking about the ramifications of the run game. The Bills need to get points on the board earlier in this game than they did against the Jets.
What I’d Like To See On Offense
Devin Singletary, John Brown, and Cole Beasley have separated themselves from the pack of Bills play-makers over the course of the off-season and into Week One. It is time the Bills started to funnel the offense through them. Devin Singletary was targeted 10 times Sunday between the air and the ground. I’d like to see that number double to 20. Cole Beasley and John Brown were targeted 10 and 9 times respectively for a total of 19 targets. I’d like to see that number increase to 25-30 between them. By funneling a majority of the targets to your biggest play-makers you are are allowing them to get into a rhythm, and, more importantly, taking the pressure off your complimentary players.
Ty Nsekhe needs to be the teams starting Right Tackle. I think just about everyone can see he is a superior player to Cody Ford at the moment. It sends the wrong message to the locker room when a player is only on the field because of his draft position. Have Ford spend the next few weeks rotating between the second units at Right Guard and Right Tackle. This will allow him to be ready if Feliciano cannot stay consistent, if there is an injury to Nsekhe, or, god forbid, an injury to Dawkins that kicks Nsekhe over to the left side. Nsekhe was called for a false start penalty on Sunday, and I truly believe it was because he was not comfortable out there having rotated a majority of the game with Ford.
One last side note, I’d like to the the Bills attempt a few more screen passes this week. They attempted one to Singletary this past week but it failed to develop and Singletary dropped the pass. It will be interesting to see the Bills try again and maybe even try to involve Beasley. Speaking of Beasley, give me a jet sweep too. Okay I’m done.
What I’d Like To See On Defense
The Giants do not scare me on the outside. With Sterling Shepard likely out, that leaves the Giants with Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, and Russell Shepard as their top wide receivers. This should free the safeties to help handle the responsibilities on Evan Engram. Engram went off for the Giants with 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. The likeliest scenario with Taron Johnson likely out is Micah Hyde shadowing Engram. The Bills could also take a more zone approach like they did with Jamison Crowder and let him catch the ball short, and ensure there are tacklers there to minimize the damage. Crowder caught a whopping 14 balls last week, but only had 99 yards. One outside the box scenario is to play Kevin Johnson on the outside across from Levi Wallace and allow Tre White to shadow the Giants biggest threat outside: Barkley.
Saquon Barkley is going to get his touches, and he is going to get his yards. The goal for the Bills should be to minimize the damage he does and limit big plays. Edmunds will be key working from sideline to sideline. The second year pro needs to continue to progress. The Bills should do whatever it takes schematically to have bodies on the outside. If Barkley gets a one on one with a defender in the flat he is likely to break that and make a big play down the field.
Mike Remmers is the weak link of the Giants offensive line. The Bills should do what they can to overwhelm that side of the offensive line. Utilizing stunts should cause enough confusion for our edge rushers to be in the face of Eli Manning all game. Overloading that side with players like Lorenzo Alexander may also be a strategy utilized to try and force Eli into some poor decisions. The Bills need to force more turnovers to go from great to elite as a defense. Pressure on Manning will help that.
Prediction: Bills 27, Giants 20
I believe Josh Allen will limit turnovers and the Bills will get off to a hotter start. They will score a total of three touchdowns over the course of the game and jump out to an early lead. McDermott does not seem like a coach who will go for the knockout after an early lead and the Bills will transition into a more conservative game-plan. For that reason, the Giants will make a late push, but never really threaten the Bills.