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The Spy: Saints Holiday- Thankful No Matter What

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A Spy’s statement to Bills Mafia: Check this out… I know this season has not been what we all wanted it to be. I know that the consistency is not there. The domination is not there. I know we all have frustrations, overreactions, snap judgements, and extreme emotions about this team. That is okay, we are an intense community in many ways, we are an emotional one too. We feel everything. The players on that team are no different. 

In the spirit of the holiday on which this game will be played, I ask you all to revert to your thanks and passionate love of this team. Be thankful that, on game-day, we can gather and share in the love of watching our team and that we even have a team to watch.

I am thankful for all of you out there for taking the time to read my content and for giving me the passion and drive to write about the team I love. I am thankful for so very many things, for what are all of you thankful?

Now, onto this game…

Thanksgiving, primetime, and a great dream all hang in the balance. No longer are the Bills in command of the AFC East. Suddenly, the stakes could not be any higher. The New Orleans Saints may be coming into their stadium on Thursday night with some crucial injuries. But, oftentimes, that makes a team even more unpredictable and, arguably, more dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Bills come into this game with injured pride. A dangerous wound, which can become degenerative, whittling away at morale, trust, and confidence. If it festers, it cannot be recovered with some sort of treatment or medicinal remedy. It’s been a while since the image was as unclear as it is now. Nevertheless, the Saints are as much of a threat as any team is. Especially in the cauldron of crazy that is the 2021 NFL season. No team has been immune to it this season. All that said, how and why are the New Orleans Saints a threat?

SPY 1: Cam Jordan 

Given the state that the Saints are in injury wise, Defensive End Cam Jordan is not only the Saints most dangerous defensive threat, but the greatest threat on the team itself. The superstar veteran has been a terror for years. He is the heart of the Saints defense. He exhibits great leadership as well as the ability to motivate (his own) and devastate (the opposition). This All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler is an all-aspect pass rusher. This is to say that he can rush effectively from anywhere on the line. He is often moved and shifted across the line to throw off opposing offenses, open avenues of approach, and enhance flexibility overall.

The main reason this is such a problem for the Buffalo Bills is due to the underwhelming, inefficient, and ineffective performances of the Bills offensive line. Being able to neutralize Cam Jordan will require a double team. Though the Saints do not blitz regularly, Cam Jordan has proven he does not need the blitz to affect the rush. Also, curiously, when dropped into coverage or playing the pass, Jordan is having his best season of his career. He’s allowed -1 yard on passes thrown in his vicinity near the line of scrimmage. Additionally, Jordan has only missed 5.3% of tackles, the lowest of his career per Pro Football Reference (PFR).

Jordan’s greatest attributes as a pass rusher are his agility and explosiveness, more precisely, his “get-off.” Get-off is a descriptive term which aims to explain how fast a pass rusher goes from his motionless stance prior to the snap, to the state of rush immediately post-snap. The faster the get-off, the more likely the rush is to succeed.

SPY 2: Sapped Saints

The Saints are coming into this matchup with the Bills extremely damaged by injuries. The injuries the Saints are dealing with cover the entire range through the depth chart but are “starter-centric.” Below is a recent injury update from PFR. At present, all players listed therein, are still battling injury. Most notable on this list, is megastar RB Alvin Kamara. RBs on the level of Kamara have been able to deal massive damage to the Bills this season. If Kamara plays (currently unknown), he will be a diminished threat. Knee injuries are finicky, and analytics show that an early redeployment of a player with a knee injury can have catastrophic consequences. 

Starting OTs Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead are also missing practice, which does not bode well for the game on Thursday. The quick turnaround puts any football team in a precarious position, but even more so when said team is starting its third string QB (Trevor Siemian) 

Keep a lookout for Buffalo Fanatics’ official injury primer for more detailed information on this week’s concerning injuries.

SPY 3: Vulnerabilities 

The main key here is that this New Orleans Saints team is vulnerable. Vulnerable to the point that their weaknesses make are greater than their strengths. This is a team who gave up 40 points and 250 rushing yards to the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensively, the Saints are incapable of defending against RPO style offensive attacks. The Saints defense is severely overstressed, due in no small part to an anemic offense that is incapable of sustaining time of possession or putting up significant points. Last week, the Eagles offense was on the field for a staggering 37 minutes. 

DARKHORSE BONUS POINT: Tre Day Homecoming

Bills Superstar, and former LSU product, Tre White is quietly having the best season of his career. White has not allowed a single touchdown in coverage in 2021. I expect this streak to continue against a lackluster Saints receiving corps led by the underwhelming journeyman QB Trevor Siemian.

THREAT RATING

Each opponent will be ranked on a 1-10 scale. The higher the number = The greater the threat to the Bills.

Threat Rating = 5

In closing, please follow The Buffalo Fanatics on all platforms, trust the process and go Bills.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.