After a lackluster and disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Bills need to make the following changes if they want to win against the Green Bay Packers next Sunday.
With three great running backs, more focus and play formations to the running game need to be implemented a lot more in our offensive package next week. The offensive line while not that great at pass protecting is proven more astute with the run game and more running in the first half will slow down blitzes and allow better defending for Trent later in the game for the air attack. Fred Jackson should be given the reigns on the starting job as he showed last year his ability to squirm inside and out of the defensive line while affording Edwards better pass protection. C.J. Spiller can then be used more so third down situations and in the second half when the game is more loose and utilize his speed and ability for a combination of draw plays and as Edwards will love, check down option on passes. Marshawn Lynch will also see playing time intermittently depending on the situation as he is great at bowling over others. Lastly, increased usage of the Wildcat and Wishbone formations will cause more headaches for the Packers defense. Putting two or three running backs on a play will result in more versatile play, especially if Gailey lets Jackson throw the ball a few times.
Trent Edwards won the starting quarterback job in preseason and must now continue to show it in lieu of poor pass protection. Several times however, even without blitzes, Edwards wound up dumping the ball off while having a few players open down the field. As stated previously, the Bills need to establish a ground attack first, then mix in a combination of screens and deep balls to receivers. Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish both have the speed for Trent to drop in an occasional deep ball from time to time to spread out the defense more. David Nelson, the fourth wide-out continues to shine (when not having plays called back for holding) and if he keeps up his game, may replace Johnson as the number two receiver between his ability to get open and his height. Cornell Green is not a long term supplement for starting right tackle, struggling to keep linesmen and linebackers alike from getting at Trent. Jamon Meredith, when not needed to sub in for a recovering Bell (who likewise missed several blocks), should be used more often as well as Ed Wang, once he's healthy enough to play again. If Trent can get the ball down the field for more than 10 yards, and the offensive line can give Trent more than three seconds of protection, then the offense will be a lot more functional.
While improved from a year ago, the unit still gave up big plays from time to time. Several instances of opposing rushers bouncing off of lines and slipping through tackles happened too often during game one. A hurting Ryan Grant would definitely help the front line who may be without the services of tackling aces Paul Posluszny (knee) and Reggie Torbor (chest) for a while. Kudos to Keith Ellison who stepped up his game in Poz's absence. DLs Marcus Stoud, Dwan Edwards, and Kyle Williams seemed to be on the same page in plugging up the line, but more effort from rookie backups are needed. Expect a nice performance next week as the defense will continue to grow together.
The secondary cannot catch a break from facing Marshall last week to fending off one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Aaron Rodgers (take notes Edwards). Once again proving themselves as one of the top defensive units in the air, hats off to Leodis McKelvin in particular for excellent pass coverage, though all the DBs on the team deserve a round of applause for their efforts in keeping the first game close. If any changes are needed (which, there really is not any) it would be in the form of more pressure and blitzes are needed to fend off his aerial attacks as to not overwhelm the secondary, meaning newly converted outside linebackers Aaron Maybin and Chris Kelsay need to take it up another notch. The few times these plays were utilized on the Dolphins met mixed results but gave the Bills a few sacks. A healthy Jarius Byrd will make the game run smoother and hopefully allow some turnovers to occur as well.
Little needed to improve here, except having Spiller put through the paces on kick returning, and have Rian Lindell work at his 63yd field goal attempts (just kidding, we love you Rian). The Bills will also need a repeat performance in kick return coverage as the Cheese-Heads Jordy Nelson has uncanny speed that destroyed Bobby April's special teams unit in Philly. Moorman will continue to fight unkind weather at Lambeau with his tactical punts although we hope not to see as much of him this upcoming game in that capacity (I'm thinking a fake punt might be prudent if the offense struggles more in the future). Otherwise, flawless effort.
Chan Gailey needs to shrug off a disappointing loss and show to the Bills nation how truly capable he is. Game 1 served as a testing ground for what the limitations of his team are and expect Gailey to make the necessary adjustments. A run heavy offense is needed to assuage the inefficiencies of the offensive line, and allow Trent more room to explore his passing options.
Provided that the necessary changes are implemented, especially offensively, the Bills can come away with a win 24-17.
Go Bills and optimistically yours, DynamicHero22
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