Bills vs. Bengals 2013: Thaddeus Lewis and the screen pass

What can the Buffalo Bills do to make life easier for Thaddeus Lewis in his second pro game? Incorporating the screen pass would be a good place to start.

One of the major questions offensively for the Buffalo Bills this week is how much their plan of attack will change with Thaddeus Lewis under center. The Bills already run the ball more often than any other team in the NFL, averaging 35.6 rushing attempts per game, and that's not likely to change as the team transitions from EJ Manuel to Lewis - both quarterbacks can run the read-option, and if anything, the team will be more run-reliant with Lewis under center.

There is some merit to the thought that Buffalo's game plan won't change at all as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals - they'll run to set up the pass, keep the read-option viable and try to take shots down the field. Given the Bengals' prowess along the defensive line, however, the Bills would be wise to re-incorporate the screen pass into the offense. It's not something they've done much this season, but as you can see if you flip through the gallery above, it's something that has been successful against Mike Zimmer's aggressive defense.

In fact, one of the biggest gripes among the many Nathaniel Hackett critics in this fan base has been the lack of a screen game, and the team's inability to get C.J. Spiller (and, to a lesser extent, Fred Jackson) into space with regularity. Given the team's current circumstances, Week 6 might be a good time for Hackett to make this a staple of the offense again.

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