The Buffalo Bills have their only prime-time game of the year this week against the New England Patriots. For whatever reason, the NFL did this to the Bills and now we have to deal with it. In order for the Bills to even have a puncher’s chance in this game, these players are going to have to step up in a big way.
QB Derek Anderson
Last week, I said that all Anderson had to do was not be Nathan Peterman and throw picks, but he did just that several times. This week, he’s going to have to play professional football. By no means am I asking him to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns but leading the way for a few scoring drives wouldn’t hurt. Taking game snaps and an extra week of practice may have done Anderson some in acclimating him within the system and making him more comfortable with the playbook.
WR Zay Jones
Here’s a take:
I think Zay Jones is a good receiver, but he has been mixed with bad quarterback play and a scheme that doesn’t think of him as a number one receiver.
Jones, along with the rest of the receiving corps, hasn’t produced the majority of this season. The good news is that the Patriots defense ranks 25th in the NFL in passing defense. Jones and co. will have opportunities to make big plays on Monday in front of the hometown crowd. Still, simply making those plays will be the majority of the battle.
DE Shaq Lawson
Lawson has played the best football of his short career this season and he will get the start this week with Trent Murphy sidelined due to a knee injury. Getting to Tom Brady quickly is going to be an important part of the defense’s success. Pass rushing isn’t exactly Lawson’s strong suit—he’s better suited as a run defender. Honing in on those pass-rushing abilities that flash from time to time will be needed often on Monday.
CB Tre’Davious White
White has proven himself as one of the top corners in the NFL. This week is a tough test against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play throwing to Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman. The two receivers are complete opposites, where Gordon is big and athletic and Edelman is small, quick and can create open space in a phone booth. The majority of the time I’d expect White to be lined up with Gordon since Edelman will take a lot of snaps in the slot. Gordon seems to have turned his life around and is playing good football—Tre is going to have a lot on his plate this week.
DT Kyle Williams
This may be the last time we see Kyle Williams play a prime time game so it’s time to soak it all in. What Williams has been, is and will be to the city of Buffalo is not something you can give face value to. He loves the community and gives back as often as he can. He’s also been an outstanding football player for the past 13 seasons. Williams has been through all the trials and tribulations that we have and then some during his Bills career. This season could be his last opportunity to face Tom Brady and I am sure that Kyle is going to want to make a statement out of it when they get reacquainted Monday.