The Buffalo Bills could very well use a similar blueprint on Sunday to the one they used against the Kansas City Chiefs a few weeks ago. With a really dangerous Seattle Seahawks passing offense coming into town, Buffalo should try to limit the damage Russell Wilson can do through the air.
The Bills spent the entire game in nickel or dime packages, with three cornerbacks playing 100% of the snaps. They sat down some of their better run defenders in Trent Murphy and Harrison Phillips, instead opting for more pass rush help. They sold out to stop the pass and it kinda, sorta worked.
The Chiefs were limited to eight meaningful possessions and couldn’t run a track meet on Buffalo. The Bills held them to 26 points and were within striking distance later in the game. With a better performance from the offense, it was a good enough defensive strategy to win the game.
Yes, the Bills’ 245 rushing yards at 5.3 yards per carry, but that’s better than the alternative. Buffalo still struggled to get off the field on third down, and Patrick Mahomes was able to find Travis Kelce on third downs to extend drives, so it’s not like Buffalo was able to shut down the passing attack completely, but limiting them kept the Bills in the game. Despite only scoring 17 points, Buffalo was within one score until the two-minute warning.
Looking at the Seahawks’ injury report, it makes even more sense to try it this week. Both of Seattle’s top rushers are out. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are sidelined and their third running back, Travis Homer, was limited all week. Even DeeJay Dallas, their fourth running back, was on the injury report all week despite practicing fully each day. Add to that tackle Duane Brown missing two days of practice this week with a sore knee, and the ingredients are in place for another pass-heavy game plan.
Flood the passing lanes, give the CBs help with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and take away the big play. Make them beat you over and over again in the running game. It might not end up looking pretty, but it could be the most effective way to win the game.