The Buffalo Bills host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, as the Bills look to win their sixth game in seven tries this year. Buffalo comes off their bye week rested and refreshed, having beaten the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 in Week 6. Now, the 5-1 Bills will look to fend off future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his struggling young offense.
The Packers pose a different kind of challenge for Buffalo, however, as they are an opponent that has some strengths that match up well with Buffalo’s strengths. Will the Bills be able to exert their will on their NFC foes? Or will Rodgers lead a rebirth of sorts for his charges heading into the midpoint of the season?
Here are five Bills players we think will play key parts in the game this week.
RB Devin Singletary
Quarterback Josh Allen is a given, so let’s skip him this week and focus on Buffalo’s lead running back. Singletary is coming off his best game of the year, rushing for 85 yards on 17 carries against the Chiefs. He topped 100 scrimmage yards for the first time this season, adding 22 receiving yards on four catches. Green Bay ranks No. 1 against the pass this year, but they’ve also faced the fewest passing attempts. They’ve allowed 977 yards rushing in seven games, though, an average of 140 rushing yards per game. Green Bay has also allowed 4.8 yards per rush. The only team that struggled to run it when playing the Packers was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were led on the ground by Leonard Fournette’s 35 yards. If Green Bay lines up light to stop the pass, Singletary could be in line for his second career 100-yard rushing day.
WR Stefon Diggs
If one wideout is going to have a big day, it’s going to be Diggs, who has been close to unguardable this year. Regardless of whether it’s been man coverage or zone, whether he’s double-teamed or bracketed, whether it’s 100 degrees and sunny or rainy and cool, Diggs has delivered. He’s on pace to catch 139 passes for 1,859 yards and 17 touchdowns. Even with Green Bay’s top-ranked pass defense, there is some room for pause—they haven’t exactly faced a Murderer’s Row of quarterbacks, seeing Zach Wilson, Taylor Heinicke, Bailey Zappe, Daniel Jones, Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, and Tom Brady’s mummified remains. None of those guys compares to the 2022 version of Allen, so he could very well have himself a big day throwing to his main man regardless of the defense he’s playing against. Diggs versus cornerback Jaire Alexander is going to be a great matchup this weekend.
DE Greg Rousseau
Rodgers has taken at least three sacks in three of his seven games this year. Buffalo’s pass rush has been dynamite, notching a total of 19 sacks through six games this year. When the Packers try to contain future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller, that’s going to free up space for Rousseau to work. The second-year man has four sacks, five tackles for a loss, and seven quarterback hits this year. He’s been exactly what the Bills hoped he would be and more, as he’s equally adept in setting the edge against the run as he is in crushing the quarterback in the passing game. Rousseau will have at least one sack this week, and he might bat a pass at the line, too—he’s done it twice this year, and at 6’6”, he’s likely to do it again.
DT Ed Oliver
Green Bay doesn’t only have a legitimate quarterback. They also have a premier running back in Aaron Jones, who has 432 rushing yards this year on just 78 carries. While DaQuan Jones will be the man holding the gaps, it’s Oliver who can blow those runs up with timely penetration. If he can push the pocket right back into Rodgers’s lap, he can disrupt the passing game, as well. Oliver is a big part of why this team is so dangerous along the defensive front, and now that he’s had time off to further rest his ankle, he should be able to wreak havoc on Green Bay’s game plan. Oliver has just three tackles and three quarterback hits in three games this year. He’ll need to play bigger this week, and I think he will.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Speaking of guys playing bigger, Edmunds has been fantastic this year. He has been decisive in his run fills, disruptive in passing lanes, and active as a pass rusher when asked to do so. Against the Chiefs two weeks ago, Edmunds was all over the field, totaling 10 tackles in the win. He’s also been fantastic in pass coverage, as his athleticism gives him the ability to carry wideouts and tight ends alike up the deep middle of the field. Thus far, he’s allowing just seven yards per completed pass when he’s the closest defender in coverage. That’s the best rate of his career. If he plays another solid game, this one will be a win for the Bills.