The time around the bye week has the Bills facing some of the NFL’s top offenses. Can their new, re-tooled defense match up?
Weeks five through nine will be a big test for Sean McDermott’s remade Bills defense. Their prime-time showdown with the morbid New York Jets notwithstanding, the offenses they face are at least solid. In fact, two (the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) are among the NFL’s most explosive.
Also, the Bills travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, who drafted speedsters John Ross and Joe Mixon to create match-up nightmares alongside AJ Green. If the Bills want to make the playoffs, this stretch is going to be a big deal.
Week Five vs. Cincinnati Bengals
1 PM ET on October 8th at Paul Brown Stadium (Broadcast on CBS)
Opponent 2016 Record: 6-9-1 (3rd in AFC North)
Previous Results: 16-12 Bills (Week 11, 2016) 34-21 Bengals (Week 6. 2015)
Significant Losses: MLB Rey Maualuga, RB Rex Burkhead, OT Andrew Whitworth, G Kevin Zeitler, NT Domata Peko, MLB Karlos Dansbei
Significant Additions: WR John Ross, RB Joe Mixon, MLB Kevin Minter, OT Andre Smith
An off-season of losses after a poor 2016 campaign has me thinking this is a critical year for head coach Marvin Lewis. He’s been the head guy in charge for fifteen years, but still hasn’t won a playoff game despite seven cracks at it.
Combine their regression last year with the infamous 2015 wild-card meltdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there’s a growing sense that Lewis needs a big season out of his team.
Their off-season certainly hasn’t helped. Their offensive line allowed 41 sacks of Andy Dalton last year; that’s the most…
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