2016 Season Blog.

Pat Vs Bills.

7 Things For Sunday.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Part II.


3. Defense- Let’s face it the key to this game is the defense. We don't know what the offense will be, but with the ineptitude the Bills offense has shown this season, a shutout could destroy their entire season, not just this game. The firing of the OC to start the season is a sign of desperation. They are tittering over the abyss of earning the Number One pick in the NFL Draft. The Pats have to give them a nice violent shove off that precipice.

The Ryans are handling the defense, but their offense is in disarray. The Bills offense is averaging under 200-yard passing per game (163-yards to be exact). The Bills were actually the best team running the ball in the NFL last year. They struggled a little early, after they lost their big back up Karlos Williams to Twinkies and Ho-Hos. But Shady broke lose last week.

They are averaging over 100-yards rushing per game (120-yards to be exact). They are averaging almost as many rushing yards as passing yards. That is not how you win in the NFL now a days. Shady has been a Patriots killer since he came to the Bills. He ran for 171-yards in two games against the Pats last year, which is bad enough. But when you add in the 68-yard receiving and 2 TDs, you can see why he is the priority. He average a half a tick below 120-yards running and receiving, and a TD a game. 

Which is what the entire Bills offense is averaging on the ground this year. "The points that you talked about as far as the run game is concerned with Buffalo: it's a very explosive, big-play run game, and the additional threat that you now have to deal with is the quarterback," Patricia said. "Obviously, [Tyrod] Taylor out in space is an issue, we saw that in the game yesterday, and combined with [Shady] McCoy who has tremendous bursts in speed and excellent vision, even Gillislee when he was in the game." They have some nice weapons on the ground.

So the Pats must stop the run first, and maybe only. "I think it's the combination of making sure that you obviously have good force can set the edge and do all the things on the defense that we need to do," Patricia said. "I think also what you saw from the film the other day was their ability to run inside, so they do a great job of kind of mixing the scheme. There are zone schemes, there are gap schemes. They'll do both, they have pullers both from across the ball and from the same side of the ball. So they're trying to create a divide or separation in the defense and really give those backs, or even the quarterback, just a little bit of space to make some room. And they can turn those plays into obviously very fast, quick big-play, touchdown-type of explosive runs." Then just when you stop their RBs inside, Tyrod takes off and is sprinting outside.

While their passing game is simplified, their run game not. "It's a very complex run game," Patricia said. "It has a lot of different facets to it. It has, like I said, both the zone and the scheme element to it, along with the quarterback run. Certainly, when you take a look at the guys up front, they do a great job of blocking and staying on their blocks. They're big and they're strong, and they drive guys off the ball. They do a great job of just staying with it. One thing definitely with their offense, both with coach [Anthony] Lynn and also Rex, they're going to stay with the run game and they're going to keep coming after you. So it's something that you constantly have to be able to defend on all down and distances, which is always very difficult." They will run on 3rd and long, and Taylor will take off from the pocket as well.

An old school defensive coach like Sexy-Rexy, likes to play tough defense and run the ball on offense. "Coach [Rex] Ryan has a philosophy that he likes to run his team with: both offense and defense, and special teams-wise. That's not going to change," Patricia said. "He's the head coach there and he certainly does a great job with the formula that he puts in place. I think with Coach Lynn [the new and beleaguered OC], if you look at where he's been, he's been with Coach Ryan for a long time and been around. Obviously, with Greg Roman [the Ex-OC, who I think got the kids in the divorce] here, and with the system that they have in place." They don't need to pass for over 200-yards to win.

Shady has such an ugly history of killing the Pats. "He's extremely quick," Patricia said. "He's extremely fast, and I think he really does a great job of kind of tucking that ball back up into that chest area so that it's not hanging out there when defenders are around him. He's a very experienced, very smart running back from that accord, so I think first and foremost, if you get mesmerized with that, you're going to miss a lot of tackles on this guy because he is extremely quick and extremely fast." He slashed the Pats for over 80-yards in both games last season.

But, you can get the ball from him when he carries like a loaf of bread. "I think ball-security wise, a lot of people like to talk about McCoy and the ball being loose from his body and away from his body," Sexy said. "I think those are rare occasions when you see guys actually get the ball off of him." It they can pull the ball out if his hands once or twice this game is over.

What the Bills will be doing early and often is run Forest run! "So I think basically what you're looking at is that it's a very similar offense," Patricia said. "They're going to keep their offense going. They had a good, productive day yesterday. They've had some productive plays and days, so I don't think any of that really changes. It's just kind of a new guy calling the offense. I think if you look at the scheme and the players and what they've been doing, it's very similar to what they've done in the past. So at this point in the season, they're going to stay with what works for them." Which is run first, and ask questions later.

The Pats primary problem this week is that their Base Defense is the Nickel. They may have to come out of that and lined up in a 3-4 or 4-3 much more often. Which drags them away from what they do best. They don't want to give Tyrod Taylor any confidence, but they have to defend the run first. The Bills want to wear you down with the run game and defense, and then try and win it late.

4. The New Fangled Forward Pass- The Bills have one weapon in the passing game, Sammy Watkins. He has been struggling to get healthy after he hurt his foot a few weeks ago. He has been put on IR and will not play for either game against the Pats. That is huge news for Pats fans. That will likely destroy their already devastated passing game. Put your money on the Pats, because they can't score without Sammy.

They do have two guys that I liked in the Draft at WR, Woods and Goodwin, but both have not developed as I expected under Ryan. "Our first and foremost priority is just trying to tackle him and the quarterback, or whoever's got the ball," Patricia said. "They have a lot of great catch-and-run players just in general, even at the wide receiver position. For us, the emphasis is just going to be making sure we have good, secure tackles. That's really where our focus is." After Woods and Goodwin it is really check down to the TE and RBs, and the Pats Corners can shutdown Woods and Goodwin.

So they have placed everything on Taylor's shoulders. "Certainly Taylor is a huge threat in both the run and the passing game," Patricia said. "Part of the passing game, that is a big problem that he possess for defenses, is his ability to escape out of the pocket, extend plays, scramble, run, gain yards. He's very fast, he's very smart, he can keep his eyes down field when he gets out of the pocket and get the ball down field." You have to use that controlled rush against him and not let him get out of the pocket, especially to his right. Because he is going to be looking to run.

Which then, gives him more time to throw in the pocket. "So we certainly saw that in some of the big plays that they had a couple of weeks ago, where he was able to extend the play and get the ball down, and get some production and points off of those types of plays," Patricia said. "His wide receivers do a great job of getting open in those types of situations and the skill guys really understand that he has ability." So they have to keep him in the pocket more than hit him, because he has no weapons to throw too. But that can make a defense a little tentative sometimes.

It is such a fine line to balance on. "From a defensive standpoint, you're just trying to make sure that you're playing fundamentally sound," Patricia said. "You're trying to make sure that you have a good pass rush game plan, you don't want to let him run around back there and just turn the plays into extended plays where guys have to cover longer than they want to." They can't let him extend plays. Because he might hurt you in the pocket, but he will kill you running outside the pocket to the right.

Keep contain outside, and try to hit him with the inside rush and blitzes. "Certainly everybody's got to do their job, but the number one deal is just making sure everybody is responsible in what their assignment is," Patricia said. "If everyone kind of handles their assignment at that point, hopefully, you don't have any break downs in the defense to allow a guy to get out of the pocket or allow those scrambles or extended plays to hurt you." That was how they embarrassingly beat the Pats last year in Foxboro.

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