The real key for the Green Bay Packers to defeat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday is simple: show up.
Yes, the Bills are that bad. In fact, they may be the worst team the Packers face all season.
The biggest key for the Packers is stopping the Bills return game, which features rookie C.J. Spiller on kickoff returns and Roscoe Parrish on punt returns.
Parrish has a career 12.2-yard average and three touchdowns. Spiller took back seven kickoffs for touchdowns at Clemson. If the Bills have a short field to work with, they may be able to keep the game close.
Fortunately, this year’s version of the Packers special teams looks a lot better than years past. The Packers essentially made Eagles Pro Bowl returner DeSean Jackson a non-factor last week through a combination of high, directional kicks and solid coverage.
If the Bills can’t get their special teams going, it may be a long day.
Their offense is a joke. They totaled an NFL-low 166 yards last week in a 15-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, with only nine total first downs.
Of the 166 yards, 116 came through the air. Quarterback Trent Edwards threw for 139 yards and one touchdown to Parrish. The Bills supposedly vaunted three-headed running attack of Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch produced only 50 yards.
Spiller, who had the most carries, with seven, gained six total yards. Jackson had the most yards, 19, on four carries.
It’s highly conceivable the Packers defense, which currently ranks 18th in the league, will move into the top five after Sunday’s games.
You get the picture. The Bills offense is terrible, but they will try to establish the run. The Bills have to feel the Packers can be run on after they gave up 149 yards to the Eagles, last week.
Unfortunately for the Bills, most of those yards (103) came from quarterback Michael Vick. Edwards is no Michael Vick. What the Packers will have to do to stop the Bills offense is stop Spiller, who possesses the same kind of quickness as Vick. If the Bills are forced to pass, they’re out of their comfort zone and the game will turn into a rout.
On defense, the Bills strength — if they have one — is against the pass. They gave up only 164 yards to Miami, last week. Of course, Miami’s passing attack isn’t anywhere near as potent as the Packers and Aaron Rodgers should have an easy time shredding the Bills secondary after a sub-par performance, last week.
If the Packers play to their capabilities and don’t overlook the Bills, this one should be over by halftime.