I had a few choices in mind, but my match-up of this week is the Buffalo Bills pass rush versus the Denver Broncos offensive line.
I figured it was better than talking about how much damage Von Miller could do if our offensive line comes out looking like last week.
It is also a key match-up that could determine if the Buffalo Bills can sneak out with a win against a 2-0 Broncos team, which has the NFL’s top-ranked defense. Much like last week, The Bills will need to get pressure on Trevor Siemian, who is off to a hot start. The Buffalo Bills can’t afford to fall behind by more than one score in my opinion. If they do, I’m not sure the Bills’ offense could overcome a two-possession deficit against the Broncos’ defense.
Broncos rookie left tackle, Garett Bolles returned to practice today, after suffering a lower leg contusion Sunday against the Cowboys. If Bolles plays on Sunday, he will face off against Jerry Hughes. Coming off a six tackle, 2 sack performance against the Panthers, Hughes will look to make another impact on the game Sunday. If Hughes can get that first step on Bolles, it will be hard to keep him away from a much less mobile and less physical Trevor Siemian.
Trevor Siemian is tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes with six. He has two dangerous receivers in Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders and the Buffalo Bills have a young secondary. They will need to get pressure on Siemian to take the pressure off of their young secondary tasked with covering these receivers.
The Bills’ defensive line is banged up with Marcell Dareus and Shaq Lawson nursing injuries. There’s a chance Dareus may not play on Sunday with an ankle injury. Shaq Lawson was limited in practice with a foot injury. Jerel Worthy is still out with a concussion.
That means the Bills will need players like Eddie Yarbrough, Deandre Coleman, and Cedric Thornton to step up along with another strong outing from Jerry Hughes. The Buffalo Bills also need to shut down the Broncos running game early and force Siemian to beat them in the passing game. The Broncos offense has played well the first two weeks, but they haven’t faced a defense quite like the Buffalo Bills yet.
The battle will begin up front, both the Bills’ defensive line and the Broncos’ offensive line are dealing with injuries. If Marcell Dareus can’t suit up, the Buffalo Bills’ interior line will be even thinner this week. Hopefully, they get some good new on the injury front, and Shaq Lawson will be able to play on Sunday.
Another key factor is time of possession. Last Sunday against the Panthers, the Buffalo Bills’ defense was on the field for nearly 40 minutes in the Charlotte heat of 80+ degrees. This Sunday is supposed to be another hot day, with the temperature in the mid to high 80s.
Time of possession needs to be more balanced this week. Between the injuries and the rotation the Bills like to use on the line, they can’t afford to spend too much time on the field. In my opinion, getting pressure on Trevor Siemian is one of the biggest keys for the Buffalo Bills to win this game.
Do you agree with my match-up of the week? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!