Defense comes up big to keep Buffalo Bills playoff hopes alive
Even with a healthy LeSean McCoy in the backfield, the Buffalo Bills offense still wasn’t able to fire on all cylinders Sunday. However, an early game injury to AJ Green proved to be an extreme setback for the Bengals, ultimately serving to gift this game to the Bills. Scoring only one touchdown all game long, the Bills’ hung on to earn the 16-12 win over Cincinnati.
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Despite a late charge by the Bengals’ offense, Buffalo’s defense took to heart the bend but don’t break strategy. However, the biggest blow of the game for the Bengals came early in the first quarter when AJ Green had to be carted off with a nasty looking hamstring injury. From that point, Cincinnati looked lost on offense.
The rest though, was purely up the play of the Bills’ defense as a whole. Andy Dalton was pressured sporadically throughout while the secondary managed to keep coverage on the oppositions receivers. In truth, without the deep threat, Buffalo was able to go into zone defensive schemes and keep the Bengals from any big plays.
On the other side of the ball, the Buffalo offense was just as poor as that of their opposition. Though the team saw some early success running and passing the football, that success quickly evaporated late in the contest. With the mid-game departure of Robert Woods due to injury, almost all of the team’s offensive success evaporated.
Without any real receiving threats and a run game that just couldn’t seem to get going outside of Mike Gillislee, the Bills’ win was in doubt all game long. If not for the injury to AJ Green, it is extremely possible that we see a much worse scoreline and an end to the Bills’ “real” playoff chances.
This is even more concerning considering that the Buffalo Bills were coming off their bye week. Unless something changes in a hurry, things are still not looking up for the Bills. Heading back home for next Sunday’s game, fans will get a clear indicator of the team’s current trajectory. Taking on a struggling Jaguars team, how the result is had will give a key indicator on how the rest of the team’s season will proceed.
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