The Buffalo Bills went 2-2 in September and put themselves in a position to be over .500 after Week 5 with a win over the Cleveland Browns. This is an important swing game for the Bills as they face a tough October following the Browns, hosting the Cincinnati Bengals and then traveling to face the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.
It’s important that the Bills get out of Cleveland with a win if they want to finish October at or above .500.
So what are the Bills’ chances in this game? They are good, but not as good some might have thought a few weeks ago. The Browns looked ready to pack it in when they traded their top pick from a year ago, RB Trent Richardson, but have rallied to win the two games since the trade. The question is whether or not the Browns are running on adrenaline now or if they are a better team since the trade.
It’s hard to argue the latter point, so you wonder if they are going to turn into a pumpkin soon.
In my opinion, we may have seen some smoke and mirrors from the offense of the Browns, and I can see them coming back down to earth a bit in the coming weeks on that side of the ball. However, I think that their defense is legit. Expect a lot of low-scoring games like we’ve been seeing from them. It’s hard to see Brian Hoyer being the answer long-term answer, and they still have question marks on offense.
For the Bills, it’s all about confidence. They played very confidently against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and they’ll find success if they bring some of that confidence tonight. It’s about protecting E.J. Manuel on offense and harassing Hoyer on defense. They’ll get a big boost in the secondary if Leodis McKelvin and Jairus Byrd can return to the lineup.
The defense was a work in process early on, but it looks to be coming together and will only get better with the addition of some missing pieces.