Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Saints vs Bills Preview
by Deke Bellavia,posted Oct 27 2013 9:22AM
Buffalo Bills (3-4) @ New Orleans Saints (5-1)
Sunday October 27, 2013; noon kickoff; Mercedes Benz Superdome
Last week’s results: Buffalo beat Miami 23-21; the Saints were off.
Series History: The Saints lead the series 5-4. The last meeting took place in September 2009, when the Saints beat the Bills 27-7 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.
What they are saying:
Buffalo Head Coach Doug Marrone on changing the culture in Buffalo
You don’t really know what’s gone on before; you just kind of go in there and want to create. For me, it was difficult with the new CB…where you get hired as the new Head Coach and you’re not going to see your team, until they report sometime in March or April. It’s interesting because here they are as a team and the team comes first and things like that, but you have to find out all their information. I’m not big on social media, so this was the first time I thought it was a great advantage for me, because I was able to communicate with a lot of the players on the team through social media to make sure that they knew what was going on…who we were hiring, what we were doing and trying to really build a trust. I tell people all the time, when people use those catchphrases, change a culture and things like that, the first thing you need to have a culture is a language. That’s the first thing you have to learn, how to communicate with each other. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.
Buffalo Bills DL Kyle Williams on the performance of Coach Doug Marrone
I think he’s done a good job as far as taking expectations and putting them out there to the guys and not being ashamed of them. Saying, ‘These are our goals; this is my expectations for not just our team, but individually. Here are my expectations for you Kyle or you Mario (Williams) or whoever it may be.’ Really kind of holding you to the standard and living up to them…and pushing you to get there. That’s what he’s done for our team. Everybody has injuries and nobody is going to feel sorry for you. Really just trying to change a lot of mindsets or enforce a lot of mindsets when you look at the young guys we have coming in.
Saints Coach Sean Payton on the Bills Blitz packages
“They get a lot of pressure from just their base. You know, Mario Williams plays that weak side/outside linebacker position, which can put him right or left based on your formation in the base. In the nickel snaps, he’s more to our right and to his left. He’s had an exceptional season. He’s had sacks from inside. He’s had sacks from outside. He’s someone who is comfortable on either side of the tackle. So you’ve seen that production. He’s healthy. He’s long. Certainly he is a player that you have to account for, because he changed the game last week, we saw in the final snaps. He’s really playing well. I think collectively as a defense they’re at the top of the league in pressures and sacks. They’re number one in the league in interceptions. Those usually kind of go hand-in-hand often times, if the clock is quick for the quarterback, it benefits the back end. That’s certainly one of the challenges this week.”
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis
Okay, if the Saints are going to rush the football with more authority and consistency, we should begin to see better results this week. Buffalo ranks 28th against the run and the Saints have had some extra time to prepare for their final 10 games of the regular season.
I’m looking to see what the Saints do on the ground against the Bills. In order for the Bills to stay in this game, they will have to do what they’ve been doing well. The Bills lead the league in interceptions and they rush the ball at a very high level.
Buffalo is 5th in the NFL in rushing yards per game with an average of 140.4. If Buffalo has any chance, they will have to move the ball on the ground and they are going to have to win the turnover battle.
DE Mario Williams has already reached 10 sacks this season, after finishing with just 10.5 a year ago for the Bills defense. With all that said, it’s hard for me to believe the Bills are going to come into the dome and move the ball with a lot of success against a Rob Ryan defense.
The Bill’s bread & butter has to be their ground attack. But, will that be enough? I think the Saints will do their fair share in making QB Thad Lewis feel unwelcomed in the Superdome. In the NFL double digit underdogs cover far more times than not, and I could see the Bills making this close.
I’ll play it close to the vest and say New Orleans 27 Buffalo 16