Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Orton, Bills will need to commit to run against Detroit


Buffalo's starting quarterback may have changed, but the offensive gameplan will remain the same: Run the ball.

In his first press conference since his promotion, veteran Kyle Orton was asked a lot of personal questions about the move -- if he's rusty, how confident he feels with the playbook, even what he said to now-backup signal-caller E.J. Manuel following the announcement (check out his answer here).

When asked about how he plans to beat the league's No. 1 overall defense, however, his answer had little do with his upcoming performance and everything to do with the effectiveness of his running back corps.

"They’ve done a great job of winning first downs," Orton said of Detroit's unit. "You see a lot of teams in second and eleven and second and twelve and now you’re letting their four guys pass rush two times in a row, so we’re going to have to commit to the game plan, commit to the run. Run the ball effectively early. 

"Find ourselves hopefully in a lot of second and threes, second and fours, and then we’ve got the whole playbook to play with."

That ground-and-pound mentality was missing in the team's previous two games, where they averaged only 22 rushing attempts after averaging 33 in their two wins. 

According to coach Doug Marrone, the change in gameplan was, at least for the loss to the Texans, based largely on the score early on.

"We were down two scores and the amount of possessions we have," he said. "Obviously, that’s not something that we’d like to do."

Buffalo can pick their poison so to speak when it comes to which plays it decides to run against the Lions. The defensive unit is second overall against the pass and sixth overall against the run, allowing an average of only 25 yards per drive, according to Football Outsiders.

Marrone said that success for Detroit starts up front with their lineman, but it certainly doesn't end there.

"They are very, very good up front," he said. "But, at the same time, I don’t want to take away from the linebacker play and their defensive back play. If you’re the number one defense in the league right now, it’s all 11. There’s not a target. 

"Most teams find a weakness in someone’s defense and, right now, there are not many creases in the Lions defenses."

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