As the Bills prepare for a west coast trip, with games in San Francisco and Arizona, stopping the run will be one of the main topics of conversation this week. The 49ers (3-1) got rushing touchdowns from 3 different players, as they racked up 245 yards on the ground in a win over the Jets Sunday. When the Bills visit San Francisco this Sunday, they'll need to regain the form they had in Cleveland. Of course, a week after shutting down Trent Richardson, the Bills underwent a Patriot Pounding. Steven Ridley and Brandon Bolden both top 100 yards.
"Whether we're playing run defense, it takes all 11 guys to get that done," said George Wilson. "If we're playing pass defense, it takes all 11 guys to get that done. Pass rush, pass coverage, nobody is going to point the finger."
From the pass rush and the run defense, to the many turnovers on the offensive side of the ball, the Bills game plan simply was not executed against the Patriots. With such a long fall, from a 14 point second half lead to a 23 point loss, the feeling in Orchard Park is clear. Everything needs to be better.
"Whether it's up front, whether it's the second level, third level, guys going down. There's enough mistakes to go around," said Chris Kelsay. "Our responsibility as a defensive scheme is something we have to take into our own hands."
"After a game like that, you are dissatisfied with a lot of things," added head coach Chan Gailey. "Let’s not just pick out one thing. There are several things you can pick out.
"We are still a team. We all depend on each other. You cannot turn it over and expect them to hold it out every time. In the first half, we turned it over and they kept them from getting scores. It all works together."
Revisiting what was an optimistic note going in to the game, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both returned to action against the Patriots, but the ground attack was shut down by the Pats. The Bills were held to just 98 rushing yards, 33 for Spiller and 29 for Jackson, and both players had fumbles in the game. The good news was that they came out of the matchup healthy, after splitting carries to get back into the flow.
"I think that was more the game plan going in," said Jackson. "They want to get us both out there and get us the most touches that they can. For us to rotate every series is a way to keep us fresh and try and get some touches.
"I think I played ok, but I didn’t make enough plays obviously to help us win. I had a key turnover that didn’t help, there are a lot of things I can go look at and correct."