Will Cook stay in the kitchen? Will Josh jam with his legs? Can anyone stop Derrick Henry? These predictions are as bold as it gets.
This Bills team is similar in many ways to last years team but different in key areas. They added more play makers to the offense and promoted Gabe Davis to the second wide receiver. They have a new offensive coordinator in Ken Dorsey who trusts Josh’s judgment. They also beefed up the defensive line with Von Miller and a slew of other veterans. On Monday we’ll see just how much has changed as the Bills look to take down last years number one seed and get revenge for last years game.
James Cook Bounces Back
Last week James Cook fumbled the ball on his very first NFL snap. He joined the ranks of other well known running backs who did the same, names like Christian McCaffery, Ray Rice, and LaDanian Tomlinson. What does that mean? Well for starters it means don’t expect the Bills to give up on Cook. It also means one bad play does not define a career (unless your Scott Norwood).
My bold prediction for James Cook is he will have a breakout game. I think he will gather over 100 yards from scrimmage. Between his ability to get out into open field and his speediness there will be no shortage of opportunity within the Bills offense for him to shine.
The biggest question marks he faces are his ability to break tackles and hold onto the ball. Assuming that it was first game jitters, he should be just fine with carrying the ball. When it comes to breaking tackles however, it remains to be seen. After his fumble in last weeks game he had little chance to redeem himself and show what he could do.
If the Bills commit to putting him in their game plan and devise plays designed to use his catch and run abilities, I think the sky is the limit.
Josh Runs For Three Touchdowns
Last year when the Bills faced the Titans, Josh made nine rushing attempts and gathered only 26 yards. This year with a revamped offensive line and a new offensive coordinator who lets Josh have more autonomy, we can expect more runs. I know this isn’t what Bills fans want but this is what Josh does best, confuses defenses with his ability to tuck and run and throw the ball on the move.
This Monday my bold prediction for Josh is to rush for three touchdowns. Last year, the Bills were stopped on three of their five red zone drives and were forced to take field goals. This year with the new offensive line that includes Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry (both who were on the Titans last year), I think we see Josh take more chances running in the red zone.
Another reason why I believe this will be the case is taken from last weeks game versus the Rams. On 10 rushing attempts against what is supposed to be one of the best defenses in the league, Josh ran for 56 yards and one touchdown. On about the same number of attempts as the Titans game last year he doubled his yards and got a score. On Monday expect Josh to use those legs of his to run it past the pylons and put the Titans away.
Derrick Henry Will Be Held To Under 85 Yards
20 rushing attempts, 153 yards and three touchdowns; that’s how the Bills lose a game. Derrick Henry ran all over the Bills last year and outside of Micah Hyde sacrificing his body to stop him, there wasn’t much the Bills could do to stymie the Titans running game. This year with some key additions to the defense (one of which is former Titans Daquan Jones) the Bills look to change that.
Last week the Giants held Henry to under 85 yards and zero touchdowns, they beat the Titans 21-20. If the anemic Giants can (barely) beat the Titans, there’s no reason the Bills can’t do better. Hold Henry to under 85 yards and the Bills shouldn’t just beat the Titans but clobber them and send them back to Tartarus (look up your Greek mythology).
Last week Miller and the wrecking crew that is the rest of the Bills line managed to get seven sacks without blitzing once. They held the Rams to under 20 yards rushing and zero rushing touchdowns. Now with respect the Rams have no one like Derrick Henry on their team but they’re still the reigning Super Bowl champs and that means something. This week if we want the Bills to win, we’ll need to see more of the same.
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