As the 49ers get ready for this weekend, they face a Buffalo Bills offense that has talent, but has a lot of question marks. They have scored at least 24 points in each of their four games, but with an inconsistent defense, it has not always been enough. The first two games featured big performances by C.J. Spiller, while the last two games have been more about the passing game.
The big names in the Bills passing attack are QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Stevie Johnson and TE Scott Chandler, with Donald Jones also providing some solid contributions. I took a minute to talk with Brian Galliford at Buffalo Rumblings, and asked him bo
NN: Ryan Ftizpatrick seems to have plenty of talent, but inconsistency appears to be the main issue. To quote an oft-used Harbaugh-Carroll phrase, "What's his deal?"
Buffalo Rumblings: The talent thing is debatable. Fitzpatrick really struggles on throws to the outside and on deep throws. That limits what Buffalo can do in the passing game; they throw a lot of screen passes to backs, bubble screens, and slants. He can be devastating on those kinds of plays, but they're also plays largely made by blocking schemes and skill players. Buffalo's passing offense is at its best when the ball is coming out of Fitzpatrick's hand quickly; if he's forced to sit back and sling the ball down the field, that's when the turnovers start happening. That's where Fitzpatrick's inconsistency lies - turning the ball over. All seven of his picks came in two games.
The 49ers defense has been very solid this year, but have sometimes struggled with shorter passes. The Vikings had success on those plays, but the 49ers figured out some of the issues and would appear to be headed down the right path. It seems like the 49ers secondary will want to sit on those Bills receivers and make Fitzpatrick sit back and think about his options a little too much. If that's what happens, the 49ers linebackers will need to keep a close eye on receiving options coming out of the backfield.