We’ve broken down the game and made our predictions. Now it’s time to get the opponent’s perspective. My buddy Nate Geary has been covering the Bills for as long as I can remember. He is the host of a radio show about the Bills on WGR 550 and was kind enough to answer five questions ahead of Monday night’s game.
Who is one player on the Bills that hasn’t gotten enough credit for their success this season, and why?
Jordan Poyer - which is pretty much always the case. He leads the team in tackles, has nearly 20-more solo tackles than the next best player, and is consistently overlooked when you mention the best safeties in the league and often times when you consider the best safety in Buffalo. More than likely, Micah Hyde’s name gets more recognition, but there’s no doubt that Poyer is the engine that makes the Bills defense run.
How redeeming has this season been for Bills fans, especially the ones who have been on the Josh Allen hype train all along? Success hasn’t come often for that franchise, so I imagine 2020 has meant everything
It’s certainly been a fun season, especially for those who’d been team Allen all along. Part of it is wanting the national recognition that has been given to Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield. For the most part, though, it’s great to see the team succeed while continuing to develop a QB that has been fully embraced by the community.
The Bills’ run defense has not been good. How much of that can be credited to them trying to stop the pass, being up big, or them not playing very well?
The running issues really stem from two factors: personnel and game plan. When the Bills want to stop the run and game plan for it, they can do so. They held Derrick Henry to 57-yards and a 3YPC avg earlier in the season. The issue does stem from losing Star Lotulelei for sure. They miss his size and ability to each double teams in the middle. In the offseason, the Bills put a premium on roster flexibility and athleticism in the middle with Quentin Jefferson and Vernon Butler signing, but it’s hurt them when teams want to run the football. Overall, the Bills defense is built to stop the pass, but many of their issues in the run game have been overblown.
The 49ers struggle with mobile QBs. This feels like a game where Allen runs a ton. In your eyes, what makes him so dangerous?
I think the days of Josh Allen really beating teams with his legs, like Lamar Jackson, are probably over. Sure, they’ll still scheme up 3-4 designed runs every game, and he’ll scramble for a few key firsts downs every week, but he’s transitioned full into a nuanced passer who can beat you from the pocket on or off-script. His evolution as a passer has allowed him to become a more balanced player at the position. His mobility is less about how he’ll beat you with his legs and more about extending plays to allow his stable of weapons to get open downfield.
Score prediction and why
I like the Bills in this one 24-20. I think the Bills defense is playing their best ball of the season and are now fully healthy for the first time all season. I expect the Niners have some success on the ground and in the short passing game, but the Bills bend but don’t break defense will find ways to hold the Niners to FGs and get a few turnovers to boot. Mostly, the Bills are a better team as it stands, and I expect the team with the better QB to prevail.