Run and stop the run. Win the turnover battle. Start fast. OK, so much for the three cliched keys for any football game. Here are three more nuanced keys for the Bills as they take on the Colts in Indianapolis this afternoon:
One. Brian Daboll should use a lot of two-tight end sets. The Colts’ front seven has been decent this year, considering that they’re giving up 30 points a game. Using two tights can help the running game and take some pressure off Derek Anderson, who hasn’t started a game in two years and was settled into retirement a few weeks ago.
The Bills have only four active wide receivers today, and their top two (Zay Jones, Kelvin Benjamin) are perhaps the weakest 1-2 wideouts in the NFL. Why not get the tight ends more involved in the passing game? Jason Croom wasn’t targeted in the Houston game. He had a 26-yard touchdown catch at Minnesota and seemed to be emerging. Throw him and Charles Clay the ball.
Two. Try to get pressure with the front four and blitz judiciously. The Bills have generated tremendous pressure with their front four lately, which has allowed them to keep more guys in coverage. They’ve been effective with blitzes too, but Andrew Luck has been getting rid of the ball quickly and using more short throws than he has in the past. He can hurt them if they send extra guys too often.
Three. Contain Colts tight end Eric Ebron. Ebron leads the Colts with 30 receptions and leads all NFL tight end with six TD catches (also tied for the lead among all receivers in TDs). Tre’Davious White is gaining a reputation for shutting down the opposition’s best wideout. But strong safety Micah Hyde made the Pro Bowl last year. He’s looking for his first interception this season after getting five picks last year. He needs to make Ebron his personal mission today and prevent him from being a reliable target for Luck.