The Bills defense leads the NFL in sacks with 48 on the season.
The Packers defense has registered just 29 on the season, 20th in the league.
Leading the way are the Tremendous Trio of Super Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Jerry Hughes as they have combined for 31 1/2 sacks, which is two sacks more than the whole Packers defense.
Williams leads with 12, Dareus has 10, and OLB Hughes has 9.5. Hughes is a guy that was targeted by the Packers in that 2010 Draft, but Bryan Bulaga slid down to the Packers spot unexpectedly and that was a need and a great value so the Packers had to take Bulaga, which has worked out for a Super Bowl that rookie season, and is working out pretty good now. But he's usually overmatched by guys like Hughes.
Hughes was drafted later in the first round of 2010, miscast by the Colts as a hands-down 4-3 DE. He didn't fit in that system and after three years and just five total sacks, the Bills scooped in and traded for Hughes, getting a bargain. He paid off right away last year with 10 sacks his first year in that 3-4 scheme. He's also forced five fumbles so far in his less than two years with the Bills.
Everyone who knows me knows I wanted Hughes badly in 2010, and 2011, and 2012, and 2013. He's flat-out great off the edges and both Bakhtiari and Bulaga will have their hands full.
Williams is a Pro Bowl beast, the top pick in that Reggie Bush, AJ Hawk, Vince Young, Matt Leinart draft of 2006. While all the others are slowing down or out of the league already, Mario is still Super and causing all kinds of havoc for opposing offenses to deal with.
And then there's the behemoth Dareus in the middle. In his fourth season now, this 6-3, 331 pound monster is everything that the Packers dreamed, wished BJ Raji would be. He's what Vince Wilfork was in his prime, only better at getting to the QB.
For a DT/NT, at that size, for him to have 28.5 sacks already thru 3.8 years is sensational. Corey Linsley, Josh Sitton, TJ Lang will have their toughest test of the season, and that includes what they let dominate them in Detroit back in week three when the Packers were battered and held to seven points.
This pressure up front from those three studs has helped the Bills rack up 17 interceptions, tied for second in the league. The Packers have 16, tied for fifth.
The Bills defense has allowed the fourth fewest points per game in the NFL at 18.5 per game.
Detroit is number one (17.2) and Seattle (18.1) number two.
Their defense is fifth overall in yards allowed at 311 per game (Seattle is number one at 274.5, Detroit is number two at 295.7)
Did I mention that the Packers have lost to both of them (Seatte & Detroit) on the road this year?
Those fine and physical defenses held he Packers to a total of 23 points in those two games combined.
The Bills pass defense is their strength as they only are allowing 212.8 yards per game, which is also fifth in the NFL. Seattle is number one at 190.4.
On the offensive side, it's veteran QB Kyle Orton who leads the show after replacing ineffective second-year QB EJ Manuel.
Orton and the Bills had been in playoff contention, But they have just lost three of their past five games to drop to 7-6 and almost out of contention in the AFC. They have to win out, and get help.
They lost in week 10 at home, 17-13 to Alex Smith and the Chiefs.
Then they lost at Miami 22-9, the game that really killed them as they and the Dolphins were battling in that AFC East.
Those 22 points in two games had some Bills fans calling for replacing Orton.
But they bounced back at home their next two games, creaming the Jets 38-3, and then Brian Hoyer and the Browns 26-10.
They lost this past week in Denver 24-17, but did snap Peyton Manning’s long TD streak. In Denver.
As you can see, by their losses and wins, their defense does not get blown out ever. The only one time they have allowed more than 24 points all year was in week six when Tom Brady (4 touchdowns and 361 yards in good weather) and New England beat them 37-22.
Orton has sensational rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins to throw to. The Bills paid dearly to trade up to get Sammy, even though this was a deep WR class and they could have stayed put and landed Odell Beckham Jr or Mike Evans where they were slotted.
Still, they really don’t regret it as Watkins is legit.
He has 58 catches for 822 yards, 14.2 avg and 5 touchdowns.
Robert Woods is the other starting receiver and he has 52 catches for 586 yards, 11.3 avg and 3 touchdowns.
Dangerous running back CJ Spiller’s season ended against Minnesota back in October, so right now it’s Boobie Dixon, Fred Jackson, and Bryce Brown sharing the load.
Jackson is a Matt Forte type of back in every sense of the position, including receiving skills and even wearing the same #22 jersey.
Remember Orton though in 2011? That was the defending champion Packers, at 13-0 heading into Kansas City facing the Chiefs who were without Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry. ESPN and NFL Network and everyone else was proclaiming this Packers team to perhaps be the “best ever”.
Well the Packers lost to Orton (Tamba Hali and Justin Houston especially), as we all remember, and the stay at “the top” was gone. No dynasty. No more Super Bowl runs. Just a "fart in he wind" Ron Wolf might say.
For the Packers to change that, they are going to have to make sure Orton doesn’t beat the Packers again.
If the Packers lose, they will drop from the number 1 or 2 seed all the way to the 5, 6 seed, which means playing at Seattle in the playoffs if the Pack is to get back to the Super Bowl.
EARLY WEEK PREDICTION:
Pessimist Me: Buffalo 23, Green Bay 20
Optimist Me: Green Bay 28, Buffalo 17
Gambling Me: Buffalo +5 & Under 51.5