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Week 13 GDT - Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers


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Well, that win was unexpected last week. The Rams were rolling and were coming off two good wins back to back and we were on a three game losing streak but the bye week and getting some guys back definitely helped. 

As for this week's game against the Bills, we face another team on a nice roll as they have won four of the past five games and their one loss was the famous last second hail mary to Hopkins. They have a very good offense and Allen has taken the next step and become a top 10 QB in the league. Diggs has been awesome and arguably a top 5 WR this season. Our defense will have their hands full, but they have been playing great ball as of late themselves. 

Defensively, the Bills are just average this season and not particularly well against the run. That does give us somewhat of an opportunity this game, as long as Mullens doesn't make any costly mistakes. Aiyuk should return which is huge and this will be pretty much only the third game those two have played together where they have been healthy with no limitations. 

I may end up looking like a complete fool, but I am going to pick us to win this game...First game I've predicted us to win since the Eagles game.

SF 27 BUF 20 

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Looking at the Bills body of work this season, I can tell you that this game will be close. The Bills don't blow anyone out. Their biggest margin of victory this season has been 10 points. They've achieved this 3 times (Jets, Seahawks, and Chargers). They have 3 wins with a 3 point margin (Dolphins, Rams, and Patriots). 5 of their 8 wins have been by one score. It's strange that such a good team isn't beating up on other teams. 

Some interesting stats I'm seeing:

  • The Bills are giving up the 8th most rushing yards, 2nd most first downs on the ground, 6th highest yards per rush, and 3rd most rushing TDs. This plays right into our hand.
  • The Bills miss a ton of tackles, 5th most in the NFL. We have the 2nd fewest, BTW. This would a great game to have Kittle, but this also bodes well for Mostert and Deebo.
  • The Bills blitz a lot (7th most) and get home often (6th most sacks), but their pressure rate is 19th in the NFL, so they have some boom or bust tendencies with their pass rush.
  • Per Football Outsiders, the Bills are the worst team at stopping ball carriers when they get to the second level.
  • The Bills are the 6th best passing team in the NFL, but their rushing attack is 22nd in the NFL. I expect the Bills to pass often and run with Allen to throw us off. 
  • The Bills commit the 2nd most penalties on offense for the most yardage in the NFL. Very mistake prone. 

The Bills offense is ran through Diggs, Beasley, and Singletary, as well as Allen's legs on the ground. It seems like we should be able to neutralize Singletary, but Diggs deep is my worry. We've kept slot WR's in check for the most part this season, but the deeps stuff is always a worry. 

I actually think this game is winnable, as crazy as that sounds. If we can prevent Allen from going to deep to Diggs and prevent him from running all over the place, we can win.

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I'll take the Bills pretty comfortably, though they need to be mindful in the second half. 

Pretty simple for me. Our offense sucks (even if their defense isn't great) and will likely cough the ball up at least once, and as good as the defense is playing, running quarterbacks go scorched earth on us every time we play them. Allen rushes for 75+. 

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I actually like the Niners in this one. The bills defense is not what it was last season or the season before (if I recall correctly). We should be able to run all over them and take the pressure off of our passing game so Mullins can manage the game. We will also get to see Deebo, Aiyuk, Mostert and Reed playing together for the first time healthy.

As for their offense, I will give them that their passing game is good and we struggle with mobile QB's (check Allen's ankle), Allen scares me a little. At the same time, we have a healthy Sherman, Verrett is still playing at a high level, Moseley played decent in the slot, Ward played lights out and Moore has the speed that lends itself to defending this offense. Oh yeah, and we have been playing the run pretty darn well without having to blitz (their run game is mediocre).....so yeah, I like our defense against this offense.

 

Im saying Niners 24 - Bills 13

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10 hours ago, Forge said:

I'll take the Bills pretty comfortably, though they need to be mindful in the second half. 

Pretty simple for me. Our offense sucks (even if their defense isn't great) and will likely cough the ball up at least once, and as good as the defense is playing, running quarterbacks go scorched earth on us every time we play them. Allen rushes for 75+. 

I see it differently, but also the same in a lot of ways. 

We have a really good secondary, especially at covering the deep part of the field. Allen loves to throw deep and diggs is a good-great deep threat. They dont have any TE or anyone that Warner will need to worry about, so Warner will/should be spying him literally every passing play. We dont need him to do anything else this week. That should be warner priority #1. I feel good about those two things happening, our corners to cover, and warner to chase allen down. 

Our DL isnt going to let them run the ball. They are not a running team and I am fine with them trying to run the ball a lot against the teeth of our DL. These big boys up front arent playing around when it comes to stopping the run. We dont have edge pressure all of the time, but this is a game we can blitz allen and make him as uncomfortable as possible. We can do this because I believe in our coverage. 

Allen turns the ball over. He fumbles a lot. We just saw ward cause two fumbles in space. I always say that takeaways are contagious. I think warner will be aiming for the ball sometimes and hes got really great length and fast hands. I like the odds of that working out in our favor. Warner has certain games where he just goes god mode. Its friggin beautiful. I think this could be that game on MNF. I dont think the bills will have any surprises for us, or anything that we arent ready for. 

Allen's accuracy is much improved. Its not just that he has diggs, its that his ball placement is waay better. He still takes risks and has a gunslinger mindset, even if the actual execution of those risks is better, the risks still exist. Allen will give us chances to make plays on the ball in the air.

With sherman back, I feel a lot better about it. I like mosely a lot, I think he is a very good cover corner in our scheme, but sherman and verrett are better at tracking the ball in the air. I think mosely will get plenty of opportunities next year, but in this game we are going to have success with sherman and verrett along with ward and moore on the back end. 

Basically I am saying, I will take our chances on Defense this week. I think Saleh will have figured out the running qb conundrum and I like the other matchups everywhere else. For as much as I hate marcell harris, he is playing fine at LB a la Eric Reid. 

 

The bills defense worries me. Mcdermot is a fantastic defensive coach. He knows how to scheme up a defense. People are sleeping on their defense because it started off poorly, but they have gotten a few guys back recently and are playing their best football. With kyle we can always assume we will have a schematic advantage from a gameplanning standpoint, but this week it may not go that way.

Its a very intriguing matchup due to the fact both guys are HCs who run their side of the football in totality. Buffalos defense seems to be able to play different styles because they dont have any real holes schematically or talent wise when they are fully healthy. We can run so many different types of plays to get our guys the ball. So thats why this is so interesting. We are a multi-faceted offense, and they are a multi-faceted defense. 

I am excited to see Aiyuk and Deebo on the field at the same time. Thats going to be super fun. With mostert. Holy smokes it feels good to have these three guys in the lineup at the same time. It hasnt happened all that much this year. 

Jordan reed is an awesome slot receiver lol he was so pissed last week. I wonder what the relationship is with he and nick. I know mullens just straight up missed him so its not like they werent on the same page or reed ran the wrong route or whatever. I will be keeping a close eye on him. I definitely want to get this guy happy and have him stick around. 

Mullens needs to get it together. He has made too many bad decisions. I think he needs to just relax a little bit and not put so much pressure on himself. it looks like there are some plays where the game is too fast for him, and thats not an issue he has had until recently. It used to look like he was processing things very quickly and the game was moving slow for him. Now its sporadic, too many bad plays mixed in with the good.

The rest of the team is rounding into form, we just need him to go back to being the game manager we saw earlier in the year. I believe mullens can be a good game manager and that we can lean heavily on the defense, run game, and playmakers we have. 

Oddly enough - I like the way both defenses match up, but for whatever reason I am expecting a high scoring game. So there is some conflict in how my gut thinks this will go. Mainly I just think there will be fireworks and im absolutely PUMPED this game has real playoff implications and that we will approach this like a playoff game. When this team does that, we can beat anyone

I honestly cant help myself but to get super excited lol

GO NINERS

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One thing that Niners fans might not know is one of the reasons why the Bills Defense has been lacking against the run is because they have been without their star LB who has been a key piece for the run defense in Matt Milano he has only been able to play 3 full games this year while last year he did not miss a game. He has finally come off IR and is expected to play this week in which will be beneficial against the run. Since he has missed so much time I am not sure if he will be on a snap count. While Klein comes away with AFC defensive player of the week, at times he is horrible to fill in the gaps and be in position against the run, not to mention him being slow to set the edge on a run so if a rb bounces outside he cant close in, where milano is great at this. Klein is more suited for additional pass rush.

Bills have also been without all their DBs and finally last week was the first time that Tre, Levi, and Norman were all active. Levi and Tre are solid in man coverage allowing the LBs to stack up on the line rather then going in to zone and giving up big plays. They were willing to allow the rbs last week to collect 75 yards while shutting down the Chargers receiving corps in Allen and Williams only holding those two to 75 yards and preventing big plays. Allen got his only touchdown in zone coverage in which the LB was covering him. 

While it may show that the bills rush d is horrible which it is at times it is also designed by Mcdermott to force teams to make long drives to score rather then quick down field passes in hopes of making more mistakes. As mentioned above Levi their #2 corner has been out 5 games forcing them to play more zone then man coverage which again forces the LB to drop back more and allow the run to happen then to give up massive passes. Bills will finally be 100% healthy on defense for the first time this year.

On offense the Bills have taken a huge hit last week while losing not only their starting LG to season ending surgery, they also are without their #2 wr in John brown. That may not seem like a huge deal as Gabriel Davis has come in and stepped up however Allens average pass per play have gone from 8.4 yds to 6.8 when brown is out of the game. 

I know Niners have been crushed with injuries so I am not trying to use excuses I am just simply stating why they have been lacking in defense. Seeing Aiyuk coming back this week Mullen will have a nice pair of WR targets in which will give Tre and Levi. Bills likely game plan is to bring 5 man rushes on Mullen to get him rattled and be able to throw off his passes to these two. Between this and a quick start on offense for the bills will be the key for them to win it. If the Niners can pick up the pass block and continue to grind the ball forcing the bills offense to stay off the field that would be their way of winning this game. It will be an interesting one. 

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49 minutes ago, soflbillsfan said:

One thing that Niners fans might not know is one of the reasons why the Bills Defense has been lacking against the run is because they have been without their star LB who has been a key piece for the run defense in Matt Milano he has only been able to play 3 full games this year while last year he did not miss a game. He has finally come off IR and is expected to play this week in which will be beneficial against the run. Since he has missed so much time I am not sure if he will be on a snap count. While Klein comes away with AFC defensive player of the week, at times he is horrible to fill in the gaps and be in position against the run, not to mention him being slow to set the edge on a run so if a rb bounces outside he cant close in, where milano is great at this. Klein is more suited for additional pass rush.

Bills have also been without all their DBs and finally last week was the first time that Tre, Levi, and Norman were all active. Levi and Tre are solid in man coverage allowing the LBs to stack up on the line rather then going in to zone and giving up big plays. They were willing to allow the rbs last week to collect 75 yards while shutting down the Chargers receiving corps in Allen and Williams only holding those two to 75 yards and preventing big plays. Allen got his only touchdown in zone coverage in which the LB was covering him. 

While it may show that the bills rush d is horrible which it is at times it is also designed by Mcdermott to force teams to make long drives to score rather then quick down field passes in hopes of making more mistakes. As mentioned above Levi their #2 corner has been out 5 games forcing them to play more zone then man coverage which again forces the LB to drop back more and allow the run to happen then to give up massive passes. Bills will finally be 100% healthy on defense for the first time this year.

On offense the Bills have taken a huge hit last week while losing not only their starting LG to season ending surgery, they also are without their #2 wr in John brown. That may not seem like a huge deal as Gabriel Davis has come in and stepped up however Allens average pass per play have gone from 8.4 yds to 6.8 when brown is out of the game. 

I know Niners have been crushed with injuries so I am not trying to use excuses I am just simply stating why they have been lacking in defense. Seeing Aiyuk coming back this week Mullen will have a nice pair of WR targets in which will give Tre and Levi. Bills likely game plan is to bring 5 man rushes on Mullen to get him rattled and be able to throw off his passes to these two. Between this and a quick start on offense for the bills will be the key for them to win it. If the Niners can pick up the pass block and continue to grind the ball forcing the bills offense to stay off the field that would be their way of winning this game. It will be an interesting one. 

Thanks for the breakdown!

Trust me, it won't take much to force Mullens into some horrible decisions. At least twice a game he throws some WTF passes right to the defense. He throws blind predetermined passes without even looking at what the defense is doing. I will say though, he is a gamer and competes till the end. Only reason I even think we have a chance in this game is because of our defense.  Against the Saints/Rams, they have been lights out for the most part and by going with Moore at FS, it has completely unlocked Jimmie Ward who has looked like one of the best defenders in the league the past few games. Diggs is not going to be easy to stop of course, but our corners are really good and Moore doesn't allow anything to be completed over the top. The one thing this defense CANNOT do is stop running QBs. Just a huge flaw in the scheme and I expect Allen to extend multiple drives off his runs on 3rd and long. 

Regardless if we have Aiyuk back, the offense is going to stay inconsistent with Mullens and our inept OL. Mostert will be the key to stop. He's playing on a fast field so he can easily break a few long ones. If you guys are able to prevent that from happening, then your defense should be just fine. 

 

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14 minutes ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

Thanks for the breakdown!

Trust me, it won't take much to force Mullens into some horrible decisions. At least twice a game he throws some WTF passes right to the defense. He throws blind predetermined passes without even looking at what the defense is doing. I will say though, he is a gamer and competes till the end. Only reason I even think we have a chance in this game is because of our defense.  Against the Saints/Rams, they have been lights out for the most part and by going with Moore at FS, it has completely unlocked Jimmie Ward who has looked like one of the best defenders in the league the past few games. Diggs is not going to be easy to stop of course, but our corners are really good and Moore doesn't allow anything to be completed over the top. The one thing this defense CANNOT do is stop running QBs. Just a huge flaw in the scheme and I expect Allen to extend multiple drives off his runs on 3rd and long. 

Regardless if we have Aiyuk back, the offense is going to stay inconsistent with Mullens and our inept OL. Mostert will be the key to stop. He's playing on a fast field so he can easily break a few long ones. If you guys are able to prevent that from happening, then your defense should be just fine. 

 

I forgot to mention in my previous comment, and you reminded me of it just now is Allen hurt his ankle on a play last week. He seem to have ran a couple of times but to me it may be something to keep in mind come this game as he may not run as much. I know the Bills OC Daboll has tried to limit his running after early fumbles in the season and now with his ankle which I am not sure is 100% may be something that prevents him from having to run at least in the beginning. The one thing that Daboll has done has utilized the weaknesses on defenses and exploited them fairly well this season. With the patriots they couldnt stop the run so he continued to make it a point to pound the ball, with Seattle they struggled in the passing so the bills continued to throw it. So if the niners weakness is qb run and if allen's ankle is healthy then we will see a heavy dose of him running the ball, I just dont see him being 100% and I guess one way to find out is before the game if you see his foot wrapped more then the other.

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11 hours ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

Thanks for the breakdown!

Trust me, it won't take much to force Mullens into some horrible decisions. At least twice a game he throws some WTF passes right to the defense. He throws blind predetermined passes without even looking at what the defense is doing. I will say though, he is a gamer and competes till the end. Only reason I even think we have a chance in this game is because of our defense.  Against the Saints/Rams, they have been lights out for the most part and by going with Moore at FS, it has completely unlocked Jimmie Ward who has looked like one of the best defenders in the league the past few games. Diggs is not going to be easy to stop of course, but our corners are really good and Moore doesn't allow anything to be completed over the top. The one thing this defense CANNOT do is stop running QBs. Just a huge flaw in the scheme and I expect Allen to extend multiple drives off his runs on 3rd and long. 

Regardless if we have Aiyuk back, the offense is going to stay inconsistent with Mullens and our inept OL. Mostert will be the key to stop. He's playing on a fast field so he can easily break a few long ones. If you guys are able to prevent that from happening, then your defense should be just fine. 

 

Ward is superb as a nickel. Was all of last year. All of his biggest mistakes come as a single high FS, mostly with double moves. He can do Mofo stuff, roll into the box where he is a sure tackler, or cover the slot superbly. But the single high stuff should be done for good with him.

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2 hours ago, JIllg said:

Ward is superb as a nickel. Was all of last year. All of his biggest mistakes come as a single high FS, mostly with double moves. He can do Mofo stuff, roll into the box where he is a sure tackler, or cover the slot superbly. But the single high stuff should be done for good with him.

Agreed. I believe he will definitely transition over to Tartt’s position of being a SS and closer to the LOS. Definitely makes more sense now that Tartt is injured and we are essentially moving on. Sucks that we weren’t able to trade him prior to the deadline, but he was hurt and I would imagine that was the main culprit. I think Ward should start having better games moving forward as long as they don’t revert him back to the single high. 

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9 hours ago, StevenK said:

Agreed. I believe he will definitely transition over to Tartt’s position of being a SS and closer to the LOS. Definitely makes more sense now that Tartt is injured and we are essentially moving on. Sucks that we weren’t able to trade him prior to the deadline, but he was hurt and I would imagine that was the main culprit. I think Ward should start having better games moving forward as long as they don’t revert him back to the single high. 

Agreed, I think next year we'll be rolling with with Jimmie at SS and Tarvarius at FS, which is actually kind of exciting for me. Moore is more of a ballhawk and playing ward closer to the LOS really fits his strengths IMO. 

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13 hours ago, Forge said:

Moseley is getting targeted on 30% of his coverage snaps this year, which is really bad. Kind of concerned about Cole Beasley in this one give eman will be in the slot

Meh, Beasley may get his catches but this isn't really something to be all that concerned about. The key will be to stop the run and prevent the big plays over the top. If we do that, then we should be able to compete with the Bills. 

That was Moseley's first slot action since I don't even know when last week. After Kupp caught Moseley getting flat footed, he was fine the rest of the way. The secondary is the strength of the team at this point. 

 

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31 minutes ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

The key will be to stop the run and prevent the big plays over the top

Ironically that is what the Bills are struggling with the most right now. Their run game was better last week but it’s been a weakness all season. And outside of a handful of plays the Bills haven’t really been taking their deep shots and connecting. Especially with John Brown out.

Bills love to use the middle of the field and use intermediate passes to Beasley and Diggs to keep themselves ahead of the sticks as much as possible. I think it’s going to be a heck of a chess match. 

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11 hours ago, StevenK said:

Agreed. I believe he will definitely transition over to Tartt’s position of being a SS and closer to the LOS. Definitely makes more sense now that Tartt is injured and we are essentially moving on. Sucks that we weren’t able to trade him prior to the deadline, but he was hurt and I would imagine that was the main culprit. I think Ward should start having better games moving forward as long as they don’t revert him back to the single high. 

  😁  Yes, that will go so well with Ward's fragility....

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