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Bills Today | Buffalo's plan to stop the Ravens rushing attack

2020-Bills Today-practice-group

1. Buffalo's plan to stop the Ravens rushing attack

The Bills defense knows stopping the run against the Ravens will be the first thing they have to do in order to slow down their offense. Baltimore finished the regular season averaging the most rushing yards a game in the league at 191.9 yards a game. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson led NFL quarterbacks rushing for 1,005 yards.

The Bills faced the Ravens last season, but lost 24-17. Since then, Baltimore has added another weapon to their running game in rookie running back J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins rushed for 805 yards in the regular season and averaged six yards per carry.

"They've added some wrinkles to their offense that we're going to have to adjust to," Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "We realize we can't just look at what we did last year and say that was good enough. Because they grew quite a bit as an offense and Lamar has grown quite a bit as a quarterback. So we'll really have to do a good job of coming up with a good plan of trying to slow them down. They're still the number one offense in the NFL."

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds thinks their defensive plan needs to start with the basics.

"I think it just goes back to our fundamentals," Edmunds said. "Making sure that we do a good job tackling, making sure our eye discipline is good, making sure everybody's understanding what we want to accomplish on defense. I think that's what it comes down to."

Safety Jordan Poyer said it's important to make them rely on their passing offense. The Ravens had the worst passing attack in the league during the regular season averaging 171.2 passing yards a game.

"It's a different offense and we've got to be able to force this team to throw the football," Poyer said. "Until we're able to stop their running attack, they're going to be running the ball all game long. We're going to have to come in and prove that we can stop that running attack."

2. The X factor on Buffalo's roster

Bleacher Report went through every team left in the playoffs and found an X factor on each roster. The X factor in Buffalo is a well-known player who's having a season of career highs. B/R thinks wide receiver Cole Beasley is the X factor on the Bills due to skills at the slot position.

Those who haven't followed the Bills closely, however, may not realize just how dangerous slot receiver Cole Beasley has been in their new-look offense. Those who have followed Buffalo know that Beasley is a matchup nightmare for the opposition.

"Cole Beasley is the slot receiver on my All-Pro team this year," NBC Sports' Peter King told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. "... Beasley led all NFL slot receivers in yardage this year and he was the most effective, efficient receiver in that ping pong-ball-type area."

Beasley did have a phenomenal 2020 campaign, with 82 receptions, 967 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. He's going to be a problem for opponents, thanks in no small part to the amount of attention Diggs receives on the perimeter. His ability to be a reliable safety valve for Allen is also a huge asset.

3. Does Bills Mafia deserve a Super Bowl win more than any other fan base?

Bills Mafia is definitely deserving of a Super Bowl win, but do they deserve it more than any fan base that's left in the playoffs? Around the NFL writer Marc Sessler ranked the most deserving fan bases by using a 'good-story meter' metric. The metric answers this simple question with a number 1-100 - How much fun would this be for football?

The Bills came in at No. 2 on the list. According to Sessler, the Browns deserve a Super Bowl win the most.

2. Buffalo Bills

Super Bowl appearances: 4

Super Bowl wins: 0

Good-Story Meter (1-100): 99.8

Bills fans are special. If the league were founded today, small-market Buffalo would be ignored as a landing spot. The team wouldn't exist. Nor would its followers.

Buffalo loyalists know joy and pain, reaching four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s and losing them all. Today's Bills emit positive vibes, though, led by a quarterback in Josh Allen who perfectly fits in Western New York. Like Buffalo, Allen has been doubted at every phase. Like Buffalo, he was built to overcome. The one-of-a-kind Bills share plenty of DNA with the final team on this list ...

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