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Fan Mailbag: What's the top matchup? What's next for the passing game?

The primo matchup in Sunday's game was a prevailing query from Bills fans this week as was the state of Buffalo's passing game.

It's readily apparent that you want to see more from Josh Allen and the passing game, but it's clear that the offensive staff wants to take a methodical approach when it comes to putting more on the rookie quarterback's plate.

Not to mention the fact that this might be the most talented pass rush the Bills will see until they face Chicago in three weeks.

Let's get rolling with your questions this week.

1 – From **@manolitomaen**: Is @TreWhite16 vs Hopkins the decisive duel on Sunday?

CB: It's certainly the most highly anticipated matchup in this game. Two elite players at their respective positions going toe to toe is what makes the NFL so popular. Knowing how much Houston has struggled to get their running game on track, they've largely relied on the passing game to move the ball.

Yes, Watson executes a lot of dump offs and checkdowns to almost serve as a run game, but the passing game largely goes through Hopkins, who leads the league in receiving yardage.

Knowing the talent that Hopkins is, I'm not expecting White to shut Hopkins out. But if White can keep Hopkins out of the end zone and hold him to four of five catches for 50-60 yards that's a win for the Bills in my book.

2 – From **@mrsju007**: Since the Texans will be expecting a strong run game, will the Bills "unleash" Allen's passing game? Or he is not ready yet?

CB: I think the Bills certainly want to get more production out of their passing game than they did last week, but I wouldn't expect the Bills to be depending on the passing game to carry them to victory.

The run game and solid defense that can generate takeaways are the foundational pieces of how the Bills are going to put themselves in position to win.

The hope going forward is that each week Josh Allen can do a little more to help complement a run game to keep defenses honest.

While I believe there will be opportunities in the pass game with Houston's secondary maligned by injuries, I think depending too heavily on Allen and the pass game could put him in a tough spot, especially this week knowing the ferocity of the Texans' pass rush.


3 – From **@Mikeybeit**: Chris, can you c the Bills trying to add a WR via a trade? We need to try and get better at that position ASAP! Maybe A. Cooper could be had? Ty Williams LA? D.Thomas? G.Tate? What do u think?

CB: It's hard to predict what may or may not happen concerning Buffalo's wide receiver position. Yes, they need more production from that position. I just think it's hard to pry away the kind of talent that needs to be added from another team without giving up a good deal in return.

I can't pretend to know what GM Brandon Beane is thinking. If the right offer presents itself, the kind he can't refuse because he knows it'll make the team better, then an upgrade is possible.

I just think there are a lot of things that are being weighed when determining whether or not to pursue a proven player at that position right now.

First, the cost to acquire. Do the Bills want to part with draft choices when they worked so hard to load up for the 2019 draft?

Second, the cost to pay. Having a proven receiver would be great, but what is the cost now and what would be the cost to keep him long term?

Third, the fit. Do they know enough about the current receiving corps to know exactly what they need to add?

For example, has Robert Foster shown them enough to cross off a field-stretching deep threat from their list? Can Zay Jones be a consistent weapon in the slot? Is Allen forming a budding chemistry with any receiver that shows 'go-to guy' potential?

All those things are difficult to answer now because in addition to it being a new offense, you've got a young quarterback learning on the fly. That makes it tougher to determine the potential of what you have and what you need to add.

I know that Beane and coach McDermott realize that the receiving corps needs to be better. But what needs to be added, how much is worth investing and most importantly when to add it are all variables that have to be considered in the acquisition process.

Practice photos from Week 6 of the 2018 season as the Buffalo Bills prepare to take on the Houston Texans on the road.

4 - From **@JCMcVitty**: Does the fact that the Bills overachieved last year put pressure on McBeane to win this year as well or will we see a Shady trade that signals REBUILD?

CB: I think coach McDermott and Brandon Beane would tell you in this business there's pressure to win every year. What happened last year may have changed outside expectations for this team, but it didn't change the standard inside the building at One Bills Drive. And because of that it didn't change the level of pressure that those two men put on themselves every day to build this team into one that is perennially successful.

As for your contention that a trade of McCoy would signal rebuild, I think the Bills have been trying to build this team since McDermott and Beane arrived. All a trade of McCoy would signal is that the front office saw it as an opportunity to accelerate that build.

That's why the only way I see McCoy being traded is in a transaction that can effectively accomplish that for Buffalo's front office.

5 – From **@BuffaloJ6**: Why haven't we seen Wyatt Teller at all???

CB: Teller has mainly lined up as a backup left guard and Vladimir Ducasse has held his own the past few weeks. He's got a monumental matchup this week in J.J. Watt. Secondly, there is a definite process by which this offensive line is brought along and developed.

I think the main reason we haven't seen Teller challenge either of the starting guards is because he's still learning on the job, and I think there's a concerted effort to give this starting five a chance to really jell. The middle three are all new to one another in terms of where they're lining up and the scheme is brand new to all of them as well.

Offensive lines don't just plug in three new players and roll. There is an investment that must be made to let the cohesiveness set in. And that doesn't happen overnight.

So barring a sustained period of subpar play from either guard I wouldn't expect to see Teller anytime soon. And even if that did happen I would think you'd be more likely to see Ryan Groy as the first guard option off the bench.

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