The Buffalo Bills have a stout defensive line against the run. It could call for more Tarik Cohen and less Jordan Howard
Matt Nagy has been adamant that he is playing the matchups when he decides whether to give Jordan Howard heavy carries or lean more on Tarik Cohen. Based on the predictions we have made before the game, each matchup has lead to the carry distribution of the two.
After being phased out for three weeks, Jordan Howard was back to life with over 20 carries against the New York Jets. However, everyone was torching the Jets up the middle. It was good on Nagy to recognize the mismatch and pound the Jets up the middle. However, that does not mean that Howard is back into the swing of things.
In fact, when looking at the Buffalo Bills, it would appear that Nagy is going to go back to Tarik Cohen this week, and may avoid Jordan Howard. To start, the Bills struggle with passes to running backs. That is Tarik Cohen time.
On top of that, the Bills have a good run defense. They rank top 12 in rushing efficiency despite playing four top 12 rushing offenses in the first half of their season. Yes, the Chicago Bears will be the fifth top 12 unit they face this year. Still, they have held their own against those rushing offenses so far.
Kyle Williams, Star Lotulelei, Jordan Phillips, and Harrison Phillips. These are four stud run defenders who all rotate at two defensive tackle spots. They consistently have the bodies to rotate and provide fresh snaps up front.
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In fact, they rank sixth in stuff rate, meaning rushes that go for no yards. So, if they hold a lot of backs to zero yards, why are they not higher than 12 against the runs? When runs get into the open field, they are gone. The Bills rank 29th in open field yards.
The idea is that Jordan Howard is your up the middle, plugger running back who can pound teams up the middle may not be the best idea running into a brick wall of rotational studs.
What would be a good idea is to get outside of them and burst runs into the open field, which is where the Bills have struggled.
While the Chicago Bears should be needing to salt away a win similarly to last week, it may not be in the same capacity. They may be going to Tarik Cohen this week because of the matchup.