I'm sure you've heard a lot about it, and will continue to hear more as the Bills-49ers game gets closer. The Bills and 49ers are playing a matchup that almost certainly will come down to the run, both how the teams execute it and how they defend against it. That may sound cliche. That may be true for the vast majority of games in the NFL. But I think it's especially true for this one.
Fact: the Bills game plan against the Patriots was to defend against the pass, try to rush only four men, and have the rest drop into coverage. The problem, of course, began when the Bills front four was unable to stop the Patriots run on their own.
"As long as we go out and fix the mistakes of being in the proper gaps and assignments we can handle it," said Mario Williams.
Handling it will be tough against the 49ers. Once again, the San Francisco rushing offense is third best in the NFL. They put up 100 yards per game with a well balanced, smash mouth attack. It begins with Frank Gore, who's eleventh in the league with 326 yards and three scores through the first four games. Backup Kendall Hunter is also well over four yards per carry, sitting at 120 on the year. To top that off, they might get Brandon Jacobs back. He's listed as questionable with a knee injury. The 49ers boast a very physical attack.
"San Francisco is more of a team that want to come off the ball and knock you off the ball and run the ball downhill," said Kyle Williams. "It's one thing to feel like 'ok I think we got beat up and this and that,' rather than you're getting walled off here and there, and giving up runs.
"It's a completely different feeling. I think it's more frustrating that way."
"They don’t try to get away from their identity and that is why they have been so good," added George Wilson. "They stick to their guns and they have been consistent in doing it."
While the 49ers' rush ranks third in the league, the Bills rank fourth. Up until this last game, the Bills were downright explosive on the ground. On Sunday, they will face a suffocating run defense that ranks sixth in the league, letting up less than 80 yards per game.
"They do some tremendous things," said Fred Jackson. "So for us to go out there and move the football, running the ball is going to be huge for us. It's a challenge that I'm looking forward to. I love going against the best. I'm sure C.J. (Spiller's) the same way."
"It's not necessarily going into the game trying to out perform the San Francisco 49ers on the ground," noted Spiller. "It's just trying to get our running game back to where we had it. It's going to be tough.
"We know every game is going to be tough. These guys rank top five in just about every defensive category you can name. We know what type of game it is."