ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Not only will the Buffalo Bills be playing in the same stadium in back-to-back weeks to start the season, but for the second straight week, they'll face a top running back in the league.
The Bills erased a 16-point deficit at MetLife Stadium last week to beat the Jets, 17-16 and faced Le'Veon Bell.
This week, they're back in New Jersey and get ready to take on the 2018 second overall pick in Saquon Barkley.
"You can't ignore what he's doing," Micah Hyde explained. "He gets through these little cracks in the offensive line and is able to break it 60 plus yards. He breaks a lot of tackles. You see guys just bouncing off of him, they hit his legs and he just ignores it and keeps running."
Barkley ran for 120 yards on 11 carries last week against the Cowboys. In his rookie season he rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 91 catches for 720 yards and four touchdowns.
The Bills know it takes a lot to bring Barkley down so tackling will be a huge point of emphasis, maybe a little more so than a normal week.
"We always emphasis tackling but obviously there's another sense of urgency or awareness because of his ability in this league and what he's put on tape so there is a sense of awareness of where he's at and making sure guys do get to him because of who he is as a player," Lorenzo Alexander said.
Defense kept the Bills in the game last week against the Jets, and part of that was their ability to contain Le'Veon Bell even though he did catch a touchdown pass and two-point conversion try.
"We have to improve our fundamentals from week one to week two, tackling being a big part of it," Sean McDermott said.
They held Bell to 60 rushing on 17 carries and are hoping to do the same with Barkley this week.
The Bills run defense finished 16th in the league last year allowing 114.9 yards per game.