Bills vs. SF 49ers: 3 weaknesses Niners must attack in Week 13

The San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
The San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, Buffalo Bills
The San Francisco 49ers against the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

16. 42. 8:15 p.m. ET. 8-3. ESPN. Monday, Dec. 7. 5-6. Bills -1.5

The SF 49ers won’t have an easy time upending the AFC East-leading Bills in Week 13, but these Buffalo weaknesses present an opportunity.

It makes a lot of sense why the SF 49ers are listed by The Action Network as 1.5-point underdogs in their Week 13 “home” matchup against the visiting Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

After years of the New England Patriots dominating the AFC East, the 8-3 Bills have suddenly turned into the team to beat. Like head coach Kyle Shanahan had to do with the Niners over recent years, Bills head coach Sean McDermott has done a tremendous job transforming his squad into a legitimate playoff contender with a young core of players led by upstart quarterback Josh Allen.

Allen has certainly enjoyed the presence of one of Buffalo’s prime offseason acquisitions, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who currently ranks sixth among all pass-catchers entering Week 13 with 945 receiving yards.

As a result, Allen and McDermott have the Bills owning the league’s No. 7 pass offense.

Yet San Francisco can counter with a No. 4-ranked pass defense despite missing its two best pass-rushers, Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, to season-long injury absences dating all the way back to Week 2. For all the right reasons, the SF 49ers have somehow managed to contain a sizable chunk of opponents’ efforts to move the ball against them through the air.

Now, with the 5-6 Niners scrambling for a playoff berth, one can only wonder if a repeat performance by their defense will be enough to thwart the Bills under the bright lights of prime time.

If that’s to be the case, Shanahan and the SF 49ers will have to expose these three Buffalo weaknesses on Monday night.