The Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons Week Four battle is oozing with interesting one-on-one matchups, and I'm not just talking about Julio Jones vs. E.J. Gaines, or Preston Brown vs. Devonta Freeman.
Both teams come into this game with well-balanced units, accurate quarterbacks, and an assortment of underrated players on defense.
Let's assess the best individual matchups in this game.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
Bills' biggest disadvantage
Dontari Poe vs. Eric Wood
Through three games, the Bills center has allowed four quarterback pressures (two hits, two hurries) on 102 pass-blocking snaps. For perspective, that means his Pass-Block Efficiency is currently 97.1, the 23rd-highest among 33 qualifying centers.
Wood will see plenty of Poe in this one. On the year, the Falcons nose tackle has amassed a whopping 12 signal-caller pressures (one hit, 11 hurries) on just 91 pass-rushing snaps. That equates to the ninth-highest Pass-Rush Productivity among 74 qualifying defensive tackles.
In order to avoid continual pressure up the middle, Wood must have one of his better games against the 6-foot-3, 345-pound Poe.
Bills' biggest advantage
Tyrod Taylor / Bills WRs vs. Falcons cornerbacks
Ok, so not a specific one-on-one matchup, but this is one I believe is an advantage for the Bills. Taylor had an adjusted completion percentage of 88.0 against the Broncos, the highest among all quarterbacks in Week Three. On the season, his adjusted completion percentage of 80.3 is the fourth-highest in football. He's completing 67 percent of his throws.
Keep those figures in mind.
The five Falcons cornerbacks who've taken the field thus far in the 2017 season have surrendered a completion percentage of 69.6 at 7.7 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and one interception. That equates to a passer rating of 96.3.
No, wins and losses aren't solely on the quarterback, but it's worth noting that the Bills are 7-2 when Taylor completes at least 70 percent of his passes, and they've averaged 26.6 points per game in those nine contests. The two losses were at Seattle a season ago and against New England in 2015, the second game Taylor took the field as the Bills starter.
Clearly, Buffalo's offense gets a big boost when Taylor is connecting with his pass-catchers at a relatively high rate.
Best one-on-one matchup
Taylor Gabriel vs. Tre'Davious White
White, the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month, predominantly aligns at left cornerback in the Bills defense. He should square off against Gabriel, the Falcons speedy pass-catcher, on more than a few occasions in this game.
Matt Ryan has targeted Gabriel 13 times so far this sason, and the wideout has 10 grabs for 129 yards with one touchdown, good for a passer rating of 133.2. He's averaging 2.11 yards per route run, a solid figure that's the 17th-best out of 91 qualifying wideouts.
Meanwhile, White has given up just nine receptions on 18 targets for 144 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Quarterbacks have a 53.9 passer rating when targeting White. He's allowed 1.15 yards per coverage snap, the 57th-best out of 109 qualifying cornerbacks.
The White vs. Gabriel matchup is intriguing, underrated, and will likely have a big bearing on the outcome of this AFC-NFC showdown.