It's only Tuesday, but it's never too early to take a sneak peak at our next opponent:the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills lost a heartbreaker in Buffalo on Sunday 15-14 to the Denver Broncos on a last-second Jason Elam FG. I didn't watch the game, but from the sound of it, the Bills let one slip through their fingers. If I remember correctly, Elam missed a FG with about 2 minutes left that would have put the Broncos ahead. Instead, the Bills got the ball back, but failed to run out the clock, giving Jay Cutler one more opportunity to march down the field for the game-winner.
When Buffalo Has the Ball:
Rookie RB Marshawn Lynch looked pretty good for the Bills in his debut, rushing for 90 yards and a TD on 19 carries. The Bills probably should have fed him the ball more on Sunday, as JP Losman was only able to muster 91 yards through the air on 14-of-21 passing. If Marshawn Lynch can't get it going in the running game--which should be difficult given Casey Hampton & Co's ability to stop the run--it will probably be a long day for the Bills. Losman isn't terrible, but he's yet to prove that he's capable of taking over football games by himself.
Let's also not forget this is the home opener for Mike Tomlin and the Steelers at Heinz Field. You can count on it being loud and rowdy, so hopefully the Bills won't be able to find much of a rhythm offensively, which in turn, will allow Dick LeBeau to whip out his bag of tricks and bring pressure.
What to Fear:
Special Teams might be the only way Buffalo pulls this one out. Roscoe Parrish returned a punt for a 74-yard TD against Denver. Parrish, like so many other talented players from The U, is a speed-demon capable of changing the complexion of a game in a heartbeat. If we can limit his production, and not make any gaffes ourselves in the ST department, I like our chances a lot.
If you click through on the above link to the Bills' blog on SBN, you'll notice that Bills fans are frustrated with the conservative play calling. The consensus is the training wheels need to come off Losman if this team is going to continue to progress. If the Bills coaching staff is worth a hill of beans, they'll probably realize it will be tough sledding running the football against us. Instead, they should open things up in the passing game, and perhaps even throw in a trick play or two to keep us off-balance. We'll see if we're prepared for a different look than the one the Bills have shown the league the past year.
As most of you probably know by now, Kevin Everett suffered a career-ending, and potentially life-threatening injury on Sunday. The outlook is grim for Everett: a fractured cervical spine that might leave him paralyzed for life.
Everett was not a major part of the Bills attack, but it's clearly going to be a huge distraction for the team this week. You never want to gain an edge on an opponent because of an injury--especially one as serious as this--but the bottom line is it's going to be hard for the Bills to have a productive week of practice knowing that one of their teamates is in the hospital on life-support. Add that with the fact that the game is at Heinz, and you've got a recipe for an ugly game for Buffalo. Our thoughts certainly go out to the Everett family and the Bills organization during this horrible time.