The NFL gets back to work this week after taking last week off out of respect to the tragedy of Tuesday September 11th. The teams are expected to have better focus in practice this week as they get set to resume the season. The Bills will be in Indianapolis in what will now be the Colts home opener. The Colts are definitely favored to win the division as they are coming off a dominating performance against the Jets on opening day. The Bills new look defense will struggle against the high powered offense of the Colts.
Facts and Figures
The Bills suffered the worst possible injury on opening day when Sam Cowart was lost for most if not all of the season with a partial tear of the achilles tendon. He had surgery on it this week and may be placed on season ending injured reserve. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Kenyatta Wright and Brandon Spoon will see some action as well. Cowart is expected to be on the shelf as long as Left Guard Jerry Ostroski who broke his leg in preseason. The only other injury of note for the Bills is Bryce Fisher who will play with a cast on his thumb. He had a screw inserted in it after he broke it on opening day. The Colts, like the Bills, had a chance to rest various bumps and bruises during the unscheduled bye. Their biggest injury belongs to Chad Bratzke but he is expected to play.
For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.
DB Antoine Winfield vs. WR Marvin Harrison: The Bills will try to keep their best corner against Harrison who is one of the best receivers in the game.
RB Travis Henry vs. LB Rob Morris: It will be up to the talented but still developing Morris to slow down the Bills new running attack led by Henry.
LT John Fina vs. DE Chad Bratzke: Fina struggled mightily against Joe Johnson in the opener now he faces another tough opponent in Bratzke. Fina needs to step it up or the makeshift offensive line is in trouble.
LB Kenyatta Wright vs. RB Edgerrin James: Expect the Colts to try to exploit the absence of Cowart by running at Wright. He is a good run stuffer and will need to be at his best for the Bills to slow down the talented James.
WR Eric Moulds vs. DB Jeff Burris: In a matchup of ex-teammates the Bills need to get Moulds open or they have no chance at winning.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills will once again try to establish the run to open up the passing game but they should try to go to the air more often earlier in the day to try and get Rob Johnson into a rhythm. They will run a lot with Travis Henry though to exploit the weaker Colts run defense. They will also try to keep Eric Moulds moving around in motion to get him the ball more often.
When The Colts Have The Ball: They will be able to go to a number of different weapons probably at will as the Bills will try to use many different formations to minimize the loss of Sam Cowart. Look for Peyton Manning to mix the passing game with the running of Edgerrin James who should be able to run very well against the depleted Bills defense.
Bills Daily Prediction
The Bills are desperately in the need of a good game after losing the opener but they are playing against one of the stronger teams in the conference. One intangible that is impossible to predict is which team will handle playing after last week's tragedy better. Look for the high powered Colts offense to devour a Bills defense that will miss the presence of Cowart. The Bills offense should play a bit better since the Colts defense isn't as good as the Saints defense. They will not be able to score enough points to win however: Colts 41, Bills 20
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