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Week 17: Bills vs. Bengals Preview Cincinnati Bengals
Two teams are playing out the string in one of the few games on finale weekend that has no implications on the playoff picture. The Bills will be looking to finish the season strong against the league's worst team. The Bengals are the worst team in the league according to the standing but have played better of late and always play close games. They are coming off a stunning upset of possible playoff bound New Orleans. A win for the Bills and they will finish at .500. That would be a five game improvement on last year's record. The Bills aren't happy about not making the playoffs but blame for only two wins in their last seven games falls mostly on an offensive unit that has slumped tremendously in recent week.

Facts and Figures
Matchup: Cincinnati (2-13) at Buffalo (7-8)
Date: Sunday December 29, 2002
Place: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Time: 1:00pm
Television: CBS
Announcers: Don Criqui and Steve Tasker
Spread: Bills by 7
Series: Bengals leads 11-9 (2-0 in playoffs)
Last Meeting: Bills 33-20 in Cincinnati (1998)
Bengals Offense: Rush (18th); Pass (17th); overall (19th)
Bengals Defense: Rush (24th); Pass (11th); overall (17th)
Bills Offense: Rush (22nd); Pass (4th); overall (11th)
Bills Defense: Rush (31st); Pass (4th); overall (14th)

Injury Update

It is really shocking that the Bills have no injuries to report to the league in their 16th game. Jonas Jennings however can't be 100% yet as he struggled through the pain of a lower leg sprain last week against Green Bay.

The Bengals have the usual bumps and bruises for a season finale. They have eight players questionable or probable for the game including RB Corey Dillon who should play through a thigh bruise.

For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.

Key Matchups

LT Jonas Jennings vs. RE Justin Smith: Smith leads the team with seven sacks and will look to beat the hobbling Jennings. The line will look to redeem themselves from last week's performance but Smith will look to do what Vonnie Holliday did last week for Green Bay.

MLB London Fletcher vs. RB Corey Dillon: Dillon is the last but certainly not least, of the great backs the Bills have faced all year. Bottom line, if Fletcher can contain Dillon the Bills win the game.

WR Peerless Price vs. CB Jeff Burris: It will be a battle of an ex-Bill against what may be the next ex-Bill. This very well could be Price's last game as a Bill and if it is he would like to go out with a bang. He should be able to win this battle easily and show why he should have made the Pro Bowl.

RB Travis Henry vs. LB Takeo Spikes: Spikes isn't the man in the middle but he is the leading tackler on the Bengals. His job will be to contain Henry who usually flourishes against other team's top backs. Look for him to try to end the season on a high note after last week's debacle.

DE Aaron Schobel vs. TE Matt Schobel: Ok, so they won't matchup one on one but it will be interesting to see brother going against brother. The Bills' Schobel is coming into his own as needs 1 1/2 sacks in this game to reach the double digit mark for the season. His younger brother has caught 26 passes in his rookie season as he makes a push for the all-rookie team. The Bills need to account for him in the passing game.

Game Plan

When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills will attempt to run and should have success against the Bengals run defense. Once they get Henry going look for them to mix in the pass, especially the deep ball as Drew Bledsoe wants to go into the offseason on a high note.

When The Bengals Have The Ball: They too will look to run behind their star running back. Look for a lot of Dillon in this game as Kitna may not be accurate in a cold weather game.

Bills Daily Prediction

The Bills want to go into the offseason on a positive note. A loss to the Bengals will completely undo the good that has been done for the most part of the season. They know this, the Bengals had their one big morale boosting victory already last week against New Orleans. They are more likely to be running for the bus in this game: Bills 30, Bengals 14

Season Prediction Record: (10-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (9-6)

Complete Statistical Matchup
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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