Week 9: Bills vs. Cowboys
The Bills have had two weeks to stew over the annihilation they took at the hands of the Chiefs. They supposedly worked hard over the bye week on fundamentals and got a jump start on preparing for this week's game against the Cowboys. The Bills enter the second half of the season under enormous pressure to turn around a mediocre first half. The Cowboys fly into the second half of the season as one of the league's most surprising teams. Dallas leads the NFC East by a game and are looking to add to that at home.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-4) vs. Dallas (6-2)
||Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, & Armen Keteyian
||Cowboys by 4
||Cowboys 5-3 (Bills 0-2 in Super Bowls)
||Bills 10-7 in Buffalo (1996)
||Rush (7th); Pass (16th); overall (10th)
||Rush (3rd); Pass (1st); overall (1st)
||Rush (32nd); Pass (21st); overall (27th)
||Rush (15th); Pass (3rd); overall (3rd)
The Bills used the bye week to heal some injuries. Eric Moulds should be close to full strength after missing two games and being hampered against KC with a tear in his groin. Ron Edwards has missed three games with a strained shoulder, hopefully the bye week helped get him ready to return. Sammy Morris is back after having hernia surgery. OT Jonas Jennings suffered a hip flexor for the second time in a month against KC. He should be ready to go against Dallas. Willis McGahee is likely to be added to the active roster but will likely be inactive as he recovers from his torn ligaments in his knee.
The Cowboys were without FB Richie Anderson last week against Washington with a herniated disc. It is the first game he has missed since 1998. They expect him to be ready for this week's contest. TE James Whalen missed his second straight game against Washington with a leg injury. The Cowboys placed C Gennaro DiNapoli on injured reserve last week with a severely sprained ankle. LG Larry Allen was in and out of the Redskins game with a hyper-extended knee but it is not considered serious. OT Flozell Adams suffered a shoulder contusion against Washington but played through it.
We will update the injury situation as the week progresses.
Bills Daily Injury Page
QB Drew Bledsoe vs. FS Roy Williams:
Williams is turning into an all star and he will be watching Bledsoe's every move. Drew must be aware of wear the young stud is on every play. Williams may hang back to try and get a pick or blitz the QB. He has two sacks on the year.
RT Mike Williams vs. LE Greg Ellis:
Williams has suffered from a sophomore slump and needs to break out of it this week as he will be matched up with a very formidable foe. Ellis leads the Cowboys with 2.5 sacks and will try to disrupt the passing game by getting to Bledsoe quickly.
RB Travis Henry vs. LB Dat Nguyen:
Nguyen is fast becoming one of the better players on a very good, young defense. He leads the team in tackles and is second in sacks. He will be the key to slowing down a red hot Henry and the Bills running game.
CB Antoine Winfield vs. WR Terry Glenn:
Glenn has been red hot for the Cowboys and the Bills will likely try to matchup their best cover corner on him. If Glenn makes some big plays it will put the offense in an adverse situation and we all know they have not responded to them this year, especially on the road.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Flozell Adams:
Adams manhandled Bruce Smith last week, now it is Schobel's turn. The Bills best pass rusher needs to get to the quarterback on a more consistent basis and this week it will be very tough for him to do.
HC Gregg Williams vs. HC Bill Parcells:
This isn't a matchup that the Bills could win but Williams and his staff have had two weeks to prepare the perfect gameplan. If they have been successful they could gain a draw in this matchup. If they haven't been successful, Williams should probably put his house in the Buffalo area on the market on Monday.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The players re-iterated their desire to run. Look for the coaches to abide by their wishes. The Bills will try to run as much as possible to take the pressure off of Drew Bledsoe and the passing attack. Look for the team to finally try to pound it out in the red zone to have more success down close than they have had in the recent past.
When The Cowboys Have The Ball: The Cowboys have been successful with a balanced attack and will continue to mix in runs with the passing game. Quincy Carter is a mobile quarterback and may give the Bills defenders fits. Look for Dallas to keep the pocket moving to counter act the Bills speedy defenders.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
On paper there is no reason for the Bills to pull this game out. They have struggled mightily on the road during the Bledsoe era and there isn't much reason for that to change now. However, I think it will. The Bills have lost three games this year against team's coming off of a bye, now it is their turn. They have been very successful in the past following the bye week and the two weeks to regroup and prepare will hopefully give them the edge they need to pull of an upset that they must have:
Bills 16, Cowboys 13
Season Prediction Record: (5-3)
Season Record Against The Spread: (5-3)
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