Week 2: Bills vs. Raiders
The Bills and Raiders enter week 2 trying to shake the bad feeling of tough losses. The Bills lost on the final play to Jacksonville and the Raiders valiant comeback effort in Pittsburgh went for naught after the Steelers hit a last second field goal to win the game. This game may come down to which team has the shortest memory and gets over their opening day loss. The game marks the home opener for Oakland so the rowdy fans of the silver and black should be in rare form.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-1) vs. Oakland (0-1)
||Network Associates Coliseum
||Gus Johnson and Brent Jones
||Raiders by 3 1/2
||Series Tied 17-17 (2-0 playoffs)
||Raiders 49-31 in Buffalo (2002)
||Rush (30th); Pass (4th); overall (12th)
||Rush (16th); Pass (4th); overall (4th)
||Rush (19th); Pass (25th); overall (28th)
||Rush (9th); Pass (7th); overall (2nd)
The Bills came out of their opener with no serious new injuries. Travis Henry suffered from leg cramps that caused him to miss the fourth quarter of the Jaguars game. He is expected to be fine for this game. Lawyer Milloy remains out with a broken forearm.
The Raiders also came out of their loss with no serious injuries. Left Guard Frank Middleton and WR Ronald Curry left that game with cramps but both should be ready to roll this week. Linebackers Napolean Harris and Sam Williams missed the Steelers game with knee and shoulder injuries respectively. Both players are practicing and should be available this week.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LG Lawrence Smith vs. DE Warren Sapp:
Smith held up well in his matchup on opening day and draws another tough test against Sapp. Since the Raiders play a 3-4 Sapp moves outside and he can give Smith fits but he should get help from Jonas Jennings.
C Trey Teague vs. DT Ted Washington:
Teague draws the biggest tackle in the league in the former Bill. If he can keep Washington at bay without too much help from the guards it should make it easier for the running game.
S Izell Reese vs. QB Rich Gannon:
Reese is the quarterback of the defense at free safety and he will have to have his head on a swivel as Gannon will be going to the air often. If Reese reads things right it could make things harder for the Raiders offense.
WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Charles Woodson:
Woodson didn't miss a beat after missing all of preseason in a contract dispute. Moulds seems to round back into form with eight catches last week after being hampered by a groin injury most of last season. Moulds will be looking for vindication after his fumble was one of the plays that cost the Bills against Jacksonville.
RE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Barry Sims:
Schobel will need to get a lot of pressure on Gannon to slow down the Raiders passing attack. He needs to beat Sims during the one on one battles and that will help the overall rush without resorting to too many blitz packages.
CB Troy Vincent vs. WR Jerry Porter:
Vincent will likely line up against the best receiver the Raiders have in Porter. Vincent should be able to handle this matchup, which would force Gannon to look at secondary options.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills run up against a tough run defense for the second week in a row. They face two behemoths in the middle again but that didn't stop them from running last week and it shouldn't stop them again in Oakland. Look for them to open up the offense a bit more though. They should take a couple of shots downfield and look for a gadget play or two as well.
When The Raiders Have The Ball: The Raiders are a passing team and will try to get the short passing game going as they run the West Coast offense. The Bills will try to tee of on the passing game with the zone blitz but they can get burned so they have to be careful not to let a short pass go the distance.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This is a tough one to call as both teams will have to shake off their disappointing opening day to get a win. The Bills are desperate because in 0-2 start before the bye and then the World Champs coming to town can put the season in the tank quickly. It may come down to who has more mental toughness. The Bills haven't shown any for a few years now and I don't expect them to start now:
Raiders 24, Bills 13
Season Prediction Record: (0-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-1)
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