Week 15: Bills vs. Broncos
The Bills are officially eliminated from playoff contention and last week's loss to the Patriots may have eliminated them from playing for pride. This week the 10-3 Broncos come to town with plenty to play for in an unusual Saturday night special at the Ralph. Kelly Holcomb will start at QB for the injured J.P. Losman.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-9) vs. Denver (10-3)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Mike Tirico and Sterling Sharpe
||Broncos by 8½
||Bills lead 18-13-1 (Bills 1-0 in playoffs)
||Broncos 28-23 in Denver (2002)
||Rush (2nd); Pass (18th); overall (6th)
||Rush (2nd); Pass (29th); overall (23rd)
||Rush (19th); Pass (29th); overall (30th)
||Rush (31st); Pass (19th); overall (28th)
The Bills will be without QB J.P. Losman. He hurt his shoulder against New England and has not practiced. He may serve as the backup. Mike Williams has been out with a chest injury the past two weeks and is questionable for the game. Lauvale Sape is doubtful with an ankle injury suffered against the Patriots.
The Broncos are also very healthy. Their biggest injury is to starting corner Darrent Williams, he is day to day with a strained groin. OT Cornell Green missed last week's game with a shoulder injury. The status of both players is uncertain for this game. LB Keith Burns is battling a sprained MCL but he should be able to play.
Bills Daily Injury Page
QB Kelly Holcomb vs. FS John Lynch:
Losman will have to have more success through the air than he had last week. The player he needs on his radar screen is the veteran Lynch. He is a winner pure and simple and may be able to goat the young QB into some mistakes.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Champ Bailey:
Evans now is officially the go to receiver for Losman but with Holcomb at the controls Bailey may move his attention to Eric Moulds. Bailey has picked off passes in five straight games and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Rod Smith:
It's hard to believe that in his eleventh season Smith is still this much of a force. He is the main man for the Denver receiving game. He leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Clements needs to end his Jekyll and Hyde routine and come up big time this week.
RB Willis McGahee vs. The Denver Front Seven:
Can't single out one player, McGahee needs to get going but the front seven led by defensive linemen Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, and Trevor Pryce form a huge problem for McGahee along with linebackers Trevor Pryce, Ian Gold, and Al Wilson. It could be another long day in what has become a long second half of the season for McGahee.
LB London Fletcher vs RBs Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell:
The dynamic duo has combined for over 1,600 yards rushing. Anderson is the workhorse, while Bell is averaging nearly six yards a carry. Throw Ron Dayne into the mix and Fletcher will be as busy as he has been the past month of the season.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Matt Lepsis:
Schobel has come on the past six weeks and he needs to put the pressure on Plummer to take away the pass play and make the Broncos more one dimensional.
When The Bills Have The Ball: It's scary I know but the Bills will have to attack the Broncos through the air. They have no confidence in the running game and face the league's number two ranked run defense. They need to get the tight ends and running backs more involved in the passing game that may open up some draw plays.
When The Broncos Have The Ball: The recipe for success for the Broncos offensively is to run the ball with their two solid backs and to enhance that with a ball control, no mistake passing game from Jake Plummer. They should have no problem using this formula to move the ball against the Bills porous defense.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills proved last week that they have already run for the bus. At this point they are already on the golf course in their minds. This is a broken team that will have what few fans are in attendance turn on them at the turn of a dime. You thought last week was ugly? This week could be just as bad:
Broncos 31, Bills 10
Season Prediction Record: (8-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (7-5-1)
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