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Week 4: Bills vs. Saints
at
Sunday, Oct. 2nd
1:00pm ET

Stats Matchup
This is a matchup of two struggling teams that will be filled with emotion. The Saints will have their first "pseudo home game" as they make their San Antonio debut. They will play three games there and four in Baton Rouge. Their first official home game was at Giants Stadium. Both teams are come in on two game losing streaks and they both desperately need a win to get back on track.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Matchup: Buffalo (1-2) vs. New Orleans (1-2)
Place: Alamodome in San Antonio
Television: CBS
Announcers: Don Criqui and Rich Gannon
Spread: Saints by 1
Series: Bills lead 4-3
Last Meeting: Saints 24-6 in Buffalo (2001)
Saints Offense: Rush (20th); Pass (11th); overall (11th)
Saints Defense: Rush (26th); Pass (18th); overall (t-23rd)
Bills Offense: Rush (11th); Pass (31st); overall (31st)
Bills Defense: Rush (32nd); Pass (1st); overall (7th)


INJURY UPDATE

The Bills begin the post Takeo Spikes era as the heart and soul of the defense is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Two other important members of the defense, London Fletcher and Lawyer Milloy are hampered with hamstring and thumb injuries respectively. They are both playing through their injuries however. Roscoe Parrish remains out after undergoing wrist surgery in the preseason. Tim Euhus may make his first appearance of the year as he is rounding back into shape after suffering a strained pectoral muscle in the preseason. Coy Wire has a thigh contusion and his status is uncertain.

The Saints will be without SS Jay Bellamy who injured his rotator cuff in Minnesota last week. CB Fakhir Brown is out with a bruised knee. He is out for the year. DL Brian Young has an arm injury and Joe Horn is slowed by a strained hamstring. RB/KR Aaron Stecker will miss the game with a high ankle sprain.
Bills Daily Injury Page

KEY MATCHUPS

RT Mike Williams or Greg Jerman vs. LB Darren Howard:
If Williams can't go again it will be up to Jerman to hold off the Saints best pass rusher. Howard has 1½ sacks already and causes havoc in the middle of the defense.

QB J.P. Losman vs. MLB Courtney Watson:
The struggling Losman will have to watch out for Watson who causes havoc in the middle of the Saints defense. He is tied for the team league with 15 tackles.

WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Jason Craft:
This is a matchup the Bills could exploit. With Brown and Bellamy out in the Saints secondary the Bills should have some holes in the defensive backfield. That is if Losman can get the ball into Moulds hands. The Bills veteran is looking for a breakout game, it could come this week.

CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Joe Horn:
Unless the Bills swap cornerbacks, McGee will be lined up against the Saints best offensive weapon in Horn. He may be locked up one on one with him at times as the Bills are expected to bring a heavy does of blitzes at QB Aaron Brooks.

LB Angelo Crowell vs. RB Deuce McAllister:
Besides Horn, McAllister is the best weapon the Saints got. With Spikes out and Fletcher slowed by injury, all eyes will be on Crowell in his first NFL start.

LB Jeff Posey vs. TE Ernie Conwell:
With Milloy slowed by injury, Posey will most likely get the call to handle the Saints tight end. Conwell is a solid outlet receiver that has become a favorite target of Brooks.

GAME PLAN

When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills may finally attack a defense with some intermediate passing routes. They hopefully have learned their lesson from last week and will try to exploit another banged up secondary that is missing two starters. This will loosen up the running game and give Losman confidence if he can connect on a few big passes early. If they get a lead they will then rely on the running of Willis McGahee against a relatively weak Saints run defense.

When The Saints Have The Ball: Look for the Saints to counter the Bills aggressive, blitz happy attack with plenty of misdirection runs and screen passes to take advantage of over pursuing defenders. They will likely try to mimic the Falcons zone blocking schemes that confused the Bills defense. If they are successful, it could be another long day for the Bills defense.

BILLS DAILY PREDICTION

This is a tough game to pick. How will the Bills defense respond without Spikes in the lineup? How fired up will the Saints be playing in San Antonio? Will Losman be able to put together a good game? If the Bills can hold off the initial emotional burst of the Saints and hang in there in the first half they should be able to control the game in the second half behind the running of McGahee. The loss of Spikes may just deflate the defense however. The way they have played though, I have no confidence that they will be able to do that until they prove otherwise:
Saints 27, Bills 13

Season Prediction Record: (1-2)
Season Record Against The Spread: (1-2)

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