Week 7: Bills vs. Raiders
The Bills head to the West Coast to play in a place they haven't won in since 1966. They go in with a lot of confidence as they have won two straight and are tied for first place in the mediocre AFC East. The Raiders are reeling as they lost to the Chargers at home last week and are now 1-4. Throw the records and streaks out in this one, the men in black seem to own the Bills on the West Coast, this will be a barnburner.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (3-3) vs. Oakland (1-4)
||Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon
||Raiders by 3
||Raiders lead 18-17 (Bills 2-0 in playoffs)
||Raiders 13-10 in Oakland (2004)
||Rush (31st); Pass (5th); overall (13th)
||Rush (22nd); Pass (28th); overall (28th)
||Rush (6th); Pass (31st); overall (29th)
||Rush (30th); Pass (1st); overall (10th)
The Bills continue to get healthy. It is feasible that every member of the team that is not on injured reserve or PUP could be available. Takeo Spikes and Ron Edwards are out for the year. Tim Euhus, Mike Williams, and Coy Wire returned last week. There were no new injuries against the Jets. Roscoe Parrish is the lone question mark. He is practicing and may make his NFL debut on Sunday.
The big injury news for the Raiders is the uncertainty surrounding Randy Moss. He is their best offensive weapon and left last week's loss to the Chargers in the first quarter with rib and groin injuries. He was very sore on Monday but there are no tears according to the MRI results. The team will wait until later in the week to make a decision on his status. We will update this preview later in the week. C Jake Grove, TEs John Paul Roschi and Randal Williams are all questionable with leg and knee injuries. LB DeLawrence Grant is also questionable with an ankle injury.
Bills Daily Injury Page - For the latest injury information throughout the week.
RB Willis McGahee vs. LB Danny Clark:
McGahee is really playing well, Clark mans the middle of the Raiders defense and will be keeping an eye out for him all game long.
FS Troy Vincent vs. QB Kerry Collins:
The Raiders love to throw the football, so look for Collins to go downfield. Vincent needs to be in better position to stop big gains then he was at times last week against the Jets.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Jerry Porter:
McGee will draw Porter most of the game. If Moss can't go then the Bills can double team Porter.
WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Charles Woodson:
A battle of two veterans. Moulds has had a resurgence since Kelly Holcomb has taken over at QB. He has caught 14 passes in two games and continues to be the focal point of the passing game.
LB London Fletcher vs RB LaMont Jordan:
If Moss can't go, Jordan becomes the number one weapon for the Raiders. Fletcher will have to find a way to slow him down in the running and passing game.
LT Mike Gandy vs. DE Derrick Burgess:
Gandy will have his hands full when Burgess comes in the game. He isn't a starter but he leads the team with five sacks. Gandy and fellow tackle Mike Williams will have to watch for him since he can come from either side.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills have found their offensive identity since Holcomb took over as QB. That is run the ball 30 times a game with McGahee. The Raiders have a weak defense against the run, but an even weaker defense against the pass. Look for the Bills to continue what they did against the Jets. Mix in the runs with short passes to take advantage of the outside linebackers who are converted defensive linemen in former Bill Grant Irons and Tyler Brayton.
When The Raiders Have The Ball: The Raiders love to throw the ball often but that would play into the strength of the Bills defense as they lead the league in pass defense. If Moss can't go that will further hinder the passing attack the Raiders love so much. Look for them to attack the Bills weakness and make Jordan the focus of the offense this week. They may also give Zack Crockett some carries since he's a load to bring down.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
On paper this should be an easy win for the Bills, they are flying high and the Raiders are reeling. It is never that easy for the Bills or the entire league for that matter. Throw in a cross country trip to a place that has been house of horrors in the past, you have the makings of a possible bad loss. The Bills defense matches up well with the Raiders offense and I expect a big effort from that side of the ball with a timely takeaway or two to pull out a tough win:
Bills 21, Raiders 17
Season Prediction Record: (3-3)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-3)
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