Week 9: Bills vs. Packers
The Bills come off the bye hoping to put a three game losing streak behind them. They will unveil their new look offensive line in this game as they have juggled three spots on the line but added only one new player. The Packers are red hot now, winning their last two games and come to Western New York with a lot of confidence that could spell more problems for the Bills. Brett Favre is playing more like the QB of old then the one that has been under center the past two years.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-5) vs. Green Bay (3-4)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Ron Pitts and Terry Donahoe
||Bills by 3½
||Bills lead 6-3
||Packers Won 1
||Packers 10-0 in Green Bay (2002)
||Rush (12th); Pass (8th); overall (9th)
||Rush (t-9th); Pass (32nd); overall (30th)
||Rush (23rd); Pass (28th); overall (29th)
||Rush (18th); Pass (14th); overall (15th)
The Bills used the bye week to partly get healthy but they have a bunch of players that are battling nagging injuries. Ryan Denney, Ryan Neufeld, and Sam Aiken are all battling injuries that is keeping them out of practice. Denney has a groin and hamstring injury. Neufeld has a heel injury and Aiken has a hamstring strain as well. Roscoe Parrish has been slowed by a hamstring problem of his own but he played last week despite the injury. Tutan Reyes has a shoulder injury but should be ready to assume his backup duties this week. Jabari Greer is battling an undisclosed injury. Matt Bowen says he's ready to go and may make his Bills' debut this week. He has been battling a fracture in his lower leg that happened in the preseason opener.
The Packers didn't have the benefit of a bye this past weekend and had several players banged up in their win over Arizona. RB Vernand Morency hurt his back and is out this week. WR Donald Driver sprained his ankle against Arizona but is expected to play. FB Brandon Miree hurt his elbow and will likely be doubtful for the game. TE David Martin suffered a jaw injury but is expected to play. DL Cullen Jenkins is questionable with an ankle injury. WR Greg Jennings missed the Cardinals game with an ankle injury but has a good chance of playing this week. LB Ben Taylor was held out with a hamstring injury but is expected to practice this week.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LT Jason Peters vs. RDE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila:
Peters gets a huge test in his first start protecting J.P. Losman's blind side. Gbaja-Biamila only has 3 sacks this year but he's threat to get to the passer on every snap.
RT Terrence Pennington vs. LDE Aaron Kampman:
It will be a welcome to the NFL moment for this rookie. The 7th round pick Pennington goes against the man that has spent the most time in the backfield of any Packer. Kampman is tied for the NFL lead with a whopping 8½ sacks. He could have a field day but at least Losman should see him coming and be able to protect the ball. Expect the Bills to give Pennington plenty of help blocking from the tight end position.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Greg Jennings:
Assuming Jennings is healthy enough to go, he will create problems for the Bills. Jennings has become Brett Favre's favorite target and will be lined up next to Clements who has yet to live up to his title of playmaker this year.
RB Willis McGahee vs. LB A.J. Hawk:
The rookie from Ohio State has not been a disappointment as he is all over the field and is 2nd in tackles for the Packers. He is likely the man who will chase McGahee down and keep his yardage numbers down.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Donald Driver:
McGee has been downright awful this year and will get another huge test with Driver. You think Favre will challenge McGee knowing his confidence is shot?
LB London Fletcher vs. RB Ahman Green:
Fletcher is still putting up numbers but he's not making the big plays. He will be the man that will have to stop Green from getting the big gainers after he gets through the week middle of the Bills defensive line.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Al Harris:
Evans goes up against a wily veteran in Harris. If Losman is to have success against a weak pass defense, Evans must have a big day.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills need to attack the weakness of the Packers, and that is the pass defense. Losman needs to hit a few passes, preferably downfield as early as possible to get his confidence up. They should have success there and that should open up some draw plays for the running game.
When The Packers Have The Ball: Green Bay is a passing team first and they will try to attack the struggling corners and the young safeties. Favre should be able to pick this secondary apart and gain big chunks of yardage through the air. Green should also have success running the ball as well, especially if the Bills don't take away the passing game.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
One would hope that the Bills will be ready to play coming off a bye. The Packers have one two straight and are confident, but they may look past the Bills and think this is a victory. The Bills are tougher at home and I do think they'll be ready to play and get back on the winning track in a close one:
Bills 23, Packers 17
Season Prediction Record: (3-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-4)
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