Week 1: Bills vs. Broncos
After a long offseason and long training camp and preseason, the Bills are set to start the season against the Denver Broncos. The Bills are an incredibly young team that may take time to jell including the newly rebuilt offensive line. The Broncos are led by rising star QB Jay Cutler and are a veteran laden team.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-0) vs. Denver(0-0)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Gus Johnson and Randy Cross
||Broncos by 3½
||Bills lead 18-14-1 (Bills 1-0 in playoffs)
||Broncos Won 4
||Broncos 28-17 in Buffalo (2005)
|Broncos Off (2006):
||Rush (8th); Pass (25th); overall (21st)
|Broncos Def (2006):
||Rush (12th); Pass (21st); overall (14th)
|Bills Offense (2006):
||Rush (27th); Pass (28th); overall (30th)
|Bills Defense (2006):
||Rush (28th); Pass (7th); overall (18th)
The Bills enter the season a bit banged up. Ryan Denney is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot. Keith Ellison is also out with a high ankle sprain. Coy Wire will start for Ellison. Terrence McGee is recovering from a concussion but should be good to go. Lee Evans has been battling a sore calf but he's should be ready as well.
The Broncos have been without former Bills RB Travis Henry for a most of the preseason with a sprained knee. He will be ready for this game. CB Karl Paymah has been suffering from a concussion but could be ready to play as well. TE Stephen Alexander suffered a leg injury in the preseason finale.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LB Paul Posluszny vs. RB Travis Henry:
The former Bill ran wild in this stadium in December with the Titans. He will be fired up to face his former team again. The rookie Posluszny will be making his first career start and needs to get the jitters out of the way quickly since he will need to have a double digit tackle day to keep Henry at least slowed down a bit.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Matt Lepsis:
Schobel has to begin proving the large contract extension. This is a good chance for him to show the hometown crowd it was worth it. Lepsis is an 11 year veteran who could hold his own against Schobel.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Javon Walker:
McGee is now the team's number one cornerback and will face the top wide receivers around the league. The best the Broncos have to offer is Walker. This will be a good first test for McGee.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Champ Bailey:
This will be one heck of a battle. Evans takes on perhaps the best cover corner in the league in Bailey who will try to keep Evans from getting open deep.
WR Peerless Price vs. CB Dre Bly:
In a battle of two nine year veterans, Bly and Price will battle it out. Price needs to prove he can still be a competent number two.
RT Langston Walker vs. DE John Engelberger:
Walker will be under a heavy microscope since he signed a big contract after giving up double digit sacks last year in Oakland. His first test is another in a long line of veterans the Broncos have.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Look for them to finally unveil their new offense after keeping it under wraps all preseason. They should mix in some four and five wide receiver sets using Marshawn Lynch out wide in this scheme. Expect a decent amount of no huddle in this offense as well as the Bills look to keep the Broncos defense on their heels.
When The Broncos Have The Ball: They will run Henry left, run Henry right, run Henry up the middle. There is no reason to believe that the Bills will be better at stopping the run then they were last year, look for the Broncos to exploit that weakness.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
It's always tough predicting the outcome of the first game of the season. The Bills struggled throughout the preseason and if that carries over into the regular season they could be in trouble. The Broncos are always formidable but the game being in Buffalo may give the Bills a slight edge. Look for the 12th man to try to keep Cutler off his game but with Henry running strong the Bills could be in trouble. If they can keep him under 125 yards they will have a shot and for some reason I think they will find a way to pull this game out:
Bills 24, Broncos 20
Season Prediction Record: (0-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-0)
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Monday Evening!
Gameday Grades - Coming Monday Evening!