Week 3: Bills vs. Raiders
The Bills continue to ride high as they look for their first 3-0 start since 1992 when they were in the middle of the Super Bowl era. The Raiders come in as a team in disarray as their head coach is on the firing line but still remains the coach at this time although his relationship with owner Al Davis means he can be fired at anytime. Despite all this the Raiders are coming off an impressive road win in Kansas City and if the Bills aren't careful they can be in for a bigger battle than they expect.
Sunday, Sept. 21st
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-0) vs. Oakland (1-1)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Don Criqui and Dan Fouts
||Bills by 9
||Raiders lead 19-17 (Bills 2-0 in playoffs)
||Raiders Won 4
||Raiders 38-17 in Oakland (2005)
||Rush (2nd); Pass (31st); overall (13th)
||Rush (13th); Pass (21st); overall (18th)
||Rush (22nd); Pass (11th); overall (16th)
||Rush (11th); Pass (8th); overall (5th)
The Bills continue their string of good luck injury wise as they came out of the win over Jacksonville without any new significant injuries. Derek Fine remains sidelined after having thumb surgery but has started working out and is closing in on returning in the next few weeks.
Oakland RB Justin Fargas injured his groin last week during the win over Kansas City. He is had an MRI and he may miss this week's game. RB Darren McFadden was stellar in his place but he has a toe injury. It isn't considered serious and he will play on Sunday. WR Javon Walker has been bothered by a hamstring injury but he says he's ready to contribute. He played last week and will play on Sunday. OT Kwame Harris has been out with a knee injury but will return to practice this week. It is unknown if he will return to action for this game. DL Kalimba Edwards has been bothered by a groin injury but is playing.
Bills Daily Injury Page
DT Marcus Stroud vs. RB Darren McFadden:
The explosive rookie had 164 yards rushing last week. Stroud needs to keep McFadden under wraps or else he could break a long one at anytime. They need to contain him in the middle and not let him get outside.
RB Marshawn Lynch vs. DTs Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren:
The two heralded tackles for the Raiders do a decent job against the run. Lynch has yet to explode and needs a big game this week to keep the Raiders under wraps. It remains to be seen if the arrest on suspicion of DUI by Kelly on Monday will effect his playing status or his play during the game.
WR Lee Evans vs. CBs DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha:
Evans moves around a lot in this offense and will face both talented corners the Raiders have. Hall leads the team in tackles and Asomugha is an underrated pro bowl player. If Evans can make plays against this impressive duo the Bills offense will be more successful.
S Donte Whitner vs. TE Zach Miller:
Whitner will be keeping a close eye on Miller who leads the Raiders with six receptions and 58 yards. If they can keep him bottled up it will make it harder for young QB JaMarcus Russell.
P Brian Moorman vs. P Shane Lechler:
If this game is close it could come down to field position. That makes the punter battle even more intriguing since these two are the best in the game.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Kwame Harris or Mario Henderson:
Schobel is off to a slow start but is known for getting sacks in bunches throughout his career. This would be a good time to get hot against the hobbled Harris if he can go. If not, Henderson will get the call again and the pro bowler should have success against a backup.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Look for the Bills to give the Raiders defense a wide array of looks and schemes to confuse them. Look for a lot of short passes mixed in with a bomb or two. They may spend more time trying to establish the running game than they did in the first two weeks as well.
When The Raiders Have The Ball: The passing attack is anemic as Russell undergoes growing pains and a weak wide receiver corps. Look for them to feed the ball to McFadden early and often in hopes that he breaks a long run or two.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
Conventional wisdom says the Bills will win easy. After all, when was the last time they were nine point favorites in a game? The team must avoid the dreaded letdown after last week's emotional win. It also remains to be seen how much the heat last week really took out of them. They weren't ready to practice on Monday and may be a bit behind and sluggish this week. The Raiders may be scrappy and with a huge big play threat in McFadden they may keep this game close. Expect the Bills to pull it out but despite playing poorer than they have this season so far:
Bills 17, Raiders 9
Season Prediction Record: (2-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (2-0)
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Sunday!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday!