Week 2: Bills vs. Buccaneers
For the first time ever Tampa Bay will travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. In their 23 year history the Bucs have played the Bills eight times, all in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are coming off a loss to Dallas while the Bills home opener comes on a short week after the heartbreaking loss in New England. Can they recover in time to be ready for this game?
Sunday, Sept. 20th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-1) vs. Tampa Bay (0-1)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
||Bills by 5
||Bucs lead 6-2
||Bucs Won 3
||Buccaneers 19-3 in Tampa Bay (2005)
||Rush (5th); Pass (8th); overall (5th)
||Rush (24th); Pass (30th); overall (26th)
||Rush (13th); Pass (21st); overall (20th)
||Rush (9th); Pass (32nd); overall (29th)
The Bills will be without Paul Posluszny and Chris Kelsay. They were both injured on Monday night. Posluszny will be out a while with a broken arm. Kelsay hopes to play as an MRI was negative on his knee. Drayton Florence is recovering from a knee injury and hopes to return this week. Derek Fine is trying to come back from a hamstring injury. The release of Jonathan Stupar on Tuesday may mean he's closer to returning. Both are practicing on a limited basis. Aaron Schobel is bothered by a back ailment but should play. Marshawn Lynch is serving the second of his three game suspension.
The Buccaneers hope to have WR Antonio Bryant in the lineup. He left the loss to the Cowboys in the fourth quarter after banging his surgically repaired knee. C Jeff Faine is out a few weeks after suffering a triceps injury last week. G Jeremy Zuttah twisted his ankle last week but is ok. TE John Gilmore and DL Kyle Moore missed last week's game and will be questionable at best this week. Gimore has an ankle injury and Moore hurt his groin. Gilmore is practicing a bit. LB Adam Hayward seems ready to return after missing last week's game with an ankle injury. CB E.J. Biggers is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
LB Keith Ellison vs. TE Kellen Winslow:
Ellison was burned for two touchdowns down the stretch by Ben Watson last week. Winslow could be licking his chops. Look for Perry Fewell to give Ellison help with either Jairus Byrd or donte Whitner.
DT Marcus Stroud vs. RBs Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward:
Stroud will need to clog the middle so the two pronged running attack can't get to the weak and banged up linebacking corps. If the backs get past the front line there could be some big gains in the running game for Tampa Bay.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Donald Penn:
Schobel made his presence known as he is fully healed from his foot injury. In fact, he looked a bit faster on the interception return for a touchdown. Let's see if he can maintain his consistency.
LT Demetrius Bell vs. DE Gaines Adams:
Bell struggled mightily with four penalties in the opener. Hopefully he's correct his problems and will at least lineup on the line of scrimmage. He did ok in pass protection until the last minute drive in which he gave up two sacks. Adams could be licking his chops for a big day.
WR Terrell Owens vs. CB Rhonde Barber:
A battle with another seasoned veteran awaits Owens. Barber is a smart corner who could make a big play if Trent Edwards tries to force the deep ball to Owens.
RT Brad Butler vs. DE Jimmy Wilkerson:
Butler performed well in the opener and he needs to keep Wilkerson in check so Edwards has a chance to throw the ball downfield.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Is this the week they take their shots downfield? Tampa Bay's defense was burned deep by Dallas a lot last week and it is expected that the Bills will take their shots. Look for them to mix in plenty of screen passes that were successful last week as well as Fred Jackson may be the focal point of the offense once again.
When The Buccaneers Have The Ball: Their bread and butter is the running game. Look for them to give the Bills defense, that is weakened by the injury to Posluszny, a heavy does of both running backs. Since they have different running styles it could cause major problems for the Bills front seven. Look for the Bills to cheat a safety into the box to help out.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This game can go either way. One thought is that they are a close knit group and will rally around each other to avenge the devastating loss to New England. Another thought is they will be suffering from a hangover from that loss and with this being a short week they could self destruct against a beatable opponent. I'm in the former category. They seem closer than ever as a team possibly thanks in part to the vandalism incident against Leodis McKelvin. The fans will be fired up for the home opener and the Bills walk away with a much needed win:
Bills 27, Buccaneers 19
Season Prediction Record: (1-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-1)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
Game Recap - Coming Sunday Night!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night!