Week 1: Bills vs. Dolphins
The new look Bills finally hit the field for real on Sunday as the Miami Dolphins come to town. The rivalry isn't what it once was but the Ralph will be packed and the crowd will be in a frenzy since its opening day. It will be interesting to see how the Bills react and play especially the new 3-4 defense that has been vulnerable in the preseason.
Sunday, Sept. 12th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-0) vs. Miami (0-0)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 705; Sirius: 130
||Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker
||Dolphins by 3
||Dolphins lead 52-35-1 (Bills 3-1 in playoffs)
||Bills Won 1
||Bills 31-14 in Buffalo (2009)
|Dolphins Off (2009):
||Rush (4th); Pass (20th); overall (17th)
|Dolphins Def: (2009)
||Rush (18th); Pass (24th); overall (22nd)
|Bills Offense (2009):
||Rush (16th); Pass (30th); overall (30th)
|Bills Defense (2009):
||Rush (30th); Pass (2nd); overall (19th)
The Bills have come through an injury riddled summer pretty well. They are now banged up at linebacker where Reggie Torbor, Cordaro Howard, and Kawika Mitchell have all missed practice time this week and will likely not play. They will have their injured running backs on the field as Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch will play. Jairus Byrd is also expected to play.
The Dolphins will likely get left tackle Jake Long back after being sidelined over three weeks with a knee injury. He has returned to practice. LB Channing Crowder remains sidelined with a groin injury and may not be ready to play. C Jake Grove has returned from a shoulder injury.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
CB Terrence McGee vs. RB Brandon Marshall:
Miami may be a run first team but Marshall is their biggest playmaker. McGee is the top player at the best position on the team. He usually does well against solid receivers.
OLB Aaron Maybin vs. LT Jake Long:
Maybin will only play on passing downs to rush the passer. He will go against one of the best tackles in the game but may have a chance to do something since Long will not be 100 percent as he comes back from a bum knee.
LB Paul Posluszny vs. RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams:
Poz will be the man that leads this team in tackles this year and he needs to be on top of his run stopping game against one of the best running back duos in the game.
LT Demetrius Bell vs. OLB Cameron Wake:
Bell needs to stay healthy this year and make a huge leap from last year's lackluster injury riddled season. Wake owned the Bills last year and Bell needs to keep him at bay to keep Trent Edwards upright.
RB C.J. Spiller vs. ILB Karlos Dansby:
All eyes will be on the Bills top rookie who was electrifying in the preseason to steal the starting job. Dansby comes over from Arizona where he was solid in the run game. He may need to do more this week if Crowder can't play because of his injury.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Sean Smith:
Evans goes against the second year pro in this game and will look to make a big play or two to get the offense going. He should have the advantage over the young but promising player.
When The Bills Have The Ball: This will be very interesting to watch. Chan Gailey is known as an offensive innovator and will likely use his full stable of running backs in various situations and spots on the field in different combinations. The confusion he will likely create could open up the passing game for Edwards and hide the deficiencies that still exist along the offensive line.
When The Dolphins Have The Ball: The physical Miami offense will likely to try to push the smaller Bills front seven around with a punishing running game. They will also try to get their talented running backs in space to create mismatches in the passing game as the Bills linebackers are still learning how to drop into pass coverage since many of them were defensive linemen last year.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
Miami is the better team everyone knows it but opening week is the great equalizer. Look for the Bills to put out an inspired effort at home to try and give the fans something to cheer about this year. This team will not be good but they may be entertaining and they may actually pull off the upset this week. On any given Sunday anyone can win, especially against a division rival at home to start the season:
Bills 31, Dolphins 27
Season Prediction Record: (0-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-0)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night Sept. 12th!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night Sept. 12th!