Week 15: Bills vs. Browns
The Bills are in turmoil after their second straight loss all but eliminated them from the playoff race. Now the winless Cleveland Browns come to Orchard Park which could be just what the doctor ordered. Of course, if they manage to lose this game the turmoil could intensify into a full blown shake up before the season is even over. Marcell Dareus guaranteed a victory but several Browns have said they will not go winless so there could be a better battle than many expect.
Sunday, Dec. 18th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (6-7) vs. Cleveland (0-13)
||New Era Field
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 705; Sirius: 133; SiriusXM 230
||Tom McCarthy and Adam Archuleta
||Bills by 10
||Browns lead 11-8 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Bills Won 1
||Bills 26-10 in Buffalo (2014)
||Rush (25th); Pass (28th); overall (30th)
||Rush (31st); Pass (17th); overall (31st)
||Rush (1st); Pass (31st); overall (20th)
||Rush (28th); Pass (7th); overall (18th)
The Bills are fairly healthy although they lost another safety for the season when James Ihedigbo went on injured reserve with a broken ankle. Kyle Williams is hopeful to return this week after missing last week's game with a back issue. Lerentee McCray remains sidelined with a concussion and could miss his second straight game. Sammy Watkins, Cordy Glenn, and Charles Clay are playing through various bumps and bruises.
The Browns are also in pretty good shape with OL Joe Thomas missing practice time this week with a knee injury. LB Dominique Alexander, WR Ricardo Louis, DT Jamie Meder, and DB Jamar Taylor have been limited during the week but should play.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Christian Kirksey:
McCoy should be able to put up good numbers against the second worst run defense in the league. Kirksey has been a tackling machine for Cleveland. McCoy needs to make sure those tackles happen well downfield.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Emmanuel Ogbah:
Glenn has been solid but he has been struggling with ankle and back issues all year long. The Rookie Ogbah has been a decent pass rusher leading the team with 4½ sacks.
DB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Terrelle Pryor:
Gilmore is playing fantastic football over the last month and he will go against a quarterback turned wide receiver in Pryor. The former Buckeye has been a good offensive weapon as he leads the team with nearly double the amount of receiving yards as anyone else on the team.
LB Zach Brown vs. RB Isaiah Crowell:
The Bills have struggled against the run and need to focus on the run defense this week. That means Zach Brown needs to get back on track against Crowell who has done some good things for a stagnant offense.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Don't Let Browns Gain Confidence: When a winless team comes to town in December you need to put the hammer on them early and often. If the Bills struggle out of the gate the Browns may gain confidence and will remain interested in the game. If the Bills get an early lead there is a good chance Cleveland will quit.
2. Run Well: The Browns run defense is bad and Shady will be looking to rebound from a tough game last week. If he gets going along with Mike Gillislee the Bills can use the ground and pound to victory just as Rex Ryan wrote it up.
3. Ignore Outside Distractions: The team needs to put out of their heads all the talk of changes and focus on the game. If they do that they are by far the more talented team and should be able to win the game for the embattled head coach.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
I continue to roll in picking Bills games as you can see by my record below. There is no way the Bills should lose this game but like everything with this team nothing comes easy. I can see Cleveland hanging around and giving Buffalo a real scare. The Bills have beaten almost all the teams they were expected to beat this season and I expect them to pull this game out as well, but it likely won't be pretty:
Bills 24, Browns 20
Season Prediction Record: (12-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (11-2)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Evening!
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