Following their Week One win, the Buffalo Bills face a stiff test against a team that used their physicality to win on Monday night.
The Oakland Raiders come to town to take on the Bills in a battle between victorious teams. There will be plenty of intrigue on the matchup, as the Bills try to go two-for-two in 2011.
Here are some of the key storylines heading in:
1) Run DMC
- The biggest point of emphasis this week for the Bills defenders has been finshing tackles and using a gang mentality against the Raiders offense. Oakland starts and finishes with their run game -- and most notably, Darren McFadden. The former first round pick rushed for 150 yards in the first week, leading the league in that capacity. McFadden is an incredibly physical runner that can and will use his big frame to gain extra yardage. When you watch his games you see a player that sprints as fast as he can, and one that does not let up as contact is about to come his way. His yards after first contact are through the roof. Backup runner Michael Bush and fullback Marcel Reese are also tough to bring down. The Bills tackled well against Kansas City, but they have to be even better to stop Oakland.
2) Smashmouth Defensive Line
- Richard Seymour leads an incredibly efficient defensive line that limited Denver to only 38 yards rushing last week. Seymour is joined by Tommy Kelly, Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy along the line. In Week One, that group provided penetration to stop plays before they even start. Seymour had two sacks, meanwhile the entire team had five. But Seymour did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. He did suit up for Friday's practice, and is listed as questionable for the game. If he can't play, John Henderson will likely take his spot in the lineup. The Bills offensive line, who had a tremendous effort against Kansas City, will be tested even more against this Raiders front with or without Seymour.
3) Speed Kills
- It's true, the Raiders love running the football. But to help keep defenders out of the box pre-snap, Oakland likes to go deep in the passing game from time-to-time. That's why you would probably see Jason Campbell target Darrius Heyward-Bey early and often. Heyward-Bey had the ball thrown his way seven times against Denver, roping in four catches in the process. But Hewyard-Bey might not be able to play after injuring his knee on Thursday at practice. He was seen with a heavy wrap on the knee during Friday's session. Denarius Moore, Nick Miller, Derek Hagan and Chaz Schilens are the only healthy receivers if DHB can't go. Still, Denarius Moore is one of the 'it' guys in Oakland that a lot of fans are excited about. He'll likely be a speed threat if DHB can't play. Leodis McKelvin said the Bills cornerbacks have to go in to it with a top down approach, to limit the speedy wide receivers' effectiveness.
4) Attack the Corners
- With the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha through free agency, the Raiders are depending on Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson to keep opponent's receivers at bay. While Routt is dependable, he's not spectacular. Johnson has been hampered by a groin injury, and sitting behind him are rookies DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwe and second year player Joe Porter who's just getting back from a concussion. Johnson practiced this week, but plays a position where you need to turn your hips and be fluid in doing so. A groin injury isn't the best ingredient to yield success with that. Following Ryan Fitzpatrick's solid performance against Kansas City, the Bills can find a major advantage in attacking that injured and inexperienced unit.
5) Raider Fatigue
- The record of West Coast teams playing on Monday Night Football that have their next game on the East Coast at 1 pm predominantly favors the home teams. With a shortened work week and not a lot of time to recuperate, the Raiders may be behind the eight-ball heading in to this contest.
Injuries Buffalo - OUT: CB Terrence McGee
- DOUBTFUL: NT Torell Troup
- PROBABLE: WR Stevie Johnson, LB Arthur Moats Oakland
- OUT: WR Jacoby Ford, S Michael Mitchell, WR Louis Murphy
- QUESTIONABLE: TE Kevin Boss, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, S Michael Huff, DT Richard Seymour
- PROBABLE: QB Jason Campbell, CB Chris Johnson, HB Darren McFadden, DE Jarvis Moss, CB Joe Porter
Prediction: Bills 26, Raiders 16
- While stopping Darren McFadden is a scary proposition for Buffalo, I don't believe in Jason Campbell enough as a quarterback to come back from a deficit. If the Bills get their passing game going against the weak Raiders cornerbacks, they can put Oakland on their heels the remainder of the game. I think Buffalo will be 2-0, giving the fans their very first win at home this season.