The Buffalo Bills have concluded training camp at St. John Fisher College, and head out to Minnesota to take on the seemingly rebuilding Vikings.
With the regular season inching closer, the Bills have three more games to fine-tune themselves for their opening game against the New York Jets.
What are some things to look for during the game? Let's take a gander:
1) Coming out party for Mario Williams?
- Mario Williams made his heavily anticipated debut against the Washington Redskins, but Bills fans didn't really get to see his pass-rushing prowess. That could change in an extended time on on the field against a less than stellar right tackle in Phil Loadholt. The tackle is slow, prodding and can be taken advantage of if you get him off-balance. Mix that all in with the Bills experienced defensive line going up against a quarterback who is still learning his position (Christian Ponder), and those first 20 plays could be productive for the front four.
2) Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will actually run the ball
- Geared up for his first game back since he was injured in the Miami game last season, Fred Jackson left Ralph Wilson Stadium with the same amount of carries as the final six weeks of 2011 combined -- zero. The Bills elected to go with a no huddle look, and the vanilla base defense of Washington never adjusted to Buffalo's personnel. That led Ryan Fitzpatrick to call a pass play every single time. This will not be the case against Minnesota. All week long the Bills have been working on the run and figure to establish the ground attack early and often against the Vikings.
3) Big test for Cordy Glenn, again
- It was up in the air leading up to the game, but it looks like Jared Allen will be able to play against the Bills. He likely won't have every rep at left tackle like last week, but rookie Cordy Glenn will certainly see Allen lined up in front of him at least a few times. He went up against Orakpo and performed relatively well, but wasn't dominant by any means. Glenn and Chris Hairston both have a big task at hand in trying to stop one of the most productive pass-rushers in the current NFL landscape.
4) Fitzpatrick vs. young Vikings secondary
- The Vikings needed help in the secondary in the worst way following their dismal performance in that area last season. The team used two early picks on free safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Josh Robinson to help those efforts. While both are still trying to earn their way up the depth chart, some of the holdovers from last season remain. Players like Mistral Raymond and Jamarca Sanford will get some time against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the first team. As potential liabilities, Fitzpatrick could do quite well against that safety duo. The always steady Antoine Winfield is still roaming around as a starting cornerback, however. He played in only five games last season.
5) Not today, All Day.
- It's a bit remarkable that Adrian Peterson is getting close to being able to compete in game action with so little time in between him blowing out his knee and this season. Peterson has been practicing with a strict 'Do not hit Adrian or you're cut' edict from Vikings coaches to defensive players. In his absence will be former Stanford standout Toby Gerhart. A less explosive back, but one that Bills' linebackers will have to wrap-up every time. He's a load to bring down.