The Bills come out after the bye with a big divisional matchup at home against the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills will need a victory to keep in the early season hunt for the division title. The Colts will also need the win as this is the beginning of a three game road trip for them. A loss would drop the Bills to 0-2 in the division and create a huge tiebreaking deficit for the team.
Facts and Figures
The Bills are healthier after having a week to rest their bumps and bruises. The only players that won't be available are Jay Riemersma and Corey Moore. Doug Flutie will be back in the number two spot at quarterback. John Holecek has a slight tear in his ankle but will play through it. Joe Panos should make his first start in 21 games if all goes well in practice this week. Sam Rogers will return to the lineup after missing the game against the Jets with his shoulder injury. The Colts should be healthy going in to this game as they got their second wide receiver back this week when Terence Wilkins played against the Jaguars.
For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.
DB Antoine Winfield vs. WR Marvin Harrison: This expected matchup will pit two players at the top of their game. Harrison killed the Bills in last season's opener but Winfield shut him down in the season finale. The Bills will need to slow him down if they are expected to win.
LBs John Holecek and Sam Cowart vs. RB Edgerrin James: The Bills will look to stop the run and force the Colts to pass. This won't be an easy task considering James is one of the best runners in the league. A big game by the guys in the middle will be needed.
12th Man vs. QB Peyton Manning: If the sold out crowd can be as loud as possible than Manning will have trouble communicating with his players making audibles impossible. That should create a good matchup for the defense. If the Colts try to run the no-huddle that they have been experimenting with, the crowd will be needed show the receivers can't hear the plays.
WR Eric Moulds vs. DB Jeff Burris: Two guys that use to go at it in practice will battle it out on Sunday. Burris is a solid corner but Moulds has more talent and should be able to beat him.
LT John Fina vs. DE Chad Bratzke: The Bills need to stop their best pass rusher. This represents a good matchup for Fina. If he can keep Bratzke off of Johnson the Bills have a better shot at winning.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They need to run the ball with Jonathan Linton at least 20 times no matter if it is working early or not. The Colts like to blitz their linebackers and cornerbacks a lot. The running game will help off set this and they need to pick up the blitzes if Johnson is going to survive. They will need to exploit the blitz for dump off passes to Moulds, McDaniel, Price, and Collins.
When The Colts Have The Ball: With their three main threats it is hard to concentrate on one area, but if they can stop the running game and make Manning beat them, the defense then can try to tee off on him and get some good pressure.
Bills Daily Prediction
This is a game that both teams need desperately. The big advantage the Bills have is the week off and the short week the Colts have to prepare for the game. The home field advantage can also be the difference maker: Buffalo 34, Indianapolis 30
Season Prediction Record: (3-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (2-1)
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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