Week 5: Bills vs. Bengals
The Bills come into this game reeling after losing their second straight game last week against Philadelphia. That completely wiped out a very fast start in the opening two weeks. The offense awoke from an eight quarter slumber in the fourth quarter but could not complete the comeback. The Bengals are high off their first win of the season but both teams have running back issues. Travis Henry may or may not return this week after missing last week's game. The Bengals will be without Corey Dillon this week who is their best offensive weapon.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-2) vs. Cincinnati (1-3)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Don Criqui And Steve Tasker
||Bills by 8
||Bengals lead 1-10 (Bills 0-2 in playoffs)
||Bills 27-9 in Buffalo (2002)
||Rush (27th); Pass (15th); overall (22nd)
||Rush (25th); Pass (8th); overall (17th)
||Rush (31st); Pass (10th); overall (29th)
||Rush (26th); Pass (3rd); overall (9th)
The Bills running back situation remains banged up. Travis Henry missed the Eagles game with torn cartilage in his rib cage. He is expected to practice this week and is probably questionable for the game on Sunday. His backup, Sammy Morris remains out with after hernia surgery. Josh Reed bruised his back against Philadelphia but should be fine.
The Bengals will be without their star running back. Corey Dillon will miss the game because of a groin injury. TE Matt Schobel is battling a hamstring injury. He missed their last game against Cleveland and will be re-evaluated later in the week to see if he'll be available this week.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LB Takeo Spikes vs. Bengals Offense:
Spikes will be fired up against his old team. He won't have spying duties like he had last week since Jon Kitna doesn't run. Rudi Johnson will likely get the majority of the carries and look for Spikes to help in run support as well as in pass coverage. He will be all over the field expect the Bills to design some blitz packages for Spikes to make plays.
CB Antoine Winfield vs. WR Chad Johnson:
Spikes will be helping in run support because Winfield will be too busy covering Johnson who is an excellent receiver. He is the Bengals number one offensive threat at this point with Dillon out.
WR Josh Reed vs. CB Jeff Burris:
Reed is taking a lot of heat for his poor play this year. He may be able to get on track against the ex-Bill Burris. Reed is in desperation mode and needs to have a big game.
RB Travis Henry/Joe Burns vs. LB Kevin Hardy:
The Bills need to get the running game going and Hardy will be the man in charge of stopping big gains. The running backs are due for big runs so this will be a good battle to watch.
DT Sam Adams vs. RB Rudi Johnson:
They will not abandon the run without Dillon so Adams needs to have a big day clogging the middle so Johnson doesn't have a good day on the ground.
LT Jonas Jennings vs. DE Justin Smith:
Jennings is the one offensive lineman having a solid season. Smith is their best pass rusher so if Jennings wins this battle, Drew Bledsoe should have time to throw.
When The Bills Have The Ball: With the running game in shambles with the Bills try to pass all day? The Bengals are better at pass defense than run defense and the players have probably been lobbying Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride to let them run and we think that is what they will do. They should have the time to try and establish the run and then go to the air.
When The Bengals Have The Ball: Without Dillon it is possible that the Bengals will go to the air but the weakness of the Bills defense has been stopping the run. Don't expect the Bengals to abandon the running game even without Dillon in the game.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
All the stars seem to be aligned for a big game for the Bills. They should be very focused to turn around their slump and they have much more talent than the Bengals. Add to the fact that Cincinnati may be content after getting an early season victory last week. There will also be the emotional effort expected by Spikes facing his old team and the home crowd advantage. Look for an outcome more like the first two games, rather than the last two:
Bills 35, Bengals 13
Season Prediction Record: (2-2)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-1)
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Monday Oct. 6th!
Gameday Grades - Coming Monday Oct 6th!