Game 13: Bills vs. Browns
The Bills are on fire as they will try to continue their improbable playoff run against the Browns. The Bills have won three straight, five of their last six, and six of eight since starting the season 0-4. Their 6-6 record puts them on the fringe of the playoffs. Cleveland is going in the opposite direction as they've lost six straight and are playing out the string. This is a classic trap game as the Bills could get caught looking ahead to next week's battle with fellow playoff wannabe Cincinnati.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (6-6) vs. Browns (3-9)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Don Criqui and Steve Tasker
||Bills by 11
||Browns lead 8-4 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Bills 22-19 in Cleveland (1995)
||Rush (25th); Pass (21st); overall (24th)
||Rush (29th); Pass (13th); overall (23rd)
||Rush (19th); Pass (25th); overall (26th)
||Rush (4th); Pass (9th); overall (4th)
The Bills were hit hard last week by the injury bug as it seemed someone was going down on every play. Many of the walking wounded returned. The Bills will be without Mark Campbell and most likely his backup, Tim Euhus, both suffered knee injuries against the Dolphins along with Mike Williams who should play Sunday. Troy Vincent has missed nine games after undergoing knee surgery but may finally be able to return this week in some limited capacity but will be a gametime decision. Jonas Jennings is toughening it out with a separated shoulder and will play. Travis Henry remains out with a lower leg injury. Willis McGahee is slowed with an ankle injury but is playing through it.
The Browns are very banged up as their top two quarterbacks are hurt and will not start. Kelly Holcomb has three cracked ribs and is questionable. Jeff Garcia has missed two games with a shoulder injury and is probable but won't start. RB Lee Suggs is questionable with a toe injury and TE Keith Heinrich is day to day with a toe injury as well. LB Barry Gardner is day to day with a neck stinger while S Chris Crocker will miss the game with a biceps injury. CBs Daylon McCutcheon and Michael Lehan are questionable with shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LT Jonas Jennings vs. RE Kenard Lang:
Jennings has been a warrior playing hard with a painful separated shoulder. He was able to hold Jason Taylor without a sack last week, he had help sometimes and he was one on one other times. This week it doesn't get much easier. Lang leads the Browns with seven sacks.
SS Lawyer Milloy vs. QB Luke McCown:
Milloy is the quarterback of the defense and he will be making many of the defensive calls. They will look to tee of on the rookie McCown and Milloy is the man to do it with zone blitzes.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Antonio Bryant:
Bryant came over in a trade from the Cowboys at the deadline. He struggled at first but is now the hottest player on offense for Cleveland. They will move him around to get him covered by McGee. If Bryant can make a few big plays the Browns can pull off the upset.
DTs Pat Williams and Sam Adams vs. RB William Green:
With Suggs banged up, Green will likely carry the load once again for Cleveland. The two big men in the middle will look to clog it up and shutdown Green or Suggs if he plays.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Anthony Henry:
Evans is coming into his own and will be lined up against Henry who is a ball hawk. He leads the team with four interceptions.
RB Willis McGahee vs. SS Robert Griffith:
Griffith is more of a run stopping safety than a pass defender but he does both pretty well. He leads the Browns in tackles and will be watching McGahee all day. The Bills need to establish the running game, especially if it is typical December weather in Western New York.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills have proved in their hot streak that they can strike offensively on the ground and through the air. They once again face one of the worst run defenses in the league. That didn't help them last week when Miami slowed down McGahee. Look for the Bills to go back to their bread and butter and run a lot early. That will open up the play action passing game.
When The Browns Have The Ball: The Browns offense is struggling, especially with their top two QBs hurt. They will need to have more success on the ground to take the pressure off of McCown. That means they will attempt to run against the Bills stout run defense and may use trick plays of their own just to get yards anyway possible.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Browns are similar to the Dolphins, they are struggling on offense but there defense isn't as good. Really, there is no reason the Bills shouldn't blowout the Browns. They are coming home after two big road wins and the fans will be fired up (if they can sell it out). The only thing that can hurt the Bills are the Bills themselves. It's a trap game but I don't think Mike Mularkey will let the team fall into it:
Bills 27, Browns 13
Season Prediction Record: (9-3)
Season Record Against The Spread: (6-6)
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