Week 1: Bills vs. Jaguars
The NFL season is here, and there are high hopes for all 32 NFL teams including the Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars as they meet in the season opener. The Bills are running out of patience and they need a playoff berth this season, it won't be easy to do with a rookie head coach. The Jaguars are now in year 2 of Jack Del Rio's rein as head coach and there is much optimism about the future of the franchise as they are considered one of the up and coming teams in the league although they still may be a year away from seriously competing.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-0) vs. Jacksonville (0-0)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Don Criqui and Steve Tasker
||Bills by 3
||Bills lead 3-2 (0-1 playoffs)
||Bills 38-17 in Jacksonville (2003)
|Jags 2003 Off:
||Rush (8th); Pass (15th); overall (12th)
|Jags 2003 Def:
||Rush (2nd); Pass (18th); overall (6th)
|Bills 2003 Off:
||Rush (21st); Pass (28th); overall (30th)
|Bills 2003 Def:
||Rush (8th); Pass (2nd); overall (2nd)
The Bills came out of the preseason with three major injuries. Their two backup QBs are out, they placed Travis Brown on injured reserve and J.P. Losman will miss 8-10 weeks with a broken leg. Shane Matthews is now the backup QB. The big injury is to Lawyer Milloy is out indefinitely with a broken forearm and will miss the game. Travis Henry is recovering from bruised ribs that cost him to miss the last two preseason games. He is one of four players listed as probable for the Bills this week. Sam Adams is questionable after injuring his toe in practice on Wednesday.
The Jaguars big injury is TE Kyle Brady. He is expected to miss the first two weeks of the season with a finger injury. RB Fred Taylor is slowed by an ankle injury but he ready to go as is Byron Leftwich who has a thumb injury.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LG Lawrence Smith vs. DT John Henderson:
Smith gets a good inauguration into the NFL. His first ever career start he goes up against a solid run stuffing tackle in Henderson. He will get some help from center Trey Teague.
RG Chris Villarial vs. DT Marcus Stroud:
Stroud is a star who likes to rush the passer from his tackle spot. Villarial gets a good test in his Bills regular season debut.
DTs Sam Adams and Pat Williams vs. RB Fred Taylor:
To win this game the Bills need to shutdown the running game of Taylor and force the Jaguars to the air. If Adams and Williams plug up the front well it will be tough going for Taylor.
WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Rashean Mathis:
Moulds is coming off of a bad season that was derailed by a groin injury that hampered him most of the year. He's determined to have a bounce back year and it could start in the opener against Mathis.
SS Coy Wire vs. QB Byron Leftwich:
Wire will likely be filling in for the injured Lawyer Milloy. He will have to watch the 2nd year pro and could capitalize on any mistakes Leftwich makes. The reverse his true too, Wire hasn't started a game at strong safety since his rookie year and may be rusty in his assignments after spending much of the preseason at free safety.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Jimmy Smith:
Smith is a veteran who is a consummate pro. He is very consistent and could beat you in many ways. Clements will have to stay on his game to not let Smith beat him. It may open up a chance for a big play for Clements if Leftwich makes some mistakes.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills are finally committed to running the football this year no matter who the opponent is. Unfortunately for them, they don't match up well with the Jaguars defense, which is stout against the run. Look for the Bills to keep pounding at them with the running game anyway to try to breakdown the big defensive front of Jacksonville. That should open up some good runs later on and some play action passing as well.
When The Jaguars Have The Ball: The Jaguars are also going to try and run the ball with Taylor to keep their young QB from making too many mistakes. Look for them to go with a ball control offense and mix it up with some passing as well.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
Opening day games are tough to predict and this one is no exception. Look for the Bills to struggle offensively early on as they try to establish the running game. They should wear down the Jags defense in the second half and have more success in both the ground game and the passing attack. Enough success to maybe overcome an early deficit to win the game:
Bills 17, Jaguars 13
Season Prediction Record: (0-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-0)
Print Friendly Version
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Monday Night!
Gameday Grades - Coming Monday Night!