Week 16: Bills vs. Bengals
The Bills take on their third division leader in a row when they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Christmas Eve. The Bills are just playing out the string while the Bengals are looking for a first round bye in the playoffs. They have already clinched their first division title since 1990.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-10) vs. Cincinnati (11-3)
||Paul Brown Stadium
||Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots
||Bengals by 13
||Bills lead 12-11 (Bengals 2-0 in Playoffs)
||Bills 33-17 in Cincinnati (2004)
||Rush (10th); Pass (5th); overall (3rd)
||Rush (18th); Pass (21st); overall (21st)
||Rush (21st); Pass (29th); overall (30th)
||Rush (32nd); Pass (19th); overall (29th)
J.P. Losman is recovering from shoulder and leg injuries. He missed last week's game and will likely be the number two QB this week leaving Kelly Holcomb as the starter. Mike Williams has been out for a few weeks with a chest injury. He will most likely miss this game as well. Ryan Neufeld suffered a knee injury that will cause him to miss this game. Lauvale Sape has been place on injured reserve.
The Bengals will be without RB Chris Perry, he has an ankle injury. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is bothered by a foot injury that cost him some playing time last week. He is expected to play this week however. TE Reggie Kelly has a wrist injury leaving his status up in the air this week. DL Carl Powell is doubtful and DL Bryan Robinson will be out this week. Star rookie LB Odell Thurman has a neck stinger and is questionable.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RB Willis McGahee and QB Kelly Holcomb vs. LB Odell Thurman:
The Bills can only hope that the rookie of the year candidate can't go with his neck stinger. If Thurman can play he's a demon. He leads the team in tackle so McGahee will be on his hit list. He also has five interceptions, so Holcomb will have to watch out for him in the middle of the field.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Chad Johnson:
After last year's battle, Johnson proclaimed Clements one of the top corners in the league. Clements has had a down year and looks to finish on a high note with a repeat performance against Johnson this year.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh:
If the Bills shutdown Johnson, Palmer will look for perhaps the best number two receiver in the league in T.J. Fortunately for the Bills, they have perhaps one of the best #2 corner in the league in McGee.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Deltha O'Neal:
Evans isn't the main man with Holcomb in at QB so O'Neal may swap sides to take on Eric Moulds instead. O'Neal leads the team with a whopping 10 interceptions.
LBs London Fletcher vs. RB Rudi Johnson:
The weak Bills run defense goes up against another stud in Johnson. It will be Fletcher's job to try and keep him in check.
RT Jason Peters vs. DE Justin Smith:
Peters goes against the best pass rusher the Bengals have in Smith. He leads the team with 5 sacks.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Who knows what Mike Mularkey has up his sleeve at this point and time. They seem to be refusing to establish a running game so why would that change now? Going with Holcomb instead of a banged up Losman means they will probably go with the short, underneath passing game instead of the power running attack once again.
When The Bengals Have The Ball: They will look to Johnson and Johnson to lead the way. A steady mix of Rudi on the ground and Chad through the air. They have so many weapons, QB Carson Palmer should be able to pick his poison on any play.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
There is no doubt that the Bengals will win this game, the question is by how much? Will they cover the almost two touchdown spread? I have a feeling they will suffer a bit of a letdown after their blowout win last week in Detroit clinched the division. They still have a lot to play for so they won't letdown enough for the Bills to pull off a monumental upset but they may just keep this game fairly close:
Bengals 31, Bills 21
Season Prediction Record: (9-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-5-1)
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