Week 7: Bills vs. Chargers
The Bills come off the bye looking to rebound from their first loss of the season in Arizona. The Chargers appeared to right their ship with a convincing win over the Patriots on Sunday night. The Bills are home for the first time in nearly a month in what should be a very good matchup of possible AFC playoff contenders.
Sunday, Oct. 19th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-1) vs. San Diego (3-3)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Greg Gumbel and Dan Diedorf
||Chargers by 1
||Chargers lead 20-11-2 (Bills 2-0 in playoffs)
||Chagers Won 2
||Chargers 24-21 in Buffalo (2006)
||Rush (21st); Pass (8th); overall (12th)
||Rush (17th); Pass (31st); overall (28th)
||Rush (t-23rd); Pass (13th); overall (18th)
||Rush (18th); Pass (8th); overall (9th)
The Bills got healthier over the bye week. They should have Trent Edwards and Roscoe Parrish back in the lineup. Edwards will play despite suffering a concussion two weeks ago against Arizona. Parrish returns after missing a couple of games with after undergoing thumb surgery. Ko Simpson hurt his hamstring against the Cardinals but it wasn't a severe injury and he's practicing and will likely play. Terrence McGee will almost surely miss his second straight game with a sprained knee. Derek Fine may be ready to make his regular season debut after having thumb surgery. Aaron Schobel remains bothered by ligament problems in his foot and is not practicing and is wearing a boot.
The Chargers are also getting healthier in time for this matchup. LaDanian Tomlinson has been bothered by a toe injury all season but continues to play through it. WR Chris Chambers should play after missing last week's game with an ankle injury. LB Jyles Tucker should be back this week after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Three other banged up players should be ready to go, DE Luis Castillo, RB Daren Sproles, and S Eric Weddle. Sproles suffered an ankle injury last week against the Patriots. WR Craig Davis suffered a groin injury in the win over the Patriots.
Bills Daily Injury Page
LT Jason Peters vs. DE Luis Castillo:
Peters continues to struggle since ending his holdout but the hope is that the bye week allowed him to finish catching up and get up to football speed. He has a big battle with the former first round pick Castillo.
DT Marcus Stroud vs. RB LaDainan Tomlinson:
Stroud needs to lock up a couple of offensive linemen so the linebackers can swarm to Tomlinson and try to stop one of the most elite and versatile backs in the league. Tomlinson has been slowed with a bad toe this year but if he gets healthy he will breakout in a hurry. This may be the week that happens.
Bills Coverage Units vs. K/PR Darren Sproles:
The coverage units have been a bit of a disappointment this season so far and now they face the most electrifying returner they've faced all year in Sproles. He also doubles as a good complement to Tomlinson as a running back and they will have to watch out for him on offense as well.
SS Donte Whitner vs. TE Antonio Gates:
Whitner won't be the only guy lining up against Gates but he will probably do it the majority of the time. The Bills have struggled in the past against really good tight ends. They don't come any better than Gates. Look for the linebackers to help Whitner take on Gates as well as the free safety whether it's George Wilson or Simpson.
RBs Marshawn Lynch vs. DT Jamal Williams:
Lynch is still looking for his first 100 yard game and needs to go against a big veteran run stuffer in the middle in Williams. He will tie things up so the talented linebacking corps can make plays.
CB Leodis McKelvin vs. WR Vincent Jackson:
The Bills don't usually shift their corners for better matchups so the rookie will likely line up against the Chargers top receiver. Jackson is coming off a breakout game on Sunday night and if he can have an encore performance that isn't good news for the Bills.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills dedicated the bye week trying to fix the running game that has not had a breakout performance yet. They likely have made some changes and will take them for a test drive in this game. Look for them to try and establish the run and to stick with it even if it doesn't work early. The running game will also take pressure off of Edwards as he tries to ease back into the lineup.
When The Chargers Have The Ball: The Chargers will look to exploit the absence of Terrence McGee by attacking through the air. That will open up lanes for the running game that has struggled for much of the season so far.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This promises to be a tough matchup that will be a good test to see where the team is. I thought the Bills were walking into a trap in the desert and that game had loss written all over it. I was right then and I have a similar rationale this week. The Chargers got their big win last week and the Bills will be hungry to get the loss out of their mouths after the bye. The home crowd will be fired up since the team hasn't been home since their third game of the season. It adds up to a Bills win as long as Edwards isn't too rusty after the injury:
Bills 34, Chargers 23
Season Prediction Record: (5-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (5-0)
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night!