Week 1: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills enter the season after a chaotic and disappointing preseason. The first team offense scored just one field goal in 15 possessions. Offensive Coordinator Turk Schonert was shown the door just 10 days before the season starts. QB Trent Edwards has a serious crisis of confidence. Can it get any worse? Yes, they have to travel to New England to take on a Patriots team they have not beaten in 11 straight matchups to open the season on Monday Night Football. The game will feature the return of Tom Brady after missing all of last year after getting injured in the opener.
Monday, Sept. 14th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-0) vs. New England (0-0)
||Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, & Jon Gruden
||Patriots by 11
||Patriots lead 57-40-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots Won 11
||Patriots 13-0 in Buffalo (2008)
|Pats Offense (2008):
||Rush (6th); Pass (12th); overall (5th)
|Pats Defense (2008):
||Rush (15th); Pass (11th); overall (10th)
|Bills Offense (2008):
||Rush (14th); Pass (22nd); overall (25th)
|Bills Defense (2008):
||Rush (22nd); Pass (13th); overall (14th)
The Bills have a few players that may be questionable for the game. Drayton Florence has a knee injury. Derek Fine has a hamstring injury. Demetrius Bell has been bothered by a back injury. Spencer Johnson has a thigh contusion. All of the injured players are expected back in practice this week leading up to the opener. The team will be without James Hardy who is on PUP as he rehabs his knee injury. Marshawn Lynch is serving a three game suspension to start the season.
The Patriots have two players with knee injuries as WR Brandon Tate and LB Tyrone McKenzie are banged up. WRs Matt Slater and Wes Welker are also banged up but should be ready for the game. RBs Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk may be questionable for the game.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Randy Moss:
This is the marquee matchup of the game. Moss ran wild on Buffalo last year and McGee will likely get safety help in stopping him.
CB Leodis McKelvin vs. WR Wes Welker:
With Moss facing double teams McKelvin will likely be matched up one on one with one of the best over the middle receivers in the league. The Bills will have to pick their poison with these two players.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Matt Light:
Schobel makes his return after missing the last three quarters of last season. This will be a big test against a veteran solid left tackle. Something the Bills need right now.
LT Demetrius Bell vs. OLB Adalius Thomas:
Bell will see his first NFL action and have to watch for the rushing outside backer Thomas in the Patriots 3-4 defense. He gets a break that the Patriots no longer have Richard Seymour who was traded to the Raiders this week.
WR Terrell Owens vs. CB Shawn Springs:
The real T.O. show gets going on Monday night. Owens missed all but one preseason game with a toe injury. He says he's fine and will go against another solid veteran in Springs.
C Geoff Hangartner vs. DT Vince Wilfork:
The Bills got Hangartner to face the big nose tackles of the 3-4 defenses of the AFC East. His first test may be the toughtest in Wilfork.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They seem committed to the no huddle attack but look for them to be more aggressive than in the preseason with Alex Van Pelt now calling the plays. They should take plenty of shots down the field to prove that they could do it and to loosen up the Patriots defense. If they go three and out too many times early in the game look for them to huddle for the first time since last year.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: Look for Tom Brady to try and put on an aerial show to let everyone know that he is back. He will throw early and often. He has talented receivers with Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and Joey Galloway.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills hope to at least put out a respectable showing. They have to know winning in such a hostile environment that will be pumped up for opening day and the return of Brady will be next to impossible. The Patriots own the Bills and everything looks to be going their way for this game. They have the confidence, they have the talent, and they own the Bills. It has the makings of another Patriot manhandle of the Bills:
Patriots 34, Bills 13
Season Prediction Record: (0-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-0)
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