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Bills offensive line vs. Bears defensive line
The area the Bills should be concerned with the most has to be the offensive line. If the team decides to start Chris Williams at left guard, it would be the first time all season this starting five will play a snap together. If Williams doesn't start, the Bills will be forced to start two rookies, Seantrel Henderson at right tackle and Cyril Richardson at left guard. Neither seems to be an ideal situation.
This could spell trouble for the offense, as the Bears have a newly revamped defensive line with the additions of Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston to play around defensive tackles Jay Ratliff and Stephen Paea. This should be a good first test for a Bills offensive line that is going to have to learn on the fly how to play together.
Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin vs. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery
Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin are going to need to be on top of their game Sunday when they go up against these two wide receivers. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery make up one of the top wide receiver duos in the NFL and seem to be able to get open almost at will.
The winner of this battle may not be decided by any of the four guys listed above but rather by Buffalo's defensive line. The longer the Bills cornerbacks will be asked to cover Marshall and Jeffery, the lower the chances of success. The Bills front four will have to make it a point to get to Jay Cutler quickly and not allow him to hold the ball and find these wide receivers.
Jim Schwartz vs. Jay Cutler
Even though Jim Schwartz switched conferences, his first game as defensive coordinator is against a familiar foe in quarterback Cutler. Since 2009, Schwartz has gone against a Cutler-led Bears team nine times, losing seven of those contests.
As Schwartz faced Cutler more, he seemed to develop a better game plan on slowing down the quarterback. Between 2009 and 2010, Cutler faced the Lions four times and threw for an average of 256 yards and 2.25 touchdowns per game.
Since 2010, Cutler has faced the Lions five times and saw his numbers drop to only 219 yards and one touchdown per game. If the Bills defense, with Schwartz's game plan, is able to hold Cutler to these kinds of numbers, this should be a competitive game.
Bills' X-Factor of the Week: C.J. Spiller
The Bills have one player who could single-handedly decide the outcome of this game, and that is C.J. Spiller. It could come as early as the opening kickoff now that the electric running back is listed on the depth chart as the starting kick returner.
Spiller is at his best when he has an open field to work with, and he should have plenty of room to work with now that he is returning kickoffs. This should help this offense by giving the Bills good field position and shortening the field. The less Manuel has to try and move this offense into scoring position, the better.
Spiller should still be heavily involved in the offensive attack and could be in line for a big game on the ground. The Bears run defense last year was arguably the worst in the league, finishing 32nd in rushing yards allowed per game (161.4) and 31st in rushing touchdowns (22).
This isn't the same Bears defense from last year with a few offseason additions, but it is still beatable, especially on the ground. This game has the potential to start Spiller's 2014 season off in a big way.