2010 Buffalo Bills Schedule: Key Matchups For Each Game

Robert QuinnCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2010

2010 Buffalo Bills Schedule: Key Matchups For Each Game

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    This season, the Buffalo Bills take on the AFC and NFC North divisions, leaving them with very little travel time, as the team doesn't travel west of Kansas City. The Bills entire round trip distance totals roughly 9,300 miles, the shortest in the AFC East division.

    The Bills have a tough schedule, as they face eight playoff teams, as well as opponents that have made significant offseason moves to improve their squads.

    Lets take a look at all 16 games the Bills will play, and what the key matchups will be for each!

Week One: Vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 PM

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    Last year the Bills split the series with the Miami Dolphins, losing 38-10 the first time, and winning 31-14 the second time around.

    The first time they met in Miami, and it was Dolphins quarterback, Chad Henne's first start in the NFL. Trent Edwards was awful, going 14-26 for 126 yards, with one touchdown, and three interceptions, while Chad Henne was decent, completing 14 of 22 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Bills couldn't stop the Dolphins ground attack, as Ronnie Brown gained 115 yards, scoring two touchdowns, and Ricky Wiliams gaining 87 yards with a touchdown. The Bills pass rush was great, as five players combined for six sacks.

    The second meeting was in Buffalo, with Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the offense. Fitzpatrick had an amazing game, passing for 247 yards and a touchdown, while rushing seven times for 50 yards and a touchdown.Chad Henne threw four interceptions, leading the Bills to a victory.

    Key Matchup

    Bills CB Terrance McGee vs. Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall

    This will be Chad Henne's second year as a starting quarterback, and he now has one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League as a weapon in his arsenal. Marshall is a big time, physical receiver, that will test McGee, who is one of the more solid cover corners in the game. If McGee can shut down Marshall, the Bills have a chance to win.

Week Two: @ Green Bay Packers, 1 PM

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    In week two, the Bills head out to Lambeau Field, to face a young and potent offense led by Aaron Rodgers, who is entering his third season as the starting quarterback of the Packers.

    The Bills beat the Packers in a preseason matchup last year, with both Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick performing well. Brian Brohm went 12-19 for 83 yards and an interception for the Packers.

    The Packers have weapons on both offense and defense, and are looking to make a post season run to avenge their loss against the Cardinals.

    Key Matchup

    Buffalo Bills Pass Rush Vs. Green Bay Offensive Line

    In order for the Bills to earn a victory over the Packers, the Bills will need to attack Aaron Rodgers from all directions. The Packers offensive line allowed Rodgers to be sacked a league high 50 times last season, and defensive coordinator George Edwards will have to dial up the blitz to prevent him from connecting with receivers Greg Jennings or Donald Driver.

    Aaron Maybin will need to step up in this game, and force Rodgers out of the pocket, and make him uncomfortable.

    Bills CB Leodis McKelvin vs. Packers WR Donald Driver

Week Three: @ New England Patriots, 1 PM

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    The Bills haven't been able to beat the Patriots in their last 13 meetings, and we all remember last year's infamous week one loss, in which Leodis McKelvin fumbled a kick return in the last seconds of the fourth quarter.

    The second time they faced off, the Bills played well, but 11 penalties totaling 124 yards caused the Bills to lose 17-10. The Bills secondary held Tom Brady to 115 yards with just one touchdown, and contained Laurence Maroney to just 81 yards on 23 carries. Tully Banta-Cain made three sacks; three more than the entire Buffalo Bills defense was able to.

    Key Matchup

    Bills Linebackers Vs. Patriots WR Wes Welker

    Wes Welker is famous for shredding the Bills linebackers with his blazing speed on slant routes. Buffalo's new 3-4 defense will free up more linebackers in coverage to contain Welker, and force Tom Brady to focus on Randy Moss or tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Doesn't sound too great, considering Moss caught 141 and 97 yards against the Bills last season, but Welker is a threat and the Bills can't let him move the chains on them. 


Week Four: Vs. New York Jets, 1 PM

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    Last year, the Bills played decently against the New York Jets, splitting the series.

    Week six was a memorable game for both good and bad reasons. Mark Sanchez threw five interceptions, passing for just over 100 yards, but the Bills could not contain Thomas Jones or Leon Washington. Jones rushed for 210 yards on 22 carries, and Washington gained 99 on 15 carries. The Bills won the game in overtime, as Rian Lindell nailed a 47-yard field goal.

    In week 13, the Jets used the same gameplan against the Bills: Run it down their throat. Thomas Jones carried the ball 22 more times, this time only for 109 yards, while Sanchez threw for just over 100 yards again. Ryan Fitzpatrick was awful, going 9-28 for just 98 yards. The Bills defense managed five sacks and forced two fumbles, but it wasn't enough, and the Jets won 19-13.

    Key Matchup

    Bills WR Lee Evans vs. Jets CB Darrelle Revis

    Lee Evans was shut down both times the Bills played the Jets catching five passes for just over 100 yards in both meetings combined, with two of the receptions being 37 and 38 yard gains. With no solid No. 2 receiver to turn to, Lee Evans will need to find a way out of Revis Island in order for whoever is under center to have a good passing day.

Week Five: Vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 PM

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    The Bills faced off against the Jaguars last season, and Ryan Fitzpatrick came close to being the first Bills quarterback to throwing 300 yards in a game since J.P Losman, as he went 18-31 for 297 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bills played well all game, but couldn't stop a 12 play, 68 yard touchdown drive to give the Jaguars the lead, and eventually the win.

    The Bills league-worst rushing defense did a good job of containing Maurice Jones-Drew to just 66 yards on 25 carries, but did so at the expense of the secondary, that allowed David Garrard to pass for 215 yards.

    Key Matchup

    Torell Troup Vs. Maurice Jones-Drew

    Maurice Jones-Drew is an elite running back in the National Football League, and while the Bills did contain him the last time the teams faced off, the Bills now have a new defensive scheme. Torrell Troup, the Buffalo Bills' second round selection out of Central Florida will need to step up and clog the holes on the offensive line.

    Jones-Drew is a quick and powerful runner, but if Troup can take on the double team effectively, it will open up spaces for the Bills linebackers to make plays.

Week Six: Bye

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    The Bills take a week off to prepare for Joe Flacco and the Ravens.

Week Seven: @ Baltimore Ravens, 1 PM

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    The last time the Bills played the Ravens was on October 21, 2007. It was the first time Willis McGahee would return to Buffalo after his ugly departure. McGahee rushed for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. The Ravens quarterback was Kyle Boller, and Trent Edwards was leading the Bills offense.

    Edwards played like Edwards, passing for 153 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception, but the Bills were led to victory by Marshawn Lynch, who scored a 23 yard touchdown to win the game, 19-14.

    Key Matchup

    Bills RB C.J. Spiller vs. Ravens Defensive Line

    With the addition of Terrance Cody as the nose tackle out of Alabama, the Ravens three defensive line starters, Haloti Ngata, Trevor Pryce, and Cody combine to weigh 990 pounds, according to Baltimoreravens.com

    That is a lot of mass, and a power runner would have trouble gaining yardage and manuvering around them. C.J. Spiller's speed around the edge will come in handy for this matchup, and his speed will prove deadly against the Ravens potent defense.

    Bills Secondary Vs. Ravens WR's Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason

Week Eight: @ Kansas City Chiefs, 1 PM

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    Head Coach Chan Gailey makes his return to the team that dumped him prior to the 2009 season.

    The Bills beat the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 in a week 13 meeting last season, thanks to four interceptions by Chiefs quarterback, Matt Cassell.

    Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was dreadful, passing for only 86 yards on 20 attempts. Jamaal Charles shredded the Bills defense for 143 yards on the ground, while Fred Jackson ran for 99.

    Jairus Byrd, Paul Posluszny, George Wilson, and Terrence McGee all made key interceptions in the game, and was the main factor in the Bills victory.

    Key Matchup

    Bills Offensive Line vs. Chiefs LB Tamba Hali

    Tamba Hali is a disruptive, pass-rushing outside linebacker, and he had a sack against the Bills last year. He finished last season with 8.5 sacks, when teams were game planning specifically for him. Now, with Eric Berry in the secondary, there is someone else to game plan for.

    Cornell Green and Demetrius Bell will need to protect the pocket and make sure Hali can't get to the quarterback, so that the Bills can pass for more than 86 yards this time around.

Week Nine: Vs. Chicago Bears, 1 PM (Toronto)

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    The Bills travel back to Toronto to face the Chicago Bears, a team they haven't played since 2006, in a game they got spanked 40-7.

    To give you an idea of how long ago this was, J.P Losman and Rex Grossman were the starting quarterbacks, and WIllis McGahee and Thomas Jones were the starting running backs.

    Thomas Jones, like always ran over the Bills for 118 yards, while McGahee managed just over 50 on 16 carries. Losman passed for 113 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.

    Lee Evans had a great day, catching nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.

    Key Matchup

    Buffalo Bills Offensive Line Vs. Chicago Bears Defensive Line

    The Chicago Bears beefed up their defensive line by adding a premier defensive end in Julius Peppers. Peppers will line up next to Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Tommie Harris, who is slated to have a comeback year for the Bears.

    This will be a battle in the trenches, as both lines struggle for position, and ultimately, for the win.

    Buffalo Bills Secondary Vs. Jay Cutler

Week 10 Vs. Detroit Lions, 1 PM

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    The Bills also haven't faced the Detroit Lions since 2006, and they lost 20-16, while quarterback Jon Kitna, running back KevinJones, and wide receiver Roy Williams destroyed the Bills.

    Kitna passed for 278 yards and a touchdown, with 160 of those yards gained by Roy Williams. Kevin Jones ran over the Bills defensive line for 127 yards and a touchdown.

    J.P. Losman went 21-34 for 237 yards, two touchdowns, and surprisingly, no interceptions, while McGahee rushed 17 times, for just 66 yards.

    Lions defensive end, James Hall made three sacks, one in the fourth quarter that led to the Lions winning.

    Now, both the Bills and Lions rosters have completely turned over, and now Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, and Calvin Johnson, will face Brian Brohm, C.J. Spiller, and Lee Evans.

    Key Matchup

    Bills CB Terrence McGee Vs. Lions WR Calvin Johnson

    Terrence McGee faces off against one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League in Calvin Johnson. Johnson is always a homerun threat, and if the ball is thrown in his vicinity, he is likely to catch it. He's huge and physical, so it will be interesting to see if the 5'10" McGee can cover the 6'5" Johnson.

Week 11: @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1 PM

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    The Bills last faced the Cincinnati Bengals on November 4, 2007. The Bills were victorious, defeating the Bengals 33-21.

    Marshawn Lynch had a breakout game, rushing for over 150 yards on 29 carries, scoring a 56 yard touchdown. J.P Losman passed for 295 yards, while Lee Evans grabbed nine passes for over 160 yards and a touchdown.

    Terrell Owens, who was a member of the Bills last season joins Chad Ochocinco, who only caught three passes for 48 yards in the previous meeting. Owens serves as a huge complement to the Bengals offense, that now has many weapons with the addition of tight end, Jermaine Gresham, and wide receiver Jordan Shipley, on offense.

    Key Matchup

    Buffalo Defensive Backs vs. Cincinnati Spread Offense

    The Bengals have a surplus at the wide receiver position and they will often be using four receiver sets. The Bills really need cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee to lock down the edges, and let ball hawking safety, Jairus Byrd roam the field, while the linebackers drop back into coverage.

    Shutting down receivers of the caliber that Owens, Ochocinco, Shipley, and Antonio Bryant, is no easy feat, and the Bills defense will be put to the test, especially because they could get caught against the run.

Week 12: Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 PM

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    The Bills take on a fierce Pittsburgh Steelers team in a week 12 matchup at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The two teams haven't faced off since the 2007 season, where the Bills were beaten 20-3 by the Steelers who were led by Ben Roethlisberger.

    Roethlisberger passed for 247 yards, a touchdown, and one interception, while Willie Parker pounded the Bills defensive line for 126 yards on 23 carries, and added a touchdown.

    The Bills leading receiver was Roscoe Parrish, who caught 6 passes for 68 yards.

    Key Matchup

    Bills Run Defense Vs. Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall

    The Bills got pounded by Willie Parker in 2007, and three years later, the Bills have the worst run defense in the NFL. The Steelers lost Santonio Holmes, and selected center Maurkice Pouncey in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, in order to go back to the "smash mouth" running football that made the Steelers infamous in Pittsburgh.

Week 13: @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 PM

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    The Bills haven't faced off against the Minnesota Vikings since 2006, when Brad Johnson was the aging quarterback leading them, and Chester Taylor was running the ball, not Adrian Peterson.

    The Bills managed to earn the victory, 17-12, led by J.P. Losman and Willis McGahee. The Bills defensive line was able to contain Chester Taylor to just 23 yards on 10 carries.

    Key Matchup

    Bills LT Demetrius Bell Vs. Vikings DE Jared Allen

    Jared Allen is an elite and explosive defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings. Allen recorded 14.5 sacks last year in addition to forcing five fumbles. His motor is always running, and he will wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.

    The Bills need to find a way to contain not only Jared Allen, but the Williams brothers at defensive tackle, and Ray Edwards on the opposite end. This will be a real test for Demetrius Bell.

Week 14: Vs. Cleveland Browns

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    When the Bills and Browns met last season, it was probably the worst game in the history of the entire National Football League. The Browns were victorious, beating the Bills 6-3. Derek Anderson led the Browns to their victory, going 2-17 for 23 yards and an interception.

    However, the Browns running attack led by Jamaal Lewis pounded the rock for 117 yard, while Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson, and Trent Edwards combined for roughly 130 yards on the ground.

    Roscoe Parrish fumbled twice and lost them both, essentially handing the game to Cleveland.

    Key Matchup

    Bills WR Roscoe Parrish vs. Browns DB Eric Wright

    Roscoe Parrish embarrassed himself in his last performance against the Browns, after he lost two fumbles. He has been removed from the doghouse, and is a favorite of Chan Gailey, who is using Parrish in the slot role, and has big plans for him this season.

    Roscoe will have a breakout game against the Browns, and remind fans that he is still on the roster!

Week 15: @ Miami Dolphins, 1 PM

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    The Bills travel down south to Miami to begin the last stretch of the season, all three games against AFC East opponents.

    In the first matchup of the season, Terrence McGee covering Brandon Marshall was the key matchup.

    Key Matchup

    Bills FS Jairus Byrd Vs. Dolphins QB Chad Henne

    This is Chad Henne's first year as the full time starter, and he is still getting acclimated to the speed of the game in the NFL. Buffalo has played 13 games using their new 3-4, and the players know what they are doing, and they will bring the heat on the Dolphins. Chad Henne will be forced to make errant passes, and hopefully Jairus Byrd is there to pick them off.

Week 16: Vs. New England Patriots, 1 PM

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    The Bills play their last home game of the season against the New England Patriots, and I believe that this will be the game they can finally win, leaving Ralph Wilson Stadium with optimism for the 2011 season.

    Key Matchup

    Bills RB CJ Spiller Vs Patriots Defensive Line

    The Patriots have a great run defense with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork anchoring the line, and the Bills will need to run the ball and keep the clock moving in order to keep Tom Brady on the sidelines.

    Spiller will be coming to the end of what hopefully is a strong Offensive Rookie of the Year performance, and will be more comfortable in the offense.

Week 17: @ New York Jets, 1 PM

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    The 2010 NFL Season will come to a close against the New York Jets, who, thanks to Rex Ryan's trash talking, has fired up every opponent to beat them silly, and the Bills will put the icing on an 0-16 season!

    Now in all seriousness, the Bills defensive line will be tested.

    Key Matchup

    Bills Run Defense Vs Jets RB's LaDanian Tomlinson, Shonne Green

    Last year, the Jets ran all over the Bills, gaining over 500 yards on the ground in their two meetings. Torell Troup, Marcus Stroud, and Dwan Edwards need to shut down the Gang Green Team.