The Buffalo Bills are coming off a much needed bye week. Trent Edwards took the week to recover from his concussion and will be back behind center for the Bills this week. This should help the Bills try and bounce back from a poor showing in Arizona two weeks ago. The Bills will also have the magic punt returner man that is Roscoe Parrish back as well. Starting free safety Ko Simpson is also expected to start after suffering a hamstring injury a couple of weeks ago. The Bills are 2-0 after bye weeks under coach Dick Jauron.
It seems like the Chargers start 3-3 every year. People in San Diego begin to worry and then somewhere around week 5 or 6 things begin falling into place. The Chargers have a tough couple of weeks ahead of them. They will have to pack a rather large bag as they are going to the East Coast to play the Bills this week and then even further east to play the Saints in London next week. Hopefully they will cross that non-existence bridge across the Atlantic when they get to it and focus on a well balanced 4-1 Bills team first.
Miller's Keys To The Game:
Rivers, Keep On Flowing
With RB LaDainian Tomlinson not starting off the season like, well....L.T., (arguably one of the best RBs to ever play the game) due to an ailing toe QB Philip Rivers has really picked up his game and is playing MVP caliber football. Rivers has already thrown 14 TD passes and only 4 INTs thus far this season and is a big part of the reason that the Bolts are still .500 and in the playoff hunt.
Rivers needs to continue playing at this high level in order to be successful this week. The Bills 8th ranked pass defense could make it hard on Rivers but injuries could be the Chargers best weapon this week. Starting CB Terrence McGee won't play for the second straight week and this could mean trouble for the Bills passing defense. Rookie Leodis McKelvin will start in McGee's place. McKelvin has a lot of talent but is still playing like a rookie (see Larry Fitzgerald's wide open TD reception 2 weeks ago). The Bills also may be without starting nickle back Ashton Youboty and as I mentioned before Ko Simpson is coming off a hamstring injury. This beat up Bills secondary could be fairly easy for Rivers to pick apart and if the Bills don't have an answer it could be a long day.
Hey Buffalo, There Are 3 Other Quarters Before The 4th
Trent Edwards has a 136.6 passer rating in the 4th quarter this season. That is all well and good but won't be enough for the Bills to win if the don't play solidly in all 4 quarters of the game. I have brought this point up before but I feel like it's worth mentioning again. The Bills cannot continue to tempt fate by waiting until the 4th quarter to start playing.
If the Bills get off to a quick start this well-balanced team will be hard to catch up with. Marshawn Lynch is only averaging 3.5 yards a carry and a lot of that is due to the fact that his offensive line isn't opening up the kinds of the holes that they were last season. The Bills need to get Lynch involved early and often. The crowd will be hyped, especially at the beginning of the game, and the Bills need to play up to the crowd's enthusiasm. The Bills have received a fair amount of national attention this week as this game is probably the best match up of week 7 and they need to prove that this attention is well deserved.
Edwards to Evans...All Day Baby
Actually Edwards to...anyone all day should be the case. The Bills have their full receiving core back with Parrish coming back from thumb surgery. This could be a very scary situation for the Chargers passing defense which ranks second to last in the entire NFL. Lee Evans has had 6 straight games with a reception of 30 yards or more and he is looking to continue that amazing streak.
If Edwards is fully recovered from his concussion he needs to be sharp and pick apart the poor Bolts defense. Edwards looks and sounds fine and completed every single one of his passes in individual drills in his first practice back this week. If the Bills can use the under-performing Chargers secondary to their advantage they should score some big points and have some big yards from Edwards and Evans.
This will be a tough challenge for the Bills but if they can keep Philip Rivers contained and LT continues to look like the 2008 version of LT the Bills should come away with this one and go 5-1 for the first time since 1995.
Final Score Prediction
Bills 27, Chargers 24
Predicted Offensive Stats for the Bills
T. Edwards 23-31 297 yds. 2 TD
M. Lynch 21 car. 81 yds. 1 TD
F. Jackson 5 car. 28 yds.
L. Evans 4 rec. 93 yds. 1 TD
J. Reed 5 rec. 67 yds.
F. Jackson 3 rec. 30 yds.
J. Hardy 3 rec. 29 yds.
R. Parrish 2 rec. 19 yds.
M. Lynch 2 rec. 18 yds.
R. Royal 2 rec. 8 yds. 1TD