Ladies and gentlemen, the Buffalo Bills are 1-0. To make it to two straight wins, the Bills will have to overcome a dangerous Oakland Raiders team. The matchup between these two teams is actually pretty interesting, even if it is not a premier game.
When Buffalo Has the Ball:
Buffalo was able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs with a balanced offense. They threw the ball well, connecting for 200 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn't a barn-burner day for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it was highly efficient, and good enough for a huge win.
The Bills' struggles are up-front, even if they were able to shutdown an average Chiefs defense. Buffalo will struggle to stop an Oakland defensive line that is fast, strong and mean at the point of attack. Where Kansas City is a read-and-react team, Oakland is attacking.
Buffalo would love to run the ball behind their guards like they did against Kansas City, but that won't work with Richard Seymour in the hole. Oakland has the defensive line to shut down the Bills running game.
When Oakland Has the Ball:
The Raiders will make no secret about their ability to run the football. Darren McFadden is a Marshall Faulk-style player in the making. The more McFadden has the ball, the better for the Raiders.
What Buffalo should do is load up the box early in the game and make the Raiders throw the ball. Depending on the availability of tight end Kevin Boss, the Bills could actually matchup well with the Raider receivers.
A key for the game will be watching left outside linebacker Shawne Merriman versus first-year starter Jared Veldheer. If Merriman isn't contained, he can disrupt the Raider backfield.
Prediction: Oakland 24, Buffalo 13
Buffalo has the talent to put points on the board, but my concern is their ability to run the ball against Oakland. The Raiders won't sit back and let Fred Jackson run free. Oakland is attacking, and they'll come after the Bills. Buffalo is a tough place to play, but Oakland's defensive line will be too much for the young Bills line.