Bills and Titans: Fine Tuning the Week 10 Matchup

Dan Van Wie@@DanVanWieContributor IIINovember 12, 2009

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 9: Roscoe Parrish #11 of the Buffalo Bills looks for running room after catching a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on August 9, 2009 in Canton, Ohio. The Titans defeated the Bills 21-18. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Since I ran an article two days ago entitled: Bills-Titans: Week 10 Preview and Keys To The Game came out, there have been some further developments regarding both teams that meant an update was warranted.

For those that like to hear a little trivia, or history, it is noteworthy that in the three prior years under Dick Jauron, the Bills have won all three years coming out of their bye week. Will they make it four straight on Sunday?

What has happened this week regarding the Bills :

1) The Bills have named Trent Edwards as the starting QB for Sunday. No real big surprise there, but at least everyone on the team knows what is going on now. It also gives Trent a few days to re-establish some chemistry with his wide receivers and allow the linemen to get re-adjusted to his cadence count and pace.

2) Terrell Owens—after practice Monday, Terrell complained of a sore hip and wound up sitting out today's practice due to the hip injury. If T.O. is unable to go, then expect the Bills to activate either James Hardy or Roscoe Parrish to take his roster spot for the game.

If this means that Trent can't re-establish chemistry with T.O. due to missing practice, then he will be able to give a plausible reason in his post game conference.

Regarding the receivers needed to replace Terrell's production, (I know, some of you are snickering after reading that line), the Bills will need some of these guys to step up: Lee Evans, Josh Reed, Steve Johnson, Shawn Nelson and either Parrish or Hardy.

3) It is becoming more and more clear that the Bills are giving ample practice reps to Bryan Scott at linebacker, so expect Scott to start there this week with Paul Posluszny and Chris Draft. Bills will probably keep Scott there until Ellison returns.

4) Assuming that Jairus Byrd is deemed healthy, the Bills can start Byrd and George Wilson and ease Donte Whitner back in to game action in a three safety look, assuming the Bills' medical staff clears Whitner for action.

5) The Bills decided today to activate James Hardy off of the P.U.P. list and to make room for him waived running back Xavier Odom. Odom was a 6th round pick from the 2008 draft, and has seen limited action this year. Possibly Omon will wind up landing on the Bills practice squad, since he has eligibility left to do that.

6) There are a number of players that are still not practicing fully, so we are still left to guess how many of this group will be playing on Sunday:

Offense question marks : WR Terrell Owens, FB Corey McIntyre, and Tackle Jamon Meredith.

Defensive question marks : LB: Keith Ellison, CB Terrence McGee, DE Aaron Schobel, DT Kyle Williams, FS Jairus Byrd, and S Donte Whitner.

All of these big names on defense means that the Bills will have to do some mixing and matching. Since Tennessee features a speed running back in Chris Johnson, expect the Bills to go with their fastest replacements in an attempt to slow Johnson down.

What has happened this week regarding the Titans :

DE Jevon Kearse had been inactive last week against the 49'ers. However, he did fully participate in practice today, which means he very well could start on Sunday. The Bills do have Jonathan Scott back, so either he or Demetrius Bell would wind up trying to slow Kearse down.

It seems that Tennessee is pretty much prepared to run Chris Brown the entire game, and expect LenDale White to see little action. Brown could very well be looking at another 200 yards in rushing, unless the Bills rushing defense can find a way to stop him.

Tennessee Injuries Update: (following players were not fully practicing today):

Offense question marks : WR Justin Gage and  RB LenDale White

Defensive question marks : CB: Cortland Finnegan, DT David Stewart, LB David Thornton.

From the above group, there are four Titans' starters that might not be going, namely; Finnegan, Gage, Stewart and Thornton.

Tennessee has seen a complete turn-around from the team that finished last year at 13-3. Hard to imagine that a team that good, which was returning 20 out of 22 starters from last year, could come out of the gate 0-6. Welcome to the NFL.

The earlier article this week discussed that the Titans were pretty weak in giving up yards in the passing game. After their bye in week seven, they came out of the bye  healthier, and the results have showed.

Titans allowed only 250 yards in the air against 49'ers, and only 113 against Jacksonville. So, those expecting to see a big day for Edwards in the air, may need to think twice.

It will be interesting to see which players are able to give it a go on Sunday, as that will have a big say in the outcome. There are still five or six potential Bills defensive starters that may be sitting out the game, and that would be extremely difficult to overcome.


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