Week 4 Preview – 9/27/2006

Jauron Needs to stop dicking around
One of the biggest problems with last week’s game was that I forgot to report that Jauron found the playbook that Mike Mularky accidentally left behind. It was in the box that Mularky made the movers do a flea-flicker with on its way to the U-Haul. It must have slipped out. But who else could have thought of a fake field goal shovel pass to the pulling right tackle going across the left side, or trying to have Losman run a 25 yard circle instead of a half yard plunge, and the fourth and four 2 yard pass to Josh Reed looked a lot like the one yard pass to Eric Moulds that ended last year’s Patriots game. If the Bills hope to win this week they will have to get back to smash mouth football. If Willis is averaging 5.8 yards a carry maybe he should get the ball in the red zone. They also need to have much less costly turnovers, the Jets had 21 points off turnovers last week.

Bills Offense a little better than expected
The Bills offense has done more than I expected from them at the beginning of the year. The line has done well, they have given up 8 sacks, not a great number, but a few have been Losman’s fault and it’s still better than years past. The line also opened a lot of wholes for Willis last Sunday. The middle of the line will has a literally huge task at hand this weekend, of course I am referring to Ex-Buffalo Bill Patty “eat em up” Williams, who is listed at 317 pounds, but my guess is he is a biscuit shy of four-hundy. Patty was an incredible run stopper for years on the Bills and has been doing the same for the Vikings. Fortunately he has a weak-supporting cast so the Bills better make sure to get him blocked first. Hopefully the tackles and Willis won’t miss any more blocks out side. That combined with J.P. holding the ball with two hands when he gets hit should lead to less game turning fumbles.

J.P. had his first 300-yard game last Sunday, but it was not the kind of football that the Bills needed to win. He fumbled twice and threw a very ugly interception. J.P. was more impressive in the Dolphins game, not turning the ball over and not trying to do too much. Another ex-Bill, Antoine Winfield, will be going against Losman this week. Winfield will man up Lee Evans. Winfield always was a great shut down corner for the Bills, but he was always susceptible to the long ball. With Evans speed that could happen this week. Especially after Evans finally got on track last week. Roscoe also had his best career game, and Peerless and Reed both had their best games of the season. If J.P. can earn trust back they can really work the Vikings secondary this week. If they stay away from Darren Sharper the Bills can take advantage of Fred “Party Boat” Smoot.

Willis had his break out game against the Jets. The line opened up holes and he didn’t do the Sammy Morris electric slide in the backfield before hitting the hole. He used good vision showing why he won the job over Travis “head down” Henry. Pat Williams will be hard to run around but with Napoleon Harris’s being their only descent linebacker the Bills could try a lot of outside runs, or just away from Pat. If they can double or even triple Pat then Willis could duplicate his performance from last week.

Bills D Needs to Step up
The Bills defense played two great games to open the season, and didn’t play poorly against the Jets. 21 points were off turnovers, but that doesn’t excuse everything. Defending a short field the, it wouldn’t be terrible to let up a field goal, but they need to start making red zone stops. Every time the Jets got into the red zone, they put it in the end zone. With a less than powerful offense, the Bills can’t afford to let in too many seven-point-scores.

The most pleasantly surprising part of the defense in the first two games was the pressure from the defensive line. After recording 10 sacks in the first two games the Bills only sacked Pennington once, and it was a one-yard loss as Kelsay was able to grab Pennington’s leg as he tried to scramble. With the left side of the line anchored by pro-bowlers Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson, and former first round pick Bryant McKinnie, don’t look for that pressure to come from the right side. Denney and Kelsay have put on good pressure this year and they’ll really need to this week because the rest of the line will have real trouble.

Takeo Spikes still has not played since the 1st quarter of the Patriots game, and it’s starting to show. Keith Ellison has not done a bad job, but he hasn’t made any impact plays. Takeo Spikes was always the Bills’ impact player who came up when they needed him. His only full drive this year, he got a sack and forced fumble that London Fletcher scored on. Chester Taylor still hasn’t had a great game starting for the Vikings this year. He was a dependable back up for Jamal Lewis in Baltimore, but must prove that he can be a starter pretty soon. With Fletcher still patrolling the middle of the field don’t look for this to be his break out week. Also if Takeo does get back on the playing field, he could be the spark that the D needs to have another dominate game like they had in Miami.

Troy Williamson is the Vikings’ best receiver on a very weak core. Brad Johnson has thrown as many touchdowns as Ryan Longwell, he is their kicker by the way. Nate Clements and the rest of the defensive backs shouldn’t really be challenged this week. The pass has not burned the Bills this year and this week shouldn’t be any different. Although Coy Wire is still getting too much playing time so you never know. The safeties will have to shut down tight ends Jim Kleinsasser and Jermaine Wiggins. But with them being the biggest problem, the secondary doesn’t have much too worry about.

After a home loss to the Jets I don’t really know what to expect about the Bills this week. They are clearly going to be a very dynamic team this year so never count on them to win or lose. I still like them to beat the Vikings in this week’s pick ‘em. With both teams having poor offenses I like under 35. Pick of the week Bengals -6 against the Pats. It may start to get boring picking Peyton Manning to be the best fantasy quarterback each week, but it’s certainly not boring having him on your team. He’s your best bet this week. With Shaun Alexander injured and LT playing the Ravens, Larry Johnson will have his best week of the season to date this week making him this week’s best runner. With Peyton’s great game this week you’ll want to have Marvin Harrison, he catches a lot of balls. The Bills defense should get back on track this week and will be a great play for any team.