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Old 09-07-2005   #1
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Default Week 1: Texans at Bills

Feel free to post links to articles about the Bills game or sites that feature Texans - Bills banter here (no full copy-and-paste articles unless from houstontexans.com please). I will update this thread with links leading up to the game in the coming days. I'll clean up and archive this thread for future reference if you want to park a game related link here.


Bills scouting report
By Kris Krikes
www.HoustonTexans.com

Matchup (real player video with Palmer breaking down Bills defense)

Gamecenter

Buffalo Bills official site

BuffaloRange.com (talk to rival fans)



Matchup

One season after missing an AFC Wild Card with a 9-7 record, the Buffalo Bills have their sights set on ending their five-year playoff drought. After starting 0-4, the Bills finished 2004 strong, winning eight of their final 10 games.

Sunday’s game marks the third all-time regular season meeting between the Texans and Bills (tied 1-1). The last time the teams played was in Week 9 of 2003 when the Texans won 12-10.

Facing last year’s second best defensive unit this weekend, the Texans offense will have their work cut out.

Blitzin’ Bills: Last week, head coach Dom Capers said that everything this Sunday will start with the Bills’ defense. The unit returns 10 starters from last year’s squad. After four preseason games, the Bills’ defense hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

The Bills’ secondary is comprised of a group of seasoned backs that have made 11 total Pro Bowl appearances. Cornerback Nate Clements, who slightly injured his shoulder in the Bills’ final preseason loss to the Detroit Lions, returns from his first Pro Bowl season healthy.

Last year, the Bills’ 24 interceptions were the second most in the league and Clements’ career-high six interceptions led the team for the fourth consecutive year and tied for third in the league. Clements also registered a career-high 87 tackles and four forced fumbles, while posting a half sack, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

On the other side of the field, the Texans should beware of cornerback Terence McGee, who went to Honolulu last season as a kick returner.

Free safety Troy Vincent and strong safety Lawyer Milloy bring even more experience and consistency to the Bills’ secondary. Vincent is a five-time Pro Bowler with 13 years of NFL experience and Milloy meanwhile is coming off an impressive season where he posted 108 tackles, a career-high four sacks, two interceptions and five passes defensed.

The success of the secondary has been due, in part, to the solid play of the defensive line. While no one member of the line finished among the NFL’s top-25 in sacks last season, the Bills’ 45 team sacks tied for third most in the NFL with Indianapolis, New England and Tampa Bay.

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sam Adams, a 6-5, 365-pound Houston native, anchors the Bills’ line. He finished with 40 tackles, five sacks, one interception and two passes defensed.

The linebackers unit, which has played together for three seasons, should continue to do a good job supporting the line. Led by eight-year veteran outside linebacker Takeo Spikes, the Bills’ linebackers look to continue what they finished last year.

Spikes returns from his second consecutive Pro Bowl season, where he finished with five interceptions for 126 yards (two returned for TDs), three sacks, four forced fumbles and 14 passes defensed.

Baby steps: Following a particularly embarrassing home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game of 2004, the Bills handed the quarterback reigns from veteran Drew Bledsoe to second-year quarterback J.P. Losman, who has completed three passes for 32 yards in his career. Losman, the 22nd overall choice in the 2004 NFL Draft, was the first quarterback selected by the Bills in the first round since Jim Kelly in 1983.

The Bills hope that the young signal-caller’s mobility and athleticism will work well with their primarily run-oriented offense. The Bills had the eighth-highest percentage of rushes to passes last season, running on 49.1 percent of their plays. This season, Buffalo would like to improve its production inside the red zone, where they finished 30th in the NFL in touchdown percentage last year.

Running back Willis McGahee, the 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, will lead the Bills’ rushing attack in 2005. McGahee rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of his 11 starts, becoming just the third player since 1970 to rush for more than 100 yards in his first three NFL starts. McGahee had five multi-touchdown games last season, finishing with 1,128 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, which is second most all time in Bills’ history (O.J. Simpson had 16 in 1975).

The Bills’ aerial attack is led by physical, veteran wide receiver Eric Moulds and second-year wideout Lee Evans. Moulds holds the Bills’ records for receptions and receiving yards in a season. The three-time Pro Bowler’s 1,043 receiving yards last season marked his fourth 1,000-yard season in Buffalo . His 110-game reception streak is fourth among all active players. Opposite Moulds, the speedy Evans looks to improve on a stellar rookie campaign, when he led all NFL rookie receivers and set a Bills’ rookie record with nine touchdowns.

Finally, as with the Texans, there is still much concern as to what’s going to happen with the Bills’ offensive line. Last season, the Bills’ allowed 38 sacks (tied for 18 th in the league) for a loss of 215 yards. The unit did allow the Bills to rush for an average 117.1 yards per game, just under the Texans for 13 th in the NFL.

Dual personality: Ranked among the highest special teams units last year, the Bills’ special teams is led by starting cornerback McGee. Last season, McGee led the AFC with his 26.6 yard kickoff return average and three return scores.

Kicker Rian Lindel had his highest scoring season last year, nailing 24 of 28 on field goals for 117 points (ninth best in the NFL). Lindel, however, was just two-of-five on kicks of more than 38 yards and had some gut-wrenching misses in both the season opener and the finale loss to Pittsburgh .
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Old 09-07-2005   #2
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Hopefully the game wont be as boring as it was the last time we met huh?
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Old 09-07-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8slayer
Hopefully the game wont be as boring as it was the last time we met huh?

yea totally agree.. but all and all should be a good game

DO YOU BILLIEVE?!
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Old 09-07-2005   #4
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Even better, my Biology test was postponed to Tuesday instead of Thursday, so the week will go even faster.
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Old 09-07-2005   #5
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Both the Bills official site and Buffalorange are good for talking to Bills fans. I think the MB at BuffaloBills.com is a little better.

FYI Houston!
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Old 09-07-2005   #6
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Originally Posted by jbinbny
Both the Bills official site and Buffalorange are good for talking to Bills fans. I think the MB at BuffaloBills.com is a little better.

FYI Houston!
I cant stand those people, they still think Drew Bledsoe would have been our best option.
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Old 09-07-2005   #7
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Its already Wed. This should be a good weekend, Purdue having their season/home opener here against Akron than down to the bar on Sunday to watch the Bills start the season 1-0. I am so pumped...its scarying me.
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Old 09-07-2005   #8
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Default Wednesday Chronicle - Megan Manfull

Quote:
The more he looks at the roster, the more he likes what he sees. Defensively, Walker has never seen the Texans more talented and athletic.

"I think this is our best group so far, and hopefully we can show that out on the field," he said.

The Texans will get a glimpse of how true that is on Sunday when they measure themselves against one of the league's most formidable defenses in Buffalo. While the defenses won't battle head-to-head, the Texans will be constantly comparing themselves to the Bills.

The Bills are a measuring stick for many defenses after finishing second in the NFL in total defense last season, allowing only 264.3 yards per game.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3342733
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Old 09-07-2005   #9
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Default Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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"Last year we went into camp with the unknowns. I feel much better about them (this year). I think they've played well in the games. We're better there and I think our offense is better because of it."

The Bills began 2004 with a line that consisted of solid Jonas Jennings at left tackle, unproven Lawrence Smith at left guard, veteran Teague at center, new veteran Villarrial at right guard, and talented but underwhelming — to that point — Williams at right tackle. With Villarrial trying to get used to playing with new teammates, Williams struggling all summer with personal issues, and a rotating door situation at left guard before Smith was given the job, the line was a source of angst for McNally early in his first year in Buffalo.

This season, the left side has been reworked. Gandy was signed in free agency to replace the departed Jennings, and Anderson also came in via free agency to solidify the left guard spot while Teague, Villarrial and Williams stayed put.

And nothing has changed since the beginning of the organized team activities in March. The same five players have lined up as starters and have built continuity and familiarity along the way. "I think it's big," said Villarrial. "The communication is there, we don't have to make as many calls at the line. We can pretty much look at each other and know what's going on." Of course, there is a different quarterback behind that line, and he's still learning about his protectors, but Losman said Monday he has grown comfortable with the group.
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/...22/1007/SPORTS
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Old 09-07-2005   #10
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its sooo close...
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Old 09-07-2005   #11
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LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE
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Old 09-07-2005   #12
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The suspense is killing me! :brickwall
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Old 09-07-2005   #13
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Default Prediction

I see a 24-7 loss. Buffalo will score once on offense (McGahee), once on defense (interception), and once on special teams. Davis will bull one in for us.
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Old 09-07-2005   #14
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A couple more Bills message boards ....

http://www.billsdaily.com/ ... injury updates!

http://www.billszone.com/fanzone/showthread.php?t=79678
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Old 09-07-2005   #15
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The Bills will be wearing throwbacks this weekend:





Much better than what they usually wear.
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Old 09-07-2005   #16
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Default Bills conference calls

Bills conference calls
www.HoustonTexans.com

Bills QB JP Losman

(on being ready for the opener) “I’m as ready as I’m going to get. I put in a lot of work in the offseason to get to this point. I’ve done everything I’m capable of doing up to this point and I hope it pays off for me.”

(on if being in the system a year has helped his development) “That was a tremendous help. It would have been very difficult for any rookie to come in here, start and learn the whole offense and have all that pressure on him his first year. I’m able to get all that out of the way with one year sitting and seeing the game from a different perspective. I definitely take what I learned last year, including just being more comfortable and put it to use this year.”

(on the identity of the offense) “We’re going to try and establish a running game like most offenses throughout the NFL. Try to counter that with getting the quarterback out of the pocket with bootlegs and rollouts. We don’t know what defense we’re going to get, we don’t know what they (Texans defense) are going to try and make me do; if they’re going to blitz us a lot, try and take away the run game and try to make me win with the passing game. We don’t know what they are going to do, but we just have to be prepared for whatever they do.”

(on being a target of blitzes) “Anytime you have a young quarterback, they’re going to want to blitz, see if you can handle it, see if you can pick it up and react and make a play. I think once I show teams that I’m able to do that, and we’re able to hurt them by picking up the hot reads, then they might back off a little bit. But I definitely feel like I’ll be expecting the blitz.”

(on playing not to lose) “That’s a term that’s been loosely thrown around for many young guys. I don’t really feel like that’s going on here. Nobody’s really telling me to go in and not make plays out there. I’m going to scramble a little bit, I make plays on the run and they’ve been all for that here. They’ve been all for me being able to play the game that I’ve been playing for so long.”

(on his offensive weapons) “I’ll be the only first-year guy on the offensive side of the ball as far as unproven and hasn’t really played too much. So I’m really counting on my teammates to help me get through this. I’m going to need them more than ever this year to help me in whatever I need help with. But we definitely have a lot of weapons from the receiver standpoint, the running back, and the offensive line is very much improved from last year.”

(on the Texans’ secondary) “We just have to see what they’re taking; if they’re going to match up one-on-one with Eric (Moulds) and Lee (Evans). We don’t know exactly what they’re going to do. But if they are going to give us those matchups, I’m going to have to be precise with my throws and the receivers are just going to have to run a good route to get open.”

(on his scrambling ability) “I’m very comfortable running. I’ve gotten a lot of advice to get down and slide, all those things are going through my head, but I don’t hesitate for second to take off and try and get as many yards as I possibly can by running.”

(if he did it a lot in college) “It wasn’t a planned thing, it just kind of happens that way. We don’t plan on doing it here. It just sort of happens that way. If the defense does a good job of covering everything, a quarterback needs to be able these days to get out the pocket, change the angles and make the defensive linemen chase him just for a little bit longer.”

(on modeling his game after any particular NFL QB) “Not one in particular. I’ve taken things from many quarterbacks over the years, a certain release, or a certain running style or throwing motion, or maybe his calmness on the field or his energetic fire. The way he was cool under pressure. I take all those things from different guys I like and try to put it into one quarterback.”

Bills head coach Mike Mularkey

(on Losman’s progression) “It’s been steady. We actually feel, as a staff, that it’s been above schedule – not just based on performances in the preseason, but also practice against our defense. I think it’s obvious that his preparation in the off-season, the things he did when nobody was watching, has carried over to the field. But, as far as his first week, he just got the first installation last night when we got done putting the plan together. I’ll have a better idea how he feels after this first practice. I think we’re trying to do our best to make him comfortable so he can do the things he does best.”

(on what about Losman has most impressed him) “He’s not intimidated by the game. He’s very confident and never satisfied. I like guys like that. Even on good throws, he finds a reason he wants to get better, a better throw. Obviously, he’s got the athletic ability and arm strength, which is important here because some of the weather we play in. Really, he’s done well and we’ve been pretty pleased.”

(on if he’s going play Losman conservatively) “Well, we’re not going to hold him back because he’s got too many skills. But, we’re also going to be smart. Especially at that position, regardless if he’s a first-time starter or even a veteran, you’ve got to make sure that you aren’t asking a guy to do something he’s not either prepared for or capable of. That’s every position, in my opinion, when putting together a game plan, guys should have no doubt when they get to the line of scrimmage that they can do what’s being asked of them. That starts with him and works on down, really across the team.”

(on what about Losman at Tulane caught his attention) “We liked the mobility. He’s got speed for a quarterback, which is important in this day in age with defensive being so much faster and bigger. You can’t sit in the pocket as long as you used to, you have to have some escape ability, which he had. Unfortunately, he had to do that more at Tulane than I’m sure that anybody wanted but he made plays, either with his feet or on the run. Again, the arm strength was a positive in our eyes, and so was his confidence.”

(on how much penalties concern him) “Well, they are addressed constantly. They are an almost a daily occurrence here. But, I’ll say that a lot of them are effort penalties. We had a number against our special teams this last game, and a lot where because guys were taking pride in what they do. They’re not dumb penalties, they’re penalties that are being created by effort and we need to make a quicker decision on whether it’s right or wrong to go along with the effort. We got better last year, and most of our penalties happened early on in the season.”

(on McGahee’s recovery) “I am excited for Willis because he comes into camp this year as a starter. His role last year was always ‘what if’ and I think every carry was a new adventure for him to see if he was capable of doing things. This year, he’s bigger. I feel like he’s faster because of his off-season preparation. The experience of what he had to do last year in those starts I think will make him even better than he was a year ago.”

(on who stands out on Texans’ defense) “I think their front has played long enough together that they are very confident and don’t make a lot of mistakes. You talk about penalties; I think they’ve only had one in the past three games. That just tells me that’s a disciplined team. They know where they are supposed to be and they are playing a role they’re being asked to play. Their front is very, very good at stopping the run. They do a good job of getting off blocks and I think they are just very confident in the system. Obviously, I’m not trying to downgrade the secondary but that’s the first thing you think of because you’ve got to take care of the run and the pass.”

(on who anchors Bills’ defense) “I think we’ve got a lot of guys that take pride in what they do and count on each other to play a part. We put a big emphasis on not trying to make a play when you’ve got ten other guys doing their job, just focus on doing yours and plays will come to you. I think they’ve accepted that and it’s been evident on the field. But, there’s not really one group I can point a finger at because I like it across the board. There are no selfish players; they’re all playing for each other and holding one another accountable, and that’s important with a defense.”

(on preparing for Carr, Davis and Johnson) “It’s hard because you’ve got a triple threat there. David Carr’s athletic ability is something you’ve got to account for and I like quarterbacks that can move and be a threat whether its on a pressure or a designed run. I think this guy’s gotten better each year that I’ve watched him. He has improved and his confidence has gotten better. I don’t take preseason games into account as far as evaluating a guy’s play, whether its better or not. I’ve just taken what he’s done since he’s been there and he’s improved. Andre and Domanick are serious threats if we don’t account for them. So, we know what we have to stop, so its just a matter of doing it.”

(on how other talent around Losman will help him adjust) “Well, I’ve said this a number of times: J.P. does not have to win games. We have to win games as a team. There is talent offensively around him. Obviously, our defense has played well the past few seasons and our special teams played well, and need to do it again. I just think if we are smart as coaches and put him in a position to have success, everything else will fall in place. I think he realizes that he doesn’t have to win games for us. That’s not what we’re asking him to do.”

(on if limited NFL action benefits Losman and helps him remain mysterious) “It could be. Like I said, I wouldn’t put a whole bunch of time studying what goes on in preseason for any phase. People are very vanilla and sometimes that vanilla doesn’t show the talent of players. I’m sure it might be more difficult (preparing for Losman), but I’m sure they’re prepared for that.”
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Old 09-08-2005   #17
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Default Injury Report: Texans at Bills (9/11/05)

Max protection
By Nick Schenck
houstontexans.com

Scouting the Buffalo Bills’ vaunted defense, which tied for the AFC lead with 45 sacks in 2004, is an unenviable task. Instead of wondering where their defenders blitz, it’s probably better to ask where they don’t blitz.

From tackle Victor Riley’s perspective, the Bills’ pass rush looks chaotic. It’s difficult to read where the players are going, yet the results are indisputable. The Bills tied Cincinnati for a league-high 14 sacks on blitzes in 2004. “They have a lot of different looks,” Riley said. “They have fast linebackers. They have light defensive ends that can move a lot. I see a lot of movement.”

It’s not only the type of blitzes the Bills utilize that makes them successful, but the number of times they send an extra rusher. Last season, Buffalo led the league by blitzing on 72.8 percent of their opponents’ third down plays. “They blitz a whole lot,” fullback Moran Norris said. “It seems like every other play somebody is coming.” Buffalo’s blitzing—a combination of man and zone— isn’t too different than the strategy many teams employ. The difference, according to Texans offensive line coach Steve Marshall, is the Bills’ personnel.

Two-time Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Takeo Spikes, seven-year veteran middle linebacker London Fletcher and strongside linebacker Jeff Posey, a former member of the Texans, form one of the NFL’s best units. Last year, they combined for 332 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits. Defensive end Aaron Schobel and three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sam Adams combined for 13 sacks.

If that’s not enough to occupy the Texans’ offensive line, the Bills also send five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Troy Vincent and four-time Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy on blitzes as well. “They pose a lot of problems to you,” Marshall said. “They give you a lot of different looks. You have to be prepared to block them all and things like that. But again, it’s the guys they have running the blitzes that make Buffalo tough.”

Of all the Bills’ defensive weapons, Spikes could be the most dangerous. When he’s not harassing quarterbacks, Spikes does an excellent job in coverage, where he picked off five passes last year, returning two for touchdowns. Watching film of Buffalo this week, quarterback David Carr immediately sensed Spikes’ presence. “I think Spikes is their emotional leader,” Carr said. “He goes out there and gets guys fired up. You can tell they’re ready to play when he’s out there.”

Opening the season against such an imposing defensive front isn’t ideal, but Carr, who was sacked 49 times last season, prefers to look at the glass half full. The Bills will provide a litmus test for the Texans’ offense. “They have a lot of different looks they can throw at you,” Carr said. “It’s basically week-to-week what they want to bring out and show you based on what you’re running. We have to be ready for anything, really, on third down plays and on just their regular defensive sets. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we’ll be up to it.”

Unfortunately, the Texans’ road will not get any smoother after the Bills game. The Pittsburgh Steelers and their top-ranked rushing defense roll into Reliant Stadium for the home opener on Sept. 18. The Texans aren’t getting ahead of themselves, but they realize that Buffalo is only the beginning. “Every week, it’s going to be the same way,” Marshall said. “This week is one problem. The next week is the next problem. The Bills are awfully good, but every team in this league has good players. Each week brings a new challenge.”



Wednesday

Texans

C Drew Hodgdon: Toe and shoulder (questionable)
WR Jerome Mathis: Hamstring (questionable)
WR Jabar Gaffney: Shoulder (probable)
LB Shantee Orr: Groin (probable)
CB Dunta Robinson: Ankle (probable)

Bills

TE Tim Euhus: Shoulder (out)
WR Roscoe Parrish: Wrist (out)
LB Angelo Crowell: Groin (questionable)
CB Nate Clements: Shoulder (probable)
WR Josh Reed: Hamstring (probable)
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Old 09-08-2005   #18
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HOUSTON VS BUFFALO PREVIEW
By Brad Lorkovic

I wrote this myslef and submitted it earlier but it got deleted. I dont know why, but Im reposting it. I’ve decided to break down the upcoming game and take a look at break down key battles and how each will fare against each other.

Houston’s Running Game vs. Buffalos Run D: This will be the key to the game. How well does Davis run against Buffalo and keep a steady pace. It will be easier without big Pat Williams in the middle, but if Houston can get the run game going, things will be going good for them. Their in the 2nd year of zone blocking so hopefully the O Line can do a better job springing Davis for big runs.

Houston’s Passing Game vs. Buffalo’s Pass D: The short routes should help Carr out, but Buffalo’s pass D is pretty solid. Clements will probably line up on Johnson because of his size and speed and McGee will line up on the other WR. Putting Johnson in motion to hopefully stir confusion should get him open more, but with Clement on him, other WRs like Gaffney and Bradford need to step up. Buffalo’s safeties are both old, but able to hold their own in coverage. Expect to see more 3 WR sets to expose their nickel CB and swing passes to Davis to avoid the blitz ad see what he can create in space.

Buffalo’s Rushing Game vs. Houston’s Run D: Willis McGahee is an up and coming RB with great speed and some power. Houston’s main concern on D needs to be Willis and containing him so Losman has to throw the ball. It will be interesting to see how Greenwood and Wong fair in the middle together and if the D Line can hold their own and play well enough to stop him. This is also another key element to winning the game for Houston.

Buffalo’s Passing Game vs. Houston’s Pass D: Losman has a long long road ahead of him, and its not going to be easy in his debut. Dunta Robinson had a pro bowl year as a rookie and should steadily improve in year 2. He can blitz, catch, tackle and cover with the best of them and should wreck havoc against Buffalo. Buchanon is more of a question mark and has more to prove but should be fine against JP. Fagins is a good nickel corner and should be able to hold his own in coverage again. Coleman will help out in the passing game, but SS will be more of a liability. If it’s Earl, I’m a little more confident in our pass D, but if it’s Brown, expect Buffalo to go deep to his side. Houston’s DBs match up well against Buffalo’s smaller speed WRs so I don’t expect this to be a problem.


QB Advantage: HOUSTON
RB Advantage: PUSH
FB Advantage: PUSH
WR Advantage: BUFFALO
TE Advantage: PUSH (Both are horrible)
OL Advantage: BUFFALO
DL Advantage: BUFFALO
LB Advantage: BUFFALO
CB Advantage: HOUSTON
S Advantage: PUSH
K/P Advantage: HOUSTON
COACHING Advantage: HOUSTON


Key Factors To The Game: This is JP Losman’s first NFL start and he is definitely the biggest question mark here. I don’t expect him to do much, and because so, I think Willis will get a heavier load in the beginning of the season.

Houston’s pass rush in the past has been non-existent but having 3 LBs who can rush helps (Greenwood is more coverage). The D Line is thinner so they should get more than the miniscule amount they normally get. If Houston can get to JP, it’ll make the game A LOT easier.

Houston’s O Line has been in question from day 1 of their existence and this year is no different. With good D Linemen like Adams and Schobel, it will be a huge need to contain these two. Shorter routes and more experience should help but will it be enough? If David Carr can get enough time to throw, hopefully he can avoid costly mistakes like INTs and incompletions.

It will be an interesting start to the season as these two playoff hopeful teams battle it out for the first win of the season. Who wins this game? Well you know who I think will be victorious, but only time will tell . . .
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Old 09-08-2005   #19
gr8slayer
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CB advantage Houston? Both our guys were Pro Bowlers last year.
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Old 09-08-2005   #20
bbills4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8slayer
CB advantage Houston? Both our guys were Pro Bowlers last year.
They were, but only one was a Pro Bowler as a CB.
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