Oakland at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY (Ralph Wilson Stadium)
Oakland leads the series 19-18-0
Oakland has won 4 of the last 5. Buffalo won the last meeting in ’08.
by Inside the Redzone staff – Dan Lehto
Interestingly when these two teams meet, this has been a high scoring affair. Yes, the days of the high powered offenses of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Jay Schroeder (or even Rich Gannon), Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Super Tecmo Bowl are in history’s past. However, it is a new time for both Buffalo and Oakland.
Bills Projected Passing, Receiving, and Rushing Touchdowns
After the demolition of former playoff team Kansas City last week, Chan Gailey has his troops believing that his system can produce a winning team. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s text book superiority has surprisingly translated into great week 1 results, as well as a fine 2010 campaign. I say surprisingly, because Mr. FitzP has not exactly had the most storied career. He has thrown a 99-yard td pass, a la Brady to Welker last Monday night, but it was in high school…and no I have never thrown a 99-yeard TD pass this side of a video game or a family football game on Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, FitzP is the key to this game. I think he will throw for 250 yards and at least 2 TDs. FitzP likes to spread the ball around, so it’s difficult to say who will get the ball. Outside of Steve Johnson, who has a groin issue this week, I wouldn’t bet on any of the receiving corps. This should open things up for Fred Jackson as well. I expect him to put up stronger numbers than the combination of McGahee and Moreno did last week against Oakland. Although Hot Rod Woodson provides a new element to Oakland’s defensive backfield, I do not believe they have the discipline to keep it together for a full game against a disciplined Buffalo team. If they could play flagless football, then this changes the game completely, but I haven’t seen it out of Oakland for years.
Raiders Projected Passing, Receiving, and Rushing Touchdowns
Oakland does have some elements that are very exciting. Their team begins and ends with Run DMC. If you watched last Monday’s game, you will know what I mean. Jason Campbell did a nice job with ball control and was able to utilize the speedy and shifty Jacoby Ford and the bulldozer Marcel Reece for some dump-off passes. However, I don’t foresee that same game plan working again this week. Typically when Campbell needs to air it out, he gets out of his comfort zone. Thus it is mission critical that Run DMC stays healthy and remains the focal point of their offense. It is only through McFadden that Oakland has a chance to win this game. I expect McFadden to find pay dirt at least once, and eclipse the 100-yard threshold. Outside of DMC and Janikowski, I would not recommend starting anyone else on this squad.
It is the matchup of the undefeateds!!! Trying to build hype here. As Mike Krzyzewski said after his Laettner-led Blue Devils knocked off the Wildcats 104-103 in the 1992 NCAA Tourney, “This was a game that neither team should have had to lose.” The same could be said here, unfortunately one team has to win this game. It will be Buffalo winning 30-26. The two distinct factors in Buffalo’s favor are that they are more disciplined and Oakland has to do the cursed cross-country trip.