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Another shootout Sunday?


Home games for Buffalo's offense have been back and forth battles thus far this season with their first two opponents at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Oakland and New England both scoring over 30 points. This week the Bills square off against another high-octane offense in Philadelphia and may have to put more than 30 points on the board themselves again this week.

First and foremost both teams are coming in off losses in which they watch second half leads disappear. The Bills were up 17-3 in the third quarter and lost on a last-second field goal at Cincinnati. The Eagles meanwhile had a 20-point lead on San Francisco at home only to lose 24-23.

"We're both angry," said Stevie Johnson. "That's going to make a great game. We felt like we should've won. They're supposedly the 'Dream Team' and they feel like they should be undefeated right now. So it's going to be great for the fans and the NFL."

Despite their 1-3 record, Philadelphia's offense ranks fourth in the league with the number two rushing attack and number nine passing offense. Buffalo is ninth in the NFL on offense and ranks fifth rushing, 12 in passing. Both teams are also in the top 10 in scoring.

Adding to the anticipation of a high-scoring affair are the struggles that the defensive units of both teams have experienced in recent weeks. The Eagles defense ranks second in the league in the number of big plays surrendered with a total of 29. Buffalo is tied for third most with 25.

"It's always encouraging when you feel like you can go out and make some plays against a defense," said Fred Jackson. "I'm sure it's something they're addressing too. We think we're a big play offense so we're looking forward to it. Hopefully we can go out there and make some big plays. It's kind of what we live on. Hopefully we can make something happen."

Bills head coach Chan Gailey chalks Philadelphia's struggles up to some of the same problems Buffalo's defensive unit is experiencing, which are breakdowns in fundamentals.

"It's just tackling for them," said Gailey of the Eagles defense. "Really missed tackles is what has happened to them. They've got people in the right spots, they're just missing the tackles. They've given up some big plays because of it."

Getting yards after the catch proved to be a problem for the Bills receiving corps last week at Cincinnati. Their longest pass play in the second half of their Week 4 game covered just 12 yards. Seeing the success of Philadelphia's previous opponents has Buffalo's wideouts encouraged that their offense can rebound Sunday.

"You definitely see these guys give up big plays," said Donald Jones. "They haven't really been tackling. All of us are catch and run type guys and I feel like we'll be able to take advantage of it."

 "It's good to see that other players have been getting big plays on them so they're not completely shut down, lock down defense," said Johnson. "You still can make plays. Our mentality is once you get the ball you've got to make a big play. You have to break tackles and get yards after the catch and that's something we haven't been doing too well. I think we'll be back on track this week."

Add in the fact that the Bills defense and the Eagles defense rank 30th and 32nd in red zone defense and putting points on the board might be anything but a struggle. Buffalo has surrendered touchdowns 66.7 percent of the time, while Philadelphia allows opponents into the end zone a whopping 80 percent of the time.

That's why for a lot of the players a shootout type game Sunday is going to be far from a shock if it happens.

"I definitely wouldn't be surprised, and that's not a knock on our defense," said Jones. "I expect our defense to hold those guys and contain (Michael) Vick, (DeSean) Jackson and (Jeremy) Maclin and I feel like our offense can definitely put up points. We'll rebound from last week."

"It's one of those games where a lot of questions will be answered," said Jackson. "We know that. We know they have a lot of questions to answer as well. We expect them to come in and give us a great game. It'll be a great atmosphere and we'll have everybody in the Ralph behind us. So we're looking forward to that. We know it'll be a good challenge for us."

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