Game Day Tipsheet: Week 3

Top 3 Individual Matchups
1. Derrick Burgess vs. Jason Peters – The two Pro Bowl talents will match their athleticism and wits. Burgess knows how to set up tackles with his threat of speed around the edge, but Peters is athletic as they come. The Raiders have moved him over to the left side as well on passing downs, so his former teammate Langston Walker could see him too.

  1. DeAngelo Hall vs. Lee Evans – Hall may not always be matched up on Evans with Turk Schonert moving the Bills top wideout around a good amount the past two weeks, but Hall is extremely athletic. The problem is Hall relies too much on that athletic ability and as a result isn't the strongest at that position when it comes to technique. Evans should be able to take advantage of that.
  1. Zach Miller vs. Donte Whitner – Miller is a real up and coming tight end who has developed some early chemistry with JaMarcus Russell. The young quarterback looks for Miller often, but Whitner is more than capable of hanging with Oakland's second-year tight end.

Top 2 Bills Advantages
1. Good Advantage – Pass Defense – Buffalo's been solid defending the pass the first two weeks both on the front end with pressure and the back end with coverage. Oakland has some talented receiving targets, but their young quarterback might not be able to find them in time.
2. Best Advantage – Receiving corps – The Raiders do have one of the best cover corners in the league in Nnamdi Asomugha, but the depth in their secondary is questionable and Buffalo's top four wideouts are all solid. Add in Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson as legitimate threats out of the backfield and the Bills pose several matchup problems even against Oakland's athletic back seven.

Bills Number One Must
 Run Defense – It's not a big secret that the Raiders' running game is the driving force of Oakland's offense. Three-hundred rushing yards last week, even against the Chiefs, is impressive. Buffalo's run front however, will clearly be the best the Raiders have seen in the early going this season. If the Bills can slow down Oakland's rushers and force third-and-medium and third-and-long situations, Buffalo should be in good shape.

Scouting Eye
McFadden Dinged – Raiders rookie phenom Darren McFadden is dealing with a turf toe injury suffered last week at Kansas City. If the toe is still giving him problems it will affect his ability to cut and drive off of that leg and could compromise his trademark burst. That would certainly help Buffalo's cause as there are few backs in the league that capture the corner faster than McFadden.

Don't sleep on Bush – Michael Bush is somewhat of a forgotten man in Oakland's crowded backfield. After missing all of last season recovering from a broken leg the 6'1" 245-pounder has gotten off to a good start in 2008. Though his running style is different from McFadden's he's more than just a big back as he has some decent wiggle in open space and is a capable receiver out of the backfield. Through two games he's averaged better than 5.5 yards per carry.

Raiders rob Denver run game – The NFL is a copy cat league and Oakland is using Denver's zone blocking scheme for their rushing attack. The early returns have been fruitful as the Raiders rushers have done very well on cutbacks and one cut runs. Oakland also looks to get McFadden out on the edges to take advantage of his speed. His 19-yard touchdown run last week came on a toss sweep.

Sandwich game? – Oakland's matchup with Buffalo is the only one of their first four that is not against a division opponent. The Raiders opened at home against Denver before facing the Chiefs on the road last week. After playing Buffalo this Sunday they host AFC West rival San Diego in Week 4.

Solid Sub? – The Raiders could be without starting left tackle Kwame Harris for a second straight game as he's still nursing a knee injury. Last week at Kansas City rookie offensive tackle Mario Henderson got the start in Harris' absence at left tackle and held his own as the Oakland offensive line did not surrender a sack. Henderson drew the assignment of Kansas City's Tamba Hali. Whether he has the same degree of success against Aaron Schobel remains to be seen.

Not big blitzers – Oakland has not blitzed a whole lot through their first two games, though they did send extra pass rushers more last week at Kansas City than they did in Week One. The Raiders had five sacks with two going to their linebacking corps.

Drop and cover – Interceptions are usually the stat for defensive backs, but not on the Raiders roster. Oakland linebackers Thomas Howard (6 INTs) and Kirk Morrison (4 INTs) are first and tied for second in the league among linebackers with interceptions since the start of the 2007 season.

The Polish missile – Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski still has a whale of a leg. Last week against the Chiefs 'See-Bass' set a franchise record for longest field goal putting a 56-yard attempt through the uprights.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"It's kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you spill he's bouncing around the corner. If you post up on the outside the way they try to cut block and seal guys off he might take on back side off on you. So it's something that we really have to get our fits well, get into our fits and put the guy on the ground. Because if not, he's capable of hitting a home run every time."
--DT Kyle Williams on Darren McFadden

Stat of the Week
The Bills are the only 2-0 team in the league that won their first two games of the season against playoff teams from 2007.

Milestones within reach
Rian Lindell (521) needs just two points to move into third-place in team history in points scored (523).

Aaron Schobel needs two sacks to reach 70 in his career.

Final note
Buffalo has won its last three home games played on Sept. 21. The last victory on this date for a home contest came in 1997 when the Bills beat Indianapolis 37-35 in a game where the Bills staged the second-largest comeback in NFL regular season history. Buffalo overcame a 26-0 deficit with Antowain Smith providing the clinching points on a 54-yard touchdown run, his third of the game.

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