Top 3 Individual Matchups
1. Jason Peters vs. Paul Spicer – Assuming that Peters will be dressed and start on Sunday, he'll be squaring off with the veteran defensive end. Spicer is one of the most physical defensive ends in the league and has athleticism to match. These two will be mashing all day.
- Lee Evans vs. Drayton Florence – It's unclear as to whether Jacksonville's top corner Rashean Mathis will be assigned to follow Evans no matter where he lines up, but if he doesn't then Florence will draw the assignment in the times Evans lines up as the 'x' receiver. Problem is Evans is moving around a lot more now, hopefully finding him is a problem for Jacksonville's corners as well.
- Roscoe Parrish vs. Adam Podlesh – Parrish's exploits are well documented, but Podlesh is one of the better directional kickers in the league. It will be interesting to see if he can hem Parrish in along the boundaries making it easier for his coverage team to close in on him before something big happens.
Top 2 Bills Advantages
1. Good advantage – Pass protection – Again assuming Jason Peters is back in the lineup Sunday Buffalo's pass protection will be at its best. Jacksonville is a bit more aggressive than they have been in the past, but the Bills' men up front should be up to the task even on the road.
- Best advantage – Defensive interior – Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams need to exploit the weakness across the interior of the Jaguars' offensive line. With three reserve players who all lack playing experience with one another, the Bills should employ every wrinkle they've got in their efforts to get to David Garrard, while also blowing up the inside run game of the Jags.
Bills Number one must
Neutralize Taylor-Jones-Drew – Even though Jacksonville's offensive front is weakened in terms of talent, their offensive backfield is healthy and ready to roll. After a 33-yard rushing performance last week, both backs will be eager to prove it was just an aberration. Buffalo has to bring its best to slow down arguably the best two-back tandem in football.
Garrard on the move: With Jacksonville missing three of their interior starters on the offensive line there's a strong likelihood that the offensive staff will have some designed rollouts and bootlegs in their game plan for David Garrard. After getting sacked seven times and tossing an uncharacteristic two interceptions last week, the Jaguars will likely have a moving pocket and let Garrard make plays on the run, which he's very good at doing.
Taking it wide
In addition the inside run game may also be in for some tough sledding with three backups on the interior. So there's a good chance that a good portion of the run game calls will be off tackle and to the outside. The Bills will have to be mindful of pitch plays and swing passes to the backs as the Jaguars will be looking to get Taylor and Jones-Drew out in space.
Nicked up wideouts
Jacksonville isn't only hurting on the offensive line, but at receiver as well. After starters Reggie Williams almost everyone else is nicked up. Fellow starter Matt Jones is probably (hamstring). Troy Williamson is out, free agent signee Jerry Porter is questionable (hamstring) and Dennis Northcutt is probable (back). The only other healthy receiver is sixth wideout Mike Walker.
While the Bills have a dangerous punt returner in Roscoe Parrish, the Jaguars may have found one of their own in undrafted rookie Brian Witherspoon. Called "Spoony" by his teammates, the Stillman college product was a three-sport athlete in college (football, track, baseball) and led the NFL in the preseason with a punt return average of 16.3. Last week at Tennessee Witherspoon averaged 22.5 yards per punt return and over 41 yards on three kick returns including a 51-yard effort.
A familiar face
Former Bills head coach Gregg Williams was hired in the offseason by Jack Del Rio to run his defense. In years past the Jaguars defense has primarily been a cover two defense thanks in large part to their ability to effectively rush the passer with four down linemen. But Williams is putting his own stamp on Jacksonville's defensive unit with more aggressive blitz schemes that have come to be his trademark. Look for the Jaguars to be more aggressive than in years past especially with a second-year quarterback in Trent Edwards.
In last year's matchup with Buffalo, Jacksonville was missing MLB Mike Peterson, top cover corner Rashean Mathis and Marcus Stroud. With Peterson and Mathis back on defense the Jaguars unit is a formidable one. However, it should be noted that in last year's matchup the Bills were without Paul Posluszny, Ko Simpson and Marshawn Lynch. In addition Trent Edwards did not play because J.P. Losman got the start.
*Buffalo Chips *Quote of the week: "Marcus is a Pro-Bowler. He's a Pro-Bowl defensive tackle. He had an injury that people didn't think he would come back from, which he came back from and he showed last week that he can still be dominant. I think this is just added motivation, knowing that he was there for a number of years and that he was going to continue his career there. And to be traded, that was probably a slap in the face. So I'm looking forward to him having a great game."
Stat of the Week
Marcus Stroud has been part of a defense that has held opponents to 100 rushing yards or less in 47 games. In those 47 games his team's record is 35-12 including last Sunday's win over Seattle in which Buffalo's defense held the Seahawks to 85 rushing yards.
Milestones in reach
Roscoe Parrish needs one punt return for a touchdown for the fourth of his career and sole possession of first place in team history with most punt return touchdowns in a career.
Aaron Schobel is two sacks away from 70 for his career.
Lee Evans needs one more 100-yard receiving game to move into fifth-place on the team's all-time list with 11. He also needs just one more touchdown reception to take sole possession of fifth place in team annals with 30.
This will be the sixth time that Buffalo has played on Sept. 14th in their history. The last time the Bills played on Sept. 14th was in 2003, when they beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville 38-17.