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Key matchups for Sunday: Bills perspective

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Tunescribe, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    From the Bills' official web site:

    Top 3 Individual Matchups
    1. Mike Gandy vs. Richard Seymour - If Buffalo's left tackle thought Detroit's James Hall was a handful, the competition takes a noticeable step up in Seymour. The Patriots' Pro Bowl end is one of the more disruptive defensive linemen in the league. He has 2.5 sacks, a team leading seven quarterback hits and a pair of batted passes in five games. And Gandy won't get much of a break when Seymour rotates out as backup Jarvis Green leads the team in sacks with 4.5 and also has seven quarterback hits.

    2. Chris Kelsay vs. Ryan O'Callaghan - The Bills left defensive end has been a consistent performer thus far this season as he leads the team in sacks and stands third on the team in tackles. He had a strong game against Callaghan in the first matchup with four tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Buffalo will need a similar performance on Sunday to help hold Brady's passing numbers in check.

    3. Terrence McGee vs. Doug Gabriel - McGee has had his share of struggles with big receivers the past two games as Bernard Berrian and Roy Williams have had productive days against Buffalo's left cornerback. Gabriel (6'2", 215) was inactive for the first matchup between the Bills and Patriots, but in the last four games has become the team's third leading receiver and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns.

    Bills top 2 advantages
    Slight advantage: Bills receivers vs. Patriots cornerbacks - Buffalo was successful in spreading the ball around to seven different passing targets in the first matchup, including four members of their receiving corps. Lee Evans has been able to produce despite facing double coverage much of the time the past two weeks and should be a more frequent option than he was in the last matchup against New England.

    Good advantage: Field goal kicking - Veteran kicker Rian Lindell has been solid again this season and has been almost perfect from long distance (4-5, 40-yards plus). Patriots rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski, though possessing a strong leg, is not familiar with the ever present wind conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium having never kicked in Buffalo before. He's also had two kicks blocked this season.

    Bills number one must
    No turnovers: As important as establishing the run game, as well as holding New England's ground attack in check might be in this matchup, the Bills have proven that when they don't turn the ball over they can compete with anyone in the league.

    Proof of that came in Buffalo's first meeting with New England this season. Though there were three fumbles in the game, the Bills recovered all of them and J.P. Losman did not throw any interceptions.

    When the Bills are turnover free they are 2-1. One turnover or more this season and they are 0-3. The team is too new in their respective offensive and defensive systems, and too young to overcome giveaways and still compete.

    Scouting eye
    Pats rarely see red: The New England defense is not dramatically better than Buffalo when it comes to stopping opponents from scoring touchdowns in the red zone. The Patriots are allowing touchdowns 50 percent of the time, while the Bills surrender six points 58.8 percent of the time. The big difference however, comes in the number of red zone opportunities given to their respective opponents. While Buffalo has allowed 17 red zone penetrations on the season, New England has allowed just six, which is the fewest in the league.

    Blanket punt coverage: New England is tops in the league when it comes to covering punts. Much of the credit goes to punter Josh Miller who has been able to get a lot of hang time on his kicks allowing his cover team to get down the field and close the space for the opposing return man. His high kicks have forced five fair catches. But the cover unit has been outstanding allowing an anemic 3.4 yards per return, with the long on the season just 12 yards.

    Run defense improving: After their first game against Buffalo, New England's run defense was ranked a rather pedestrian 14th in the league. Since then they've improved six places to rank 8th in the league allowing just over 85 yards on the ground per game. Willis McGahee and Anthony Thomas combined for 99 rushing yards in the first matchup.

    Capitalizing: The Patriots have tallied 31 points off turnovers in their last two games. New England scored 17 of their 20 points in their win over the Dolphins in Week 5 off of three turnovers. The week before, they posted 14 points off of turnovers against Cincinnati in a 38-13 victory.

    Buffalo Chips
    Quote of the week: "I haven't beaten them since I've been playing on the football field. They're one of those teams that's hard to beat. We've got the talent it just doesn't fall our way toward the end. We could be winning all the way until the fourth quarter or the last two or three minutes and it just crumbles. I can't speak for the whole team, but I know one thing. We are tired of losing to these guys and we need to get a win."
    - Willis McGahee on dropping six straight to New England

    Milestones in reach:
    Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel is a half sack away from 50 in his career. If he gets a half sack Sunday he'll become just the fourth player in Bills history to reach the 50-sack plateau joining Bruce Smith, Phil Hansen and Cornelius Bennett.

    Peerless Price needs 30 yards receiving for 5,000 in his career.

    Stat that stands out: Willis McGahee has had rushing success at home of late against Buffalo's division rivals. The Bills top back has run for 110 yards or more in four of the last six home games against AFC East opponents and three touchdowns. However, only one of those six games was against New England, and it was one of the two in which McGahee didn't eclipse the 100-yard mark. In fact in the last home game against New England, McGahee had three yards on eight carries.

    Losman TD streak: J.P. Losman has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of the last five games. The last time he failed to complete a pass in the end zone was at New England in Week One.
  2. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 Rookie

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    While Buffalo has allowed 17 red zone penetrations on the season, New England has allowed just six, which is the fewest in the league.

    **** Sounds like the 'bend don't break' Patriots D isn't bending very much.

    Milestones in reach:
    Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel is a half sack away from 50 in his career. If he gets a half sack Sunday he'll become just the fourth player in Bills history to reach the 50-sack plateau joining Bruce Smith, Phil Hansen and Cornelius Bennett.

    **** I'm guessing Aaron gets his 50. Not a bad preview really. Although when thier only advantages the guy mentions are a slight advantage with the Bills WR's over the Pats DB's and a good advantage with thier PK over the Patriots, that's not that much of an advantage -:)

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