I hope everyone had a great Christmas and can forgive me for the lack of posts. A fair amount of traveling and a wealth of Christmas spirit kept me away from my computer for most of the day. Friends again? Friends again.
But we're here to talk about the Buffalo Bills, aren't we? With any luck, I'll be joining you for most of the game for the first time in a few weeks, but let's run down a couple of story lines coming into this one. A win here puts the Falcons only one W away from that elusive winning season, so it's critically important in my mind. The Bills seem like a team the Falcons match up well with on paper, but underestimating them would be a grave mistake. Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch are a dangerous tandem.
Let's jump into the links, shall we?
- The injury report is the place to start. Chris Houston is doubtful. There's a whole list of questionables behind him. Among those, my educated guess is that Jamaal Anderson, Sam Baker and Michael Turner will probably sit this one out, and everyone else will be ready to play. I hope Charlie Peprah's ready, because the loss of Antoine Harris has really cut into the depth of our safeties.
- Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is questionable against the Falcons. Keep in mind that this is a guy who has managed under 100 yards passing more than once this season, and Bills fans for the most part would still rather see him than Brian Brohm. Brohm has the better arm but a lack of confidence, so the Falcons will have to pound him early and often to knock him off his game if he does start.
- Pretty good luck at what the Bills need to do to win from our friends at Buffalo Rumblings. I was slightly amused to see stopping Jason Snelling up at the top of the list, because he's been averaging under four yards per carry lately, but then I remembered that the Bills have an atrocious run defense. This could be Snelling's biggest game of the year.
- Nothing would be finer, from an individual standpoint, than getting Tony Gonzalez to 1,000 career catches. If Chris Owens can shut down Terrell Owens and keep him from getting two catches, Gonzo will get there first. The win is always the top priority. Getting Gonzo that and keeping it from Owens would be pretty damn sweet on its own, though.
Speaking of pass defense, this could be another nice confidence builder for Brent Grimes and Owens. I think Owens is further ahead developmentally than I expected him to be, and I would love to see the Falcons go into a draft with some compelling cornerback prospects and have at least three corners in hand who can play a little defense. Adding a potential #1 to that list and maximizing on the potential of Grimes, Owens and Houston would go a long way toward shoring up our pass defense.