It’s week 4 of the NFL Season & the Bengals are facing the Bills at home tomorrow. To gather a little info on the Bengals upcoming opponent, I went out and got a hold of Bradley Andrews, the editor for Fansided’s Buffalo Bills blog. I asked him a few questions, here’s what he said.
Is Fitz finally the guy now? Or are people still having concerns about him?
"For now, Fitz is the man. He’s the unquestioned leader of this team and his production has been great so far. There are still a few concerns about Fitz – his arm strength is average at best and he still makes a terrible decision or throw a couple times a game. If those terrible passes don’t get intercepted, the Bills are in good shape. The next few weeks will be a real test. The Bengals’ defense is strong, and after that the Bills take on Philly and the Giants. If Fitz is still playing well after that, it may be time to sign him to that long-term contract he’s seeking."
What are the Bills biggest areas of concern?
"The defense is still a question mark. The biggest problem is that the Bills can’t seem to get any pressure on the QB. Fortunately, the run defense seems to have improved from last year’s league-worst unit. Also, the offensive line has played very well so far…but history says that won’t last forever. Finally, the Bills really don’t have any depth. A few key injuries would derail this promising season pretty quickly."
How have injuries affected the Bills roster for the 2011 NFL season?
"The notoriously snake-bitten Bills have surprisingly avoided injury this season except at two positions – wide receiver and cornerback. At WR, the Bills have already lost Roscoe Parrish and Marcus Easley for the season. Luckily, receiver is really the only place on the roster the Bills have any depth at all, so that’s not a huge problem. Unfortunately, the situation is far scarier at corner, where the Bills have lost Terrence McGee and rookie Aaron Williams for the time being. The Bills will have to hope Leodis McKelvin and Drayton Florence can stay healthy and productive."
What draft picks/ free agent signings will have the biggest impact on the Bills?
"The biggest signing has been ILB Nick Barnett from Green Bay. He’s given Buffalo some desperately needed speed and coverage ability at linebacker. The biggest surprise has been TE Scott Chandler. Chandler – cut four times in his career – came to Buffalo with just one career catch but has somehow emerged as a breakout star for the Bills, hauling in four touchdowns so far. As far as draft picks, Buffalo’s rookies have unfortunately been ravaged by injuries so far. The only major contributor has been DE Marcell Dareus, Buffalo’s first round pick. He’s a star in the making."
What are the overall expectations for the Bills 2011 season?
"Before the season, expectations weren’t very high. However, if this team can stay healthy 10-11 wins and a playoff berth are certainly possible."
What is your game-day prediction?
"A lot of Bills fans seem to be automatically chalking this up as a win, which is a huge mistake. I think this will be a very competitive game. Buffalo’s offense and Cincy’s defense are both very strong, so that should be a fun matchup to watch. The key will probably be who gets the better of the matchup between the two “weaker” units – the Buffalo defense and the Bengal offense. I’ll say Buffalo takes this one 27-20, but I’m very nervous about it."