Sunday at Ralph Wilson the hometown Buffalo Bills will play host to the upstart St.Louis Rams, who are coming off a home upset of the 49ers.
The Bills are playing well at 5-7, but can’t fall asleep on the Rams, who most NFL Predictions had not even winning the five games they already have in 2012.
Here’s three keys to the Bills getting out of Sunday with a win to get to one game under .500 at 6-7.
1. No Excuses – Sure the Bills have a number of beat up players, but it’s week 14, and if they think they are going to get some sympathy for it – think again. With that said, the Bills are hurting with cnter Eric Wood out for at least two weeks with a torn MCL, right tackle Chris Hairston (right foot) is not expected to play, and wide receiver Stevie Johnson (left hamstring) and cornerbacks Aaron Williams (right knee) and Leodis McKelvin (back) are all nursing injuries. The backups get paid for a reason, and this is a game to prove it.
2. Protect Fitz – All the sudden the Rams defense is getting to the QB, as they have 13 sacks in the last four games – including three in last Sunday’s 16-13 overtime win versus NFC West-leading San Francisco. If the Bills are going to have success, they have to make sure to keep QB Ryan Fitzpatrick upright, and that starts with making sure to be sound in protection packages in the O-line.
3. Keep Bradford Guessing – Buffalo’s D has started to assert itself in this recent string of success, as they have recorded 10 sacks while holding its last three opponents to averages of 17.0 points and 244.0 yards. St.Louis isn’t explosive enough to score over 20 points, and the Bills defense needs to make sure to keep pressure on Bradford and get some mistakes from him.
Prediction – Buffalo is at home, and with weather possibly a factor and the teams run game playing like they have, the Bills will get out of dodge with a close win. Buffalo 17 St.Louis 13