What are the Bills doing to deal with their offensive line issues
from a year ago?
Tyler Diedrich: Despite much criticism of their
offensive line play, the Bills haven’t made many changes and will stick with the
same lineup they had the first two weeks. Only one current starter, right tackle
Cornell Green, is new to the team the team this year. Believing most of the
problems were due to injuries last season, it looks like the coaches are hoping
the line stays healthy this year in order to develop it more for the long
Is Marshawn Lynch in the Bills current and / or future
Diedrich: The Bills don’t appear to be in any hurry to
trade Lynch. Coach Chan Gailey said he is open to anything that will help the
team improve, but has repeatedly denied trade rumors and loves the potential
three-headed monster of Lynch, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the
What is the strength of this year's Bills team?
Diedrich: The second-ranked pass defense in the league
last year remains the Bills’ strongpoint. Led by safety Jairus Byrd, who tied
for the league lead with nine interceptions last year, the secondary kept the
Bills hanging around against Miami in week one by forcing Chad Henne to throw
underneath, but regressed slightly against one of the league’s best offenses in
Green Bay last week.
If the Patriots were to exploit any one area of the Bills where
would that be, and how should they do it?
Diedrich: New England’s front seven against Buffalo’s
offensive line could be the key here. Vince Wilfork could have a field day
plugging up the middle and drawing attention from Buffalo’s already suspect
offensive line, freeing up room for blitzers to attack Lynch, Jackson and
Spiller. The insertion of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick opens the Bills’ offense
a bit more and could lead to more shots down the field -- if he has time to
throw, that is.
Changing quarterbacks mid season seems like a desperation move.
Trent Edwards has had good games against the Patriots before. What does
Fitzpatrick offer the Bills that they can't get from Edwards?
Diedrich: Fitzpatrick is not afraid to throw the ball in
to tight spots and give receivers like Lee Evans the chance to make a big play,
unlike Edwards, otherwise known as “Captain Checkdown.” Fitzpatrick also doesn’t
shy away from freelancing a bit and changing plays at the line. He did just that
on a 98-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens last year in Jacksonville.
If you were to pick one matchup to watch in this week's game, what
would it be and why?
Diedrich: The most even and interesting matchup to watch
may be the Bills’ secondary against the Patriots’ receivers. Even though the
Bills haven’t beaten the Patriots since 2003, they have kept the high-powered
New England passing attack in relative check the last four meetings. Randy Moss,
Wes Welker and company are still a big test for Buffalo’s secondary if it wants
to prove it truly is among the best in the league.
Prediction and why?
Diedrich: Patriots win 27-10. Ryan Fitzpatrick will
challenge the Patriots defense early, but New England will pull away by
relentlessly pressuring him and attacking the Bills’ ground game. Expect Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense to take a more methodical, yet effective,
offensive approach against Buffalo’s strong pass defense rather than trying to
light up the scoreboard.
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[Editor's Note: Special thanks to Tyler for joining us for this edition of
Behind Enemy Lines with such short notice. Be sure to let him know what you
think about his take on the game.]
Tyler Diedrich is the sports assignment editor for The Bona Venture and a
contributing columnist for buffalobills.com
and can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org