Buffalo Bills (6-8) at Denver Broncos (8-6)
Sunday December 21, 2008; 4:05 PM EST
Only two more embarrassments to go! How will the Bills find a way to lose this week? Will it be an interception return for a TD with no time left on the clock? Will it be a 90 yard Hail Mary from Jay Cutler to the backup Center? Will they have too many pieces of coal in their socks? Can the Bills actually win? Yes, but it's doubtful. Here's how they can surprise us:
Marshawn's hungry, feed the Beast: Here's all you need to know - Denver allows 140 yards per game on the ground and a hair under 5 yards per carry. Any of us would understand the need to get him the ball early and often, but our coaching savants tend to lose focus. Will they do the right thing this week or try something stupid that doesn't and shouldn't work? Really, if Turk Schonert and Dick Jauron don't get Marshawn the ball 25-30 times (assuming we're not down 21 in the first quarter), just leave them in Denver.
Prove to us that Lee Evans still exists: He's been milk carton worthy lately. It'd be nice to get him some catches early, especially against a poor Denver secondary. Their pass D isn't a whole lot better than the run D, allowing 233 yards per game. So humor us Bills, show that Lee Evans wasn't the big, old waste of money that some will argue he already is. Just not at the expense of Marshawn.
Play the young skill position players a lot: Steve Johnson and Derek Fine have gotten a lot of playing time the past few weeks, and rightfully so. I want to see these two as much as possible in the final two games. I'd go as far as starting Johnson over Josh Reed just to see if he can be capable. No matter what, I want to see Trent Edwards looking for these two guys a lot on Sunday. All three of them need to continue getting more comfortable in their roles and to get ready for next season.
Make Cutler crazy: Well, Jay Cutler is normally pretty crazy out there, forcing passes into Brandon Marshall like Mike Williams forces down that twenty-third cheeseburger. How about we take advantage of that? Get in his face, make him roll out, hurry his throws, etc. I doubt any of that happens, but Cutler is very prone to mistakes, so if it is possible to get to him, we'd better be ready for some crazy pass attempts.
Stuff the Scheff: Tony Scheffler is a good TE, but the type of guy we've been able to slow down this season. Bryan Scott has done an admirable job against some very good tight ends this season (Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow among them). If he can help take away Scheffler in the middle of the field, the probability of Jay Cutler forcing a pass outside to Marshall skyrockets. Editor's note, by Brian Galliford: Kurupt's motives could NOT be more transparent here. K needs Marshall to have a big day so he has a hope of beating me in this week's fantasy championship... End Note
Spring Leo: Last week, Leodis McKelvin had a touchdown return nullified by a questionable holding call. It's doubtful, but that may have cost McKelvin a Pro Bowl berth over Leon Washington. To make up for it, the Bills' kick return unit should really step up their blocking and get him that TD back this week. It's only fair, right?
When you get burned, be sure to get burned by Marshall: This is personal only. I have Brandon Marshall on both my fantasy teams and am going for the Championship in each league. If the Bills are going to allow some TD passes, they better be to Marshall. At least give me something to smile about. Please. Editor's note, by Brian Galliford: Lame. End Note
Lastly, no embarrassments this week: This team is laughingstock #1a in the NFL, with the Lions being laughingstock #1. The Bills always find a way to embarrass themselves in some way and as fans, we all know how hurtful it is. I can live with a loss here, but please guys, don't pull some crap like last week. I beg you. Go out with some pride for once...
That's it. I stretched them as much as possible hoping to find some possible ways for the Bills to win this week. How angry will we all be if the Bills come out and dominate in the cold and snow and smack Denver around? If they do that after practicing outside this week, I think that whole situation will explode (in my head only). Enjoy the game everyone! And Happy Holidays to you all (Merry X-mas)!