Bills vs. Bengals Key Matchup: Shawne Merriman vs. Andrew Whitworth

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 26: Jermaine Gresham #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with Andrew Whitworth #77 and Anthony Collins #73 after scoring a touchdown during the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 26 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. The Bengals 34-20. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

During their 3-0 start, the Buffalo Bills have not been particularly exotic defensively. They've preferred to rush four, blitz infrequently and limit the big play - and it's largely worked against them, with the Raiders and Patriots combining for 66 points in the Bills' last two wins.

If there's a good time for the Bills were to cut loose a bit and throw the book at a quarterback, said good time would involve a rookie signal-caller. That's what the Cincinnati Bengals feature in Andy Dalton of TCU, and it's entirely possible that the Bills borrow from the San Francisco 49ers' game plan a week ago and put as much pressure on Dalton as possible with plenty of blitzes.

Should that not happen, and the Bills opt to remain conservative in their calls, then the pressure will increase on Shawne Merriman, who keys Buffalo's pass rush. This week, he'll be spending a large amount of time rushing against one of the league's best and most underrated tackles in Cincinnati's Andrew Whitworth.

If it comes to this matchup, on paper - and based on the precedent of the first three games - it favors the Bengals. Here's hoping the Bills dial up more blitzes on Sunday.

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