Update [2007-10-21 17:42:25 by Brian Galliford]: Whew. Just whew. With visions of the Monday Night Meltdown running through the collective minds of those of us watching the game, the Bills were able to hold on to a 19-14 victory over the Ravens today. We'll break down the pros and cons of the win later on this evening; for now, enjoy it, Bills fans! Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me...
It's game day, Bills fans! When the Bills and Ravens kick off at The Ralph in 5 hours, you're going to want a place to discuss the game, right? Well, here it is - use this thread to discuss the events of the game, whoop when the Bills score, agonize when the Ravens put up points and curse out Steve Fairchild-Mularkey ("SF-M"). This is your thread today, so have at it!
Here's what you can expect to see in this game:
Bills on Offense: Memo to SF-M - a conservative game plan is going to get your Bills blown out, Coach. Baltimore is going to stuff the run, come out with some elaborate blitz packages and try to make rookie QB Trent Edwards beat them. That means 4-5 yard dump-offs and nothing beyond 10 yards won't get the job done. However, since I'm a realist, I'm expecting to see just that, at least early - the Bills will try to run the ball against the league's 3rd-best run defense, move the chains efficiently and control the clock. They may have success - but it's a formula for the Ravens to get up early. If that happens, the pressure will mount on Edwards and he'll likely struggle for the rest of the day - he's not the type of QB to lead a team from behind.
Bills on Defense: An improving Bills run defense will face its biggest challenge to date in attempting to shut down former teammate Willis McGahee, the league's fourth-leading rusher. McGahee may get a blocker or two back today, as three Ravens linemen - tackles Jonathan Ogden and Adam Terry and center Mike Flynn - are all questionable for the contest. If the Bills are able to at least contain McGahee, it will put some pressure on QB Kyle Boller. That's the best way to beat this offense.
Baltimore is a team that turns the ball over in bunches, so forcing a couple today would really help the Bills' chances. Baltimore always places heavy emphasis on ball security, so getting turnovers won't be akin to stealing candy from a baby, but it is possible to make plays against the Ravens. If the D can create short fields for Edwards and the offense, our chances of victory skyrocket.
Prediction: I have a gut feeling about this one. The Bills are coming off of a bye week and are getting healthier (LB Coy Wire returns today), and they have the capability of beating a Ravens team that, at 4-2, is a touch overrated. The Bills need to win the turnover battle, keep McGahee out of the paint and make a big play on special teams. If it's a close game, there will be a lot of pressure on K Rian Lindell. I'm expecting a close contest either way - but this Bills team is due for a big win. I think they'll get it. Final Score: Bills 16, Ravens 13.