Any NFL fan, outside of Buffalo, should have been surprised by the complete dominant performance the Buffalo Bills unleashed on the Kansas City Chiefs in week one. The Bills, who been near the bottom of the AFC East for quite some time, killed last seasons AFC West champions 41-7. The Buffalo Bills, for now, deserve respect.
Going into week two, both the Raiders and the Bills boast a 100 yard rusher and a very physical and at times dominating defensive line. If the Raiders are to be become “bullies” their defensive line cannot take any weekends off, including ones in Buffalo. Together the savvy Fred Jackson and the explosive C.J Spiller pose a greater challenge to the Raiders defensive line then the maligned Knowshon Moreno and the aged Willis McGahee did. Both offensive lines will have their hands full. The offensive line that finishes blocks and paves the better running lanes will give their team a huge advantage.
Despite this advantage the winner of this game will have to do more than run.
Outside of Cam Newton’s performance the most surprising quarterback performance of week one belongs to Ryan Fitzpatrick. He completed 68% of his passes for 208 yards but most impressively he threw 4 touchdowns, a career high. It was just one game but Fitzpatrick might have just found his home in Buffalo. Last week, the Raiders secondary let Kyle Orton throw for more than 300 yards with most coming in the second half. The Bills fans are envisioning another career week for Fitzpatrick, one where he solidifies himself and leads the Bills to a surprisingly 2-0 start.
Balanced NFL offenses, like the one Buffalo displayed in week one, both use the run to set up the pass and the pass to set up the run. Because of Buffalo’s strong running attack, this game is the first real test for the Raiders secondary. The pressure is now on the Raiders secondary to produce. The demands are on Stanford Routt, who had a great first game as the new number one cornerback, to lead by example, for Chris Johnson to maintain his stride and for Demarcus Van Dyke to not blow coverages. With Huff’s groin injury and perhaps limited snaps, extra responsibility will reside on Tyvon Branch, Jerome Boyd and Matt Giordano to not give up the big play.
Even though there are multiple key match-ups in this game, the game will be won or lost in the Raiders secondary. Last week, the Raiders defensive line did their job and the Raiders won. It is now the secondary’s turn to show if they can do their job.