Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Preview - Can Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Build On Impressive Win?

By Robert D. Cobb

To say that the Buffalo Bills shocking 41-7 rout over the AFC West defending champion, Kansas City Chiefs was not the upset of Week 1 may be stating the obvious. What took many by surprise was that not only was it on the road at hostile Arrowhead Stadium but also the sheer ease in which Buffalo did it in.

Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would go 17-of-25 for only 208 yards, and toss four touchdowns, two of them to tight end Scott Chandler and one to wide receiver Stevie Johnson.

Chandler— whom the Chiefs seemed to have no answer for—would finish the game with five catches for 63 yards and Johnson would finish the game with four receptions for 66 yards receiving.

Buffalo was also able to get their explosive running back duo of Fred Jackson and C.J Spiller involved as they would both combine for 25 carries and 128 yards.  Spiller would score on a nine-yard touchdown run to provide the exclamation point in the rout.

With the Bills now at 1-0, they have a good chance to improve to 2-0 when the Oakland Raiders travel east to western New York.

Oakland defeated AFC West rival Denver 23-20 on Monday Night Football, must travel 2,288 miles east to play a riled-up Buffalo team playing in its home opener.  West Coast teams traveling east on a short week is never a good thing, and ever fewer are successful.

For the Raiders to win this game—and improve to 2-0— they must continue to run the ball effectively and get pressure on Fitzpatrick.  The Raiders rushed for 190 yards—150 of them by running back Darren McFadden—allowing Oakland to dictate the tempo of the game on the ground.

Oakland’s defensive line will be a tough task for Buffalo’s offensive line on Sunday, as the Raiders defense would sack Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton five times—two of them by defensive tackle Richard Seymour.

Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell also hopes to get untracked early in 2011 at Buffalo, Campbell had a modest performance by going 13-of-22 for 105 yards.  Campbell would throw one touchdown pass —a three-yard reception—to fullback Marcel Reece and rush for one on a one-yard run.

This game has all the makings of a back-and-forth shootout, with both teams having playmakers on offense and good defenses.  Buffalo has a dangerous gunslinger at quarterback in Fitzpatrick who is not shy airing it out, while Oakland has a formidable running attack led by McFadden and Michael Bush.

The deciding factor in this matchup could be the Raiders secondary which no longer has shutdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to discourage Fitzpatrick from going downfield while Oakland has to contend with the explosive vertical threat of Johnson.

Fitzpatrick is no Orton and you have a West Coast team traveling east on a short week.

Prediction:  Buffalo 24 Oakland 20

Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_NFL 

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