San Francisco 49ers vs. Buffalo Bills NFL Week 5 Preview

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

 

The San Francisco 49ers will attempt to reclaim their top spot in the NFC West when they host the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.

The Bills? Well, they just want to stay in the AFC East hunt with the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

This game will be a great test for both squads.

With a Cardinals loss (4-1), the 3-1 49ers have a chance to share the divisional lead.

After a rough loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, the 49ers are not only fighting for supremacy within the NFC West. It’s much bigger than that.

The NFC conference is up for grabs, and while this team is more than capable of winning on the road, home field advantage is a priceless gift.

As of now, the Atlanta Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFC at 4-0, meaning the 49ers are not far off.

The Bills on the other hand are just trying to stay afloat. At 2-2, they are currently in a three-way division tie atop the AFC East with both the Patriots and Jets hanging at the side.

While the 49ers are coming off a impressive 34-0 win over the New York Jets, the same can’t be said for the Bills.

After a 48-28 drubbing by the New York Jets in Week 1, the Bills turned in a similar performance against the Patriots last week. Actually, it was far worse.

The Bills were actually leading the Patriots 21-7 in the third quarter before Tom Brady and Co. drilled in six consecutive touchdowns to pull out a win.

Pathetic? Far worse, especially considering the Bills emptied their pockets in the hopes of defeating Tom Brady and that explosive Patriots offense.

The defense, which spent a little over 120 million on both Mario Williams and Mark Anderson this offseason, is ranked 27th in total defense.

Even far worse is their defense against the run, especially with the 49ers next up on the schedule. Against the run, the Bills are ranked 28th.

The 49ers will look to take advantage of the Bills porous run defense on the strength of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.

Heck, the 49ers love to run the ball with receivers as well. Don’t be surprised if receivers Mario Manningham and Ted Ginn are involved in the running game.

In the 49ers blowout win over the Jets last week, nine different 49ers carried the rock, including backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The Bills will also look to run the ball on the strength of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

However, the Bills will find it much more difficult to run against this stout 49ers defense.

The heart of this 49ers defense lies in the strength of their defensive line and linebacker corps.

What this means? The onus will now be on Ryan Fitzpatrick to play well, but from recent history, can the former Harvard quarterback shoulder the burden?

That remains to be seen.

However, against this 49ers defense it sure will be tough.

A great matchup awaits both sides. Even more important, is this game will tell us a lot about the direction of both teams.


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