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The Bills come into the game on Sunday looking to avoid losing two in a row for the first time this season when they travel to Jerryworld to square off with the Cowboys who are trying to keep pace with the Giants for the NFC East. “The focus is trying to win a game. … We got everything in front of us — we hold our own destiny in our own hands, so we gotta go take care of business,” coach Chan Gailey said.
Buffalo, who sit at 5-3 tied atop the AFC East with the Patriots and the Jets, failed to take care of any business last Sunday against the Jets. They fell 27-11 and saw their high power offense, which is tied for the highest scoring in the AFC with the Patriots at 27.8 points per game, sputter as the Jets made them look like the one win Dolphins. The Bills went 3 for 11 on third down and turned it over three times.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions and had his worst game of the year going 15 of 31 for 191 yards and a touchdown. “It was a bad game,” said Fitzpatrick. “We certainly didn’t have our best effort out there, and I think that’s where a lot of disappointment and frustration comes in.”
Fitzpatrick will look to bounce back facing a Cowboys pass defense that’s right in the middle of the pack ranked 16th giving up 232.5 yards per game. The Bills are led by running back Fred Jackson who is having a career year leading the AFC at 100.4 yards per game and helping the Bills to the 7th ranked rushing attack with 135 yards per game.
However, the Jets held the team to only 96 yards on the ground and forced Jackson’s first fumble of the year. They will look to get back to the run, as Dallas has struggled lately giving up 401 yards on the ground the past two weeks. Dallas will get Sean Lee back who is their leading tackler and this should help them somewhat.
For Buffalo to keep pace for the AFC East title they’ll have to go at least 2-1 on their three game road trip facing Dallas, Miami, and then the Jets again before heading home to face Tennessee. “It will be a difficult stretch, but we don’t have to play all three of them at the same time,” Jackson said. “If we go out and continue to make plays like we have been throughout the season, we feel like we’ll be OK.”
Buffalo has struggle so far on the road this year by going 1-2, but the losses came against the Giants and the Bengals, both who are in first place in their divisions. Each loss was only by three points. The Cowboys sit at 4-4, but are looking to make a push in the second half of the season as they benefit from an easy schedule. They also benefit from the first place Giants having a tough stretch over the next few weeks.
After the Bills the Cowboys face Washington, Miami, and Arizona who have a combined record of 6-18. After that, the Giants come to town in what looks to be a pivotal matchup. “We’ve done a lot of things to build on over the first eight games, a lot we can be positive about. … But we have to get better,” said Garrett
When starting running back Felix Jones got hurt, people expected the running game to take a step back, but the opposite has happened with rookie DeMarco Murray shining rushing for 466 yards in three games. They hope he can keep it up against a Bills run defense that ranks 20th giving up 120.8 yards per game.
“We are going to have a great 1-2 punch when Felix gets healthy,” Witten said. “It’s going to put us in a great situation.” The Cowboys are a little banged up with Felix Jones still being questionable and wide receiver Miles Austin out for possibly a month after he reinjured his hamstring last week.
With no Austin, Dez Bryant figures to see a lot more targets, along with tight end Kevin Ogletree and wide receiver Laurent Robinson. Buffalo’s defense, while rich with playmaking ability, they lead the AFC with 15 interceptions, isn’t that great. They rank 25th against the pass giving up 260.4 yards per game.
The game should be a close contest as both teams can put up a lot of points in a hurry. Both teams need to win to keep pace in their respective races, but with the Bills on the road and Dallas’ defense being run by Rob Ryan, Rex’s twin brother, they will see a dose of the same stuff they saw against the Jets. The Cowboys should be able to get a win at home. Final Prediction: Bills 17 Cowboys 27.
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