This week we trade questions with Brian Galliford (@BuffRumblings) at the SBNation site Buffalo Rumblings.
The Bills are having a bit of a QB issue so will be starting a guy off the practice squad. So I start with that:
Whats the scoop on QB Thad Lewis?
Great question, and I wish I had a better answer for you: I have very little idea. We've only seen him make one preseason appearance in Buffalo, and he'd been with the team for the better part of three days at that point. We're as in the dark as you are when it comes to what Buffalo's offense will look like with Lewis under center, but we're betting that they'll make good use of his athletic ability with the read-option, for starters. From there, it's a mystery.
Will Jairus Byrd play and what kind of impact will he have in the secondary if he does play?
Yes, it's looking like Jairus Byrd will be making his season debut on Sunday. I'm not sure what his impact will be yet, because we don't know how big a role he'll have - the team may or may not move Aaron Williams from corner back to safety depending on if Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks can also suit up. In a vacuum, the answer is more obvious: the Bills lack a quality coverage element between current starters Da'Norris Searcy and Jim Leonhard, so he'd be a major upgrade there. But again, until we know how much he'll be playing, it's hard to say what his return will mean.
Who is the feature back in Buffalo? Is it Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller?
When both were healthy early in the season, Spiller was getting about 60 percent of the offensive snaps to Jackson's 40 percent. Jackson has been marginally healthier this season, but Spiller still has more carries. It's a timeshare, to be certain, but if one is ahead of the other by any length, Spiller's in the lead. (He's healthier this week, too, after logging only eight carries in Cleveland.)
What matchup most scares you from the Bengals?
Buffalo decided that this, the week in which they have to try to block Geno Atkins, would be the best week to start rotating two players in at left guard: Colin Brown, who has been awful, and Doug Legursky, the former Steeler that has likely struggled with Atkins alongside the rest of the league. If Atkins finds himself on the outside shoulder of the left guard for most of the day Sunday, he could have a career day.
What matchup favors the Bills?
I think defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has a chance for a good day against Cincinnati's offense. Buffalo is much better defensively than the numbers indicate, and their secondary is finally getting healthy. Yes, the Bengals have excellent skill players that present a variety of problems, but the Bills' biggest bugaboo defensively has been giving up the deep ball - and ideally, the secondary reinforcements will aid in that department. I'm very interested to see Pettine's defense at full strength, and given the Bengals' offensive struggles in their last two games, this seems like a favorable matchup for Buffalo.
How happy are you that the Bengals beat the Patriots?
I was thrilled for about 30 seconds, but it faded quickly when I remembered that the Bills couldn't close the deal against New England on their home turf in Week 1.