Monday, September 15, 2014

Bills Win -Prognostications on Target

First of all I want to apologize to Dr. D, all Vikings fan, and perhaps to anyone associated with the Minnesota professional football club for my comment/prediction related to the Vikings stomping the Rams in Week 1. I merely said, "Of course, it is the Vikings, so I am sure you are holding your breath until some sort of disaster strikes. " Which was promptly followed by Adrian Peterson being suspended for child abuse and the Vikings getting stomped by the Patriots - who, in the Vikings defense I guess, were coming off a loss and apparently rarely lose immediately again after such an outcome. Either way, it was a bad day for the Vikes, and I feel I may have knowingly jinxed them in the same way I jinxed the Yankees last night by repeatedly saying how bad Kelly Johnson was, while at the same time telling my kids he would certainly turn around and do something to help the Orioles - which he indeed did with a walk-off double.

To further enhance my prognostic credibility, I will remind you that I correctly called the Dolphins a good match-up for the Bills, which they certainly seemed to be in an easy 29-10 win for the Buffaloes yesterday. We seem to have the 'Fins number and have now posted three wins in a row over them, including two relatively dominant home performances - and we really don't dominate games that often.

The one revelation yesterday for me was the sparkling play of Sammy Watkins. Don't get me wrong, I knew Watkins had the potential to be good - which is why I wasn't totally against the Bills seemingly ridiculous decision to pay a king's ransom to move up and draft him this year. From my standpoint, he was only one of a handful of for-sure impact players available, and the Bills weren't going to get one at number 9 - where they sat before maneuvering with the Browns to get to number 4, giving up next year's first round choice in the process. The only misgiving I had was that Watkins would be wasted because of QB E.J. Manuel's inability to throw.

Manuel didn't look great throwing the ball yesterday, and clearly missed an open Watkins on what should have been a TD in the first half, but Manuel was good enough, and he managed to connect with Watkins 8 times for 118 yards and a TD. And Watkins looked like he was open on almost every play as the game went along. He made it look easy - and that kind of stuff helps.

True test of how good the Bills are will be coming up at home Sunday vs. Philip Rivers and the Chargers, who are coming off a win over the World Champion Seahawks. Bills have the advantage of being in the Eastern time zone vs. a West Coast team, but I don't like a veteran heady QB like Rivers against the Bills relatively inexperienced secondary - although Corey Graham was great (he's not inexperienced) for the second week in a row vs. Miami. And although Bills did mostly shutdown Dolphins TE Charles Clay (7 catches, for a mere 31 yards), which was a nice change -maybe having LB Nigel Bradham back after 1 game suspension helped with that -  I'm a little wary (to say the least) about Kellen Winslow - I mean Antonio Gates - who burned the Seahawks for the 3 TDs yesterday.

So, Bills are playing at home, but as the weather should be nice, I'm not sure how much that will help. I'm not saying I know a whole lot about the Chargers, but have seen them play at least a couple times in last few years, and unfortunately, I like them to knock the Bills from the ranks of the unbeaten next Sunday. But, I'll still be cheering for Bills and hoping I get this prognostication wrong!

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