The NFL heads to Canada this weekend as the Bills take on the Seahawks. For the Bills, this will simply be about spoiling the Seahawks division title hopes while the Seahawks look to plow through the Bills in hope of winning a division title, securing a place in the playoffs.
What it Means
For the Bills, they are still mathematically in the hunt for clinching a wild card birth. Realistically, the Bills have no chance. Essentially, every team ahead of the Bills must lose out and the Bills win out for the team to make it to the playoffs.
The Seahawks on the other hand, must win this game to keep their division title hopes alive going into next week’s monstrous matchup against the 49ers. Despite the team’s awful road record of 2-5, the game in Toronto is a neutral field at best, which should be a little more consoling for Seahawks fans.
Matchups to Watch
Marshawn Lynch vs. Bills Defense
Stopping the run against top ten rushing attacks has been absolutely catastrophic for the Bills. Although the Bills have done better against the rush of late, they have not faced a top ten rushing attack since their loss at the Patriots. Lynch is second in the NFL with 1,266 yards. Since being traded from Buffalo to Seattle, Lynch has done nothing but run all over his opponents, and one should expect no less on Sunday. I do believe that the Bills have gotten better against the run, but I do not think that they will hold Lynch under 100 yards on the ground, not including reception yards. Look for Lynch to have a strong day.
C.J. Spiller vs. Seahawks Defense
Last week, the Seahawks defense laid down the law against the Cardinals by shutting them out 58-0. However, in the previous six games, the Seahawks were gashed for 907 rushing yards. Therefore, it is imperative that CJ GETS THE BALL! Spiller got the ball a whopping 7 times last week. The Bills only rushed the football 20 times for 61 yards against the run. However, The Bills plan to give the Seahawks defensive front a heavy dose of the run game. Especially with Jackson out, Spiller will definitely get the heavy load of the work. Don’t be surprised though if Tashard Choice takes over in the redzone because it does not seem as if scoring touchdowns is on the Bills priority list. Spiller still leads the league in yards per attempt, but if he doesn’t get the ball more, he will not make a significant difference in the game.
The Bills Will Win If…
The defense is able to stop Marshawn Lynch. Lynch has ravaged opposing defenses the entire season, and will most definitely make a huge effort to do the same against his former team. He has not played the Bills since being traded, so he will definitely look to make a statement. If the Bills can’t control Beast Mode, there is no stopping the Seahawks offense. They also have to apply pressure on Russell Wilson, who has struggled when not playing in front of the 12th Man. Offensively, the Bills have to get Spiller the football because having Fitzpatrick constantly throwing the ball will eventually lead to turnovers.
The Seahawks Will Win If…
Marshawn Lynch can have another big game. If Lynch can tire out the Bills defense and extend drives, the Seahawks will be able to put up points, making it harder for a struggling Buffalo offense to keep up. The Seahawks also have to keep Spiller and Johnson in check, otherwise they can cause severe damage.
This game, being in Canada with fans who don’t really seem to care all that much, will give the Seahawks a huge advantage, for they struggle on the road. I believe that Chan Gailey will screw up the play calling yet again. He has proved time and time again that he is completely and utterly incompetent and should be fired. Pete Carroll on the other hand is an outgoing coach and knows what to do. I also believe that the Bills will have a hard time against Marshawn Lynch.
Seahawks win 27-14.