There are a lot of negative trends going into the Hoser Bowl this weekend. Chan Gailey is 4-0 versus the Skins as a head coach. We haven't beaten Buffalo since the '92 Super Bowl. And so on... But karma is finally swinging our way people! For one, the Redskins are undefeated on Canadian Soil and the Bills are 0-3 since beginning their regular season series in the land of Tim Hortons. The Buffalo players even seem down about playing in Toronto, like George Wilson for example:
"It's not a home game, the fan support in Toronto is a night-and-day difference from what we have in Buffalo (at Ralph Wilson Stadium). For the most part, it's a show. You see just as many jerseys for the opposing teams as you do the Bills. They cheer for any big play regardless of whichever team makes it." via AP (CBS Sports)
Need more positivity? Well this is a 4 PM game, and we all know the Redskins are undefeated this year in that particular time slot. So drink the Kool-Aid up!
From a match-up standpoint, this is certainly an interesting game. Buffalo's defense is pretty atrocious and has basically been living off of opportunistic or "lucky" turnovers thus far this season. The Redskins need to stick with their ground n' pound method and keep Ryan Fitzpatrick's giant head off the field as much as possible.
On offense Buffalo has a bunch of guys you've never heard of, but they are very effective. Fitzpatrick has been phenomenal this year, along with his top target Stevie Johnson and runningback Fred Jackson. Beyond that Buffalo has some "nice" players in Scott Chandler and Donald Jones, but nothing to overly worry about. There are two x-factor mismatches that scare me in general for this game. Last week I said Jonathan Stewart would be the x-factor and I expected him to catch the ball out of the backfield a lot more, but this week I'm keeping an eye on C.J. Spiller and Brad Smith. Spiller has certainly been a disappointment since Buffalo invested the ninth overall pick in him a couple years ago, but he bring speed and the ever dangerous screen game into the equation. I think Buffalo may really be able to use the Rogers Centre's fast track to their advantage. Regarding Brad Smith, we've seen the Redskins struggle with running QBs the past two weeks and Smith is no exception. He was the starting QB at Missouri and he'll come in on plenty of wildcat sets on Sunday. It will be VERY important to contain Smith, especially on 3rd down and around the goal line.
One things for sure, with the match ups and location of the game it will certainly be something different. But it should be fun!