Coming off one of the worst second half’s in franchise history, the Buffalo Bills will head west to look for a better performance against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon.
The 49ers turned in an impressive outing last week against the Jets and will look to reclaim their spot atop the competitive NFC West with a big win over the Bills. After a mediocre road outing against Minnesota cost San Francisco their flawless record, the Niners will be raring to send a message to the NFL that they’re still one of the league’s premier squads. San Francisco’s defensive unit is one of the best in recent memory, allowing opponents to just 3.2 yards per carry, while possessing a ferocious pass rush and opportunistic secondary. On the injury front, look for key power back Brandon Jacobs to return to the Niners backfield from injury, magnifying the Bills’ run-stopping issues.
For Buffalo, it’s all about redemption in Week 5. The Bills were pegged by many to be a play-off team this year in the AFC, but after displaying a series of inconsistent outings it is tough to figure out who they truly are. One thing is for certain, their defense is vastly underachieving at the moment. After conceding 45 points last week to the New England Patriots, Buffalo has no choice but to improve this week. Over 120-million dollars was thrown at the duo of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in the off-season, but still Buffalo has just the 27th best defense in the NFL. On paper they remain a loaded group, but it’s time to start seeing some tangible results. Look for the Bills to hand the 49ers a steady dose of their potent run attack featuring Spiller and Fred Jackson, but finding holes in that defense won’t be easy.
Bills vs. 49ers Spread & Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +10 (-110)
@ San Francisco 49ers -10 (-110)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Bills vs. 49ers Pick:
Though it’s become customary to rip on the bills of late, especially following their NCAA-like performance last week against New England, this team remains littered with talent at key positions. It’s widely publicized that their defense has been atrocious thus far in 2012, but expect a statement game of sorts from Buffalo. No team with all that talent on the defensive side of the ball should be getting steamrolled the way Buffalo has been, and expect a much-improved outing on Sunday.
Add in the fact that this 49ers offense is by no means prolific, and a motivated Bills side should do just enough to keep things interesting on Sunday. Part of the reason the Niners fell to Minnesota in Week 3 was because they lack an explosive offense. When their defense does falter, Alex Smith and Co. struggle to put up big points, as it’s more of an efficient, ball-controlling attack.
The 49ers have had great success running the ball this season, and expect that to be their game-plan against what seems like a porous Bills’ defensive line. However, the fortunes of Buffalo are going to change, and bank on it being this week. Buffalo has the potential to be a fierce run-stuffing defense, and after being embarrassed last week by Brady and the Pats, the Bills will be an inspired bunch on Sunday evening.
Expect the Bills to turn in a surprising outing and keep this game closer than expected. Their defense can be a top unit in the NFL and will slow down a San Francisco attack that lacks explosiveness and the ability to make a huge play. Buffalo must avoid turnovers and play a smart, efficient road game. If they can take care of that, this team’s got a shot. Laying double digits in the NFL is a losing wager in the long-run, so consider the Bills to keep it close against the Niners.
PICK = Bills +10 (-110)