As the Bills are set to lock horns in a key Week 6 matchup against the Giants, Buffalo must answer their pass rushing questions with the efforts from their young linebackers and without the services of their best pass rushing linebackers.
Merriman’s achilles and a calf injury to Kelsay will prevent both from playing today, meanwhile Nick Barnett has been slowed by an ankle injury this week. Barnett is expected to play today, but it’s very likely he won’t be at his full capacity. Further complicating matters for Buffalo on defense is the status of DT Kyle Williams, who has been battling a foot injury the past few weeks and will be a game-time decision. So, the banged up Bills will rely on the “next man in” mantra and that means the absence and questionable health of a handful of players means chances and playing for others.
The Bills will turn to a pair of rookies, DT Marcell Dareus and LB Kelvin Sheppard, along with a pair of former sixth-rounders, LB’s Danny Batten and Arthur Moats, to pressure Giants QB Eli Manning. In last week’s victory over Philadelphia, Moats and Sheppard were to not just generate pressure against Michael Vick but they were able to knock him around which directly led to a pair of turnovers, including an interception for a touchdown. Buffalo will have to rely on that same formula today against the Giants.
New York has had their share of issues protecting Manning through five games this season. The Giants hae allowed 14 sacks of Manning, the fourth highest total in the NFL. Buffalo’s young guns could take advantage of a leaky Giants offensive line, and if the Bills want to continue their opportunistic trends and create turnovers, they’ll need win the battle in the trenches and on the edge.