Three Keys: Bills/Bucs

What must Buffalo do today? The Bills can't let Cadillac Williams run wild and it's time for the offense to stretch the field. Get this week's three keys and a prediction inside...

1. T-Bone the Caddy

Bad timing for the Bills here. Right when Cadillac Williams refuels, Buffalo's best defensive player goes down. This game very well could boil down to if the Bills can shut down Tampa Bay's resurgent running game. Last week, Williams and co. knifed through a solid Dallas defense for 174 yards.

Is Marcus Buggs ready? Buffalo's new middle linebacker should be able to roam free with Marcus Stroud effectively eating up double-teams. But Buggs isn't exactly flanked by elite outside ‘backers, either. He'll need to track down backs himself.

That'll be tough considering just one year ago, Buggs was on the practice squad. Now, he's at the eye of Buffalo's defense for at least six weeks. Way back in March, the Bills brass didn't sign a linebacker, one gashing void on the team. We'll see if the team's confidence in homegrown players like Buggs pays off.

Unlike last week's aerial show, Tampa Bay will come at Buffalo early and often on the ground. Buggs, who once ran the 100-yard dash in 10.7 seconds in high school, must be active. The Bucs' entire gameplan revolves around its running game.

2. Go downtown

Safe to say the no-huddle offense was a success last week. It put Buffalo in position for a colossal upset. No arguing that. But now it's time to let loose and swing for the fences. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans will have countless opportunities for deep balls today. The Buccaneers hemorrhaged big plays all day against Dallas last week. Alex Van Pelt says the team will stretch the field. Today, it must.

Owens' immature alter-ego crept out a bit this week at the podium. He's a ticking time bomb. Each week that goes by without him in the limelight is like poking fun at Sasquatch in those Jack Links commercials. He's bound to erupt. Trent Edwards must take advantage of Tampa Bay's inferior defensive backs. Buffalo can't nickel and dime defenses all season.

Small ball is the recipe for yet another 7-9 season.

3. Recapture the mojo

Buffalo had a swagger through most of that Monday night stinger to New England. For whatever reason, an atrocious preseason didn't faze this team. Low expectations meant nothing.

Somehow, Dick Jauron's bunch must get that us-against-the-world attitude back.

Go for broke, again. Pressure Byron Leftwich. Go for it on fourth and short. Take a shot downfield. The Bills are not oozing with talent. But last week proved they can be successful when they play with an edge. Nobody gave the Bills any respect heading into Foxborough and they nearly shocked the mighty Patriots.

Clearly, the team is channeling Jauron's tenuous job security into good energy. The firing of Turk Schonert woke up the team as a whole and the Bills played a clear, defined urgency.

Against Tampa Bay— at home — the Bills should have no problem regaining this mindset and realigning itself as a legitimate playoff contender.

Prediction: Bills 27, Buccaneers 10

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