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Jaguars v. Bills: 5 questions with Buffalo Rumbings!

Buffalo Rumblings: Your official source for all things Bills, Buffalo, and Awesome!

Happy Black Friday everyone!  We've got some work to do today in order to be ready for the game on Sunday.  Our friends in Indianapolis decided to make things hard on us by soundly beating the Falcons.  So we don't get any help from them this week.

I did salivate a little bit at all the hits Manning was taking, I can only imagine what the Jaguars will do to him in 10 days.

Of course, we can't think about the Colts till we take care of our business against the Bills.  To help us do that, I've engaged in a little bit of Cross Blogging Action (!!!) with my good friend Brian over at Buffalo Rumblings.  Brian is a damn fine writer as well as a good blogging buddy of mine.  He's made quite a site for himself over there, and even if you don't like the Bills, you should take a look.

Brian was so kind as to answer a few questions about his team this week.  I did the the same thing at his place.  Take a look, and enjoy!

1. The Bills have suffered a tremendous amount of injuries this season.  How has the team recovered and stayed alive despite all the missing players, and who's stepped up to fill their shoes?

Yeah - the injury bug has been a bit ridiculous this season.  The team currently has 12 players on IR (including four opening-day starters), and there are still six games to go.  The only "recovery" the team has displayed is in the fact that they have found stability in some young guys replacing injured starters (specifically CB Jabari Greer and MLB John DiGiorgio).  The most devastating injury, however, has been to RB Marshawn Lynch - his loss has had a crippling effect on our dysfunctional offense.

We use the term "stay alive" loosely in these parts - sure, the Bills have won 5 of 7 games, but they're beating some of the NFL's weaklings.  With the Jets, Ravens, Bengals and Dolphins comprising their list of victims, the Bills have defeated teams with a combined record of 9-31.  (Of course, the teams they have lost to - Denver, New England, Pittsburgh and Dallas - are a combined 31-9... very ironic.)  The Bills have simply been beating teams they're supposed to beat, and that's why they're alive.  With a brutal finish to the schedule, starting with the Jaguars, the collapse is expected to begin quickly.

2. How excited are you to have Marshawn Lynch?  I think he's a fascinating player that deserves a pretty good amount of praise, despite the rise of Adrian Peterson.  Also, I love a player who loves Applebee's.  Tell the Jaguars fans what to expect out of Lynch and his running style.  If he's not playing due to injury, tell us what to expect out of the Bills ground game.

Absolutely - the Bills haven't had a player as dynamic as Lynch in quite some time.  He's a unique talent, and those unique talents make him challenging to game-plan for; it's something that the Bills have not had in their backfield since the days of Thurman Thomas.  However, part of me feels bad for Lynch - because he's the only threat the team has, and as a result, his stats have suffered a bit as defenses key in on him ( 3.8 yards per carry).  Once Buffalo figures the rest of their offense out, Lynch will be far more explosive than he's been thus far.

If Lynch ends up playing - and that's very questionable at this point - the Jags will need to avoid letting Lynch get to the second level.  He's very tough for one person to bring down - and it's because of his herky-jerky running style.  (Seriously, "herky-jerky" is the best way to describe it.  If you don't believe me, just watch him play.)  If Lynch doesn't play, you have very little to worry about from Buffalo's running game - Anthony Thomas will see most of the carries, and the man can't pick up more than 3 yards per carry.  You'll double Lee Evans, blitz Losman and it'll be lights out for this offense.  That's how important Lynch is to this team.

3. Who's the quarterback?  Who do you want at quarterback?

For this week, it's J.P. Losman.  That's all that I or any other Bills fan knows for sure.  (I have a hunch that the Bills' coaches and front office are as clueless about the future of the position as well.)  I want Losman at quarterback - not because I think he's the answer, but because I think that the team has more to gain with Losman playing and Trent Edwards learning on the sideline.  That's a far prettier scenario than Edwards getting killed against some very good teams with Losman holding a clipboard and sulking.

I don't know what's going to happen with the position.  I think that the coaching staff prefers Edwards - and the kid certainly has potential - but part of me thinks that due to the lack of success he had in college, he needs a lot more study time before being able to play consistently on the field.  I view him as a Philip Rivers type, in that he'd be better off with a couple years on the sideline before playing.  But with Losman's struggles, the staff might rush Edwards onto the field before the end of the season.  I'm so used to QB issues in Buffalo that it's hard for me to have an opinion, because history dictates that we might be screwed either way.

4.  You and I have something in common, a mutual hatred of the Patriots.  How painful is it to share a conference with a team that's taken all of the fun out of the season?

Let me clarify - I respect the hell out of the Patriots.  Or, at least, their players.  They have a historically good offense, a very savvy defense, and simply put, this is the best football team I've ever seen.  It's their coach that I'm not a huge fan of - Bill Belichick is a great motivator, to be sure, but the antics, the scandal and the general douchebaggery he displays is classless and casts, in my mind, a negative light on the league as a whole.  When your best coach is an arrogant bastard, well, it's not the ideal situation.  (Excuse the french - Belichick gets me a little riled up.)

I don't mind having the Pats in the division - the Bills aren't good enough to contend with a team like New England.  It gives us something to shoot for.  And I suppose that about a decade ago the Bills were beating the pulp out of the Patriots, so the tide has turned as it always does.  My only problem: the Pats have won 14 of the last 15 against the Bills.  Boy, I'd like to see the Bills steal a win from them next year.

5. Tell us the story of your Bills fanhood.  Why Buffalo?  What's it like following a team that's a little off the radar of the mainstream NFL?

It's genetic.  Seriously, I really believe it's genetic.  Papa G has been a Bills fan since he was a little tyke, and I just sort of inherited it.  I didn't fall in love with the team, however, until they came back from 32 down to beat the Houston Oilers in the famous "Comeback Game" back when I was just 7 years old.  Since then, it's been an addiction that I can't kick.  I love the intricacies of the game, I love the history of the Bills, I love the draft, I love it all.

I love the fact that the Bills are, as you say, "a little off the radar".  It will make their return to respectability all the more satisfying.  I've been covering the team for almost a full calendar year now (over seven months with SB Nation), and I've been having a blast.  Bills fans are a close-knit community, so it was pretty easy to get conversation started over at Buffalo Rumblings.  And again, when the Bills do return to respectability, it's going to be awesome to share that satisfaction with all the great people I've become acquainted with while covering this team.

Thanks Brian for the time!

Well there you go Jaguars fans, some real life insight into what we'll be dealing with in a few days. Next thing to talk about is the Injury situation, which is relatively minor, but important. I'll have an injury report up in just a few hours! Enjoy your post-Thanksgiving madness!

-Chris