1. The T.O. Show.
WR Terrell Owens was busier in his reality show than he was in his first regularseason game as a Bill. He caught just two passes, was thrown to only four times and had one drop. The Bills shouldn't force-feed Owens, but they have to find ways to get Owens and Lee Evans the ball more. The good news for both is the Buccaneers' secondary allowed four completions of 40 yards or more, three for touchdowns, in a 34-21 loss to Dallas last week. Besides venerable CB Ronde Barber, the rest of the Bucs' secondary is prone to coverage breakdowns. The Bills just have to take advantage of them.
2. Cadillac has his wheels back.
Plagued by knee injuries the last two years, Bucs RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, right, is finally healthy. And judging by last week's 97-yard performance, which included a 35-yard run, he still has the same explosiveness. After Williams they have Derrick Ward, a 1,000-yard rusher for the Giants last season, and last year's second-leading rusher, Earnest Graham. The Bills' run defense was very stout last week, holding the Patriots to 73 yards and 3.2 yards per carry. But DTs Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams must protect undersized MLB Marcus Buggs, who is making his first-ever start in place of injured Paul Posluszny.
3. Action Jackson.
For much of the opener, RB Fred Jackson wasn't just a big part of the Bills' offense, he was the offense. His running and receiving skills were put to great use and that won't change today. The Bucs were decent against the run last week, but might not be able to crowd the box because of their concern for the Bills' passing game. That could give Jackson an opportunity to find open running lanes. The Bucs also have to be wary of Jackson coming out of the backfield. The Bills want to create mismatches by getting him lined up against linebackers. Also look for screen passes to exploit the Bucs' overzealous pass rush.
4. Leftwich leads the way.
Veteran QB Byron Leftwich, a 2003 seventh overall draft pick by Jacksonville, is a big man with a big arm to make all the throws. If the Bucs are running well, Leftwich can hurt the Bills with play-action passes to big, physicalWRMichael Clayton and athletic TEs Kellen Winslow and Jerramy Stevens. The immobile Leftwich wasn't sacked by the Cowboys, who led the NFL with 59 a year ago. The Bills hope to do better with DEs Aaron Schobel and Aaron Maybin as well as a variety of blitzes.
5. Stay in your lanes.
This stacks up as a good matchup between two of the best kick return games in the NFL. Despite his last-minute fumble returning a kickoff last week, Leodis McKelvin is still capable of breaking open a game with a big play. The same goes for Roscoe Parrish, who led the league in punt returns last year and took one to the house in each of the last two home openers. The Bucs have an ace of their own in Clifton Smith, who made the Pro Bowl last season despite being on the practice squad the first seven weeks. He finished second behind Parrish in punt returns. Both coverage teams will have to be disciplined and get off blocks or someone might be celebrating in the end zone.
Prediction: The Bucs won't be a pushover, but the Bills are eager to get last Monday's disappointment out of their system. Buffalo, 23-17. Photo by Associated Press