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Pregame primer: Everything you need to know for Bills-49ers, plus five things to watch

 

The last time the Buffalo Bills won four games in a row, President Barack Obama was not yet in office.

That was way back in the 2008 season, starting in Week One and continuing through Week Four. With a win over the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Bills would equal that streak, while also starting the 2016 season 3-0 against the NFC West.

At 1-4, the 49ers have gotten off to a poor start, which is why they have made the switch to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback from Blaine Gabbert.

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s game, plus five things to watch for:

• TV: FOX. Announcers: Dick Stockton (play by play), David Diehl (color analyst).

• Radio: Bills Radio Network. Buffalo-WGR 550 AM; Toronto-Fan 590 AM; Rochester-WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM; Syracuse-WTKW 99.5 FM and WTKV 105.5 FM. Announcers: John Murphy (play by play), Mark Kelso (color analyst).

• Series history: 49ers lead, 6-5. Last meeting: Oct. 7, 2012 – 45-3 49ers' win at San Francisco. The Bills and Rams last played in Buffalo on Nov. 30, 2008. Don't feel bad if you don't remember that game – it was an ugly 10-3 win for the visitors.

• Milestone watch: Brandon Tate needs 85 kick-return yards to reach 5,000 for his career, which would make him the 31st player in league history to reach that amount.

• Uni watch: The Bills are going with the "Smurf" look against the 49ers, matching blue jerseys with blue pants.

• Did you know? Marcell Dareus needs one sack to reach 31.5 for his career. That would tie him with Jeff Wright for second most in team history by a defensive tackle.

• Next up: The Bills take their talents to South Beach for a meeting with the Miami Dolphins in Week Seven.

Here are five things to watch for against the 49ers:

1. Will it be Robert Woods or Charles Clay leading the way for the passing game? Those two have taken turns as the Bills' leading receiver the past two games. Given the state of Buffalo's passing attack – which ranks last in the NFL – it seems quarterback Tyrod Taylor needs to pick either Woods or Clay as the featured receiver.

2. How healthy is Zach Brown? The Bills' inside linebacker is questionable for the game with a foot injury that kept him out of Wednesday's practice and limited him Thursday and Friday. It would be a surprise if Brown didn't play. With 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick being a threat to run at any time, the Bills need Brown at his sideline-to-sideline best Sunday.

3. Can Lorenzo Alexander and the pass rush keep it up? The outside linebacker leads the NFL with seven sacks, which would have made you a rich person if you bet that in Vegas before the season. As a team, the Bills have 17 sacks through Week Five. The franchise record through six games is 21, set in 2013.

4. Where is Seantrel Henderson on the depth chart? Both Cordy Glenn and Cyrus Kouandjio are listed as questionable, and it seems like Kounadjio could miss his second straight game because of an ankle injury. It that happens, either Michael Ola or Henderson will serve as the swing tackle behind Glenn and right tackle Jordan Mills, with the other likely being inactive. If Henderson sits, we'll know he ranks behind Ola on the depth chart.

5. Can the Bills count on Dan Carpenter? The veteran kicker has missed two field goals and two extra points this season. The team sent him a clear message when it signed Marshall Morgan to the practice squad this week. It no longer feels automatic when Carpenter takes the field.

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