Yeah, it's a nice story and all that MNF is coming back to Ralph Wilson for the first time since 1994, but let's be real, it's bound to be ugly.
Here's my humble breakdown:
When the Bills pass: It's hard to know what to expect. Edwards is starting his second pro game and although he looked decent last week, he was dangerously off-target with a lot of his completions - the WRs bailed him out. The Jets' pass defense was soft so he was able to get away with it - i.e., the WRs had room to adjust. Dallas is middle of the pack in passing YPG against (19th), but is tied for the league lead in INTs (9). Now, given they've faced Grossman, Trent Green, Bulger (last week) and Eli, we are talking mistake-prone guys, but still. Not auspicious. Inauspicious, even.
Conclusion: Bills passing need to throw deep early to try to loosen up the Cowboys' D and then try to push down the field with controlled middle-range passes. Hoepfully Royal will be a target.
When the Bills run: I got some flak on a Bills message board this week from a Cowboys fan for calling the Cowboys' run D "soft". Stats-wise, they are anything but soft, ranking 10th last year in rushing YPG and even better this year (4th overall). My point was more that they hadn't faced any legit offenses, but I guess the Bills would also not constitute a real offense. It's going to be a tough go for Lynch.
Conclusion: Bills need to get lucky.
When the Cowboys pass: Romo has not been particularly accurate this year, but Owens and Crayton have impressive YPC stats. Jabari Greer has the unenviable task of covering Owens (I would have thought he'd be on Crayton and McGee would be on Owens). Hopefully Schoebel and Kelsey can get some pressure on the edges, but then again, Romo's mobility could counteract that as he works well outside the pocket. Word is that the Bills practiced all week against a guy who continually rolled out, so hopefully that will help. But I doubt it. They are, after all, dead last against the pass.
Conclusion: Bills need to get serious pressure on Romo and LBs need to be disciplined in coverage. Also, Jabari Greer needs to be the Greer of week 4, not the Greer of week 3.
When the Boys run: It's all about MBIII. Bills' 22nd rated run D will probably have trouble containing him as his bruising style doesn't mesh well with the Bills' 4-3 setup which matches up better against quick backs. In addition, the Bills will constantly be dropping extra guys back in coverage to cover Witten out of the backfield which will give the linemen less help against the run. I predict that the Cowboys come out and run on 75% of the plays on their first drive.
Conclusion: Bills are facing the best RB they've faced all year. It probably won't be pretty unless they can strip him (but he's never lost a fumble in his career).
The Prediction: Cowboys 38, Bills 13
Other Bills links:
Bflo Blog's open game thread
The Goose's Roost also can't find many positives about tonight's game.
Buffalo Rumblings' open game thread
Buffalowdown's silver linings, such as they are.
Oh, and this is nice. Way to represent, Buffalo. MNF stayed away from Foxboro for like 20 years because of idiocy like this.
Enjoy the game!