Posts Tagged ‘Game Previews’

Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns, 2014 NFL Week 13: Matchups to Watch and Keys to the Game

Sunday, November 30th, 2014
Mario Williams has been on a roll lately, and he'll continue to keep it going against the Browns on Sunday. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

Mario Williams has been on a roll lately, and he’ll continue to keep it going against the Browns on Sunday. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Two franchises that have been known more for losing than winning since the turn of the century, the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns will be fighting to keep themselves in the race for a playoff position when they play each other Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

For the 6-5 Bills, who return home to Ralph Wilson Stadium after playing their last home game in Detroit due to snow in Western New York, this game is one they must win to keep even slim hopes of ending their playoff drought alive before they enter a brutally tough final quadrant of the season. The Browns are in better position than the Bills, as they are currently 7-4 and in a five-way tie for a wild card spot, but they also need victory as they hold no tiebreakers over any other teams in the wild card race.

Both teams have reason to be confident heading into this game, as each was victorious in its last outing, but football is a game of matchups. The following matchups and keys to the game will be deciding factors in how this game—a game more important at this juncture of the season than most for either in recent years—plays out.

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2014 Orange Bowl Prospect Preview: Ohio State vs. Clemson

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

With Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby expected to be out of Friday’s Orange Bowl, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins could be in for a big day. (Photo: Joshua S. Kelly — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The second full week of college football’s bowl season will come to an end Friday with the fourth of five BCS games, the Orange Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), featuring two teams with numerous early-round NFL prospects in Ohio State (12-1) and Clemson (10-2).

Two of the nation’s most athletic teams, both the Buckeyes and Tigers have players on both sides of the ball who are projected to be first- or second-round picks. The players to watch in this game include quarterback Braxton Miller and Tajh Boyd, offensive playmakers Carlos Hyde and Sammy Watkins and defensive impact players Ryan Shazier and Vic Beasley.

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2014 Cotton Bowl Prospect Preview: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Justin Gilbert is one of two potential first-round picks to watch at cornerback in Friday’s Cotton Bowl. (Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Both teams in the Cotton Bowl are coming off disappointing losses that cost them opportunities to play in a BCS bowl game. Missouri fell, 59-42, to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, while Oklahoma State lost, 33-24, to in-state rival Oklahoma in its final game of the regular season

The game’s talent pool is headlined by two potential first-round pick cornerbacks in Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert and Missouri’s EJ Gaines. Gilbert will be matched up against the tall, physical receiving corps of Missouri, which should be make for a competitive matchup.

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2014 Sugar Bowl Prospect Preview: Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

AJ McCarron’s illustrious college football career is set to come to an end in the Sugar Bowl. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The goal for Alabama (11-1) this season was to win their third consecutive National Championship, but a memorable loss to Auburn cost them that opportunity, leaving them to settle for facing Oklahoma (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Alabama has consistently produced NFL talent, and this year is no different. Two Alabama defenders, C.J. Mosley, and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, will likely be among the first players drafted at their respective positions in May. Quarterback AJ McCarron will be playing his final game for Alabama, looking to prove to scouts he can be as successful a professional quarterback as he has been a college quarterback.

For Oklahoma, two long-time starters in center Gabe Ikard and cornerback Aaron Colvin bring their college careers to an end as they look to solidify their draft stock against Alabama.

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2014 Fiesta Bowl Prospect Preview: Baylor vs. UCF

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

The spotlight will be on UCF junior quarterback Blake Bortles when he takes the field for the Fiesta Bowl. (Photo: Jim Cowsert — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Wednesday’s Fiesta Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) features two conference champions in Baylor (Big 12) and Central Florida (American Athletic Conference), both of whom finished the season with 11-1 record. This game will be an opportunity for Central Florida junior quarterback Blake Bortles, a potential first-round selection if he declares for the 2014 NFL draft, to attempt to keep pace with the nation’s No. 1 scoring and yardage offense in 2013. This will be a huge stage for Bortles to solidify his draft stock.

The game will also feature a clash of two NFL-caliber junior running backs, UCF’s Storm Johnson and Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk, as they grind it out in what looks like a potential high scoring affair. Also expected back is Baylor senior wide receiver Tevin Reese, who has explosive down field speed but missed the Bears’ final five games with a wrist injury.

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