Vikings-Bills matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 03, 2010 @ 6:01 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here is another key matchup when the Vikings and Bills match up Sunday in Minnesota:

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Vikings pass rush

Fitzpatrick has helped transform the Bills' offense under Chan Gailey and made several big throws as the team has won a few games the past month. With good athleticism and the guts to pull the trigger, Fitzpatrick has made the Bills a surprisingly competitive and potent offense. The offense has a nice high-low quality in passes to Stevie Johnson, often deep, and Fred Jackson, almost always short.

But the Bills' pass protection has its share of hole at times, and Fitzpatrick will hang in the pocket. The Vikings' pass rush also has been coming on of late. Kevin Williams is coming off his best game. Jared Allen has been a force the past 3-4 games. The line has been solid, and new de facto coordinator Fred Pagac showed last week he might be more willing to pressure than Leslie Frazier was when he called the plays on defense.

The Bills would help themselves by establishing the run game and by Fitzpatrick getting the ball off quickly. But it will be about the Bills' offensive linemen working well in tandem as well as winning their individual battles. Eric Wood leads a scrappy but not-so-talented unit.