NFL PREVIEWS |

49ers vs. Bills Preview and Predictions


Controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick makes his first start in nearly a year as the San Francisco 49ers attempt to halt their string of four consecutive losses when they visit the streaking Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Kaepernick, who has become more notable for his protest of the national anthem than his ability on the field, will start for the first time since a setback against the then-St. Louis Rams on Nov. 1 as he replaces Blaine Gabbert under center.

The 28-year-old Kaepernick, who helped guide San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII, was unable to compete for the starting job during training camp due to offseason surgeries on his knee, shoulder and thumb. The 49ers, who have allowed at least 33 points three times during their slide after opening the season with a shutout victory over Los Angeles, are running into a Buffalo team that is riding a three-game winning streak during which it has yielded fewer than 20 points in each contest. The Bills have scored 30 or more points twice on their run, which began after the firing of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Buffalo is seeking its first string of four straight victories since opening the 2008 season at 4-0.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bills -9. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE 49ERS (1-4): The change at quarterback is a necessary one, as Gabbert ranks near the bottom of the league in both yards per attempt (5.9) and quarterback rating (69.6). Kaepernick likely will look often in the direction of Jeremy Kerley, who has hauled in a touchdown pass in each of the last two games. Despite its record, San Francisco has a potent threat on the ground in Carlos Hyde, who entered Week 6 tied with San Diego's Melvin Gordon for the NFL lead with six rushing touchdowns.

ABOUT THE BILLS (3-2): New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn appears to have rejuvenated Buffalo's ground game, as the team have averaged 178.3 rushing yards during its winning streak after gaining 75.5 per contest in back-to-back losses to open the campaign. LeSean McCoy was a big factor in last week's triumph over the Rams, rushing for 150 yards to raise his season average to 5.3 per carry. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander leads the league with seven sacks and needs three against the 49ers to match Denver's Elvis Dumervil (2009) for the most through the first six weeks of a season since 2001.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Bills DT Marcell Dareus' season debut may not take place Sunday as the former Pro Bowler is questionable with a hamstring injury.

2. San Francisco ranks 31st in rushing defense after allowing 146.8 yards per game.

3. Buffalo CB Nickell Robey-Coleman was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after making a pair of interceptions against Los Angeles - including one for a touchdown to snap a third-quarter tie.

Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NBA: Philadelphia vs. Washington - August 5th - (100% Confidence Release)

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Stadium

Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, New York, USA.
Capacity: 73,079

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Last Injuries

Buffalo Bills

  • E.J. Gaines

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Gaines has been placed on the Injured Reserve/Voluntary Opt-Out list after informing the organization that he is sitting out of the 2020 season.

  • Jon Feliciano

    Pectoral
    out for season | out

    Feliciano is recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and he is likely to miss the duration of the 2020 season.

  • Dane Jackson

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Jackson will spend an uncertain length of time on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list after a positive test.

  • Siran Neal

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Neal has wound up on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain when he will get back on the field.

  • Vincent Taylor

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Taylor has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and he will have to quarantine for an undetermined length of time.

  • Duke Williams

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Williams has hit the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unknown how long it will take for him fight off the virus.

  • Cole Beasley

    Back
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Beasley has been designated for the active Non-Football Injury list with a back injury, and it is unknown how much time he will need to heal.

  • Star Lotulelei

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Lotulelei has landed on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after volunteering to sit out for the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal decision.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Richie James Jr.

    Wrist
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    James Jr. is on the active Non-Football Injury list due to a broken wrist, and it is uncertain how much time he will need to heal.

  • Travis Benjamin

    Personal
    out for season | out

    Benjamin has decided to sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal reason.

  • Weston Richburg

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Richburg has been placed on the active PUP list as he is rehabbing a torn patellar tendon, and there is no timetable for return.

  • Jullian Taylor

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Taylor will spend an unclear length of time on the active PUP list while healing from a previous torn ACL.

  • D.J. Reed Jr.

    Pectoral
    I-R | I-R

    Reed Jr. has a torn pectoral, and the team put him to the active Non-Football Injury list as a result. He is expected to miss the entire season.

  • Jeff Wilson Jr.

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Wilson Jr. has been shifted to the Injured Resserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain when it will be safe for him to get back on the field.

  • Shawn Poindexter

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Poindexter has been designated for the active PUP list with a knee injury. His return to the field has yet to be announced.

  • Kentavius Street

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Street has hit the active PUP list with an injury to his knee. The severity of the ailment is not known.