Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
San Francisco 49ers have played like a strong Super Bowl contender and theBuffalo Bills have looked like a playoff team – most of the time. Both will look to hone in on the positive end of their inconsistency when the Bills travel west to face the 49ers for the first time since 2008 on Sunday.
Buffalo’s impressive offense will square off against the 49ers’ stiff defense as the Bills try to stay atop the crowded AFC East standings and San Francisco looks to keep pace with surprising Arizona.
The 49ers’ two quality wins to start the season looked like they might be a fluke after a 24-13 loss at Minnesota in Week 3, but San Francisco bounced back for a 34-0 trouncing of the New York Jets last week.
The Bills have bounced around even more, and their defense has been the culprit. While Buffalo ranks sixth in the league in scoring (28.8 points per game), the Bills have allowed 48 (Jets) and 52 (Patriots) in their two losses. The teams have split 10 all-time meetings.
Buffalo Bills(2-2): Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is off to another hot start, leading the NFL with 12 touchdown passes, but he also has thrown seven interceptions.
The catalysts for the offense, though, are running backs Fred Jackson (knee) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder), who have been nursing injuries but should be ready to contribute Sunday. The Bills defense has left plenty to be desired; in particular, free-agent signee Mario Williams has just nine tackles and 1 1/2 sacks through four games.
San Francisco 49ers(3-1): San Francisco took out its frustrations over the loss to the Vikings with a dominant performance against the Jets. The defense allowed a season-low 145 total yards in the shutout, and the offense was efficient, which has become quarterback Alex Smith’s hallmark.
Smith has been steady as ever, completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 784 yards with five touchdowns and one interception, and Frank Gore (326 yards, 3 TDs) averages 4.9 yards per attempt.
1. Fitzpatrick has thrown multiple touchdown passes in the first four games of the season, the third player in franchise history to do so, along with Jim Kelly (1992) and Joe Ferguson (1975).
2. 49ers DE Aldon Smith, who is tied for sixth in the league with 4 1/2 sacks, has 18 1/2 sacks in his past 17 games.
3. San Francisco is 12-0 when Smith has a rating of 100.0 or higher. Smith has won 17 of his past 21 starts.