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Bills-Jags set for kickoff

As preseason games go, the Bills' matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars tonight should be the telling, if not entertaining, contest before they head into the regular season. They're playing in their annual Kids Day game in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Is it me or there almost no energy around town concerning the Bills? The parking lot was quiet in the hours leading into the game, and there seemed to be little life inside the stadium less than 30 minutes into the game. The small crowd brought back memories of 2-14 seasons. It's odd because tickets were cheap for Kids Day.

A few things to watch tonight:

* Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills' offense are expected to get more action tonight they in any other preseason game. The offense has shown few signs it will be better than it was last season and, in fact, could be worse.

* Hey, Fitz shaved his beard! Does that mean several bugs are officially homeless?

* We'll see how the playing time for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will be distributed. Jackson spoke out last week about his role and not knowing where he stood.

* The left side of the offensive line has some question marks. Andy Levitre is expected to start at left guard with Demetrius Bell at left tackle. Levitre was being rotated into the left-tackle spot with Chad Rinehard getting time at left guard.

* Alex Carrington is getting the start at linebacker for Chris Kelsay at strong-side linebacker. Kelsay is coming off a minor procedure and was held out of practice last week. Shawne Merriman will miss the game with a groin injury.

* First-round pick Marcell Dareus is expected to start tonight. He missed practice last week with a sore ankle.

The Bills need to trim their roster to 75 players Tuesday, so several jobs could be decided on how well certain players perform tonight.

--- Bucky Gleason

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