The San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills will face off in one of the more interesting matchups of Week 6 on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick will be starting at quarterback for the 49ers after head coach Chip Kelly benched Blaine Gabbert following the team's 1-4 start. The Bills are riding a three-game winning streak and have to still be feeling the high of shutting out the New England Patriots in Week 4.
But the Bills have a long way to go before they can say they're honestly competing with the Patriots in the AFC East. Despite not having Tom Brady for four games, the Patriots started out 3-1, and with Brady back are now 4-1. The Bills are 3-2, and have lost to both the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.
The Bills rank 17th in the league in total defense but have played much better on that side of the ball in recent games. The pass defense ranks 19th in the league, and that will give Kaepernick some confidence for the 49ers ... but that may not count for much.
Gabbert completed 58 percent of his passes for 890 yards with five touchdowns against six interceptions before the 49ers decided to bench him. Trent Baalke and the 49ers' front office worked on re-negotiating Kaepernick's contract before they made the switch at quarterback, but now he's ready to play. But what does that even mean?
Kaepernick, 28, was a second-round pick by the 49ers in 2011 and broke out with two strong seasons in 2012 and 2013. The 49ers awarded him with a big contract on the back of his 31 touchdowns against 11 interceptions over those two years. But he started to regress in 2014 and in 2015 he looked terrible, and was benched in favor of Gabbert after completing 144 of 244 passes for 1,615 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.
His stats weren't terrible, but he made some very careless mistakes. He abandoned clean pockets for no reason, stared down his receivers and spent a whole lot of time throwing the football short of the sticks. When he threw deep, he was inaccurate and overthrew his receivers. Coincidentally, this is exactly what Gabbert was benched for this season.
Expecting things to suddenly improve isn't necessarily the smartest thing to do.
The Bills are looking good on offense after head coach Rex Ryan fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman after the team's 0-2 start. At the time, the move drew criticism -- not for any love of Roman, of course -- because the Bills' defense was just as bad, if not worse, in those two games. Since then though, they have put up 79 points in three games. To contrast, they have allowed 35 points on defense.
Below is all you need to know to watch Sunday's action on TV and online.
How to watch 49ers vs. Bills on Sunday
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: New Era Field, Buffalo, N.Y.
Announcers: Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink
Online: Sunday Ticket, FOX Sports GO