The Patriots are a legitimate playoff contender now under Tom Brady as they have won 4 of their last 5 games including a victory over the Bills in New England a month ago. The Bills are coming off their second win of the year a thrilling comeback win over the Panthers. New England is much better than Carolina and the Bills will have to play better to pull this game out. The Bills are trying to finish strong to have a building block for next year.
Facts and Figures
The Bills are healthy on the offensive line but now they are very thin on the defensive line. Both starting defensive tackles are out as Shawn Price had surgery on his torn ACL and Pat Williams will miss the game with a fracture of his fibula. With the exception of the usual players that are out, like Rob Johnson all other players are expected to be healthy enough to play.
For the Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe is healthy again but he is the backup to Tom Brady who stole the starting job with solid performances and in 8-2 record as a starter. Problem child Terry Glenn is back in the lineup unless he suffers another mysterious hamstring twinge. Bill hater Bryan Cox returned to spot action against the Jets but was inactive last week against Cleveland. Cox has a similar leg injury to Williams.
For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.
DTs Ron Edwards and Leif Larsen vs. RB Antowain Smith: Edwards and Larsen aren't nearly as proficient against the run as their injured starters Williams and Price. Smith got a measure of revenge against the Bills in New England last month, he can put up even bigger numbers by running up the middle this week. Tyrone Robertson will also see time in the middle.
WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Ty Law: Law will guard Moulds most of the time and he got the best of Moulds in the earlier meeting between the two teams. Moulds has played better of late and should be up to the battle.
TE Jay Riemersma vs. SS Lawyer Milloy: It will be interesting to see if the Bills try to keep Riemersma involved in the offense like he did in the fourth quarter against Carolina. If he does get involved he will have to beat one of the best strong safeties in the game.
RT Jonas Jennings vs. LE Bobby Hamilton: Hamilton has six sacks on the year for the Patriots but he will face a healthy Jennings this time, which should be a good battle.
CBs Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements vs. WR Terry Glenn: Glenn is still very deep in the dog house but he returned last week and is still their best weapon. Whichever Bills cornerback covers him will have his hands full.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills proved last week that they could run. It will be a bit tougher against the Patriots defense but Travis Henry still should be able to exploit the holes for some good yardage on the ground. The team has proven their only chance to win is by running and they are now committed to doing it.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: Brady has played very well completing nearly 70% of his passes. Expect the Patriots to exploit the Bills weak run defense and for Smith to have a big game for them. The wildcard in this game is Glenn, if he is motivated he can be a big playmaker in this game.
Bills Daily Prediction
The Bills should play spirited coming off their big win last week, however the Patriots have much bigger things to play for as they are battling for a playoff spot and perhaps a division title. That should be enough to turn the game in their favor: Patriots 23, Bills 14
Season Prediction Record: (7-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (6-6)
Complete Statistical Matchup
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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