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Week 14: Bills vs. Patriots Preview New England Patriots
Bledsoe Bowl II has arrived as the Bills need a victory to not only avenge the 38-7 loss in Buffalo last month, to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Patriots are tied for the division lead with Miami and a Buffalo victory would really confuse things in the division. To pull off the upset the Bills will have to come up with some answers to schemes that will be used by Bill Bellichik and his coaching staff. Drew Bledsoe has struggled against Bellichik coached teams in the past but he has renewed confidence after last week's victory over Miami that jump started the stalled offense.

Facts and Figures
Matchup: Buffalo (6-6) at New England (7-5)
Date: Sunday December 8, 2002
Place: Gillette Stadium
Time: 1:00pm
Television: CBS
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, Armen Keteyian
Spread: Patriots by 4
Series: Patriots leads 45-39-1
Last Meeting: Patriots 38-7 in Buffalo (week 9)
Pats Offense: Rush (26th); Pass (5th); overall (15th)
Pats Defense: Rush (23rd); Pass (7th); overall (13th)
Bills Offense: Rush (23rd); Pass (2nd); overall (7th)
Bills Defense: Rush (31st); Pass (8th); overall (20th)

Injury Update

The Bills are an amazingly healthy bunch going into this game. The only player on the injury report is Kendrick Office who is suffering from a wrist injury. He is questionable for the game.

The Patriots lost DT Richard Seymour with a thigh bruise on Thanksgiving against Detroit but he is practicing and will play Sunday. LB Tedy Bruschi injured his knee in that game also and he is expected to miss this game. S Tebucky Jones has a leg injury and is probable.

For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.

Key Matchups

HC Gregg Williams vs. HC Bill Bellichik: Bellichik coached circles around Williams in the last meeting as the Bills didn't know how to adjust to the schemes the Patriots used. With 10 days to prepare for this game look for the Patriots to have even more new wrinkles. The Bills better be able to adjust on the fly or they will be in trouble. That hasn't been Williams strong suit as a coach.

DT Pat Williams vs. RB Antowain Smith: Williams has been struggling recently and will have to plug up the middle so Smith doesn't run wild. Smith has been dominate against the Bills in his other three outings against his former team. If he has another dominant outing the Bills are in trouble.

CB Nate Clements vs. WR Troy Brown: Brown is Tom Brady's go to guy and Clements will probably be on him most of the day. If he wins this battle it will go a long way in helping the Bills win.

RB Travis Henry vs. MLB Ted Johnson: With Bruschi out and Seymour banged up at defensive tackle, Henry could have a big day against a run defense that has struggled all year. Henry should be the key weapon and even though Johnson is a grizzled veteran, Henry should be able to get yards up the middle.

WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Ty Law: Law is one of the best corners in the game and sometimes he and Moulds have had some big battles in the past. Law usually wins this battle and if he does again the Bills may not be able to make the big plays they covet.

Game Plan

When The Bills Have The Ball: Bledsoe will have to be able to adjust to whatever stunts and schemes New England throws at him. The best way to counteract all that, is to run, run, and run some more with Henry. That will open up the big play passing no matter what Bellichik throws at Bledsoe.

When The Patriots Have The Ball: The Bills defense is now ranked next to last in run defense. Smith loves to run against the Bills and the Patriots will run the ball a lot. That will open up play action passing for Tom Brady and that will give the Patriots chances at the big play.

Bills Daily Prediction

This will be another grudge match as the Bills and Bledsoe try to avenge the rout in Buffalo last month. More importantly the Bills need the win more than New England does. A Bills loss and they are done as far as the playoff picture goes. A Patriots loss and both teams are still very much alive in the AFC East race. So the Bills need it more and maybe want it more but that doesn't mean they will win it. Bellichik has owned Bledsoe in the past and is the superior coach. He also had the advantage of having three extra days to prepare since their last game was on thanksgiving. That extra preparation will be enough to cook the Bills season: Patriots 21, Bills 16

Season Prediction Record: (8-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-4)

Complete Statistical Matchup
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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