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Week 1: Bills vs. Patriots
at
Sunday, Sept. 8th
1:00pm ET

Stats Matchup
Opening day has finally arrived! It is always an important day but this one maybe bigger than most. This game had huge drama written all over it and now comes even more fuel for the fire as the Bills have signed Lawyer Milloy who was just released by the Patriots. The Bills have gone under a transformation on defense, Milloy joins off season acquisitions Takeo Spikes, Jeff Posey, Sam Adams and Izell Reese, they have eight new starters in all. The Bills have become a trendy pick in the AFC East but many feel the Patriots are the best team. For the Bills to win the very tough division, they need to do better inside the AFC East then they did last year. That is why it is important to redeem themselves from two routs at the hands of New England last year. Drew Bledsoe will be looking for his first win against his former team.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Matchup: Buffalo (0-0) vs. New England (0-0)
Place: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Television: CBS
Announcers: Vern Lundquist, Dan Diedorf, Bonnnie Bernstein
Spread: Bills by 1
Series: Patriots leads 45-39-1
Last Meeting: Patriots 27-17 in New England (2002)
Pats Off (pre): Rush (8th); Pass (14th); overall (11th)
Pats Def (pre): Rush (12th); Pass (9th); overall (7th)
Bills Off (pre): Rush (12th); Pass (9th); overall (10th)
Bills Def (pre): Rush (11th); Pass (27th); overall (25th)


INJURY UPDATE

The Bills got through the offseason relatively healthy. Willis McGahee and third string quarterback Travis Brown are on injured lists and not available. Travis Henry and Jonas Jennings have missed the the last week of camp and the Lions preseason game with injuries but are fine. Sam Aiken is the lone member of the injury report with a hamstring injury athat will keep him out this week.

The Patriots are also in good shape injury-wise as they have nobody listed on the injury report. The two teams should be very ready to go on Sunday.
Bills Daily Injury Page

KEY MATCHUPS

S Lawyer Milloy vs. Patriots Defense:
I know Milloy will not be on the field against the Pats defense but he will have a ton of information for the Bills offensive braintrust on the gameplan that Bill Belichik has developed.

RB Travis Henry vs. DT Ted Washington:
The late preseason signing of former Bill Washington was huge for New England. He will help their run defense and be fired up to face his former team. Henry will have to account for him when trying to run up the middle.

RT Mike Williams vs. DE Richard Seymour:
Seymour has moved outside to end this year but wherever he is, he's always been a thorn in the Bills side. Williams needs to take another step up in his sophmore year, this will be a good place to start.

QB Drew Bledsoe vs. HC Bill Belichik:
Belichik may be in Bledsoe's head after coming up with perfect gameplans twice last year. He's a master defensive mind and will certaintly have some new tricks up his sleeve to slow down Bledsoe. Drew needs to get past this and concentrate on his game.

Bills Linebackers vs. FB Larry Centers:
Centers is going to try and prove to the Bills that they made a mistake. The new look linebacking corp will have to watch his every move when he steps on the field.

WR Eric Moulds vs. CB Ty Law:
Law is one of the best corners in the game, he will be locked up with Moulds as they continue their bi-annual battle. If the Bills can win some battles against Law then Bledsoe has a chance at a big day.

GAME PLAN

When The Bills Have The Ball: It will be interesting to see if the Bills practice what they preach. They said they wanted a power running game. Will they come out and establish it or try to get cute? I think they will try to outwit Belichik and come out throwing, that would be a mistake. Establish the run with outside runs away from Washington, that will open up the passing game.

When The Patriots Have The Ball: Look for the Patriots to try to beat the Bills with the screen passes and short passing game that worked so well last year. Problem is, the Bills linebacking corp is much improved and much quicker, so it may be difficult for the Patriots to succeed with that portion of their attack.

BILLS DAILY PREDICTION

This is a tough one to pick. The Bills are new, improved, confident, and feel they are ready for bigger things. The Patriots are also improved and this will be a very intersting battle for early supremecy it was promises to be a very tough division once again. Our early version of this preview predicted a Patriot prediction. This is a rare time that I have changed my mind. Milloy joining the Bills after being released by the Patriots gives them a huge psychological edge. The Patriot players were shocked and upset that the popular safety was released. The Bills are psyched to get him. This turn of events overshadows whatever magic Bill Belichik has over Gregg Williams and Drew Bledsoe:
Bills 23, Patriots 17

Season Prediction Record: (0-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (0-0)

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