Game 9: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills have gained momentum and are on the upswing with three wins in their last four games. All those wins have happened at home, they will see how far they've come with a tough road prime time matchup in New England. The Patriots long 21 game winning streak is over but they began another one last week in St. Louis.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (3-5) vs. New England (7-1)
||Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire
||Pats by 8
||Patriots lead 48-40-1 (0-1 Postseason)
||Patriots 31-17 in Buffalo (2004)
||Rush (17th); Pass (14th); overall (14th)
||Rush (21st); Pass (19th); overall (19th)
||Rush (19th); Pass (27th); overall (26th)
||Rush (4th); Pass (3rd); overall (3rd)
The Bills are much healthier and could get Troy Vincent back for this one, he has missed more than a month after undergoing knee surgery. J.P. Losman is still struggling with a broken leg but is the emergency QB. Josh Reed and Coy Wire will be questionable at best with a knee and abdomen injury respectively. Mike Williams may also miss the game after suffering a scary neck injury last week against the Jets.
The Patriots are a banged up team, so much so that WR Troy Brown saw some time at defensive back. WR Deion Branch has been out with a knee injury since week 2. CB Ty Law is out six weeks with a foot injury and the other starter, Tyrone Pool is also out with a knee injury. TE Ben Watson is on injured reserve.
Bills Daily Injury Page
SS Lawyer Milloy vs. TE Daniel Graham:
Graham is an unsung hero on this team and can find the end zone. Milloy will be on him to try to hold him down.
RB Willis McGahee vs. LB Ted Johnson:
McGahee has sparked the offense and will need another 100 yard day to give the Bills a chance. Johnson is the man in the middle that will try to stop him.
WRs Eric Moulds and Lee Evans vs. Patriots CBs:
The Patriots are real thin at corner because of injuries. The Bills receiving duo should be able to exploit that for some big plays. If they can't then they are going to be in trouble.
RE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Matt Light:
Schobel has cooled off after a hot stretch. Light got the better of him in the first matchup. Schobel will need a big game for the Bills to have a chance in this one.
DE Chris Kelsay vs. RT Tom Ashworth:
While Schobel will have his hands full with Light that may open things up for Kelsay who has come on of late. Look for him to get pressure on Tom Brady.
HC Bill Belichick vs. HC Mike Mularkey:
This may be the battle of the gadget play. Belichick always has something new up his sleeve. Last week he had his kicker throw a touchdown pass. His linebacker caught one. His wide receiver played cornerback. Mularkey has used gadget plays to less success, like having his backup cornerback run a reverse.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They will try to do the usual and that is pound the ball on the ground with McGahee. They will also take their attempts in the air against a banged up Patriots secondary. If they use Troy Brown again in the nickel defense look for Drew Bledsoe to try and exploit him.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: They will mix it up with the running of Dillon but against the Bills tough run defense their bread and butter may be through the air and some trick plays to spark the offense and get the crowd going.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills are red hot but have yet to prove they can play with any consistency on the road. This is the toughest road environment of the year. They haven't won in New England in four years and going against them in a prime time matchup will be real tough especially since they have had no luck in prime time games in recent years. Those two trends will continue this week:
Patriots 23, Bills 13
Season Prediction Record: (6-2)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-5)
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