Week 7: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills are reeling coming off two straight road losses to NFC North opponents including a particularly rough loss against previously winless Detroit. The Patriots always seem to play the Bills after their bye week and that is the case this year. Giving Bill Belichick two weeks to prepare for the Bills is never a good thing. He felt so comfortable that he took a day off to go to New York and watch his buddy Tony LaRussa lead the Cardinals against the Mets in an NLCS playoff game.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-4) vs. New England (4-1)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Greg Gumbel and Dan Diedorf
||Patriots by 5½
||Patriots lead 52-40-1
||Patriots Won 6
||Patriots 19-17 in New England (Week 1)
||Rush (6th); Pass (18th); overall (10th)
||Rush (8th); Pass (25th); overall (13th)
||Rush (19th); Pass (29th); overall (t-29th)
||Rush (20th); Pass (18th); overall (18th)
The Bills must be looking forward to their upcoming bye to rest some nagging injuries. Matt Bowen continues to be out with a bone bruise in his lower leg. He has been upgraded to questionable this week. The offensive line is hurting, Tutan Reyes and Melvin Fowler are questionable with shoulder and thigh injuries perspectively. Roscoe Parrish is also questionable with a hamstring injury. The Bills will likely be cautious with all injured players especially with a bye next week. The Bills have placed John McCargo and Josh Stamer on injured reserve over the past week.
The Patriots are very healthy thanks to their bye week. OL Nick Kaczur is still battling a shoulder injury that has bothered him all year. He may not play. FB Patrick Pass remains on the PUP list even though he's eligible to come off of it. They have five players listed as questionable in all.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RB Willis McGahee vs. DE Ty Warren and DT Vince Wilfork:
The Bills need to pound the ball on the ground and try to tire out the big men on the Patriots front seven. If they can wear them down, McGahee could have some success against a strong run defense.
LT Mike Gandy vs. RDEs Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green:
Gandy is coming off two awful games in a row and will be looking to bounce back but draws another tough assignment this week. Seymour and Green rotate in on the right side and have combined for 7 of the Patriots 12 sacks on the season.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Troy Brown:
McGee is having a terrible year and it just keeps getting worse. Look for Brady to pick on him and use his most veteran receiver in Brown to exploit the struggling corner.
DTs Larry Tripplett and Kyle Williams vs. RBs Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney:
The one-two punch of the Patriots running game destroyed the Bills on opening day. They bring different styles but the middle of the Bills defense must make their presence felt. Even if they don't make the tackles they must open it up for the linebackers to make the plays.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Asante Samuel:
Evans is growing into his role as the number one receiver and faces the big playmaker in the Patriots secondary. Samuel has two interceptions, the rest of the team has only one and he is one of their leading tacklers.
SS Donte Whitner vs. TE Ben Watson:
Watson may be a tight end but he's very athletic and is Brady's go to guy. Whitner may rotate between run support and pass coverage against Watson. He can't give up the big play like he did against Watson in the opener that helped spark the Patriots comeback.
LB Takeo Spikes vs. Injuries:
For the Bills to have a chance Spikes must become the playmaker he was. He needs to be healthier for that to happen and it is unknown if he can play anywhere close to his previous level at this point.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills need to get the running game going and stick with it even if the going is tough early on which it probably will be. The more they run, the more they keep the ball away from Tom Brady and that strong Patriots running game. They should look to take a few more shots deep then they have even when it doesn't work they need to go back to it.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: They know how to beat the Bills, run, run, and run some more. Look for the Patriots to mix it up with both their running backs since they have two different running styles. The different looks will confuse a bad run defense and allow the Patriots to walk down the field.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
There is no way around it, this is a tough matchup for the Bills. Their confidence is way down and if something goes wrong in this game things may snowball once again. The odds on something going wrong against the perennial powerhouse Pats are very good, look for a relatively easy New England win:
Patriots 34, Bills 16
Season Prediction Record: (2-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (2-4)
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