Week 15: Bills vs. Patriots
The Patriots come to town shockingly looking for their first win of the year in an opponent's stadium. They are 1-5 on the road with the only win coming in London. The Bills look to finally break the jinx as they have lost 12 straight games to the Patriots. New England is a bit vulnerable as there have been some internal issues and they are not as solid as they used to be. They still lead the division and are very formidable of course.
Sunday, Dec. 20th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (5-8) vs. New England (8-5)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf
||Patriots by 7
||Patriots lead 58-40-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots Won 12
||Patriots 25-24 in New England (2009)
||Rush (14th); Pass (2nd); overall (2nd)
||Rush (16th); Pass (14th); overall (11th)
||Rush (17th); Pass (29th); overall (29th)
||Rush (32nd); Pass (5th); overall (24th)
Jonathan Scott injured his eye in the win over the Chiefs but they are optimistic he'll be able to go this week. Kendall Simmons has a shoulder injury and will likely be a gametime decision. Chris Draft has been slowed with a neck stinger but was active last week. Joe Klopfenstein (ankle), Justin Jenkins, (knee), Jairus Byrd (groin), and Jamon Meredith (ankle) are limited but should play. Demetrius Bell, Eric Wood, Seth McKinney, Keith Ellison, Derek Fine, Kawika Mitchell, Marcus Buggs, Leodis McKelvin, Derek Schouman, and Brad Butler are among the 15 players who are on injured reserve.
The Patriots are banged up on the defensive line. Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork both left last week's win over Carolina with foot and ankle injuries respectively. They are likely questionable for this week's game. A host of other players are banged up but should be able to go.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
CBs Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence vs. WR Randy Moss and Wes Welker:
The two wideouts for the Pats dominated the first matchup between the two teams. The Bills pass defense has played great and if McGee and Florence can keep Moss and Welker in check the Bills have a chance.
S Jairus Byrd vs. QB Tom Brady:
The Bills have a greater chance at the upset if they can add to their league leading interception total of 25. Byrd leads the league with nine of them. If he can pick off one or two that would help out greatly.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Matt Light:
Schobel is playing very well and proving to everyone that he is not washed up. Light is a veteran and these two have had wars in the past with Schobel usually performing very well against New England.
RBs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch vs. LBs Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton:
Jackson and Lynch finally gave the Bills the one-two punch running the football they envisioned last week. It was what they thought would happen when Lynch returned from his suspension. Mayo and Guyton do very well in stopping the run. With Wilfork banged up the running game may be able to get going.
RT Kirk Chambers vs. OLB Tully Banta-Cain:
The Bills have struggled with the 3-4 defense the past few years. With Banta-Cain coming off the edge from the left side Chambers has to stop him from getting by. He leads the team with 6½ sacks.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Leigh Bodden:
Evans needs to step up and have a big game. Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to always look for Terrell Owens first but this may be the week to look to the other side as Evans has a clear matchup advantage over Bodden.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They should be able to move the ball on the ground against a banged up front line of the Patriots. They should pound the ball with Lynch and Jackson all game long and try to keep the ball out of the air where more mistakes can happen.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: They live and die with Brady and if the weather is bad that will be a great ally to the Bills. The Pats would love to throw all day but that plays into the strength of the Bills defense so look for them to mix in plenty of misdirection runs by Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Patriots usually blow the Bills out once a year and have one close game a season. They already had the close call on opening day so you would think this would be a Patriots blow out. The Bills however are playing better and would love nothing more than to put a crimp in their hated rival playoff plans. They should come to play and the weather could be the equalizer. When push comes to shove though it's hard to imagine the Bills beating the Patriots even though they have a chance they will lose a close one:
Patriots 13, Bills 9
Season Prediction Record: (7-6)
Season Record Against The Spread: (7-6)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday!