Week 16: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills come back home on a two game winning streak as they look to end New England's domination of the Bills. The Patriots have won 14 straight and 19 of the last 20 contests between the two teams. They have already clinched a playoff berth but can clinch the division and homefield throughout the playoffs with a win on Sunday or next week against Miami. The Bills look to continue to build on their 2nd half success as they are 4-2 since the halfway point.
Sunday, Dec. 26th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-10) vs. New England (12-2)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 704; Sirius: 130
||Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots
||Patriots by 8
||Patriots lead 59-40-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots Won 14
||Patriots 38-30 in New England (2010)
||Rush (15th); Pass (10th); overall (9th)
||Rush (15th); Pass (30th); overall (28th)
||Rush (17th); Pass (24th); overall (24th)
||Rush (32nd); Pass (7th); overall (23rd)
The Bills are very healthy besides the bunch of players that are on injured reserve. Geoff Hangartner will miss the game with his knee injury but all the other active players should be ready to go.
The Patriots OG Dan Connolly suffered a head injury in the win over the Packers and may not play this week. DL Brandon Deaderick left that game briefly with a shoulder injury but did return to action. DL Mike Wright may be questionable with a concussion. They have a few other players who missed practice on Wednesday but should be ok.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
CB Drayton Florence vs. WR Wes Welker:
Florence and Welker will likely go head to head in this game. Welker is closing in on another 100 catch and 1,000 yard season. Florence needs to keep him in check if the Bills are to have any chance at winning this game.
S Donte Whitner and LB Paul Posluszny vs. TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski:
The twin rookie tight ends are having fantastic seasons combining for 77 catches for 953 yards. The Bills wish they could even get a quarter of that production from the position. Whitner and Posluszny will likely get the call against them. The Bills have done better as of late against tight ends.
RB Fred Jackson vs. LB Jerod Mayo:
Jackson looks to get back on track after being shutdown last week for the first time in a month. He smells another 1,000 yard season and always plays well against New England. Mayo is by far the leading tackle for the Patriots having nearly double the second leading tackler.
LT Demetrius Bell vs. DE Mike Wright:
Bell has had a nice season but has been getting beat a bit more lately. Wright leads the Patriots with 5½ sacks in just five starts in 10 games played this year.
CB Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee vs. WR Deion Branch:
McKelvin and McGee have been sharing the duties at the left cornerback spot as McGee still isn't 100 percent with a nerve problem. Branch's career has been rejuvenated now that he is reunited with Tom Brady in New England.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Kyle Arrington:
Johnson is the main guy in Buffalo now with Lee Evans out for the year so he may get double teamed a lot. Arrington will be the main guy lining up against him. The 2nd year pro from Hofstra may be a bit overmatched as Johnson looks to go over 1,000 yard receiving mark.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They should be able to move the ball against a New England team that has struggled defensively this year. Fitzpatrick should have success through the air against what is a surprisingly weak pass defense. That should open up the running game that should be able to move the ball as well. Jackson has done well in the past against New England.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: They live and breathe with the passing of Tom Brady. He will throw early and often using his talented group of young tight ends liberally throughout the game.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
Fans are excited at the possibility of the Bills ending the longest active losing streak in the NFL. The Bills are playing well and the Patriots can wrap everything up next week, so it is not a must win for them. That may be wishful thinking however as traditionally the Patriots have beaten the Bills badly in the 2nd matchup of the season. I think the Bills will hang tough like they have most weeks but the result will be the same old song and dance:
Patriots 34, Bills 27
Season Prediction Record: (10-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-6)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night!