Week 3: Bills vs. Patriots
There hasn't been this much hype for a week 3 game around Ralph Wilson Stadium in ages. The Bills and Patriots are part of a three way tie atop the division at 2-0. The great start by the Bills have fans wondering if they can finally end the Patriots curse. New England has beaten the Bills 15 straight times which is the third biggest streak of all time. They have also won 20 of their last 21 against Buffalo.
Sunday, Sept. 25th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-0) vs. New England (2-0)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 706; Sirius: 106
||Marv Albert and Rich Gannon
||Patriots by 8½
||Patriots lead 60-40-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots Won 15
||Patriots 34-3 in Buffalo (2010)
||Rush (16th); Pass (1st); overall (1st)
||Rush (11th); Pass (31st); overall (31st)
||Rush (1st); Pass (18th); overall (7th)
||Rush (21st); Pass (13th); overall (14th)
The Bills are without Roscoe Parrish who was put on injured reserve ending his season with an ankle injury. Terrence McGee remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and Kraig Urbik is out with a leg injury suffered in the win over the Raiders. Stevie Johnson is hampered by a groin injury but is expected to play. Torrel Troup has missed the beginning of the season with a lower back injury but should be ready to return. Spencer Johnson (hip) and Kirk Morrison (hamstring) have missed practice time this week.
The Patriots will be without one of their top tight ends as Aaron Hernandez will miss a couple of weeks with a sprained MCL. Punter Zoltan Mesko is also hobbled and may need to sit. DL Myron Pryor and C Dan Koppen have been placed on IR. CB Kyle Arrington and DL Mike Wright are dealing with concussions. S Patrick Chung has a hand injury and OT Sebastian Vollmer is bothered by a bad back. All these players have missed practice time this week.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
Bills Secondary vs. QB Tom Brady:
It's not about the one on one matchups in the passing game this week. The Bills secondary must make marked improvements from last week if they hope to even slow down the best quarterback in the league.
CB Aaron Williams vs. WR Wes Welker:
Getting more specific about the battle with the Patriots passing game, Williams will likely get Welker on passing downs. The Pats best receiver lines up in the slot, the rookie Williams will get him from the Nickel spot. He will need some help with double teams.
RB Fred Jackson vs. LB Jerod Mayo:
Jackson leads the league in rushing and Mayo leads the Pats in tackles. He is all over the field and Jackson will need to try to go to the left side to stay away from his outside backer spot.
C Eric Wood vs. DTs Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork:
Wood has been stout in the middle of the Bills offensive line and is a big part of the success they have had. He has a huge challenge this week with the two big bodies in the middle of the Pats defense. If they can clog things up, it could be tough running for fast Freddie and C.J. Spiller.
LB Nick Barnett vs. TE Rob Gronkowski:
The Western New York product has developed into a steady performer at tight end for New England. Barnett will likely get the matchup on many occasions with the young player.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Devin McCourty:
Johnson is battling a groin injury but will play. His deep game will be hampered which could help McCourty in covering him but Johnson will still be tough going over the middle.
When The Bills Have The Ball: They will attack the one weak spot of the Patriots game, their secondary. You can throw on New England so the Bills will do just that. Look for them to use Spiller as a receiver quite a bit in this game with Parrish out.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: There is no secret to what the Patriots do, they throw the football. Tom Brady has been playing even above his lofty standards. He will put the ball in the air plenty.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
I would love to pick the Bills to win this game and overcome the curse. The fact is, it will be extremely tough to win it even at home. I think it will be a good battle but the Patriots will win. Not because of the winning streak, because the Bills aren't on their level yet:
Patriots 38, Bills 27
Season Prediction Record: (1-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (2-0)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
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