Week 16: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills hit the final two games of the season still very much alive for the playoff race. The bad news is that they are playing in their house of horrors this week up in New England. The good news is they can lose this game and still have a decent shot at making the playoffs since next week's game against Miami is more important in the playoff race.
Sunday, Dec. 24th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (8-6) vs. New England (11-3)
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 707; Sirius: 108; SiriusXM: 385
||Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and Tracy Wolfson
||Patriots by 12½
||Patriots lead 70-43-1 (Bills 0-1 in Playoffs)
||Patriots Won 2
||Patriots 23-3 in Buffalo (2017)
||Rush (16th); Pass (1st); overall (2nd)
||Rush (26th); Pass (29th); overall (29th)
||Rush (6th); Pass (32nd); overall (29th)
||Rush (25th); Pass (17th); overall (23th)
The Bills have two big knee injuries with E.J. Gaines and Kelvin Benjamin hurting. Gaines injured his knee last week and is day to day but it seems a longshot he will play. Benjamin has been playing on a limited basis the past couple of weeks with a torn meniscus. He will likely play through it but not at full speed.
The Patriots will be without DL Alan Branch and RB Rex Burkhead, both players have knee injuries. Otherwise they are a pretty healthy team this late in the season as well.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
LB Preston Brown vs. RB Dion Lewis:
Running backs continue to carve up the Bills defense. Lewis has the potential to be the next one to have a big game. Brown and the rest of the LB corps need to come up big.
DB Tre'Davious White vs. TE Rob Gronkowski:
All eyes will be on these two after what happened three weeks ago.
RG Vlad Ducasse vs. LB Kyle Van Noy:
Ducasse has been playing well as of late and did well against Van Noy three weeks ago. He needs to do so again as Van Noy is third in tackles and second in sacks for the Patriots defense.
LT Dion Dawkins vs. DE Trey Flowers:
Dawkins needs to keep Flowers off of Taylor as he leads the Pats with 6½ sacks.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Get Offense Moving: The Bills are not going to outscore the Patriots but they need to put up points to have any chance at winning the game.
2. Pressure Brady: Even though the Bills never beat the Patriots it's always fun to make Brady feel uncomfortable in the pocket. They had some success in the first half three weeks ago and now need to do so for a whole game.
3. Force Turnovers: This key can be on here every week but it is very important if you are hoping to pull off a monumental upset.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills usually battle the Patriots tough once a year. They didn't put up a big fight earlier this month in Orchard Park. They are playing with confidence and I think they will give New England a bit of a scare but not enough to pull out the victory:
Patriots 21, Bills 16
Season Prediction Record: (8-6)
Season Record Against The Spread: (5-7-2)
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