Week 8: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills are licking their wounds after a bad performance on the West Coast last week. The Patriots are coming off of a bye week and are well rested. Buffalo never performs well in New England, especially during primetime matchups. The Patriots will get the added emotional boost of probably having Tedy Bruschi back after missing the first half of season after suffering a mild stroke. The winner will be in sole possession of first place in the division.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (3-4) vs. New England (3-3)
||Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, & Paul Maguire
||Patriots by 9
||Patriots lead 49-40-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots 29-6 in New England (2004)
||Rush (27th); Pass (2nd); overall (3rd)
||Rush (25th); Pass (24th); overall (26th)
||Rush (12th); Pass (31st); overall (30th)
||Rush (1st); Pass (3rd); overall (16th)
The Bills went into last week's game healthy, they didn't come out of it in the same shape. The offensive line had three injuries last week to Mike Williams, Chris Villarrial, and Greg Jerman. Williams and Villarrial should be ready to play. Williams is hobbled by an ankle sprain and Villarrial had a concussion last week. Terrence McGee hurt both his legs last week but should also be ready to play. Takeo Spikes and Ron Edwards are out for the year.
The Patriots should get one of their leaders back, Bruschi's anticipated return will be a huge boost for a banged up team. They will be without S Rodney Harrision who is out for the year. WR Troy Brown, OT Matt Light, S Gus Scott, DB Tyrone Pool, RB Corey Dillon and DL Marquise Hill all missed their last game with injuries. The bye week should help get some of these wounded players back. Scott is out for the season, so the Patriots will be on their third strong safety. DE Richard Seymour may be back this week after being out with a sprained MCL.
Bills Daily Injury Page
QB Kelly Holcomb vs. SS James Sanders:
The Bills have failed to exploit banged up secondaries in three games this year. They have a fourth game to try and get it right. Sanders is a rookie 4th round draft pick that was third on the depth chart until injuries. Holcomb needs to exploit him in calling plays and audibles in both the running and passing game.
SS Lawyer Milloy vs. QB Tom Brady:
Two old friends battle it out as Milloy needs to get in the head of Brady to give the Bills a glimmer of a hope this week.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Asante Samuel:
Evans needs a breakout game and this could be the week. He should have the edge in this matchup. The Bills will try to get the ball downfield to Evans who needs to make a big play for the Bills to have a chance..
LB Jeff Posey vs. FB Patrick Pass:
The fullback has become a big weapon in the passing game for the Patriots and Posey will have to try to handle him out of the backfield, something the Bills backers haven't done well this season.
LB London Fletcher vs RB Corey Dillon:
If the Bills are going to stop the run, this is a good time to start. The Patriots have not had success running the football this year, partly because Dillon has been banged up. He's had three weeks to get healthy and should be ready to go.
LT Mike Gandy vs. DE Richard Seymour:
If Seymour is healthy enough to return, he can cause fits for Gandy as he is an excellent pass rusher.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills will try to run the ball against a weak Patriots run defense. They have been criticized for not going downfield, so look for them to try to do so, even if the receivers aren't open. They will need the talented group to make plays against a very banged up secondary missing Harrison.
When The Patriots Have The Ball: They will do what everyone else has done this year. They will exploit the over aggressive Bills defense with many cutback runs. They will exploit the Bills weak blitz packages and give Brady time to make plays in the passing game. The league's third ranked offense should be able to make plays at will against the Bills defense.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
So nothing favors the Bills in this matchup. They go to a place where they have been absolutely dominated the past three years including a blowout loss on a Sunday night just like this one. With two weeks to prepare coaching genius Bill Belichik will be ready for anything the Bills throw at them and have some wrinkles of his own. When you add in the emotional boost of getting Bruschi back and the Bills coming off a horrible loss, that adds up to a blowout as big as the Boston Massacre:
Patriots 42, Bills 6
Season Prediction Record: (3-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-4)
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