Week 17: Bills vs. Patriots
The Bills look to close out the season with three straight wins, to do that they will have to get their first ever victory at Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002. The Patriots need the win to clinch a first round bye as they can finish anywhere from the #1 to #3 seed in the playoffs.
Sunday, Dec. 29th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (6-9) vs. New England (11-4)
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 718; Sirius: 132
||Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
||Patriots by 9½
||Patriots lead 64-41-1 (Bills 0-1 in playoffs)
||Patriots Won 4
||Patriots 23-21 in Buffalo (2013)
||Rush (12th); Pass (7th); overall (7th)
||Rush (29th); Pass (18th); overall (25th)
||Rush (2nd); Pass (29th); overall (23rd)
||Rush (23rd); Pass (5th); overall (8th)
The Bills may be without EJ Manuel as he his battling his third knee injury of the season. Aaron Williams will be questionable at best with a bad rib injury. Stevie Johnson is not expected to play because of the death of his mother.
The Patriots may be without CB Devin McCourty who suffered a concussion last week. WR Josh Boyce has missed practice with an ankle injury also suffered last week. RB Shane Vereen left the Ravens game last week as well with a groin injury but is practicing on a limited basis this week. They do hope to get OT Nate Solder back who missed last week's game with a concussion. DTs Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly were present on opening day when these two teams played but are now on injured reserve.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
RB Fred Jackson vs. LB Brandon Spikes:
Jackson has become the main guy in the backfield in the latter part of the season. Spikes is the heart and soul of the Patriots defense.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Chandler Jones:
Glenn has avoided the dreaded sophomore slump and has had a fine second season. He goes up against the Pats sack leader in Jones who has 11½ on the season.
DT Kyle Williams vs. LG Logan Mankins:
Williams is wrapping up perhaps his finest season as a pro. The veteran Mankins will get help from C Ryan Wendell.
CB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Julian Edelman:
Gilmore has played better down the stretch as he is finally healthy. Edelman is having a career season with just four more catches to give him 100 on the season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Pressure Brady: Every now and then the great Tom Brady does get frazzled. The way to do that is not with sacks but with constant pressure and frequent hits. If they can hit him early, hard, and often he may get out of his game giving the Bills a chance at the upset.
2. Build On Defensive Momentum: The defense is coming off one of the best statistical games in team history. They need to bring their confidence and momentum to New England this week and believe they can slow down the high powered Patriots offensive attack.
3. Win The Turnover Battle: This is an easy one. They never win in New England and they certainly can't if they turn the ball over more than they take it away.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
Everyone feels good about the Bills after back to back wins. They said themselves the Miami game was their playoff game. The Pats need this game to get next week off so they will be ready to play. In past years, these two teams would play one close game and one blowout. They opened the season with a close matchup, it is time for the Patriots blowout win especially with the Bills having their "playoff" game last weekend:
Patriots 37, Bills 17
Season Prediction Record: (9-6)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-7)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Evening!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night!