Gameday Grades: The defense really disappointed in the finale as they allowed the Patriots to gash them on the ground for 270 rushing yards. They got Tom Brady on an off day in the rain and couldn't do take advantage to get the victory. The special teams didn't help by giving the Patriots great field position after two Buffalo touchdowns. Gameday Grades.
Bills Blitz: LeGarrette Blount ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns to go along with back breaking kickoff returns of 83 and 62 yards to lead the Patriots to a 34-20 victory over the Bills at rainy Gillette Stadium. Thad Lewis completed an 80 yard scoring drive with a 12 yard touchdown pass to T.J. Graham to pull the Bills to within six late in the third quarter. Tom Brady would take advantage of Blount's first big return with a five yard scoring pass to Shane Vereen. It came one play after Marcell Dareus jumped offsides on a field goal attempt. Dareus was benched in the first half for violating team rules. The Bills responded to that score with a Fred Jackson six yard touchdown run but Blount's second big return followed that score and setup Stephen Gostkowski's fourth field goal of the game. The Bills could get nothing going offensively early after an opening possession 51 yard field goal by Dan Carpenter, he would add a 37 yarder late in the game. New England scored field goals on their first two possessions. Bills Blitz.
Byrd Hurt: Jarius Byrd left the game in the first quarter when he suffered a right ankle injury. His return was listed as questionable but he did not make it back into the game. Stefan Charles was shaken up in the first half but returned to the game quickly. Injury Page.
Manuel Inactive: Stevie Johnson and EJ Manuel are inactive for the finale. Aaron Williams is also out but isn't inactive since he was placed on injured reserve on Friday. Manuel was listed as doubtful but it isn't a surprise he's inactive. The healthy scratches are: Cordell Roberson, Brandon Smith, Antoine McClain, Mark Asper, and Ronnie Wingo. Roberson was activated from the practice squad when Williams went on IR but won't get a chance to play.
Rainy Finale: It will be a rainy day in Foxboro when the Bills and Patriots take the field in the season finale. There is 100% chance of rain during the game with temperatures in the low 40s dipping to 39°. The wind will be out of the ENE and getting gustier throughout the game up to 15mph near the end of the game.
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Friday December 27, 2013
Three Bills Hawaii Bound: Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Jairus Byrd have been selected for the Pro Bowl. Marcell Dareus and Kiko Alonso led the balloting at their respective positions but did not get selected. Fan voting is 1/3 of the tally with the coaches getting a third and the players getting the final third in the voting formula. It is unknown at this point if any other Bills were named alternates but it is a good bet that Dareus and Alonso may be alternates.
Williams To IR: Since Aaron Williams has already been ruled out the team has placed him on injured reserve and activated WR Cordell Roberson off the practice squad. He may get some game action with Stevie Johnson out and Marquise Goodwin and Marcus Easley being listed as probable on the injury report. Front Office Page.
Lewis To Start: EJ Manuel is officially listed as doubtful with his second LCL injury of the year. He did practice once again today but Thad Lewis again took the first reps and was named the starter for Sunday's game. He did not progress as much as they needed him to in order for him to start. His LCL injury will not require surgery just rest and offseason strength training. Aaron Williams and Stevie Johnson were officially ruled out. Injury Page.
Thursday December 26, 2013
QB Decision Still Looming: Doug Marrone has yet to decide who his starting quarterback will be in the finale. Both EJ Manuel and Thad Lewis took reps today and Marrone said Manuel looked improved. He was limited in practice and the coach will once again review the practice film before making a decision. The coach is also very close to ruling Aaron Williams out after he did not practice again today. The coach has not spoken to Stevie Johnson recently and he is likely out as well since his Mother's funeral is tomorrow. Fred Jackson was limited today but is expected to play. Injury Page.
Manuel Practicing: As expected EJ Manuel is taking part in practice today but took the third snap in individual drills behind Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel. It is unknown if that means anything at all, Doug Marrone will give an update after practice. The only two players not practicing are Aaron Williams and of course, Stevie Johnson. It is looking less likely that Williams will be able to play on Sunday.
Bills Wrap Up Season: The Bills will wrap their season on Sunday in a late afternoon start in New England. They are looking for their first ever win at Gillette Stadium and in the process they are trying to force the Patriots to have to play next week instead of getting a first round bye in the playoffs. Game Preview.
Presumed Injury Report: The crazy rules of the NFL continues as despite the fact that neither the Bills or Patriots practiced on Christmas Day, both teams had to release an injury report and assume the practice status of each player. The Bills listed EJ Manuel as limited. A decision on whether or not he will go on Sunday will likely be made today after the coaches see how he can move on the stadium turf when they return to practice today. Everyone else should be available Sunday with the exception of Stevie Johnson and Aaron Williams. Johnson will likely miss the game with his Mom's funeral taking place tomorrow and Williams will be re-evaluated as well. Injury Page.
Tuesday December 24, 2013
Manuel Practicing: EJ Manuel was back on the field practicing today. He threw the ball well according to Doug Marrone and he will be re-evaluated on Thursday after rest and a review of the practice film. Aaron Williams and Fred Jackson did not practice with their rib injuries. Williams will be re-evaluated later in the week and Jackson was just getting a day of rest. Stevie Johnson remains absent and Marquise Goodwin was on the practice field after leaving Sunday's game early with a knee injury. There were no practice designations today because they don't have to declare how much players practice on Tuesday. Injury Page.
Can Win Lead To Big Things? Tony Bogyo breaks down the Bills win over Miami and is in the Christmas spirit as he felt very satisfied with the victory. He wonders if this can be a stepping stone for the future. Complete Story.
Monday December 23, 2013
Johnson Likely Out: Doug Marrone said today that Stevie Johnson will likely miss the finale against the Patriots because of the death of his mother. The funeral is set for Friday making it unlikely he will be able to play on Sunday. Marrone also seemed to be backing off on his comments from last week when he said he's 110% sure EJ Manuel will play this weekend. He now says they will take a peek at him in practice tomorrow and take it from there.
Branch Gets Extension: The Bills are already looking forward to next year by announcing a contract extension with Alan Branch. He signed a one year deal with the Bills last offseason as an unrestricted free agent and fits in well with Mike Pettine's defensive scheme. He said just last week he would like to stay with the team. He was one of their bigger free agents this offseason. Scott Chandler, Jairus Byrd, and Alex Carrington are also unrestricted free agents this offseason. Branch moved into Carrington's spot when he was lost for the season with a torn quadriceps week 3. The deal is a multi year contract but terms were not disclosed.
Finale Moved: The NFL announced late last night that they have flexed the Bills finale in New England. It will now start at 4:25pm instead of 1pm.
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