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Patriots and Bills Meet for a Winter Showdown

Terrell Owens (courtesy of luello.com)

After dropping two games in a row, New England finally got into winning form last week over the Panthers. They are leading the AFC East by one game over New York and Miami. However, it’s the other division team the Patriots are now concerned with. The Buffalo Bills will not be in the playoffs this year, but now they have the opportunity to play spoiler. It’s a rematch of week 1 and this time, the Bills are hoping for a different result.

REMEMBER THE BILLS:

After a disappointing 7-9 season last year, Buffalo was looking to big things with the addition of Terrell Owens. Well, he hasn’t been as much a factor as once thought. The Bills have slumped along to a 5-8 record and will be looking for a new head coach since Dick Jauron was released a couple of weeks ago. Now the only thing they have to look forward to is stomping on the Patriots playoff dreams.

Trent Edwards was originally supposed to lead this team, but has since been benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been at the helm of Buffalo’s four losses in the past six games. The running back combo of Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch has been ineffective as they have combined for just one 100 yard game this season. Receivers Lee Evans and Owens have not performed up to expectation and it appears that it will not improve for the rest of the season. The defense has also been disappointing. While being able to stop the pass, they are allowing 170 rushing yards per game. The end result is that nothing appears to be going right for the Bills.

5 Things New England has to do

  1. DUH! RUN THE BALL:
    There are reports that Fred Taylor could be making a return this week. If that is so, then it will most likely be in a limited role. The running back combination of Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris has done a great job spreading the ball around and Maroney’s 94 yards were a team high since week 6. New England has enough backs to throw in any type of runner and confuse an opposing defense.

    And confusing Buffalo’s run defense has been easy as pie lately. They have allowed nine 100 yard rushers this season. The Titan’s Chris Johnson blew past the defense for 132, the Chief’s Jamaal Charles torched them for 143 and the Jet’s Thomas Jones set a career best with 210 yards. So the key for a New England victory would be to keep it on the ground.

  2. WORRY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS:
    New England is sitting only one game up on Miami and New York for the lead in the AFC East. It is very feasible that they could slip up and miss out on the playoffs altogether. However, they need to keep the Jets and Fins out of their mind. New England is great at playing one game at a time and now they need to stick to their game plan. Keep Buffalo on the mind. Worry about everything else later.
  3. LET HISTORY BE HISTORY:
    Week one was an amazing game. Tom Brady hit Ben Watson with a touchdown pass with 2:06 remaining in the game. Then, Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin fumbled the kickoff and New England recovered. One minute and 16 seconds later, Brady and Watson connected again to seal the 25-24 win. New England bested the Bill’s for the 12th straight time and took a commanding lead in the overall series 58-40-1.

    Still, New England needs to not worry about the two team’s history. That includes Randy Moss. Moss’ heart has been called into question after a lackluster week against Carolina. Many have mentioned how he gave up on the Vikings and Raiders in the past. You know Bill Belichick had a talk with Moss and will give him the opportunity to shine this week. The Randy Moss on the Patriots is not like the Randy Moss of old. Do not worry about his past and instead give him the opportunity to shine in the future.

  4. SHUT DOWN FITZPATRICK:
    New England has been pretty bad these past few weeks stopping the pass. They have allowed teams to throw all over the place and go deep often. Buffalo’s offense, on the other hand, is one of the worst in the league averaging only 160 passing yards a game. Even better for New England, Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown 16 interceptions on the season and makes mistakes when he is flustered. So it’s time to send the troops in.

    Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren are out for the game, but more important is that Tully Banta-Cain is also questionable. Banta-Cain has been the best pass rusher and can flush a quarterback out of the pocket better then most. He is currently tied for the team league in sacks, along with Wilfork and Adalius Thomas. As long as Banta-Cain is healthy and Thomas keeps quiet concerning Belichick, then New England will have a strong enough pass attack to shut down Buffalo.

  5. MAKE A STATEMENT:
    With only three weeks remaining, New England has to prove that they can go toe-to-toe with the leagues best. They also need to prove they can win on the road, something that have only done in London this season. They might only have one road playoff game, should they even get that far, so proving they don’t collapse on the road is important. The weather will be rough and perfect for old school football. New England has to prove they can handle the weather and crush Buffalo in the process. Making a statement in Buffalo will prove they are playoff caliber.

Prediction

New England has the talent to be one of the best teams in the league. However, they have been anything but stellar the past few weeks. Their opponent Buffalo has had issues getting their offense going and it’s hard to jump start an engine in the winter time. The Patriots need this win and they know it and when New England is motivated it’s hard to beat them.

New England 27 – Buffalo 10 (included will be a huge game from Moss.)

About Teddy

Was born in Queens, NY, but moved up to New Hampshire around 12, when my interest in sports really began to boom. A huge fan of the Boston sports scene, especially the Sox, Celts, Bruins and Pats. Went to Keene State College where I majored in Journalism and went around covering the college teams. Not just a bandwagon fan... i tend to follow everything from the Draft to Championships. Love to write and look forward to bringing a fun, interesting style... hopefully...

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