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The 12-3 New England Patriots will host the 6-9 Buffalo Bills on Sunday to wrap up the 2011 NFL regular season. The two teams are heading in opposite directions, as the Patriots have won their last seven games, and the Bills have just one win over that stretch. The Bills beat the Patriots by a score of 34-31 when the two teams played in upstate New York earlier this year. The Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win or tie.
Both QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski have a chance to make history against the Dolphins. Tom Brady is 190 passing yards away from the single-season passing yards record that is currently owned by Saints QB Drew Brees. Brees broke the previous record of 5,084, owned by former Dolphins’ QB Dan Marino, on Monday night. Rob Gronkowski needs only 72 yards to reach Kellen Winslow’s record for single-season receiving yards for a tight end.
With a bye week coming up next week, the Patriots’ biggest goal in this game is probably just to stay healthy. Left Guard Logan Mankins (Knee) and Right Tackle Sebastian Vollmer (Foot) did not practice this week and will not play. QB Tom Brady was limited in practice with a left shoulder injury but the team says he is ready to go. That being said, he likely won’t play much after halftime.