|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-1||1-2||17.3||11.0||323.3||(4.9)||2.7||15.7||11.3||234.3||(4.1)||2.7|
|Offense (All Games)||21.3||11.5||18.7||28:49||34-143||(4.2)||19-33||57.4%||192||(5.8)||67-334||(5)||(15.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.4||11.2||19.3||30:14||27-112||(4.1)||21-36||60.2%||232||(6.5)||63-344||(5.5)||(15.4)|
|Offense Road Games||19.7||10.7||18.2||27:41||29-126||(4.4)||19-35||55.5%||180||(5.1)||64-306||(4.8)||(15.5)|
|Defense (All Games)||23.6||12.1||18.9||31:56||29-120||(4.2)||20-36||55.1%||210||(5.9)||64-330||(5.1)||(14)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||21.7||11.1||19.2||30:16||26-103||(4)||22-36||60.7%||228||(6.3)||62-331||(5.3)||(15.2)|
|Defense Road Games||28.0||16.2||19.9||32:42||32-135||(4.3)||19-33||57.1%||215||(6.5)||65-351||(5.4)||(12.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||0.8||1.8||0.1||15-5||34.5%||1-0||36.4%||1-29||(20)||3-16||(6.3)||7-60|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.5||2||14-5||38.1%||1-0||46.1%||2-50||(22.7)||22-2||(9.2)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.1||0.7||1.9||-0.2||15-5||31.9%||1-0||33.3%||2-34||(19.4)||3-17||(6.6)||7-63|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.5||0.5||1.9|| ||15-6||37.5%||1-0||40.0%||3-62||(21.2)||3-31||(10.9)||7-60|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.5||1.5|| ||14-5||37.4%||1-0||43.9%||2-57||(23.8)||22-2||(9.9)||6-50|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.1||0.5||1.6|| ||15-6||41.9%||0-0||25.0%||2-45||(21.2)||3-42||(13)||8-75|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||1-2||2-1||29.3||9.0||412.3||(5.9)||1.0||19.0||4.3||410.0||(6.2)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||27.3||10.8||23.6||30:11||29-120||(4.2)||24-40||60.6%||265||(6.6)||69-385||(5.6)||(14.1)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23||11.5||19||30:09||27-110||(4.1)||21-35||60.0%||227||(6.4)||62-337||(5.4)||(14.7)|
|Offense Home Games||29.9||10.6||23.6||29:35||31-129||(4.2)||24-39||62.2%||264||(6.7)||70-393||(5.6)||(13.2)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.2||9.4||21.3||31:21||30-132||(4.4)||21-37||57.1%||240||(6.4)||67-372||(5.5)||(17.5)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.2||11.4||19.5||30:25||26-105||(4)||22-36||61.0%||234||(6.4)||63-340||(5.4)||(15.3)|
|Defense Home Games||20.7||10.0||21.7||32:17||29-144||(4.9)||21-40||52.8%||240||(6)||69-384||(5.5)||(18.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.6||1.3||0.7||14-5||38.0%||1-0||46.7%||2-50||(21.3)||2-25||(11.2)||4-40|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||1.8||14-5||37.6%||1-0||44.8%||2-53||(23.3)||24-2||(10.1)||6-53|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.6||0.7||1.3||1.1||14-5||36.4%||1-1||44.4%||2-47||(19.5)||3-30||(10.1)||5-36|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.1||0.8||1.9|| ||15-6||42.9%||1-0||22.2%||2-42||(20.5)||2-15||(7.7)||7-60|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||14-5||38.0%||1-0||45.1%||2-56||(23.4)||21-2||(9.3)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.4||1.0||2.4|| ||16-6||41.3%||1-0||22.2%||3-47||(18.4)||2-15||(7)||7-70|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BUFFALO 19.4, NEW ENGLAND 19.3|
|12/8/2013||@ TAMPA BAY||6-27||L||3||L||42.5||U||22-67||18-33-147||5||36-165||9-25-81||2|
|12/29/2013||@ NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BUFFALO: Don't expect major changes to the running game under new head coach Doug Marrone's regime. O-Line coach Pat Morris has leaned toward zone blocking over his career. The Bills should continue to rely on a lot of inside zone plays, which were highly effective last year. They'll continue to utilize both of their talented backs, with C.J. Spiller getting the bulk of the work over Fred Jackson. Spiller has become more of a north-south runner, making him much more effective. They'll also bring back a fullback sometimes.
Marrone and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett were together at Syracuse, where they ran a tempo passing game that used a lot of no-huddle and pistol formations. If EJ Manuel isn't ready Week 1, Kevin Kolb will start and should get to make a lot of decisions pre-snap. Stevie Johnson is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver, and the kind of cerebral, instinctive player who should thrive in this offense. Running backs are also expected to be featured much more heavily than in recent seasons. Spiller showed an ability to pick up tough yards last year and will typically get the first crack near the goal line.
The Bills surrendered 35+ points six times last year, but new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the Jets DC in 2012, will try to capitalize on more forced turnovers than Dave Wannstedt's defense did last year (21 takeaways, T-9th-fewest in NFL). Pettine was criticized for running too conservative of a defense in New York, but has rolled out a hybrid 3-4 scheme in Buffalo. He has plenty of pass rushers in DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, and the team also has two new starting OLBs in Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes. The quality secondary could miss hard-hitting S George Wilson, but Buffalo gets to face six opponents with bottom-6 scoring offenses from last season.|
|NEW ENGLAND: New England is consistently middle-of-the-pack in run/pass ratio, and that should hold this year. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' running game is a power scheme heavy on man blocking, and No. 1 back Stevan Ridley is a nice fit. However, Ridley's fumble-itis is an issue. Shane Vereen will get a lot of reps and is a better weapon in the passing game. The additions of Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins and re-signing of Julian Edelman, three solid blocking receivers, suggest they might test the perimeter more often. They also find work for a third back, either LeGarrette Blount or Brandon Bolden.
The Patriots' passing game has become more and more spread. The tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, remain the focal points of the passing game when they're on the field, but both were doubtful for Week 1 when we went to press. Hernandez (legal trouble) is a moveable chess piece while Gronkowski (forearm injury) plays in-line and is often called upon to protect. Danny Amendola steps into the Wes Welker role and figures to lead the team in targets as long as he remains healthy. He'll likely slide outside when they play three wide. Rookie Aaron Dobson has a chance to see a lot of snaps on the outside. The Pats had more goal-to-go snaps than any NFL team last year, and skewed run-heavy with them.
The Patriots finished T-9th in scoring defense in 2012, and led the NFL with 32 forced and 21 recovered fumbles, thanks to a stellar corps of linebackers anchored by LBs Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower. A healthy DE Chandler Jones has Pro Bowl potential, and DT Vince Wilfork is still a monster. The secondary hasn't been good for a long time, but the addition of S Adrian Wilson and the healthy return of CB Aqib Talib will certainly help.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (BUFFALO-NEW ENGLAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Lewis starting, Manuel doubtful)
*Bills-Patriots Preview* ========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
The New England Patriots stopped being content with winning division titles long ago. During the Bill Belichick era, their success has been measured by Super Bowls.
Clinching a first-round playoff bye could be crucial as they try to reach another one.
The Patriots can ensure themselves of at least the AFC's No. 2 seed Sunday with their 20th win in 21 tries against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
New England (11-4) clinched its fifth straight AFC East title and 10th in 11 years early last Sunday when Miami suffered a 19-0 loss to Buffalo. Then for good measure, the Patriots went out later that afternoon and crushed Baltimore 41-7.
Getting a break in the first round of the postseason has proved particularly pivotal during Belichick's tenure. The Patriots have secured a bye in seven of Belichick's first 13 seasons, including all five in which they reached the Super Bowl.
New England can also clinch at least the conference's second seed if Cincinnati loses to or ties with Baltimore and Indianapolis loses to or ties Jacksonville, but winning would remove all doubt. A win and a Denver loss at Oakland would give the Patriots home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Other scenarios could see them finish as low as fourth in the conference.
"We always say that as the season goes on, the games only get bigger and bigger and bigger, and I think that is this week, too," said Tom Brady, whose 53 TD passes and 5,695 passing yards versus Buffalo are his most versus any opponent. "We've worked too hard for too long to get to this point.
"We've got a great opportunity ahead of us, and you just don't want to go out there and not give it your best and put out an effort that's less than 100 percent of what you're capable of, because, like I said, it's been 11 months of work to get us back to this point."
Even as dominant as the Patriots have been in this series, winning 12 straight home matchups dating to Nov. 11, 2001, the team's veteran members appear to be guarding their teammates from taking the Bills for granted. Buffalo's lone win in the last 10 years came Sept. 25, 2011.
"We're not even thinking about the bye or not having the bye. We can't overlook the present," defensive end Andre Carter said. "Right now our focus is Buffalo and only Buffalo."
The Patriots defeated the Bills 23-21 in the season opener on Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal with five seconds left. Brady threw two TD passes to Julian Edelman and New England held Buffalo to an opponent season-low 286 yards.
The Bills (6-9), who lost two fumbles in the opener, have been one of the league's most turnover-prone teams, tied for eighth with 27. They've had 10 in the last four games.
Buffalo will go with backup quarterback Thad Lewis for a second straight game after he went 15 of 25 for 193 yards with an interception against the Dolphins. Rookie EJ Manuel hasn't been ruled out because of a swollen left knee, but he won't start and is listed as doubtful.
Lewis improved to 2-2 in Manuel's absence by beating Miami despite working with a banged-up receiving corps that may be short again. Marquise Goodwin didn't return after hurting his right knee in the first quarter, while Stevie Johnson's status is uncertain with his mother's funeral scheduled for Friday.
Buffalo may need another dominant performance from its defense. The Bills surrendered 103 yards to the Dolphins, the fewest allowed by any team over the last three seasons.
They also notched seven sacks, pushing their season total to a franchise-record 56. Mario Williams, who is one sack shy of matching a career-high 14 set in 2007, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes all have at least 10.
Buffalo sacked Brady three times on Sept. 8.
The Bills are racking up an AFC-best 142.5 rushing yards per game, including a 200.5 average over the last two contests. They recorded 136 yards on 34 carries in the first meeting, with Fred Jackson averaging 5.2 yards per rush.
|Last Updated: 10/23/2014 3:49:04 AM EST|