The New England Patriots host their AFC East Rival Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.
|The Bills||—-||The Patriots|
|Road record||2-3||Home record||2-1|
|AFC East||0-2||AFC East||2-0|
As of Thursday the line on the game from 5dimes.eu via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 12.5. The OVER/UNDER is 52.
My Prediction is Patriots 38, Bills, 21. Give the points (Patriots) and take the over. I am 2-6 against the spread and 5 of 8 on calling the over/under in 2012.
The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 199th consecutive sell out dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.
Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here.
After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.
Getting to the Game
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Foxboro make sure you check out the links.
Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.
Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good.
And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages. With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks. You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.
Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.
CBS in televising the game regionally and Ian Eagle will do play by play while Dan Fouts will provide the game analysis. You can look here for your local affiliate.
See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at the506.com.
The DirecTV designation is Channel 710.
Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules, flex scheduling and commercial breaks.
The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 10 a.m. along the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.
The Patriots radio network call is available on Sirius Channel 91, XM Channel 228 and on SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.
The Bills Radio Network has John Murphy calling the game while former Bills DB Mark Kelso provide the game analysis via their flagship station, WGR-AM.
Their call is available on Sirius Channel 106 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 803.
Patriots All Access
Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team. It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.
- Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
- Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
- Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
- Portland ME on WMTW Sunday at 5 a.m.
- Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
- Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.
You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.
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The Patriots were off on their bye week. The Bills lost to the Texans in Houston 21-9.
- This is the 106th meeting between the Patriots and the Bills since they started to face each other as AFL foes in 1960.
- The Patriots lead the series 63-41-1.
- The 63 wins are the most the Patriots have over any opponent.
- New England has won 22 of the last 25 meetings.
- The Patriots beat the Bills in Week 4 at Buffalo, 52-28. Trailing 21-7 in the 3rd quarter the Patriots scored 45 second half points on their last 7 possesions.
Patriots Team Notes
The Patriots overall franchise record is 419-368-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances. Overall they are are 23-16 in the post season.
They last appeared in the playoffs in 2011 when they beat Denver home in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 45-10 and defeated Baltimore 23-20 in Foxboro in the AFC Championship Game. They lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants 21-17.
The Patriots were 13-3 (2-1 in playoffs) in 2011 and are the defending two-time AFC East Champions as well as the defending AFC Conference Champions. They have won the division 8 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.
The Patriots will be honoring recently retired RB Kevin Faulk at halftime on Sunday. Faulk, drafted by the Patriots in the 2nd round out of LSU in 1999, played 13 seasons with New England. He was a mmeber of all three Patriots Super Bowl Championship teams and is the franchise leader in all-purpose yards, kickoff return yardage and receptions by a running back.
New England has its second 2-game winning streak of the season.
The Patriots have lost three games in 2012 by two points or fewer. They are the first team to lose three games by two points or less in the first six games since the 1960 Dallas Texans.
New England has the same record after 8 games that they had in 2011, 5-3.
In the last ten seasons the Patriots are 35-8 in games played November 1 or later.
New England has a 17 game streak with at least 350 total yards on offense. It is an NFL record.
The Patriots are 33-19 as the home team in the series, they are 10-0 at The Razor; 17-14 in Foxboro/Sullivan/Schaefer Stadium and 6-5 in the Boston venues.
New England has won 11 consecutive home games against Buffalo.
New England is 55-15 vs. the AFC East since 2001 in the regular season. In that time span they are 29-6 in division home games.
New England’s largest margin of victory in the series is 46 points set in 2007.
An AFC East rival has not swept the Patriots in a season series since 2000 when Miami and New York swept them.
The Patriots are 1st in the NFL in points per game with 32.8. While they allow 21.3 points per game good for 12th in the NFL.
The New England defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 17 times this seaso while their quarterbacks have been sacked 14 times.
New England is PLUS 13 in turnover differential 3rd in the NFL. The offense has given up 3 INT and 4 fumbles, while the defense has 9 INTs and 11 fumble recoveries.
The Patriots are 57 for 117 (48.7%) in 3rd down efficiency and 1 for 3 (33.3%) on fourth down attempts. Opponents are 43 for 101 (42.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 4 for 10 (40%) on 4th down attempts.
New England is 24 of 38 (63.2%) in the red zone while opponents are 11 for 18 (61.1%) in the red zone in 2012.
In goal to go situations New England is 19 for 23 (82.6%) and opponents are 8 for 11 (72.7%).
Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:
- Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
- Have the most regular season wins, 197.
- Have the most wins including playoffs, 216.
- Have the most conference titles, 6.
- Have the most division titles, 11.
- Have the most playoff wins, 19
- Have played the most playoff games, 29.
- Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 13.
- Have the best playoff win percentage, .671.
- Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.
New England set the following team records in 2011:
- Total yards, 6,848.
- First downs, 399.
- Net passing yards, 5,084.
- 100+ yard receiving games, 18.
- Games with 30+ points, 12 (tied for most in NFL history).
Patriots Staff Notes
This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Bills.
Bill Belichick coached teams are 22-4 vs. Buffalo. Belichick was 0-1 against the Bills as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 180-100 in his 18th NFL season. He is 144-56 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland. He is 17-7 in the playoffs, 16-6 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season. When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 197-107.
Belichick’s 197 wins are good for 8th all-time. Former Broncos, Giants and Falcons head coach Dan Reeves is 7th with 201 wins.
Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league. The others are former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).
Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3). Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.
He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.
He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 9 consecutive seasons.
Patriots Possible Starters
- LT: Vollmer
- LG: Mankins
- C: Wendell
- RG: Waters
- RT: Solder
- TE: Gronkowski
- TE: Hernandez
- WR: Lloyd
- WR: Welker
- QB: Brady
- RB: Ridley
- DE: Ninkovich
- DT: Wilfork
- DT: Love
- DE: Jones
- LB: Mayo
- LB: Spikes
- LB: Hightower
- LCB: McCourty
- RCB: Dennard
- S: Wilson
- S: Gregory
Patriots Players Notes
This is Tom Brady’s 13th NFL season he is 19-2 vs. the Bills in his career.
Overall Brady is 129-38 as a starting QB and is 16-6 in the playoffs for an overall record of 145-44. Brady is a 7 time Pro Bowl QB; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP. He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
He was ranked in the preseason by ESPN’s Ron Jaworski as the 3rd best quarterback in the NFL.
Brady has 316 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time. Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.
Brady has 129 career wins he is 5th all-time.
Brady finished the 2011 season with 5,235 passing yards and joined Drew Brees (5,476 in 2011 and 5,069 in 2008), Dan Marino (5,084 in 1984) and Matthew Stafford (5,038 in 2011) as the only players in NFL history to reach 5,000 passing yards in a single season.
Brady has thrown for at least 1 TD in 40 consecutive games.
The Patriots are 85-16 when Brady throws at least 2 TD passes in a game.
On the season Brady is 209 of 320 (65.3%) for 2408 yards with 16 TDs and 3 INTs his QB rating is 100.6.
WR Wes Welker now has catches in 109 consecutive games including playoffs, 92 as a Patriot. The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.
Welker leads the team with 60 catches for 736 yards.
TE Rob Gronkowski has 34 receiving touchdowns and 35 touchdowns overall (34 receiving and 1 rushing) since 2010. The NFL record for most receiving touchdowns in a player’s first three NFL seasons is 43 by Randy Moss and the NFL record for most touchdowns overall by a player in his first three NFL seasons is 47 by Barry Sanders (4 receiving and 43 rushing).
He leads the team with 7 TDs, RB Stevan Ridley is 2nd with 5 TDs.
Gronkowski grew up in Williamsville NY 14 miles outside of Buffalo.
TE Aaron Hernandez celebrated his 23rd birthday on Election Day, November 6th, with the birth of his daughter, Avielle Janelle Hernandez.
DE Trevor Scott played football at the University of Buffalo from 2003-07 and grew up in Potsdam, N.Y.
K Stephen Gostkowski has two field goals of 50 or more yards in 2012. With one more he will be the first Patriots kicker with three field goals of 50 or more yards in one season.
Gostkowski (7 for 10) needs one more field goal of 50 or more yards to tie Adam Vinatieri (8 for 17) for most in team history.
Newly acquired CB Aqib Talib is ineligible for Sunday’s game. He is serving the fourth and final game of a league suspension for taking adderall without a prescription/authorization.
Rookie DE Chandler Jones leads the team with 6 sacks; the other DE Rob Ninkovich is second with 5 sacks.
Patriots rookie record for sacks is held by Garin Veris whio had 10.5 in 1985.
Jones also leads the team with 11 QB hits.
Ninkovich leads the team in forced fumbles with 4 while Jones, LB Jerod Mayo and LB Brandon Spikes have 3 forced fumbles each.
Mayo leads the team in tackles through 9 weeks with 103 (64 solo).
Rookie S Tavon Wilson leads the team in INTs with 3. He has as many INT in his rookie NFL season as he did in his college career at Illinois.
McCourty also has team high 9 passes defensed in 2012. Wilson is 2nd with 5 passes defensed.
DT Vince Wilfork has 3 recovered fumbles.
WR Matthew Slater has a team high 8 tackles on special teams, rookie S Nate Ebner is 2nd with 7 tackles.
LS Danny Aiken is a former Bill.
There are only three players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3), Branch (2) and Vince Wilfork (1).
Roster moves this week:
- LB Jerelle Harris was signed to the practice squad.
- Acquired CB Aqib Talib and 7th round pick in 2013 from Tampa Bay for a 4th round selection in 2013.
On Wednesday and Thursday the following players were on the injury list. RB Brandon Bolden (knee); DE Trevor Scott (hamstring) and LB Tracy White (foot) did not practice. CB Kyle Arrington (concussion); DE Ron Brace (back); S Patrick Chung (shoulder); S Steve Gregory (hip); TE Rob Gronkowski (hip); TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle); LB Dont’a Hightower (hamstring); WR Brandon Lloyd (knee); G Logan Mankins (calf/hip); C/G Nick McDonald (shoulder); T Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee) and WR Wes Welker (ankle) were limited in practice. WR Julian Edelman (hand) and DT Kyle Love (knee) had full participation in practice.
The Patriots captains for 2012 are QB Tom Brady, DT Vince Wilfork, G Logan Mankins, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and WR Matthew Slater (special teams).
The Patriots have 5 New England natives on the roster they are: TE Aaron Hernandez (Bristol CT); OL Donald Thomas (New Haven CT); DE Ron Brace (Worcester MA); LB Niko Koutouvides (Plainville CT) and OL Jamey Richard (Weston CT – IR). They have 14 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member. They are CB Will Allen (Syracuse – IR); DE Ron Brace (Boston College); WR Deion Branch (Louisville); RB James Develin (Brown – Practice Squad); RB Tony Fiametta (Syracuse – Exempt List); DE Justin Francis (Rutgers); S Stephen Gregory (Syracuse); DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse); CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers); OL Donald Thomas (UConn); OL Matt Tennant (Boston College); TE Alex Silvestro (Rutgers – Practice Squad); OL Jeremiah Warren (South Florida – Practice Squad) and NT Vince Wilfork (Miami).
The Patriots have 6 retired numbers: 20 – Gino Cappelletti, 40 – Mike Haynes, 73 – John Hannah, 78 – Bruce Armstrong, 79 – Jim Lee Hunt and 89 – Bob Dee.
Bills Team Notes
Buffalo's all-time record is 367-421-8 they are 14-15 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 1999 when they lost to Tennessee in the AFC Wild Card game in the “Music City Miracle”.
They last played for a conference championship in 1993 when they beat Kansas City in the AFC Title game, 30-13. They then went on to lose to Dallas in Super Bowl XXVIII. They have never won a Super Bowl title in four appearances.
The Bills franchise started in 1960 in the AFL and they won two AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965.
The Bills are 0-10 all-time at Gillette Stadium. Overall as the road team in the series they are 19-32.
The Bills last won in Foxboro in 1999 when they beat the Patriots, 13-10 in Week 16 behind Doug Flutie and Thurman Thomas.
The Bills have lost the season series to the Patriots 9 times in the last 12 seasons.
The largest margin of victory for the Bills in the series is 35 points set in 1970.
The Bills are 21-49 vs. the AFC East since 2001.
The Bills are 18th in the NFL in points per game with 22.5. While they allow 31.0 points per game good for 31st in the NFL.
The Buffalo defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 19 times this season, while their quarterbacks have been sacked 11 times.
Buffalo is MINUS 7 in turnover differential 27th in the NFL. The offense has given up 10 INT and 8 fumbles, while the defense has 6 INTs and 5 fumble recoveries.
The Bills are 38 for 96 (39.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 2 for 3 (66.7%) on fourth down attempts. Opponents are 47 for 102 (46.1%) in 3rd down efficiency and 4 for 6 (66.7%) on 4th down attempts.
Buffalo is 11 for 21 (52.4%) in the red zone in 2012. Opponents are 21 of 28 (75%) in the red zone.
The Bills are 8 for 10 (80%) in goal to go situations, while opponents are 12 for 13 (92.3%) in goal to go situations in 2012.
Bills Staff Notes
Hear what Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey had to say to the New England media about the match up.
Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey in his 3rd season with the team is 13-27 since taking over. He was previously the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for two seasons and had an 18-14 record and is 0-2 in the playoffs. His overall NFL record is 31-43 including playoffs.
Gailey is 1-5 vs. the Patriots in his career, 1-4 with Buffalo and 0-1 with Dallas.
Wide Receivers Coach Bob Bicknell is a native of Holliston MA and played tight end at Boston College. Following his graduation in 1992, Bicknell took his first coaching job at Boston University.
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Eric Ciano graduated from Springfield College in 1997 and played football for the Pride.
Assistant Offensive Line Coach Andrew Dees served as the Recruiting Coordinator and Running Backs coach at UMass in 2011.
Assistant defensive Backs coach Adrian White was a CB for the Patriots in 1993.
Bills Possible Starters
- LT: Glenn
- LG: Levitre
- C: Wood
- RG: Urbik
- RT: Hairston
- TE: Chandler
- WR: Jones
- WR: Steve Johnson
- WR: Graham
- QB: Fitzpatrick
- RB: Spiller
- DE: M. Williams
- DT: Dareus
- DT: K. Williams
- DE: Kelsey
- LB: Bradham
- LB: Sheppard
- LB: Barnett
- LCB: Rogers
- RCB: Gilmore
- S: Wilson
- S: Byrd
Bills Players Notes
Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-5 vs. New England and 21-39-1 in his NFL career with St. Louis, Cincinnati and Buffalo.
He was a 7th round choice of St. Louis in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Harvard. He was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2004.
Fitzpatrick was the 24th best of the 30 starting quarterbacks rated by ESPN’s Ron Jaworski.
RB C.J. Spiller leads the Bills with 5 TDs, 4 rushing and 1 receiving.
Spiller leads the team in rushing on 78 carries he has 562 yards for a 7.2 YPC average. He leads the NFL in average yards per carry.
TE Scott Chandler and WR Stevie Johnson lead the team with 4 receiving TDs.
Johnson leads the team in receiving he has 35 catches for 416 yards.
LB Nick Barnett leads Buffalo with 65 tackles (41 solo).
DT Kyle Williams and DE Mario Williams each have 4.5 sacks a piece to lead the Bills.
S Jairus Bird leads Buffalo is INTs (3) and forced fumbles (3).
CB Stephon Gilmore leads Buffalo with 11 passes defensed.
LB Bryan Scott has two fumble recoveries to lead the Bills.
LB Nigel Bradham and LB Chris White lead Buffalo with 6 special teams tackles each.
DT Alex Carrington has two blocked field goals in 2012. The most by a Bill since DE Bruce Smith blocked 3 in 1996.
CB Leodis McKelvin leads the NFL in punt return average (19.5 yards per return).
Buffalo has three former Patriots on their roster DE Mark Anderson, TE Dorin Dickerson and TE Lee Smith.
WR Marcus Easley is from Stratford CT.
On Wednesday the following players were on the injury list. DE Mark Anderson (knee); WR Steve Johnson (thigh); CB Terrance McGee (knee); T Erik Pears (hip); CB Aaron Williams (knee) and DT Kyle Williams (ankle) did not practice. DT Spencer Johnson (ankle) and G Kraig Urbik (foot) were limited in practice. TE Scott Chandler (groin); DT Marcell Dareus (shoulder); QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (chest); CB Stephon Gilmore (shoulder); T Chris Hairston (knee); G Andy Levitre (knee); CB Leodis McKelvin (groin); CB Justin Rogers (thigh); RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder); LB Chris White (back); DE Mario Williams (wrist/knee) and C Eric Wood (knee) all had full participation.
On Thursday the following players were on the injury list. DE Mark Anderson (knee); CB Terrance McGee (knee); T Erik Pears (hip) and CB Aaron Williams (knee) did not practice. WR Steve Johnson (thigh); DT Spencer Johnson (ankle); DE Chris Kelsey (neck); LB Shawne Merriman (chest); G Kraig Urbik (foot) and DT Kyle Williams (ankle) were limited in practice. DT Marcell Dareus (shoulder); CB Stephon Gilmore (shoulder); T Chris Hairston (knee); G Andy Levitre (knee); CB Leodis McKelvin (groin); CB Justin Rogers (thigh); RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder); DE Mario Williams (wrist/knee) and C Eric Wood (knee) all had full participation.
Buffalo’s captains for 2012 are QB Ryan Fitzpatrick; RB Fred Jackson; DT Kyle Williams; S George Wilson and RB Corey McIntyre (Special Teams).
There are 4 players on the Bills roster from Big East Universities and New England based colleges. They are TE Dorin Dickerson (Pittsburgh); QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard), WR Marcus Easley (UConn) and C Eric Wood (Louisville).
The Bills have one retired number: 12 – Jim Kelley.
The Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA. Kick off is at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. The game was flexed from it’s original 1 p.m. time slot.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII