ESPN's Patriots-Bills prediction roundup

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
6:11
AM ET
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game playing out:

BillsPatriots* ESPN Boston Patriots analyst Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 42, Bills 28. I like these Bills. They're a bunch of scrappers. Many of them were not highly touted coming out of college and have had to earn every bit of respect they have. Having said that, the Patriots are like the "big brother" of the Buffalo Bills. That's a fact when you beat a team 15 straight times.

* ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss: Patriots 34, Bills 24. The Patriots took some hits on the injury front vs. the Chargers, so if there was a time for their long winning streak over the Bills to end (15 games), one could envision this being the time. But it's not like the Bills aren't dealing with their own injury issues, and when quarterback Tom Brady is playing at this level, it's hard to pick against the Patriots. In a matchup of the NFL's two highest-scoring teams, the scoreboard operator can expect a workout.

* ESPNBoston.com columnist Jackie MacMullan: Patriots 28, Bills 17. The Bills are no longer pushovers, but that doesn't put them in the W column.

* ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg: Patriots 31, Bills 24. Injuries in both the Patriots' secondary and along the defensive line allow the Bills to hang around by putting points on the board offensively. Alas, the Patriots mask those deficiencies with an offense that's scored 30-plus points in each of the team's last 10 games (and is quietly creeping up on the NFL record of 14 set by the 1999-2000 Rams).

* ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak: Patriots 35, Bills 27. Quarterback Tom Brady carries the Patriots with another strong outing, but an improved Bills squad keeps it close against the injury-riddled Patriots.

* ESPN Boston Radio's Adam Jones: Patriots 38, Bills 28. The last time the Patriots lost to the Bills, Tom Jackson still thought they hated their coach. The Bills will score, but not enough to snap a 15-game losing streak against New England.

* ESPN Boston Radio's Andrew Brooks: Patriots 34, Bills 24. The secondary will once again be the Patriots' biggest challenge. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been extremely efficient (7 TDs and just 1 INT) and the Bills have playmakers at the skill positions, but they also gave up 30 plus points to Jason Campbell and the Raiders. I predict a third straight shootout to start the season for the Pats and Tom Brady will win his third straight AFC Offensive Player of the Week award.

* ESPNBoston.com's Steven Krasner: Patriots 35, Bills 21. Don't the Patriots win every game 35-21? Once again Tom Brady and the Pats' high-flying offense will find ways to shred the Bills' defense, helping out a defense that has been giving up points and yards at an alarming rate and will be similarly challenged this week by Buffalo's potent-so-far offense.

* Grantland's Bill Simmons: BILLS (+8.5) over Patriots. I'm taking the points only because Buffalo and Carolina are this season's Backdoor Cover teams -- you don't want their frisky offenses driving against you in garbage time of a 14-point game when you're lying between 7 and 11. (Cut to everyone who bet Green Bay last week nodding sadly.) Throw in a banged-up Pats secondary and I'm going to feel great about this pick right up until the point when they flash that "NEW ENGLAND HAS BEATEN BUFFALO 15 STRAIGHT TIMES" graphic.

* Countdown Daily: Both Mark Schlereth and Marcellus Wiley pick the Patriots.

* ESPN experts: All eight pick the Patriots.

* Sunday Countdown: Keyshawn Johnson, Tom Jackson, Mike Ditka and Cris Carter pick the Patriots.

* AccuScore simulations: Patriots 31, Bills 25 (on average). Patriots win 68 percent of more than 10,000 simulations. You can simulate the game yourself here.

* Madden 12 simulation: Patriots 35, Bills 20. Tom Brady is dominating defenses right now in a way that doesn't even seem fair. Look for the trend to continue as according to "Madden," Brady throws for 401 yards and four touchdowns against the Bills to help the Patriots stay undefeated on the season. Wes Welker caught eight passes for 114 yards and one score in the win.

* Ken Moll, Scouts Inc. (Insider): Patriots 31, Bills 26

* Make your Week 3 picks with our Pigskin Pick’Em contest.

* What's your prediction for Patriots-Bills? Leave it in the comments section of this blog post.

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