ESPN Boston's picks: Patriots-Bills
| Tedy |
|BILLS 31, PATRIOTS 28 |
I don't know which Patriots team will show up. They haven't been in a situation like this in a long time. The Bills have been preparing for this very game for the last two years. They drafted Marcell Dareus to be their Vince Wilfork. They backed up the Brinks truck for Mario Williams for this game. To get after Tom Brady. Then they signed Mark Anderson to do the same thing. "Based on what?!" That's what Coach Belichick used to say when players felt it was only a matter of time before we started playing winning football again. Well, based on what I've seen from the Patriots the past two weeks, they have a long way to go. Going into Orchard Park to play a solid Bills team might be too much for them.
| Mike |
|PATRIOTS 35, BILLS 21 |
Two thoughts come to mind for the Patriots: pass protection and win the turnover battle. We could say that every week, but the reason it especially rings true this week is the Bills' reliance on the front four on defense. One could make a case this is as good of a front they'll face this year. Then you look at the Bills' style of play -- they'll give you some chances for turnovers at times and you have to take advantage. You can't have what happened last week with Devin McCourty dropping that fourth-quarter interception. The Patriots are plus-4 in the turnover differential (5 takeaways, 1 giveaway) and the Bills are plus-1 (6 takeaways, 5 giveaways). I think the Patriots rise up in both areas and realize they are a play or two away from putting it all together.
| Mike |
|PATRIOTS 31, BILLS 24 |
This is another challenging game for the Patriots, and they could very easily walk out of this one with a 1-3 record. However, the key will be getting Rob Gronkowski involved more in the offense. He has seven touchdowns in two seasons against the Bills, including two in each of his last two games in Buffalo. The Bills have essentially the same group of top safeties they've had for the past two seasons, and it's those players who will be matching up against Gronkowski. He could be the difference in this game.
| Field |
|PATRIOTS 31, BILLS 17 |
The Patriots know that Buffalo is a difficult city to travel to, but count on Bill Belichick to have his team ready to kick off division play on the right foot. After dropping consecutive close games, look for the Patriots to come out clicking on offense and distancing themselves from Buffalo early. Though the Bills beefed up their pass rush this offseason, a lack of depth will ultimate prevent them from hanging around with the Patriots, and expect New England to climb back to .500 in convincing fashion.
| Madden 13 |
|PATRIOTS 35, BILLS 27 |
Brandon Lloyd catches a 60-yard touchdown on New England's first drive, and by the time the teams reach the half, the Patriots already build a formidable 21-10 lead. Buffalo scores 10 third-quarter points to draw close, but then Stevan Ridley and Gronk both find the end zone, helping earn the Patriots a 35-27 victory.
| AccuScore |
|PATRIOTS 30, BILLS 24 |
The Patriots won 66 percent of more than 10,000 AccuScore simulations. Tom Brady is projected to throw for 290 yards and is averaging more the 2 touchdown passes per simulation. If the Bills can find a way to pressure Brady and force at least 1 interception while allowing no more than 1 touchdown pass, the Bills become 55 percent favorites, according to simulations.
| ESPN |
|PATRIOTS OVER BILLS |
All 12 of ESPN's experts pick the Patriots to beat the Bills.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Mike Reiss first started covering the Patriots in 1997 with the team's official newspaper, Patriots Football Weekly, before moving on to the MetroWest Daily News in his hometown of Framingham. From 2005 to 2009, he covered the Patriots for The Boston Globe, while also writing on the NFL. He started his popular Patriots blog in 2004. Send any questions or comments for Mike to his mailbag. Follow him on Twitter (@MikeReiss).
Mike Rodak began covering the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com in July 2010. A native of Grafton, Mass., Mike attended Providence College. Follow him on Twitter (@mikerodak)
Field Yates begins his contributions to ESPNBoston.com in 2012 after having written for a number of football-related sites around the web. Field began his professional career after college with the Kansas City Chiefs, working in both the scouting and coaching departments of the franchise before redirecting his focus to a career in media. He also interned for four summers in the coaching and scouting departments with the Patriots. Follow him on Twitter (@FieldYates).