Friday, December 30, 2011
ESPN's Patriots-Bills prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game playing out:
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 38, Bills 14. This has shades of the 2003 season when the Patriots lost early on the road to Buffalo, then wrapped up the season with a convincing win at home over the Bills. That's been a staple of Bill Belichick-coached Patriots teams, the ability to sustain over the course of a a 16-game season. The Patriots still have a lot to play for (the No.1 seed in the AFC playoffs) and they should outclass a Bills team that had been reeling prior to last week's win over Denver.
* ESPNBoston.com Patriots analyst Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 38, Bills 24. The Patriots still have plenty to play for. The No. 1 seed would be very impressive for a team that has had so many defensive struggles this year. Tom Brady may be banged up, but a 5,000-yard passing season is a milestone achievement he will get.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg: Patriots 31, Bills 13. A little revenge for September, mixed with a little momentum heading into the playoff bye week. Brady throws a couple of touchdowns and everyone forgets about ShoulderGate. What's more, Brian Hoyer gets some second half snaps and finally puts a ball in the air during a regular season game -- the first time in a full calendar year.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Patriots 28, Bills 21. The Patriots can't afford to sleep on this one. The Bills have something to play for -- a rare season sweep of New England -- and despite their problems in the second half of this season, still trot out a dangerous offensive attack. Buffalo will make the Patriots work for the top seed in the AFC.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Steve Krasner: Patriots 31, Bills 17. Brady and the Patriots find a way to gain revenge from the early season loss. This time Brady throws for four touchdowns (which would give him 40 for the season) instead of four picks.
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Andrew Brooks: Patriots 31, Bills 17. Yes, the Bills handily beat Tim Tebow, but they've still been one of the worst teams in the NFL in the second half of the season. Obviously everything changes if Brady doesn't play, but I expect him and I expect him to play -- and play well. The Pats haven't lost to the Bills at home since Brady took over as starter and that won't change on Sunday.
* Sunday Countdown: Tom Jackson, Mike Ditka and Cris Carter pick the Patriots. Keyshawn Johnson picks the Bills.
* Madden simulation: Patriots 38, Bills 17 The Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski connection continues to pay dividends for the Pats, as the two hook up for six completions, 120 yards and two touchdowns in New England's 38-17 dismantling of the Bills. Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez added touchdown receptions of their own as New England secures its 13th win of the season.
* AccuScore simulations: Patriots 33, Bills 22 (average of more than 10,000 simulations). Click HERE to simulate the game yourself.