The New England Patriots host their AFC East Rival Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
|The Bills||-||The Patriots|
|Overall Record||6-9||Overall Record||11-4|
|Road Record||2-5||Home Record||7-0|
|AFC East||3-2||AFC East||3-2|
Ed Hochuli is the referee for the game.
As of Thursday the line on the game from Sports Betting via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 9. The over/under is 47.
My Prediction is Patriots 28, Bills, 21. Take the points (Bills) and take the over. I am 5-10 against the spread and 8 of 15 on calling the over/under in 2013.
The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 215th 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 drive sober or get pulled over.
CBS in televising the game regionally and Ian Eagle will do play by play while Hall of Fame QB 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 506sports.com.
The DirecTV designation is Channel 713.
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. Bob Socci 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 1:30 p.m. on the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.
The Patriots Radio Network game call is available on Sirius Channel 110, XM Channel 228 and 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 game call is available on Sirius Channel 132 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 Saturday 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 team website in the media section.
The Patriots whipped the Ravens on the road 41-7 and clinched AFC East. The Bills shutout the Dolphins at home 19-0.
- This is the 108th meeting between the Patriots and the Bills since they started to face each other as AFL foes in 1960.
- The Patriots lead the series 65-41-1
- The 65 wins are the most the Patriots have over any opponent.
- Patriots have won 19 of the last 20 meetings with Buffalo’s only win coming in Week 3 of the 2011 season.
- The Patriots came back to beat the Bills in Buffalo Week 1, 23-21 with Tom Brady engineering his first of five comebacks on the season as he and Stephen Gostkowski ruined Doug Marrone’s NFL coaching debut.
Patriots Team Notes
The Patriots overall franchise record is 436-373-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances. Overall they are 24-17 in the post season.
They last appeared in the playoffs in 2012 when they beat Houston in the AFC Divisional Round 41-28 and lost to Baltimore 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game.
They have won the division 11 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.
They are the five time defending AFC East Champions (2009-13).
With a win Sunday the Patriots will earn a first round playoff bye and the #2 seed in the AFC. With a win and a Denver loss they will clinch the #1 seed in the AFC.
Should they lose they could be seeded anywhere from #2 to #4 but will still have at least one home playoff game at Gillette Stadium.
This is the first time since 2003 that the Patriots have opened and closed the season against the same opponent. In both cases it has been the Bills. It also happened in 1987 against the Miami Dolphins, 1981 against the Baltimore Colts and 1974 against the Dolphins.
With a win Sunday the Patriots will be 8-0 at home for the 6th time in franchise history. They also were 8-0 in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Cincinnati and New Orleans are the only other teams who are undefeated at home in 2013.
Patriots have played in 7 games decided by 3 points or less and have gone 6-1.
Since 2002 the Patriots are 30-5 at Gillette Stadium vs. the AFC East.
New England is 34-19 all-time in home games vs. Buffalo and 11-0 at Gillette.
Since 2001 the Patriots are a NFL best 48-7 in December.
New England is the only NFL team to finish .500 or better in each of the last 13 seasons.
They have 11 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.
They are the first team in the free agency era (1993) to win more than half their games in a 13-season span.
Since 2003 the Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 137-38. The Indianapolis Colts are second 15 games behind.
Since 2000 under Bill Belichick the team is 88-23 in the second half.
New England is PLUS 10 in turnover differential tied for 6th in the NFL. They have 17 INT’s and have recovered 12 fumbles while they have thrown 10 INT’s and lost 9 fumbles.
The Patriots are 5th in points scored averaging 27.3 points per game and are tied for 9th in fewest points allowed with 21.2 points per game.
This is the 20th season of Patriots ownership by the Kraft family. Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:
- Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
- Have the most regular season wins, 216.
- Have the most wins including playoffs, 236.
- Have the most conference titles, 6.
- Have the most division titles, 13.
- Have the most playoff wins, 20
- Have played the most playoff games, 31.
- Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 15.
- The fewest head coaches within the division, 3.
- Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.
From 1960 to 1993 the New England/Boston Patriots won a total of 225 games.
Patriots Staff Notes
This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Tuesday press conference on the Bills.
Bill Belichick coached teams are 24-4 vs. Buffalo. Belichick was 0-1 against the Bills as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 198-105 in his 19th NFL season as a head coach. He is 162-61 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland. He is 18-8 in the playoffs, 17-7 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season. When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 216-113.
Belichick’s 216 wins are good for 5th all-time.
He has won 5 conference titles; he needs one more to tied Don Shula’s record of 6.
He is the first head coach to have had 4 teams that scored at least 500 points in a season.
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.
No coach either as the head coach or an assistant has appeared in more Super Bowls than Belichick who has been to 8 (five as a head coach).
He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 11 consecutive seasons.
He has been NFL Coach of the Year three times he and Chuck Knox are the only three time winners, while Don Shula won four times.
Only one of three coaches in NFL history with 100 more wins than loses joining Don Shula and George Halas.
Offensive Coaching Assistant Brian Daboll is a Buffalo native and attended St. Francis (Buffalo) High School before graduating from the University of Rochester in 1997.
Patriots Possible Starters
- LT: Mankins
- LG: Kline
- C: Wendell
- RG: Connolly
- RT: Cannon
- TE: Hoomanawanui
- WR: Edelman
- WR: Amendola
- QB: Brady
- RB: Vereen
- FB: Develin
- DE: Ninkovich
- DT: Siliga
- DT: Chr. Jones
- DE: Cha. Jones
- LB: Collins
- LB: Spikes
- LB: Hightower
- LCB: Ryan
- RCB: Talib
- S: Gregory
- S: Harmon
Patriots Players Notes
Tom Brady Notes:
- This is his 14th NFL season he is 21-2 vs. Buffalo in his career. He is 82-13 at home in his career.
- He is 11-0 vs. the Bills in his career at home and in those games has 26 TD’s and just 5 INT’s.
- Overall he is 147-43 as a starting QB and is 17-7 in the playoffs for an overall record of 164-50. He is an 8 time Pro Bowl QB; 3 time All-Pro selection; 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.
- With his Week 14 comeback win over Cleveland he now has 41 wins in his career (34 in the regular season and 7 in the playoffs) in which the team was trailing or tied in the fourth quarter. It was the 5th time this season he also turned the trick at Buffalo in Week 1; Week 6 vs. New Orleans; Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 13 at Houston. In 31 of the 41 comeback wins the team was losing in the fourth quarter.
- The 5 comeback wins in 2013 tie his career best set in 2003.
- 358 TD passes in his career ties him for 4th in NFL history with New Orleans QB Drew Brees.
- 147 career wins tie him with Dan Marino for 4th all-time. John Elway is 3rd with 148 wins.
- He surpassed 4,000 passing yards in 2013 Week 15 at Miami it was his 6th time having 4,000 passing yards in a season.
- He has thrown for 2 or more TD’s in 115 games; the team’s record is 98-17.
- Tied Drew Brees for most 4 TD 0 INT games in his career with 15 after doing it against Pittsburgh Week 9.
Danny Amendola notes:
- Needs 66-yards receiving for a new career high.
- Has 3 100-yard games as a Patriot at Miami Week 15, vs. Pittsburgh in Week 9 and in Week 1 at Buffalo.
- Caught his first TD pass from Tom Brady in week 9 win over Pittsburgh.
- Has missed 4 games in 2014 due to injuries (groin, 3 and concussion, 1).
Julian Edelman notes:
- Had a 43-yard punt return vs. Pittsburgh Week 9 it was the 10th punt return of 30 yards or more in his career. That ranks third in team history.
- He is 4 catches away from becoming third player in franchise history with 100 receptions in a season.
- He is 9-receiving yards away from becoming 10th player in franchise history with 1000-yard season.
- Has 4 of his 5 career 100-yard games this year, at Miami Week 15, at Houston Week 13, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 4 at Atlanta.
- Set career high with 13 catches and 139-yards at Miami Week 15.
- Has two games with 2 TD catches in 2013, Week 1 at Buffalo and Week 12 vs. Denver.
- Leads the team with 96 catches for 991 yards. He also has 6 TD catches. He had just 21 catches in 2012.
- Has had 8 games with 7 or more catches in 2013.
Stevan Ridley notes:
- Sat out Week 13 at Houston as a healthy scratch.
- Had his 4th 2-TD game of his career against Pittsburgh in Week 9.
- Leads the team with 699 rushing yards in 13 games and in TD’s with 7.
- Has 13 runs of 20 or more yards in his career and with one more will have the most on the team since 2000. He is currently tied with Antwain Smith and Corey Dillon for the most in that time span.
Shane Vereen notes:
- Set franchise record with receptions (12) and receiving yards (153) by a running back in a single-game Week 14 vs. Cleveland.
- Became just fourth NFL running back to post 150 receiving yards in a single-game in the last 10 seasons.
- Had first rushing TD of the season Week 14 vs. Cleveland.
LeGarrette Blount notes:
- Had first 2 TD game as a Patriot week 16 at Baltimore. It was the third of his career.
Stephen Gostkowski notes:
- Leads NFL in scoring with 144 points.
- He is the most accurate kicker by percentage in team history at 86.1% (204 0f 237).
- Has scored at least 1 point in 106 consecutive games a franchise record.
- He is 3rd in team history in points with 1,009 trailing only Gino Cappelletti (1,130) and Adam Vinatieri (1,158).
- Has team record of 12 career field goals of 50+ yards.
- Has made 15 field goals of 40 or more yards in 2013, a franchise record.
- Has three game winning field goals in 2013 Week 1 at Buffalo, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 13 at Houston he now has 4 regular season game winners in his career.
- The 54-yard field goal against New Orleans set a new career long.
Rob Ninkovich notes:
- Forced a fumble in Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh. It was his second this season and is tied for team lead with DB Kyle Arrington and S Devin McCourty.
- Has 11 fumble recoveries since 2010 the most in the NFL in that span.
- Leads the team with 2 fumble recoveries.
- Tied for 2nd on team in sacks with 7 and QB hits with 17.
- Had sacks in three consecutive games vs. Miami, vs. Pittsburgh and at Carolina.
Joe Vellano notes:
- Rookie made his first NFL start Week 5 at Cincinnati.
- Has 45 tackles (28 solo) so far this season.
- Has two sacks as a rookie.
- Recovered his first fumble in the NFL Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
Chris Jones notes:
- Rookie had his first NFL sack Week 5 at Cincinnati.
- Made first NFL start Week 6 vs. New Orleans and had 3 tackles.
- Has three games with multiple sacks in 2013.
- Tied for 2nd in NFL in rookie sacks with 5.
Brandon Spikes notes:
- Leads the team in tackles made with 131 (76 solo).
- He has 6 games with 10 plus tackles in 2013.
- Had team high 22 tackles against Cincinnati. It was a career high for Spikes.
- Broke his career high of 128 tackles in Week 16 at Baltimore.
- Has back-to-back 100 tackle seasons.
Chandler Jones notes:
- Scored his first NFL TD Week 16 at Baltimore on a fumble recovery.
- Leads the team in sacks with 11.5 and QB hits with 21.
- First player since Chris Slade to start career with two 5+ sack seasons.
- Blocked his first NFL field goal attempt Week 8 vs. Miami.
Logan Ryan notes:
- Had his first NFL 2 INT game week 16 at Baltimore.
- Leads NFL rookies and the team with 5 INT’s.
- Tied for 2nd on team with 10 passes defensed.
- Had his first NFL INT at New York in Week 7 and returned it 79-yards for a touchdown.
- He was the 11th Patriots player to return his first INT for a TD.
- Has 3 INT’s this season had 2nd NFL INT Week 12 vs. Denver that set up go ahead 4th quarter TD and his 3rd came Week 13 at Houston.
- Forced a fumble on his first NFL sack Week 8 vs. Miami. He later added a 2nd second sack in the game.
Aqib Talib notes:
- Leads the team with 13 passes defensed.
- Second in INT’s with 4.
- Held Denver WR Demaryius Thomas to 41-yards in Week 12 win.
- Helped hold New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham to zero catches in Week 6 win.
- Had career high 4 passes defensed Week 4 at Atlanta including one in end zone to seal the win.
Sealver Siliga notes:
- Had his first NFL sack at Miami in Week 15.
- Had his second NFL sack at Baltimore week 16.
Kyle Arrington notes:
- Had his first NFL sack at Miami in Week 15.
- Had his second NFL sack at Baltimore week 16.
- Recovered the onside kick Week 14 vs. Cleveland.
- Tied for 2nd on team in passes defensed with 10.
- Forced two fumbles Week 1 at Buffalo.
There are only two players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3) and Wilfork (on IR) (1).
Roster moves this week:
- Released CB Marquice Cole
- Released RB Cierre Wood from practice squad
- Signed RB Sam McGuffie to the practice squad
- Released WR Austin Collie
Patriots team captains for 2013:
- QB Tom Brady
- G Logan Mankins
- S Devin McCourty
- DE Rob Ninkovich
- WR Matthew Slater (special teams)
- DT Vince Wilfork (IR)
- LB Jerod Mayo (IR)
Former Bills on the Patriots:
Players with New England roots:
Players with Buffalo roots:
- TE Rob Gronkowski (IR) – Williamsville NY
- DT Joe Vellano – Rexford NY
- DE Chandler Jones – Endicott NY
Players from New England based colleges and universities:
- RB James Develin – Brown
- TE Matthew Mulligan – Maine
Players from New York based colleges and universities:
- DE Chandler Jones – Syracuse
- CB Kyle Arrington – Hofstra
- S Steve Gregory - Syracuse
The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:
- 20 – Gino Cappelletti
- 40 – Mike Haynes
- 73 – John Hannah
- 78 – Bruce Armstrong
- 79 – Jim Lee Hunt
- 89 – Bob Dee
Bills Team Notes
Buffalo's all-time record is 376-435-8 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, best known as 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.
Buffalo has the longest active streak for NFL teams missing the playoffs it is now 14 seasons. Their last playoff win was the 1995 AFC Wild Card Game making it 18 seasons without a playoff win. That is the 4th longest drought behind Cincinnati and Detroit (22 years each) and Kansas City (19 years).
The Bills have lost the season series to the Patriots 10 times in the last 13 seasons.
The Bills are 19-34 as the road team in the series.
Buffalo is the only division team to have never won at Gillette Stadium.
Bills lead the NFL in sacks with 56 and are 2nd in INT’s with 22.
The 56 sacks are a franchise record. The previous high was 50 in 1964.
Buffalo has only NFL defense to feature 3 players with 10.0+ sacks.
They are also the only defense to feature 4 players with 4+ INT’s.
Buffalo has forced their opponents to have 117 plays for negative yardage this year it’s the highest total in the NFL.
Buffalo has 4 rushing plays for 50 yards or more, tied with Green Bay for most in NFL.
They are 2nd in the NFL with 50 rushing plays for 10 yards or more.
In 40 red zone trips the Bills have 19 TD’s and 19 FG’s. 38 score in 40 attempts is a 95% red zone conversion rate.
Buffalo is PLUS 2 in turnover differential tied for 12th in the NFL. They have 22 INT’s and have recovered 7 fumbles while they have thrown 15 INT’s and lost 12 fumbles.
The Bills are 23rd in points scored averaging 21.3 points per game and are 15th in fewest points allowed with 23.6 points per game.
Bills Staff Notes
Hear what Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone had to say to the New England media about the match up.
Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone is 6-9 in his first season as a NFL head coach. He was previously the head coach at Syracuse University for the last four seasons before replacing Chan Gailey. He was 25-25 as the head coach for the Orange which includes winning 2 bowl games in four seasons.
He is the 16th head coach in Buffalo Bills history.
He is 0-1 in his career vs. New England.
He was also previously the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2006-08) and offensive line coach for the New York Jets (2002-05)
Marrone was the offensive line coach at Coast Guard in 1993 and at Northeastern in 1994.
Bills Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman joined Marrone at the Coast Guard Academy in 1993 as a defensive backs/special teams coach.
Bills Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric Ciano and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Hal Luther both played football at Springfield College.
Strength and Conditioning Assistant Dan Liburd also spent time at Springfield as a graduate associate and graduated from Boston University in 2006.
Bills Possible Starters
- LT: Glenn
- LG: Legursky
- C: Wood
- RG: Urbik
- RT: Pears
- TE: Smith
- WR: Graham
- WR: Johnson
- QB: Lewis
- RB: Spiller
- RB: Summers
- DE: Branch
- DT: K. Williams
- DT: Bryant
- DE: M. Williams
- LB: Lawson
- LB: Alonzo
- LB: Robey
- LCB: McKelvin
- RCB: Gilmore
- S: Leonhard
- S: Byrd
Bills Players Notes
EJ Manuel notes:
- Is 4-6 in his first NFL season, he was the Bills first round choice out of Florida State in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was 25-6 as a starter at FSU.
- He is 0-1 vs. New England in his career.
- Has missed 5 games with injuries this season.
- 18 passing yards from 2,000. Would be second rookie in franchise history with 2,000 passing yards joining Dennis Shaw.
- May not play on Sunday due to a knee injury currently questionable for the game.
Thad Lewis notes:
- Played college football at Duke was an undrafted free agent. He was a 4-year starter for the Blue Devils and was 9-36.
- Spent two years with the Cleveland Browns and started 2013 with Detroit before coming to Buffalo in a training camp trade. Spent his first five weeks with the Bills on the practice squad.
- Is 2-3 in his career (2-2 with Buffalo) and has played in just 6 games with 4 TD’s and 4 INT’s.
- Has never faced New England in his career.
Fred Jackson notes:
- Leads team in rushing with 836 yards on 193 carries.
- Has team high 8 TD’s in 2013.
- Exceeded 6,000 career yards from scrimmage in his career earlier this season.
C.J. Spiller notes:
- Second on team in rushing with 822 yards on 182 carries.
- Went over 3,000 career yards from scrimmage earlier this season.
- Needs just 21-yards from scrimmage for 1,000 in 2013.
- With 90 rushing yards will be sixth Bill to have 3,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in his career.
Stevie Johnson notes:
- Had his 300th career reception in Week 16 vs. Miami.
- Leads team with 52 catches.
- Is second on team in receiving yards with 597.
- Has 60 consecutive games with a catch.
Kiko Alonso notes:
- Leads team in tackles with 145 (81 solo).
- Had career high 22 tackles Week 6 vs. Cincinnati.
- Tied for team lead with 4 INT’s also has 5 passes defended.
- Leads team in fumble recoveries with 2.
Mario Williams notes:
- Leads team with 13.0 sacks.
- Is 3.5 sacks away from 80 for his career.
- First Bill with back-to-back 10.0 sack seasons since Aaron Schoebel in 2005-06.
Kyle Williams notes:
- Played in his 100th game Week 1 vs. New England.
- Has 10 sacks in 2013 second most on the Bills.
- Needs 1 sack for 30 in his career.
Buffalo’s team captains for 2013 are:
- RB Fred Jackson
- DT Kyle Williams
- C Eric Wood
Players who attended New England based universities or colleges:
- WR Marcus Easley – UConn
- DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (practice squad) – Southern Connecticut State University
Players with New England roots:
- WR Marcus Easley – Bridgeport CT (Bunnell HS – Stratford CT)
Former Patriots with the Bills:
The Bills have one retired number:
- 12 – Jim Kelley
Up next: Playoff Opponent To Be Determined
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA
TV Network: TBA