The 8-6 Buffalo Bills will travel to New England to take on the 11-3 Patriots in this Sunday afternoon matchup. Both teams are still very much alive for the playoffs thanks to wins last week. Buffalo defeated the Miami Dolphins at home 24-16. The win has given the Bills the second AFC wildcard spot with 2 games remaining. New England came back from an 8 point 4th quarter deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 on the road. The victory gave the Patriots another AFC East title and if they can win out, they would secure home field throughout the playoffs. Running back Rex Burkhead injured his knee and did not return. He has been ruled out for the game against Buffalo.
Tyrod Taylor showed no signs of his bruised left knee last week finishing with a passer rating of 95. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 224 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. He also had 6 rushes for 42 yards and another touchdown. His favorite target was Charles Clay who had 5 catches for 68 yards. LeSean McCoy had a nice day too with 4 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with 50 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. McCoy ranks fifth in the league with 1,057 rushing yards. Defensively, they intercepted Jay Cutler three times and had 9 tackles for losses. They had 3 sacks and limited the Dolphins to 100 rushing yards on 20 carries. On the year, the Bills defense has allowed their opponents to average 22 points and 361 yards per game.
The Patriot’s were able to come back and beat the Steelers because of the play of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Brady completed 22 of 35 passes for 298 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Brady leads the entire NFL in passing yards with 4,163 and is third in touchdown passes with 28. His favorite target was Gronkowski who had 9 catches for 168 yards, which earned him AFC player of the week. They struggled running the ball as they gained just 77 yards on 19 carries. On the season, the Patriots have averaged 28 points and 410 yards per game. Defensively, they intercepted Ben Roethlisberger once and sacked him twice. They struggled against the rush as the Steelers gained 143 yards on 31 carries, which is an average of 4.6 yards per run.
New England will have home field advantage for this game and are favored by 11.5 points. They have gone 9-5 against the spread this season including 3-3 at home. They are healthy and have plenty to play for as they can secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bills have gone 8-5-1 against the spread including 3-3 on the road. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is questionable for this game with a knee injury as he was limited at Friday’s practice. New England enters this game as the hotter team having won 4 of their last 5 games.
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