Patriots-Bills prediction

Posted Dec. 26, 2010 @ 11:51 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The obvious thing going against the Patriots for their Week 16 game against the Bills is the possibility of a letdown. In addition to that, the Pats are without four key players: ORG Dan Connolly, TE Aaron Hernandez, OLB Jermaine Cunningham and DE Brandon Deaderick.

Oh, and the Bills have won four of their last six games and put 30 points on the Patriots in Week Three.

The Patriots struggled against Matt Flynn and the Packers in a close Week 15 win. Tom Brady threw for just 163 yards, and the Packers' run game and third-down offense had little problem against New England's "D."

Without ILB Brandon Spikes, the Pats' run defense struggled against Green Bay. Cunningham has been a solid run-stopper on the outside, and without him as well, look for the Bills to pound the ball against a depleted Patriots front seven. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good game through the air against New England in his first start in Week Three.

But what keeps the Patriots with the edge is their offense. Even though the Bills have a pretty good passing defense, Brady picked them apart in Week Three. Buffalo's league-worst run defense will struggle against the Pats' O-line and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

While the Bills should get some points and may have success controlling time of possession, I don't see them stopping Brady often. Remember, after last Sunday's win, Bill Belichick and Brady were not pleased with the Patriots' effort. Expect to see them take it to Buffalo in a high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Patriots 37, Bills 27