WTIC1080

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Buffalo Bills At New England Patriots

Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots
(credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Bills have struggled once again this season, but their 19-0 home victory over a Dolphins teams that was trying to get into the playoffs was impressive. If they can perform at New England as well as they did at home, Doug Marrone will have a lot to be proud of. Whether E.J. Manuel (knee) or Thad Lewis lines up at quarterback, the Bills appear to be in for a long day.
Winner Tom Brady has a long history of tormenting the Bills, and he’s not likely to let up here because the Pats must win to guarantee one of the top two AFC seeds. A loss could send them all the way to the fourth seed, which gives them a playoff matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady has rebounded after a slow start and has a 24-10 TD-interception ratio.
Offense
The Bills have the running backs to cause problems for the Patriots. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have both rushed for 800-plus yards and have the ability to wear down the New England front. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson has had big days against the Patriots, while tight end Scott Chandler is a dependable third-down receiver.
Winner The Patriots had a very solid ground game against the Baltimore Ravens, and they will try to attack the Bills with the same combination of LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley. Blount likes to bludgeon opposing tacklers while Ridley has a bit more flash to his game. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are getting better each week in Brady’s passing game.
Defense
Winner The Bills have been shockingly effective on defense, as underscored by their shutout of the Dolphins. They rank eighth overall and are fifth against the pass. Rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso has had a brilliant season as he leads the team with 145 tackles and he also has four interceptions. Defensive end Mario Williams has 13.0 sacks and has the quickness and long reach to cause havoc.
The Patriots rank 25th overall and have given up a lot of yards this season, but this defense is not a lost cause. Season-ending injuries to Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork tore this team up, but Chandler Jones is proving to be an excellent pass rusher with 11.5 sacks. Aqib Talib has four picks and 17 passes defensed. He has been the Patriots’ best cover corner.
Special Teams
The Bills have had some issues with their coverage teams, and that’s not good for a team that is struggling to carve out a competitive identity. The Bills rarely get big plays from their own returners. Unheralded Dan Carpenter has made 31-of-34 FG attempts.
Winner The Patriots have been one of the best coverage teams in the league. They have not allowed a punt return longer than 24 yards. Stephen Gostkowski has made 34-of-37 FG attempts, including 5-of-6 from 50 yards or longer.

The Winner Is

(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Winner New England Patriots
3 out of 4

The Bills should be able to push the Patriots and establish their running game. However, it would be shocking for the Pats to lose this game when so much is on the line.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 19: Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts on the sideline after tipping a pass which led to a Seahawks game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the 2014 NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
    Bigger Attention Hog: Richard Sherman Or Charlie Sheen?

    Two men keep taking the media by storm time. Cornerback Richard Sherman and actor Charlie Sheen square off in all their obnoxious glory.

  2. ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Buffalo Bills fans hold up a picture of Terry Pegula during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. Visitors look at a 1979 Pontiac TransAm during the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Cars auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, 16 January 2008. The Barrett-Jackson auction company specializes in classic and collectors cars, and their auction in Scottsdale is the world's largest collector car event. This year more than 1,100 cars are on sale during the week.
    Which Deal Is Worse: Buffalo Bills Sale Or A Craigslist Ripoff?

    Terry Pegula will pay over $1 billion for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Would getting ripped off on Craigslist be a better deal?

  3. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Indianapolis Colts

    Nick Foles could not believe his eyes when he looked at the scoreboard in Week One and found his Eagles trailing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 17-0 at home in the first half.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 824 other followers