PATRIOTS (5-3) vs. BILLS (3-5)
Today, 1 p.m., at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
TV: Ch. 4 (Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts)
Radio: 98.5 FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos and Scott Zolak)
The series: Patriots lead 63-41-1 overall and are 10-0 at Gillette Stadium against the Bills.
Last meeting: Patriots 52, Bills 28; at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Sept. 30, 2012
Latest line: Pats -13; Over/under total: 53
2012 STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
5-3 Record 3-5
1st, AFC East Standings Tie 3rd, AFC East
440.8 (1) Offense 343.9 (21)
149.6 (4) Rushing 141.3 (6)
291.1 (5) Passing 202.6 (27)
369.8 (22) Defense 417.9 (31)
88.6 (7) Rushing 169.5 (31)
281.1 (28) Passing 225.6 (24)
+13 Turnover margin -7
BY THE NUMBERS
16 — Wes Welker’s number of career games with 10 or more catches. That ties with Marvin Harrison on the all-time list, one game behind Jerry Rice at 17. Can you say Hall of Fame company?
834 — Positive point differential for the Pats at Foxboro since the 2002 season. That number, tops in the NFL by 97 points over the nearest competitor, is bound to fly today with the Bills in town.
19 — Wins by Tom Brady over the Bills in his career, more than against any other team. Brady is 19-2 against the Bills, 16-4 against the Jets and 14-6 against Miami.
11 — Sacks allowed by the Bills, fourth lowest in the NFL. They will throw it today, so this is a big test for the Pats’ defensive front.
7.2 — C.J. Spiller’s yards per carry on the season, tops in the game. While this number is intimidating, it is Fred Jackson who should scare you in the running game, despite the fact that he is struggling this year.
6.54 — Ryan Fizpatrick’s yards per pass attempt, a number that is shockingly low considering he has thrown nine interceptions.
Keys to a Patriots victory
1. No turnovers — Buffalo has one chance today, if the Pats hand them the game. That happens with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady maybe once in this Millennium. Yeah, Buffalo can score. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, the with leadership of perennial losers like Chan Gailey and Dave Wannstedt behind him, will falter.
2. B-Lloyd bounce back — Fantasy owners, come right back to this guy. Brady will make a point this week of getting this guy a huge night. This team needs Lloyd down the stretch, and he will deliver today.
3. Cover somebody — Stevie Johnson will have his way, and inevitably Fitzpatrick will find life down the deep middle. But find a way to cover the other types of journeymen targets like Donald Jones.
Hector Longo’s prediction: Patriots 52, Bills 14 (5-3 straight up; 3-5 vs. the spread)
Analysis: I can’t wait to hear Chan Gailey and how proud he is of the effort by his players. There will be no early hole for the Pats. You’re talking box-to-wire blowout and bye-bye to the Bills.