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National Football League
Preview
Buffalo at New England
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 28, 2014
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

The New England Patriots were assured of the top seed in the AFC playoffs when the Denver Broncos lost on Monday night. The Buffalo Bills, who visit the Patriots in the regular-season finale on Sunday, were eliminated from playoff contention last week, making the final game all for pride. New England insists it’s business as usual around the facility, and it doesn’t appear to have any plans to rest up for the playoffs.

“There is plenty of time to think about things down the road, down the road,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told reporters. “But this isn’t the time for it. We have to go play well this week. That’s the attitude and that’s why the leaders of the team have to make sure everyone is on the same page.” Brady and the New England offensive line are getting ready for a Bills defensive front that had three Pro Bowlers when the team was announced Tuesday in defensive end Mario Williams and tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -10.5. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE BILLS (8-7): Buffalo kept its season alive with a surprising win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 15 but suffered a big letdown with a 26-24 loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders last week to fall out of the playoff hunt. Kyle Orton threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the loss and will keep his starting job in the season finale. “The game means a lot to me, and we're going to play the best players that we feel give us the best chance to win,” coach Doug Marrone told reporters. “That's just the way that I'm wired and that's what my responsibility is to the team.”

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (12-3): New England will be off during the first week of the playoffs and likely will play everyone on Sunday to avoid the players going three weeks between game action. “We’ll do the same thing we always do,” coach Bill Belichick told reporters. “It won’t be any different this week than it’s been any other week. It won’t be any different this year than it’s been any year. We’ll do what we feel is best for our football team. Period. Whatever is best for our team, that’s what we’ll try to do.” Wide receiver Julian Edelman (concussion), running back LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), guard Dan Connolly (knee) and cornerback Kyle Arrington (hamstring) all sat out last week and could use the extra rest.

EXTRA POINTS


1. Brady threw for 361 yards and four TDs in a 37-22 win at Buffalo in Week 6.

2. Bills CB Stephen Gilmore (concussion) left last week’s game and is questionable for Sunday.

3. Brady, K Stephen Gostkowski, TE Rob Gronkowski, CB Darrelle Revis and ST Matthew Slater made it to the Pro Bowl for New England.

PREDICTION:
Patriots 35, Bills 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Buffalo 8-7 L1 21.7 18.7 4-3 3-4 1-4 7-3 1-0 3-2 4-7
New England 12-3 W3 30.6 19.7 7-0 5-3 1-3 11-0 0-0 4-1 9-2
Last Meeting
Buffalo New England
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/12/14 NE 37 BUF 22 336 68 268 396 50 346
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Buffalo K. Orton 63.2 299 2 1
New England T. Brady 73.0 361 4 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Buffalo F. Jackson 10 26 2.6 1
New England S. Ridley 10 23 2.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Buffalo S. Chandler 6 105 17.5 0
New England B. LaFell 4 97 24.2 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Buffalo C. Hogan 1
New England B. LaFell 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Buffalo K. Orton 63.9 2842 17 10
New England T. Brady 64.5 4029 33 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Buffalo F. Jackson 124 468 3.8 2
New England J. Gray 89 412 4.6 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Buffalo S. Watkins 62 925 14.9 6
New England R. Gronkowski 82 1124 13.7 12
Touchdowns Player TD
Buffalo S. Watkins 6
New England R. Gronkowski 12