BOSTON (CBS) – 21 wins and 2 losses: that’s Tom Brady’s career record against the Buffalo Bills.
Despite the team’s lopsided record against Buffalo in the Brady-Belichick era, the Patriots cannot let their foot off the gas pedal come Sunday at 4:25pm.
The Pats are playing for a first-round bye, so they must win to guarantee one of the top two AFC seeds. A loss could send them all the way to the fourth seed, which would give them a playoff matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tale Of The Tape: Buffalo Bills At New England Patriots
The Bills come into Foxboro with a 6-9 record, putting them in last place in the AFC East under first-year coach Doug Marrone and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.
11-year NFL veteran Mike Flynn has been on teams in the same shoes as the Buffalo Bills are in right now: it’s Week 17 and the offseason is staring you right in the face with no prospect of a postseason berth.
Sure, beating a division rival is important. But most guys would rather not need surgery in the offseason, so staying healthy is of utmost importance to them – not getting the win.
“It’s not a good position to be in. Teams that are 6-9 stink – there’s no bones about it. They have some good players, but they’re not a good football team. The Patriots should beat this team at home. New England has everything on the line and the Bills have nothing, so they should beat the Bills by two touchdowns.”
With that being said, this Patriots team can’t give Buffalo a reason to be optimistic. Flynn believes New England must come out strong and bury the Bills early on to squash any hope that they may have.
“As soon as there is any bump in the road [for Buffalo], it’s over,” Flynn predicts. “It’s hard, because nobody wants to get hurt. You play hard, but the reality is there’s nothing to play for. There’s part of that [pride], because individually you don’t want to get your butt whooped. They’re playing for contracts, but it’s a different mentality.”
“It’s all on the Patriots to go in there and do their job. They rarely lose to teams that they should beat. They don’t beat themselves, so I don’t see taking the opponent lightly as being an issue.”
As far as which Patriots will suit up come Sunday, Flynn speculates that left tackle Nate Solder won’t be one of them just given his concussion history.
Falling asleep behind the wheel against the Bills would rob the Patriots a chance to rest some key players in that first-round bye, so taking care of business from the opening kickoff is paramount to a Patriots victory.
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