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What to watch for: Bills at Patriots

Posted Dec 23, 2013

The Bills will travel to New England in the team’s final game of the 2013 season.


BUFFALO CLOSES OUT 2013 IN NEW ENGLAND
The Buffalo Bills will travel to face the New England Patriots in the team’s final regular season game of the 2013 season on Sunday, December 29 at 1:00 p.m. This week’s game will mark the 107th regular season meeting between Buffalo and New England, with the Patriots holding a 64-41-1 advantage in the series.

With a win over New England on Sunday, Buffalo will:
• Earn their first win at Gillette Stadium since the stadium opened in 2002
• Finish with a winning record (4-2) in divisional games for the first time since 2007
• Win three consecutive games for the first time since 2011 (Weeks 1-3)

BILLS-PATRIOTS REGULAR SEASON SERIES
• Overall regular season record: 41-64-1
• Bills on road at Patriots: 19-34
• Last meeting on road: 11/11/2012, L 31-37
• First regular season meeting: 9/23/1960, W 13-0 at Boston
• Last regular season meeting: 9/8/2013, L 21-23 at Buffalo

BILLS-PATRIOTS SERIES
Buffalo and New England will meet for the 107th time in the regular season this week. The Bills are 41-64-1 all-time against the Patriots in the regular season. Sunday’s game will mark the 22nd regular season game for Buffalo against New England in the month of December (7-14).

BILLS-PATRIOTS SERIES HIGHS
Rushing Yards
Bills: 250, O.J. Simpson 9/16/73 @ NE
Patriots: 185, Jim Nance 9/24/67 @ BUF
Receiving Yards
Bills: 177, Eric Moulds 11/29/98 @ NE
Patriots: 217, Wes Welker 9/25/11 @ BUF
Passing Yards
Bills: 369, Ryan Fitzpatrick 9/25/11 @ BUF
Patriots: 387, Tom Brady 9/25/11 @ BUF

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS
FORMER BILLS/PATRIOTS
• Bills OT Thomas Welch was originally drafted by New England in 2010.
• Buffalo TE Lee Smith was the 159th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to the Patriots.
• New England LB Chris White spent his first two years in the NFL with Buffalo before being traded prior to the 2013 season. He was the team’s sixth-round (169th overall) draft selection in 2011.

AREA CONNECTIONS
• Patriots offensive coaching assistant Brian Daboll is a Buffalo, N.Y. native.

NFL CONNECTIONS
• Current Bills HC and then Saints OC Doug Marrone coached Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich in New Orleans from 2006-08.
• Bills STC Danny Crossman coached with Patriots ST coach Scott O’Brien in Carolina from 2003-04. Crossman was a special teams assistant, while O’Brien served as assistant head coach and special teams coach.
• Bills WR coach Ike Hilliard and Patriots offensive assistant coach Brian Daboll coached together in Miami in 2011. Hilliard served as the assistant wide receivers coach, while Daboll was the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator.
• Bills OL coach Pat Morris coached with Patriots WR coach Chad O’Shea in Minnesota from 2006-08. Morris served the same position, while O’Shea was an offensive assistant and wide receivers coach.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
• Patriots DE Chandler Jones (2008-11) played at Syracuse, where current Bills HC Doug Marrone served the same position from 2009-12 and current assistant strength and condition coach Hal Luther served as director of strength & conditioning from 2000-12.
• Patriots S Steve Gregory played at Syracuse from 2002-05 while Luther was there.
• Bills LB Kiko Alonso, FS Jairus Byrd and OL Mark Asper and Patriots RB LaGarrette Blount were teammates at Oregon in 2009.
• Bills CB Ron Brooks and Patriots RB Stevan Ridley competed together at LSU from 2008-10.
• Bills DT Corbin Bryant was teammates with Patriots CB Marquice Cole at Northwestern in 2006.
• Bills DT Marcell Dareus competed with Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower at Alabama from 2008-09.
• Bills TE Chris Gragg and RB Ronnie Wingo were teammates with Patriots DE Jake Bequette, QB Ryan Mallet and TE D.J. Williams during the 2008 season at Arkansas.
• Bills LB Jerry Hughes played with Patriots WR Josh Boyce and OT Marcus Cannon at Texas Christian in 2009.
• Bills S Duke Williams shared a locker room at Nevada with Patriots OL Chris Barker from 2009-12.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
OFFENSE
QB EJ Manuel
• 18 passing yards to record 2,000 in his rookie season and to become the second rookie quarterback in team history to reach the mark (Dennis Shaw: 2,507)

RB C.J. Spiller
• 21 yards from scrimmage to record 1,000 in 2013
• 23 rushing to move into ninth in team history (Anotwain Smith, 2,833)
• 90 rushing yards to reach 3,000 in his NFL career and to become the sixth player in Bills histoy to reach 3,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards with the team

RB Fred Jackson
• One rushing score to break a tie for sole possession of fifth-most in team history (28)

WR Stevie Johnson
• Will extend his current streak of consecutive games with a catch to 61 with a grab vs. New England
• Two catches to pass Pete Metzelaars (302) for sixth-most in Bills record books
• 168 receiving yards to move into eighth in team history and to become the eighth Bill with 4,000 receiving yards

WR Robert Woods
• One catch to become the seventh rookie in team history to record 40 in their freshman campaign and first since 2004 (Lee Evans, 48)
• 40 receiving yards to become the sixth rookie in team history to reach 600 and first since 2004 (Lee Evans, 843)

TE Scott Chandler
• With a catch on Sunday, will break a tie with Reuben Grant (31) for the most consecutive games by a Bills tight end with a reception
• Will match Reuben Grant (15) for third-most touchdown catches among Bills tight ends all-time with his next scoring grab

DEFENSE
DT Kyle Williams
• 1.0 sack to post 30.0 in his NFL career

DT Marcell Dareus
• 1.0 sack to post 20.0 in his NFL career

DE Mario Williams
• Will match Bruce Smith’s campaigns (1992, 1993, 1997) and Aaron Schobel (2006) of 14.0 sacks for the fourth-most quarterback takedowns in a season among Bills with his next sack
• One pass break-up to set a single-season high (4 in 2006, 2012 and 2013)
• 1.0 sack to match a personal single-season best of 14.0 (2007)

DE Alan Branch
• Will set a career-high of tackles with his next takedown (35 in 2010 and 2013)

LB Manny Lawson
• One tackle to set a career-high (67 in 2009 and 2013)

LB Kiko Alonso
• Two interceptions to match a franchise record among rookie linebackers set by Mike Stratton in 1962 (6)
• Five tackles to record 150 in his rookie season

FS Jairus Byrd
• Will tie Booker Edgerson, Steve Freeman and Nate Clements (23) for the seventh most interceptions in Bills history with his next pick
• One multi-interception game to become the second Bill with six multi-interception games (Tom Janik - 6)

CB Leodis McKelvin
• One pass defensed to extend his career-best in 2013 to 21 and to match Terrence McGee (2007) for the most pass break-ups in a Bills season since 2000

SPECIAL TEAMS
P Brian Moorman
• Will play in his 190th game with the Bills on Sunday

K Dan Carpenter
• Two field goals to match Steve Christie’s franchise record for most field goals made in a season (33 in 1998)