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Game Day Tipsheet: Week 11

Once again we'll be featuring our Game Day Tipsheet every Friday, which will include everything you'll want to know, some things you may not have known and probably a few things you didn't care to know, but find interesting anyway.

Top 3 Individual Matchups
1. Jason Peters vs. Richard Seymour - New England's perennial Pro Bowl defensive end is back in their lineup after missing the first seven games while recovering from a knee injury. He played in his first game two weeks ago at Indy and may not be 100 percent, but as Peters said this week, even an 80 percent Seymour is pretty good.

2. Anthony Thomas vs. Pats LBs - This is far from an individual matchup, but the 'A-Train' could be facing any one of the Patriots' linebackers in a given passing situation. But Thomas is a solid pass protector and should hold his own against the likes of Adalius Thomas, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Rosevelt Colvin.

3. Jerametrius Butler vs. Wes Welker - Welker is third in the league in receptions (61) and will be a stiff test for Butler who fills Kiwaukee Thomas' shoes in the nickel. It wouldn't be surprising to see Donte Whitner mixed in at the slot to muscle up with Welker more effectively at times.

Top 2 Bills advantages
Good advantage: Punt return - New England's punt coverage unit is improved, but it's not pressed into action all that often in light of the Patriots' general offensive success. But Roscoe Parrish leads the league in punt return average. New England punted away from Parrish in the first meeting putting both of their punts out of bounds.

Best advantage: Red zone offense - This might make someone scratch their head knowing Buffalo is 29th in the league in red zone offense, but New England ranks last in the AFC and is 31st in the NFL in red zone defense. The Patriots have allowed opponents to score touchdowns 66-percent of the time once they've penetrated their 20-yard line (14-21). Getting down there won't be easy, but the one time they did in the first meeting with the Pats, Buffalo punched it in for a touchdown.

Bills number one must
Sound special teams play - Bobby April's units really have to shine in this one for Buffalo to have a chance. Buffalo's defense is facing a supreme test so providing them with long fields to defend will help a lot. New England has had the best average drive start (34.1) in the league thus far this season. Setting them deep in their own territory is something they're not used to. Conversely, Buffalo's return units must give the Bills offense exceptional field position or a touchdown of their own to help the cause. They are the one phase that has a decided edge in this game and they must take full advantage of it.

Scouting Eye
Fast starters - Not only does New England's much heralded offense get off to a fast start, but so does the Patriots' defense. Through the first nine games New England has not allowed a single opponent to score on their first possession of the game. They are the only team in the NFL to not allow an opponent to score on any opening drive. Futhermore, the Patriots have allowed just 10 points in the first quarter all season.

Seymour, Harrison back - In the first meeting with the Patriots, New England was without defensive leaders Richard Seymour who was out with a knee injury and safety Rodney Harrison who was serving a four-game suspension for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Seymour played in his first game at Indianapolis two weeks ago and did not appear to be 100 percent yet. Harrison has appeared in all five games since serving his suspension, making four starts and recording a forced fumble and interception.

Putting scoring in perspective - To provide a better picture of just how many points New England's offense has been scoring, the Patriots in nine games have already eclipsed the total number of points scored by the Bills for all of 2006. Last year Buffalo had an even 300 points scored. New England, currently with 355 points, had 331 points scored through the first eight games.

In each of New England's first eight games they scored 34 points or more to tie the 2000 St. Louis Rams for most consecutive games in which they reached that point total.

Cold weather quarterback - Naturally all of Tom Brady's won-loss records are pretty impressive in light of how successful the team has been during his tenure as the starting quarterback. But he has been wildly successful in cold weather games as he has posted a 21-2 mark in games where the game time temperature is less than 40 degrees. Game time temperature Sunday night is forecast to be 37 degrees.

Red zone threat - Everyone knows the capabilities of Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth, but the guy that gets lost in the shuffle with all the receiving talent at Tom Brady's disposal is Ben Watson. The tight end has been a scorer for the Patriots. Though he has just 20 receptions this season, five of those catches (25%) have gone for touchdowns. One of those touchdowns came against the Bills in their first meeting back in week 3.

Streaking - The Patriots have not only won nine in a row to start the season, they've also taken their last eight in a row from Buffalo. It's their third longest streak against one team. Their longest is also against Buffalo which covered 11 games (1982-1987).

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week - "We're going to play hard, no doubt. They're going to have to bring their 'A' game. We're going to play hard, bottom line, all 60 minutes. We'll have to see the outcome. One of the things we're going to do is play to the end of the game."
--LT Jason Peters

Stat of the week
The Bills have an NFL-best 5-0 at home on Sunday night football with their last win coming in the season opener in 2000 over the Tennessee Titans 16-13.

Stat of the week part II
The Patriots defense has surrendered just as many touchdowns as Buffalo's defense thus far this season (18). Buffalo's points allowed (18.4) is just two points higher than New England's (16.3).

Milestones in reach
Roscoe Parrish (330) needs 55 yards to set a franchise mark for most punt return yards in a single season.

Terrence McGee needs one kick return for a touchdown to tie the NFL record for most career kickoff return touchdowns with six.

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