New England (2nd – AFC East) at Buffalo (1st – AFC East) at Ralph Wilson Stadium KICK OFF – 1:00 PM ET
By Ian Palmer
The top two teams in the AFC East battle it out for first place this Sunday, October 12 when the 3-2 New England Patriots travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium to meet the 3-2 Buffalo Bills. Both clubs are coming off of week-five victories and are confident of making it two in a row. Quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 43-17 triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals last week while Buffalo snuck into Detroit and came away with a 17-14 win.
- Spread: New England (-3.0) at 1/1, Buffalo (+3.0) at 5/6
- Over/Under: 45.0 points 10/11
- To Win: New England 4/6, Buffalo 13/10
- Head to Head: Patriots are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 visits to Buffalo
- Match up Summary: Buffalo took out Detroit 17-14 last week to move to 3-2 while New England hammered the Bengals 43-17 to also move to 3-2. New England ran for 220 yards on 46 carries last week. Tight end Rob Gronkowski gained 100 yards on six receptions and tight end Tim Wright chipped in with 85 yards on five catches. Buffalo QB Kyle Orton could struggle here against the Patriots’ fine pass defense.
New England Patriots:
- Overall Record: 3-2
- Record Against the Spread (won-lost-push): 2-3-0
- Home Record: 2-0
- Away Record: 1-2
- Over/Under Record: 3-2-0
Brady didn’t look too good a couple of games ago against the Kansas City Chiefs, but bounced back last week by going 23 for 25 in passing, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and gaining 292 yards. He’s now the sixth quarterback ever to pass for 50,000 NFL yards. Brady was the first quarterback to beat the Bengals this season and Cincinnati entered the game with the league’s best pass defense as just 11 points against on average. The Patriots were unstoppable last weekend though and are hoping they can keep up the momentum. The Bills’ passing defense is allowing 251.l8 yards against per game, which ranks at number 21 in the NFL.
New England has a pretty impressive record against Buffalo as they’ve gone 9-1 against them since the fall of 2009. However, they’re up against a confident bunch this weekend and Brady will have to come up with his second straight impressive performance if they hope leave town with another win.
- Overall Record: 3-2
- Record Against the Spread (won-lost-push): 3-2-0
- Home Record: 1-1
- Away Record: 2-1
- Over/Under Record: 0-5-0
Quarterback Kyle Orton started for the first time for the Bills last week and was good enough to help his team come from behind to beat the Lions 17-14 in the Motor City. They’re sitting on top of the AFC East with the Patriots, but might not be there if the Lions didn’t miss three field goal attempts. Orton went 30 for 43 in passing and gained 308 yards along the way. He threw for both a touchdown and interception and Buffalo did enough to stop their two-game losing skid.
The hero of the game was kicker Dan Carpenter though as he booted a 58-yard field goal with just four seconds remaining on the clock for the win. Orton will be depended upon again this week as it looks like he’ll be starting again ahead of inconsistent regular EJ Manuel. Orton is a solid pro who is pretty good at breaking down his opposing defense and he’s a bit quicker than Manuel. He’s not going to have an easy task though since New England has the league’s top passing defense at 185.5 yards against per outing. The Bills by the way, are 20th in the league with their passing offense at just 217.6 yards a game.
Buffalo will probably need to rely on their defense here if they hope to pull off their second successive win. They rank eighth in the NFL at total defense as they’ve been holding the opposition to 322.8 yards against on average per contest. They limited Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford to 221 yards last week and he went 18 for 31 in passing. He was intercepted once, but did manage to throw for a touchdown. The Bills also managed to sack Stafford half a dozen times, which was his career worst. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was responsible for half of the sacks and Brady will have to watch out for him.