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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week
* Updated

Prediction: BUF 13, NE 20

Just when the Bills look like they finally have it all together, they lose to the Dolphins and Jets and now are tied with these Patriots and the Jets for the AFC East lead. The Bills are only 2-2 in road games this year and the Patriots come off a loss to the Colts but are back at home where they are 3-1.

The Bills were routed by the Patriots last year, losing 7-38 on the road and later 10-56 at home.

Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL 31-14 -8 41.5
5 @ARZ 17-41 +1 45
6 BYE - - -
7 SD 23-14 +1 46.5
8 @MIA 16-23 -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ 17-26 -5.5 43
10 @NE - +4 41
11 CLE - - -
12 @KC - - -
13 SF - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     190,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 60 30  
TE Robert Royal   20  
WR Lee Evans   60  
WR James Hardy   30  
WR Roscoe Parrish   40,1  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bills may have already peaked. The recent losses were with the Bills favored in each game and were stepping stones to the division title that showed them not to be up to the task yet. There is a growing concern why the rushing game has never caught fire this season and facing the Patriots on the road is probably the worst place for the Bills to start a turnaround. The schedule lightens up after this week but it has been light already with mediocre results.

Quarterback: It has been nearly like clockwork. Trent Edwards has passed for exactly one touchdown in almsot every game and never more than one. When he was forced out in week five, J. P. Losman stepped in to pass for 220 yards and one score. That is what this offense is set up to produce and the problem is that it won't be enough in many games.

Edwards only passed for 97 yards and no scores in New England last year but it was only week three and was the first playing time for the rookie. J.P. Losman was the starter in week 11 and passed for 173 yards and one score during their second meeting.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch had the flu last week and left the game temporarily to explain why he only ran for 16 yards on nine carries. But he did add three receptions for 52 yards as well. The problem is that Lynch is not getting the expected production in any week and he still has not gained more than 83 rushing yards in any game this year. He does have six touchdowns but his yardage is lagging. HC Dick Jauron is openly questioning what the problem is and most contend it is poor blocking. Even Fred Jackson struggles.

Lynch rushed for 74 yards on 20 carries and scored once in New England last year.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans comes off his worst game of the year when he only had four catches for 41 yards and no score against the Jets. Prior to that, Evans had been turning in 100 yards and/or a touchdown every week for a month. He is getting no help from the others though with Josh Reed rarely topping 50 yards in any week. Now that Reed is out indefinitely with ankle and Achilles injuries, James Hardy has filled in and had no catches.

No wideout ever had more than 47 yards against the Patriots last season.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal comes off a season high 70 yard game against the Jets but he hasn't scored since week one and rarely has more than 30 yards in a game. The rookie Derek Fine had a touchdown on his first NFL catch last week.

Match Against the Defense: The challenge here is that the Patriots have only allowed one running back to score a touchdown at home this year though several have upwards of 80 rushing yards. That fits into what Lynch is doing if not a little high-side.

Edwards faces a secondary taht has been outstanding at home where they have allowed only three passing scores. Expect an average outing for Edwards who seems stuck on cruise control anyway. This would be a good place for Parrish to score.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 17 20 21 15 10 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    NE 20 13 26 18 6 17

New England Patriots (5-3)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 17-10 -16.5 45
2 @NYJ 19-10 +1.5 39
3 MIA 13-38 -13 34.5
4 BYE - - -
5 @SF 30-21 -3 41.5
6 @SD 10-30 +6 44.5
7 DEN 41-7 -3 46.5
8 STL 23-16 -7 43.5
9 @IND 15-18 +5.5 45
10 BUF - -4 41
11 NYJ - - -
12 @MIA - - -
13 PIT - - -
14 @SEA - - -
15 @OAK - - -
16 ARZ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
NE vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel     230,1
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 30,1 10  
RB Kevin Faulk 70 30  
TE Ben Watson   20  
WR Randy Moss   80,1  
WR Jabar Gaffney   10  
WR Wes Welker   70  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Patriots come off their second straight road loss but playing the Colts to 15-18 at Indianapolis was nearly good enough. The demise of the Patriots has been exaggerated and while they are not posting obscene point totals every week, these Pats are still plenty dangerous and particularly at home. Stuck in a three way tie for first in the division, every game matters and the next three - BUF, NYJ and @MIA will show just where the Pats stand this year.

Quarterback: Despite the three touchdowns scored against the Broncos in week seven, Matt Cassel is doing nearly the same as he was when he took over back in week two. He only has seven passing touchdowns on the year and usually sticks to 200 yads or less each week with no more than one score if that. Cassel is trying to perfect "just good enough" and minimize his mistakes.

Brady feasted on the Bills last year, passing for 311 yards and four scores at home and later 373 yards and five touchdowns in Buffalo.

Running Backs: The always indecipherable backfield currently has been using BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the short yardage back who has scored in each of the last three games and Kevin Faulk has taken the roshing load over. Faulk has ended with nearly 100 net yards thanks to receptions but this backfield is always subject to change.

The Patriots rushed for 149 yards and one touchdown against the visiting Bills last year

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss has salvaged his fantasy value with an off pattenr of good games and then 20 yards and then a good game, and then a 20 yard game. Moss has been better recently with over 65 yards in each of the last three weeks and he leads the Patriots with four receiving scores.

Wes Welker continues to tyurn in around six catches every week and he typically ends with around 75 yads..

Moss will not be a secret weapon against the Bills this year since he racked up a total of 15 catches for 243 yards and six touchdowns over two games with the Bills last year. Welker never scored and had 78 yards on seven receptions as his best against them.

Tight Ends: Neither Ben Watson or David Thomas have caught a score this year or had more than 40 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rushing defense is their weaker unit and Faulk should be able to find some running room this week. Look for Green-Ellis to likely get the score but Faulk will take care of the yardage.

Cassel faces a solid secondary but one that can be beaten. This offense continues to be heavy on the Moss passes so look for him to be the most likely to score. Dassel should have no better than moderate yardage here.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 25 7 18 28 3 30
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 6 16 16 5 21 25

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