The last time the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills played each other, the Patriots saw a 21-10 halftime lead vanish in Ralph Wilson Stadium and went on to lose the game 34-31. The Patriots turned the ball over four times, three of which came in the second half. All four turnovers were Tom Brady interceptions. The Patriots gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Tom Brady touched on the turnover topic earlier today:
When you turn the ball over four times in a game, it’s damn near impossible to win; it really is, especially if you’re not getting it from the other team. When you put yourself in a hole like that on the road against a team that can score points, you’re going to have a pretty tough time winning.
The Patriots certainly do not want to see a repeat performance this Sunday.
The Patriots have a lot on the line this Sunday. If they win, they will clinch the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, which brings with it homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. They also will be seeking revenge for their Week 3 loss. The Patriots haven’t been swept in the regular season by a division opponent since 2000, Bill Belichick’s first year as Patriots head coach.
Things are different this time around. Bills RB Fred Jackson is done for the season, and he did a tune on the Patriots’ defense in their Week 3 meeting. Jackson ran 12 times for 74 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and a touchdown, while adding 5 catches for 87 yards to that total. The Bills were hot at the beginning of the season but have fizzled out recently, losing 7 of their last 8 games. But that doesn’t mean the Pats should take Buffalo lightly. The bills are coming off a 40-14 stomping of the Denver Broncos and will be looking to carry that momentum over to this Sunday.
Can the Patriots repeat what they did in 2003, when they lost badly to the Bills early in the season and then completely reversed the score and won handily the last week of the season? We’ll find out Sunday.