New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills: Game 15 Preview and Prediction
By Hal Bent
WHY THE PATRIOTS WILL WIN:
The Gronk Show
Overlooked from the Week 13 first match-up against the Bills was a standout performance by New England tight end Rob Gronkowski. He caught nine passes for 147 yards (all statistics from Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise noted).
However, his day was overshadowed by the stupidity and ugliness of his unnecessary and dirty hit on Tre’Davious White resulting in his well-deserved suspension.
The Patriots’ offense clearly missed Gronkowski against Miami. They struggled on third down, but he returned last week with nine receptions for 168 yards. Buffalo mixed their coverages on Gronkowski in the first game this season with man-coverage and zone-coverage mixes.
He saw a steady dose of linebacker Preston Brown, safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and cornerback Tre’Davious White. The Bills had the most success with the smaller Hyde and White hanging onto Gronkowski to slow him.
Look for Buffalo to try and suffocate the Patriots’ passing attack by smothering Gronkowski with the athletic duo of Hyde and White.