The Patriots are back on CBS this week, and once again it is the “B” team of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf bringing us the game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00pm on Sunday.
(On New England-Buffalo): You look at this match-up and see a quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, making only his seventh start ever in the NFL; a Buffalo team with a losing record and that New England has dominated historically, and you say, ‘This is pretty much a mail it in game.’ But factor in that the New England Patriots have been a little up and down; they’ve only won one game on the road; and the game is in Buffalo, a hard place to win with the wind and the cold, a game that looks like it might be a no-brainer could end up being anything but. The conditions could be less than favorable for throwing the football and New England is a passing team.
(On Buffalo): There are some teams in this league that just aren’t competitive. Maybe once or twice a year they can muster it up, but the Bills certainly don’t fall into that category. The Bills are 5-8 but the first time that these two teams played, opening weekend in New England, it was a 25-24 ballgame. This is a much better Buffalo team than some of the bottom dwellers. They only lost to Jacksonville, 18-15. They lost to the Jets, 19-13. This is not a bad football team. It’s a team with a losing record, but this team is far from being an embarrassment.
(On weather conditions being a factor): It’s the middle of December in Buffalo. I don’t need to say much more than that. It could be wild. It’s going to be frosty. I think the temperature is going to be somewhere in the 20s. And as we know in Buffalo, the wind will probably be blowing. Who knows what might happen. The Bills are the worst run defending team in the NFL but it will be interesting to see if New England can take advantage of that because New England is not a strong running team. They are middle of the road. They’re just not a ‘pound it at you’-type football team. They are a pass first offense. It will be interesting to see if New England is capable of taking advantage of that match-up that they have.
On Sunday NFL Countdown, Sal Paolantonio will be providing reports from the Patriots – Bills game.
Wes Welker: Little Big Man: For the third straight season, 5 ft., 9 in; 185-pound Wes Welker has 100 catches. Berman visits with the Patriots wide receiver to find out why he dominates the middle of the field in spite of his size and why he is so effective gaining yards after the catch.
Analyst Jimmy Johnson on the Patriots struggles this season: “The NFL is a no excuse league. Fans don’t want to hear about who’s injured, young players, inexperienced players. They want to know, did you win or did you lose? The Patriots need to work harder. I’ve always said the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
Co-host Terry Bradshaw added: “Bottom line is this is still the New England Patriots. As long as you have Brady, you are way ahead. He’s the best player in the game today.”
AFC Playbook (Sunday 7:00am) – Brian Baldinger, Sterling Sharpe and Joe Theismann discuss: How the Patriots can move closer to clinching the AFC East
Probably not high on your “I have to see this game again” list, but:
Saturday, 12 NOON ET – New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints (Week 12, 2009) – In a battle of two of the top offenses, New Orleans outlasts the Patriots for a 38-17 victory. QB Drew Brees passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns in the win.
On NFL Gameday Morning, Kara Henderson reports from Patriots-Bills matchup.