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Week 4 Staff Predictions: Bills vs. Patriots

Jason: 31-21, Patriots-  A win anytime over the next 3 weeks should be treated as found money for Bills fans.  Despite flaws, Pats are 2 plays from 3-0.   They're still better than Buffalo.  Think Bills need to score on D/ST to have a shot.

Fake Darcy:  6-5, Bills- 400 penalty minutes combined in this bloodbath.

Chris: 37-20, Pats- I don't like this matchup. I actually haven't liked this matchup for about 10 years. At the end of the day this will come down to which offense can move the ball effectively more so than which defense is capable of coming up with stops. The Bills defensive line will be expected to create havoc without much help from the linebackers and The Hoodie will be well aware of this. I expect the Pats to bring in extra players for protection and allow Brady to beat the Bills with short and intermediate passes with three players in the route. Now, if the Bills can effectively take away the underneath passing game, they may have a chance. Perhaps the only x-factor for the Bills would be Fred Jackson. If Jackson plays and is capable of being effective, he could introduce an extra wrinkle to the offense which would prevent things from becoming one dimensional from a Buffalo perspective. I expect the Pats to make things complicated for Fitzpatrick in the secondary and render the passing game relatively ineffective. Running the football may be the only solace the Bills have. In a game that will likely come down to a duel between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Brady, I'll take the latter.

Aaron: 27-21, Pats- This is the wrong time for the Bills to see the Patriots. Not only because of injuries to Fred and Spiller, but because The Hoodie and Brady are not accustomed to losing twice in a row and they will do whatever it takes to avoid a third straight defeat. The Pats do just enough to evade doing so, despite a sure-to-be boisterous crowd at The Ralph.

Joe: 38-28, Pats- People seem to be pointing to the defensive line as a reason to be optimistic about Sunday's game. I can totally get that. The Pats offensive line hasn't been as efficient as in years past. After giving up only 31 sacks in 2009 and 2010, they have given up 39 sacks in their last 19 games. Factor in that Dave Wannstedt has had some success against Brady; holding him to 8 touchdowns and sacking him 16 times in seven games while coaching Miami, and you have a pretty decent recipe for optimism. However, we are still talking about Tom Brady. The Pats may be 1-2, but they are a missed field goal and some stupid calls away from being 3-0. They are also the reining AFC Champions. They have also beaten us 20 out of 22 times. I just can't pick against them. I think it will come down to the QBs and we all know Brady is better. I think the Bills won't be able to slow down Brady and it will force the Bills to pass a lot more than usual. I know, Fred looks like he's playing, but how much can you expect from a guy who was suppose to be out an extended amount of time? Sounds like he's coming back too soon. And even though Fitz has a win against Brady, he's been a turnover machine against them. He's got 13 turnovers (11 picks and 2 fumbles) in his last four games against New England. There's just going to be too much pressure on Fitz to keep up with Brady. Sorry, but Brady ain't throwing 4 picks.

Frank: 38-27, Pats: The Mafia is overflowing with excitement over the fact that Buffalo has won two straight heading into this game with New England – with a better record than them at that. Because of last year's miracle finish, everyone seems high on the Bills in this one, but the Patriots have had our number for years and I think it continues this weekend. The mystery of who starts at tailback will prove nowhere near as troublesome as folks are making it out to be. Buffalo keeps it entertaining for a bit but ultimately falters.

Alex: 38-24, Pats- Until Shawn Powell proves he can hold a game-winning FG, and then jump onto Lindell's shoulder pads, I'm going with New England. #StubbornMoormanJerseyOwner.

Brandon: 32-20, Pats- Round One of Super Mario Bros. Brady Bash. Part of me wants to say the Bills have a fighting chance, but then the rational side kicks in and calls that other side a 'effin moron. So long as Tom Brady is under center, I have a really tough time picking the Patriots to lose, it really doesn't matter who lines up on defense for the Bills. That said, having Fred Jackson back should be a nice spark and last year showed us anything is possible. For the record, all this talk that Brady has "lost a step" this week is a joke. He'll make all you people look like fools after his fourth touchdown pass this week. What better team to do it against than Buffalo. Haven't we learned anything?
 
Mike Tracz: 27-19, Pats- Tom Brady is more than just a first-ballot Hall of Famer – he's also the single biggest reason the Bills dropped nine digits on Mario Williams, and to me, the biggest key to the game is how well the Bills' vastly improved D-line can harass the crap out of Brady.  Other important factors include the safeties' ability to take away Gronkowski and the consistency (or lack thereof) of two very young cornerbacks who will be facing the best QB they've ever seen.  I think the Bills can make a game of it if they're successful in all three areas, but let's face it – as much as I'd love to pick the Bills this week and be able to make fun of my smack-talking Patriots fan friend (who really has it coming), there is absolutely no way the Patriots are losing three in a row.
 

Michael Necci: 35-33, Patriots - The last time the Patriots lost 3 in row was in 2002. From Sept. 29 to Oct. 27, they lost 4 games in a row. It's been 10 years since New England lost more than 2 games in a row. Incredible. New England is 1-2. Last time they were under 500 at ANY POINT during the regular season? 2003. They lost to Buffalo 31-0 to start 0-1. That was the last time New England had a sub .500 record. What they have done under Belichick is mind blowing. The Bills will keep it close, but unless the Bills get consistent pressure on Brady, he will SHRED Gilmore & Williams. If the Bills are serious about contending, this is the game to prove it because it gets a lot tougher after this week. I just can't see it happening. New England is still too good and Tom Brady is still the greatest ever.

Alex Beilman: 35-31, Bills-  Buffalo is riding high and New England seems a little rattled at 1-2. However, New England is still good, so Brady will give the Bills safeties a run for their money. However, Fitz has been getting it done and if Fred is back, the Bills will keep the Pats guessing on defense. Between Jackson/Choice and the Bills receivers, namely Johnson and Chandler, who both have the ability to make big plays, the Bills have a slight advantage offensively and this game will be decided by offense.

Joe

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