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Game 16 preview: Bills at Patriots

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  January 1, 2012 11:24 AM

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FOXBOROUGH -- Greetings and Happy New Year's from Gillette Stadium as the Patriots (12-3) get ready to host the Buffalo Bills (6-9) in their final regular season game.

With a win or tie over the Bills, the Patriots will clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC. After last week's win over the Miami Dolphins, 27-24, the Patriots clinched a first-round playoff bye. By the end of the day, the Patriots will know which teams it will possibly play after the wildcard round.

Also on the radar today is Tom Brady's quest for 5,000 passing yards. He currently has 4,897 and given his average of 326.4 yards thrown per game, he's a virtual lock to pass for more than the 103 yards needed to pass the threshold.

Rob Gronkowski, who has 1,219 yards receiving this year for a franchise record as a tight end, needs 72 yards to eclipse San Diego's Kellen Winslow's NFL record of 1,290 yards set in 1980.


Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Records: Patriots 12-3 (clinched AFC East, first-round bye); Bills (6-9)

TV/Radio info: WBZ-TV Ch. 4 (Don Crigui, Randy Cross); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos, Gino Cappelletti, Scott Zolak); Sports USA Radio Network (Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker).

Projected lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, injuries and last week's lineups.

Patriots offense: WR Wes Welker, LT Matt Light, LG Donald Thomas, C Ryan Wendell, RG Brian Waters, RT Nate Solder, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Deion Branch, QB Tom Brady, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB Danny Woodhead.

Patriots defense: LDE Shaun Ellis, DT Vince Wilfork, DT Kyle Love, RDE Mark Anderson, LB Ron Ninkovich, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Devin McCourty, CB Kyle Arrington, S James Ihedigbo, S Patrick Chung.

Bills offense: WR David Nelson, LT Chris Hairston, LG Andy Levitre, C Colin Brown, RG Chad Rinehart, RT Erik Pears, TE Scott Chandler, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB C.J. Spiller, FB Corey McIntyre, WR Stevie Johnson.

Bills defense: LDE Alex Carrington, NT Marcell Dareus, RDE Dwan Edwards, LB Chris Kelsay, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, LB Nick Barnett, LB Spencer Johnson, CB Aaron Williams, SS George Wilson, FS, Jairus Byrd, CB Drayton Florence.

Inactives

Patriots: G Logan Mankins (knee), RB Kevin Faulk, DL Ron Brace, T Sebastian Vollmer, LB Tracy White, RB Shane Vereen and Ryan Mallett.

Bills: WR Brad Smith, DB Josh Nesbitt, OL Kraig Urbik, DL Jarron Gilbert, LT Demetrius Bell, WR Kamar Aiken and TE Fendi Onobun.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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