ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Patriots have dominated the Buffalo Bills in years of late, winning 16 of their last 17 meetings. Tom Brady owns an 18-2 record against the Bills. Bill Belichick is 21-4 against the Bills. Coming off a 1-2 start to the season, the Bills would seem to be the right pick-me-up for the struggling Patriots. But nothing is given in the NFL.
Last season, the Patriots split their season series with Buffalo, losing the team’s first meeting Sept. 25, 2011 at Ralph Wilson Stadium, 34-31. The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Patriots against the Bills. The Patriots came back and won their second meeting,, 49-21, scoring 49 unanswered points after going down, 21-0, through one quarter of play on New Year’s Day.
This season, the Bills come in 2-1, currently tied for the lead in the AFC East. They’re coming off a 24-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.
The Patriots limp into today’s contest after a brutal 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. The team will be without All-Pro guard Logan Mankins, who is out with a hip injury.
Buffalo’s third-ranked rushing offense, an offensive line that’s only allowed one sack, and a revamped defensive line featuring Mario Williams and Mark Anderson that’s totaled 9 sacks are all areas of concern for the Patriots. While Bills running back Fred Jackson is expected to play, both he and backup C.J. Spiller are questionable.
Here are the details for this afternoon’s game:
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Records: Patriots 1-2; Bills 2-1.
TV/Radio info: CBS (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos, Scott Zolak).
Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.
Patriots offense: WR Julian Edelman, LT Nate Solder, LG Dan Connolly, C Ryan Wendell, RG Donald Thomas, RT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Brandon Lloyd, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, WR Wes Welker.
Patriots defense: NT Vince Wilfork DT Kyle Love, RDE Chandler Jones, LB/DE Ron Ninkovich, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Dont’a Hightower, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Devin McCourty, CB Kyle Arrington, S Steve Gregory, S Patrick Chung.
Bills offense: WR Stevie Johnson, LT Cordy Glenn, LG Andy Levitre, C Eric Wood, RG Kraig Urbik, RT Erik Pears, TE Scott Chandler, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Fred Jackson, FB Corey McIntyre, WR Donald Johnson
Bills defense: LDE Mario Williams, DT Marcel Dareus, DT Kyle Williams, RDE Mark Anderson, SLB Arthur Moats, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, WLB Nick Barnett, LCB Aaron Williams, SS George WIlson, FS Jairus Byrd, RCB Stephon Gilmore.
Patirots (one more to be announced): Aaron Hernandez (ankle), Julian Edelman (hand), Brandon Deaderick (ankle), Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), Justin Francis (ankle), Logan Mankins (hip).
Bills: Martin Ruvell (ankle).