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Game Preview: Patriots close out regular season against Buffalo

Posted Dec 29, 2013

The 2013 AFC East Champion New England Patriots will close out the 2013 regular season this Sunday against the same opponent they opened the season against when they host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.

PATRIOTS (11-4) vs. BILLS (6-9)
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium (68,756)

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The 2013 AFC East Champion New England Patriots will close out the 2013 regular season this Sunday against the same opponent they opened the season against when they host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots opened the 2013 season with a 23-21, come-from-behind win at Buffalo on Sept. 8. It will mark the fifth time in team history that the Patriots will open and close the season against the same opponent and the first time it will occur since opening and closing the season against Buffalo in 2003. It has also happened in 1987 against Miami, 1981 against the Baltimore Colts and in 1974 against Miami.

The Patriots are 7-0 at home in 2013 and will attempt to finish a perfect 8-0 at Gillette Stadium for the sixth time in team history. New England has finished perfect at home in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The only other teams that are undefeated at home in 2013 are Cincinnati and New Orleans.

The Patriots have won their last 12 home games against Buffalo, including a perfect 11-0 record against the Bills at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady is 21-2 all-time against Buffalo.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Ian Eagle will handle playby- play duties with Dan Fouts providing color. The game will be produced by Bob Mansbach and directed by Suzanne Smith.

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 37 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.

PATRIOTS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT FOR 15TH TIME IN KRAFT'S 20 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 21 times in its 54-year history. The Patriots have earned 15 playoff berths in the 20 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 13 AFC East crowns under Kraft's leadership. New England has won 16 division crowns overall (15 AFC East Crowns) and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike.

BRADY EARNS 11TH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Tom Brady earned his 11th division championship this week. Peyton Manning is second with ten division titles.

Quarterback | Career Division Titles
Tom Brady, 11
Peyton Manning, 10
Joe Montana, 9

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 108th time and for the second of two 2013 meetings. The Patriots opened the season with a 23-21 come-from-behind win at Buffalo on Sept. 8, 2013.

New England holds a 65-41-1 edge in the series following the 2013 season opening win and a series sweep last year with a 52-28 win at Buffalo on Sept. 30 and a 37-31 win at Gillette in the rematch on Nov. 11. It marked New England's 22nd sweep in the annual series.

The Patriots are 34-19 all-time in home games against Buffalo, including 11-0 at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots are 31-22-1 all-time in Buffalo, including 24-16 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 65 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, nine more than they own over the New York Jets (56). New England has won 24 of its last 27 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season.

After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight Patriots wins, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting of the two teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is the third longest winning streak over a single opponent in NFL history. The Patriots avenged that loss in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012 by overcoming a 21-0 first quarter deficit and scoring 49 unanswered points en route to a 49-21 victory.

The teams have had many memorable matchups over the years, including a five-game span from 1999 to 2001 where four of the five contests were decided in overtime.

SERIES TRENDS

Home Record, 34-19
Record in Foxborough, 28-14
Foxboro Stadium, 17-14
Gillette Stadium, 11-0
Record in Boston, 6-5

Away Record, 31-22-1
War Memorial Stadium, 7-6-1
Ralph Wilson/Rich Stadium, 24-16
Largest Margin of Victory, 46 points (2007)
Largest Margin of Defeat, 35 points (1970)
Longest Win Streak, 15 games (2003-2010)

Bill Belichick vs. Buffalo Bills, 24-4 (24-3 with N.E)

PATRIOTS – BILLS QUICK HITS
  • The Patriots have recorded 65 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
  • The Patriots have won 12 straight games against Buffalo at home, including a perfect 11-0 record at Gillette Stadium.
  • Bill Belichick has a 64-23 (.735) all-time regular season record against the AFC East as head coach of the Patriots.

PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 21 regular season victories over the Bills, recording his highest regular season victory total over any opponent. Additionally, Brady has thrown for more touchdowns (53) against Buffalo than any other opponent. He has 42 touchdowns against the Dolphins and 32 against the Jets. Brady also has more 300-yard games (7) against Buffalo than any other NFL team. He has six 300- yard games against Miami.

BRADY IS 11-0 AT HOME AGAINST BUFFALO
Brady is 11-0 all-time against Buffalo in home games against Buffalo, including 10- in home games against the Bills at Gillette Stadium. He has thrown 26 touchdown passes and only five interceptions in those home games.