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Game Preview: Patriots at Bills

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-2) at BUFFALO BILLS (6-5)
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET. New Era Field (71,870)

The New England Patriots improved to a 9-2 record and secured their 17th consecutive season above .500 to move past the San Francisco 49ers (16 seasons, 1983-98) and the Dallas Cowboys (16 seasons, 1970-85) for the most consecutive winning seasons since the 1970 NFL merger. The Patriots now have 32 winning seasons since the merger, second only to the 35 winning seasons by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Sunday, the Patriots begin a three-game road trip when they travel to Buffalo. It will be the first of two meetings between the teams. New England will host the Bills at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 24. Last season, the two teams split the annual series with Buffalo winning 16-0 at Gillette Stadium and the Patriots winning 41-25 in Buffalo.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 115th time and for the first of two meetings in 2017. The teams will meet in New England on Dec. 24.

It is the second season in a row that the two teams will square off in the same month. In 2016, the two played both of their annual games in the month of October. Buffalo beat New England 16-0 at Gillette on Oct. 2 and then the Patriots won the rematch on Oct. 30 at Buffalo, 41-25.

New England holds a 70-43-1 edge in the series. New England has swept the series 24 times. The Patriots have won 29 of the last 34 games between the clubs, dating back to the 2000 season.

The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 70 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, ten more than they own over the New York Jets (61).

After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight Patriots wins from 2003-10, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting between the teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is tied for the fourth 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 BREAKDOWN

Home Record, 36-21

  • Record in Foxborough, 30-16
  • Foxboro Stadium, 17-14
  • Gillette Stadium, 13-2
  • Record in Boston, 6-5

Away Record, 34-22-1

  • War Memorial Stadium, 7-6-1
  • Ralph Wilson/Rich Stadium/New Era, 27-16

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, 29-6 (29-4 with N.E)

Sean McDermott vs. NE, 0-0

QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots have recorded 70 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent. The Jets are second with 61 wins.
  • The Buffalo Bills snapped a streak of 13 straight home wins by the Patriots, including 12 straight wins by the Patriots at Gillette Stadium with their 17-9 win in the 2014 season-finale on Dec. 28, 2014.
  • Bill Belichick has a 80-28 (.741) all-time regular season record against the AFC East as head coach of the Patriots.

TALE OF THE TAPE

**2017 REGULAR SEASON****NEW ENGLAND****BUFFALO**
Record9-26-5
Divisional Standings1st2nd
Total Yards Gained4,5233,289
Total Offense (Rank)411.2 (1)299.0 (26)
Rush Offense114.2 (14)116.5 (12)
Pass Offense297.0 (1)182.5 (30)
Points Per Game29.5 (3)20.4 (22)
Touchdowns Scored3523
Third Down Conversion Pct.45.139.8
Team Passer Rating111.985.0
Total Yards Allowed4,2403,904
Total Defense (Rank)385.5 (30)354.9 (25)
Rush Defense115.1 (22)114.0 (21)
Pass Defense270.4 (31)240.9 (22)
Points Allowed/Game20.0 (11)23.6 (17)
Touchdowns Allowed2628
Third Down Defense (Pct.)40.439.7
Field Goals Made/Attempted26/2921/24
Possession Avg.30:5828:01
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost24/14431/162
Sacks Made/Yards24/17317/98
Passing TD/Int. (Off.)26/313/8
Passing TD/Int. (Def.)19/1010/12
Penalties Against/Yards69/62880/672
Punts/Avg.37/43.257/45.1
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio+9 (3T)+6 (6T)

BRADY AND THE BILLS

Tom Brady owns a 26-3 record against the Buffalo Bills. He has more wins against Buffalo than any other NFL team. The New York Jets are second with 24 wins on Brady's list. Brady's 26 wins against Buffalo are tied for the most wins by a quarterback against an opponent withBrett Favre, who had 26 wins against Detroit.

DYNAMIC DECEMBER DUO

Bill Belichickis 60-12 (.833) in December with New England, the best record in December among head coaches with one team in NFL history (min. 25 games). George Seifert is second (27-6, .818).

Tom Brady is 54-10 (.844) in December, the second-best winning percentage in December among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. Roger Staubach is first (17-3, .850). Among active quarterbacks, Cam Newton is second with a 19-5 record (.792). Brady's 54 December wins are the most in NFL history, followed by 52 byBrett Favreand 49 by Peyton Manning.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with Tony Romo as the color analyst. Tracy Wolfson will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by *Jim Rikhoff and directed by *Mike Arnold.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Compass Media Group. *Jerry Recco *and *Brian Baldinger *will call the game.

RADIO:98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 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. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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