'Tis the season this Friday morning…
For most of the world that season is recovering from Christmas, eating few more cookies and figuring out which gifts need to be returned.
For the Patriots and the rest of the NFL it's time to get back to work preparing for the final weekend of games. In New England that's a virtually meaningless game with the Bills, while in many cities Sunday represents a chance to punch a ticket to the postseason.
The Boston Globe looks at how the Bills have changed since the teams' first meeting, especially considering veteran Kyle Orton taking over at quarterback. Shalise Manza Young also has a story focused on New England's impressive red zone defense heading into the battle with Buffalo.
The Boston Herald notes how the offensive line for New England faces a tough finale against the Bills impressive front. Karen Guregian also lists five teams that could be spoilers to the Patriots championship hopes.
The* Providence Journal* says that recent Super Bowl champions haven't always enjoyed December momentum. The ProJo's Mark Daniels breaks down Vince Wilfork's impressive return from last season's torn Achilles.
ESPNBoston.com passes along Bill Belichick's Friday morning praise of rookie backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as well as other notes from the post-Christmas press conference. The site has ESPN's budding star Field Yates checking in with some notes on contracts for a few key Patriots players. ESPNBoston.com also has its picks for the finale in Foxborough as well as a statistical look at the Bills.
CSNNE.com ranks Chandler Jones No. 1 in its list of top 20 Boston athletes under age 25. Jones is among six Patriots on the list. Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran notes that the Bills are trying to end a winless streak at Gillette Stadium.
WEEI.com also has Belichick praising Garoppolo, as well as Wilfork discussing his return to a high level of play in the middle of the New England defense.