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Pats vs. Bills: Pregame Notes

The New England Patriots(7-5) take on the Buffalo Bills(4-8) at Ralph Wilson Stadium.   The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title today if they defeat the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins lose on the road at San Diego.

New England Patriots Buffalo Bills
LEADER 49-40-1
STREAKS 9 of past 10
COACHES VS. OPP. Belichick: 9-3 Mularkey: 0-3
LAST WEEK W 16-3 vs. Jets L 24-23 at Dolphins
10/30/05: Bills 16 at Patriots 21. New England RB Corey Dillon rushes for 2 TDs in 4th quarter to give Patriots win on Sunday night.
10/3/04: Patriots 31, Bills 17. New England QB Tom Brady passes for 2 TDs & Patriots' Richard Seymour returns fumble 68 yards for TD.
CBS (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Harlan, Randy Cross

New England Patriots
Since start of 1993, club is 23-2 (.920) when temperature at kickoff is 35°F or colder. Under head coach BILL BELICHICK (since 2000), team is 16-5 (.762) in December. QB TOM BRADY is 8-1 (.889) in career vs. BUF with 15 TDs vs. 7 INTs & 91.4 passer rating. Brady (55-19, .743) owns NFL's 2nd-best win pct. among starting QBs in SB era, min. 40 starts, trailing only HOFer ROGER STAUBACH (85-29, .746) … RB COREY DILLON has either rushed for TD or 150 yds in 4 of 5 career games vs. BUF. Dillon has 4 rush TDs in past 5 vs. AFC East. RB PATRICK PASS averages 4.9 yds per carry on 42 rushes … WR DEION BRANCH stands 4th in AFC with career-high 65 receptions. Branch is 1 of 7 AFC WRs with 800 receiving yds … LB ROSEVELT COLVIN has sack in consecutive games & leads team with 4.5. Rookie CB ELLIS HOBBS has 2 INTs in 4 career starts … Last week, K ADAM VINATIERI (1,135) became franchise's all-time leading scorer, surpassing GINO CAPPELLETTI (1,130).
Buffalo Bills
QB J.P. LOSMAN has led team to opening drive scores in 5 of 7 career starts. Posted 1st career 3-TD game last week at MIA … RB WILLIS MC GAHEE has 10 yd rush in 24 of past 25 games. McGahee averages 21.9 carries/gm; 2nd-most in AFC (EDGERRIN JAMES, IND, 25.3) … Last wk. WR LEE EVANS became 1st Bill to score 3 TDs in 1 quarter & posted career-high 117 yards. In career, Evans has reached 1st down on 59 of 83 catches (71.1 pct.). In past 4 vs. NE, WR ERIC MOULDS has 31 catches (7.8 avg.) for 352 yds – including 2 100s – & 2 TDs … B LONDON FLETCHER has career-high 4.0 sacks, tied for 8th-most by AFC LB. DE AARON SCHOBEL (9.0) needs 1 sack to be 2nd player in club history with 2 10 sack seasons (BRUCE SMITH). Posted 2nd-career INT last week … P BRIAN MOORMAN has 50 yard punt in 59 of 76 career games.


The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title today if they defeat the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins lose on the road at San Diego. If that happens, the first-place Patriots would lead the second-place Dolphins by three games in the standings with three games to play and the Patriots would be assured of winning the tiebreaker over the Dolphins based on a better divisional record. The Patriots have won five division titles in the 11 full seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, and have led the NFL over that span with 12 playoff wins, four conference championships and three Super Bowl titles. New England has won the AFC East crown in three of the last four seasons (2001, 2003, 2004). The Patriots finished tied for the best record in the AFC East in 2002, but the New York Jets claimed the division crown on the third tiebreaker (record against common opponents). The Patriots have won eight division titles in their 45-year history.


The weather may turn cold late in the NFL season, but in recent years the Patriots have remained red hot. Since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000, the Patriots have recorded a 16-5 (.762) record in games played in the month of December. New England has historically responded well to cold weather, compiling a 23-2 (.920) record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is below 35 degrees. The Patriots' December dominance has fit into the team's recent history of saving its best football for the end of the season. Since 2001, the Patriots have recorded a 42-7 (.857) record in games played after Nov. 1.


The Patriots and Bills meet for the 92nd time since the series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots lead the series 50-40, with one tie. The Patriots' 50 wins over Buffalo are their most over any opponent, seven more than they own over the Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts (43). New England has won nine of its last 10 games against Buffalo, dating back to the 2000 season. 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.


Tom Brady's career record as a starter when the game-time temperature is less than 40 degrees (including playoffs).

The number of times Brady has not thrown an interception in his 18 starts when the game-time temperature is less than 40 degrees.

Adam Vinatieri's field goal success rate in his last 17 games when the game-time time temperature is less then 40 degrees (89.5 percent). The success streak includes a 13-for-14 performance in playoff games and dates back to Dec. 16, 2001.

The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 35 degrees or less (.920 winning percentage).

The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 34 degrees or less (.950 winning percentage).

The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 30 degrees or less.

The Patriots' all-time record in snowy games in Foxborough. The franchise moved there from Boston in 1971.

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