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Week Ten - New England vs. Buffalo Bills

**DATE:**Sunday, November 5, 2000
**SITE:**Foxboro Stadium (60,292) - Grass
**TIME:**1:00 p.m. EDT
**TELEVISION:**This week's game will be broadcast nationally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). Don Criqui will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partner Steve Tasker.
**RADIO:**WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 24th season as voice of the Patriots, will call the action along with Gino Cappelletti. The tandem is enjoying their 17th season together.

Fresh off their bye week, the New England Patriots (2-6) will begin the second half of their 2000 season when they host the Buffalo Bills (4-4) this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. It will be the Patriots' fourth consecutive AFC East opponent, but their first game against the Bills this season.

The Bills enter this week's game riding the momentum of winning two of their last three games, both by the margin of a field goal. Last season, the Bills swept the Patriots for the first time since 1993, but the Patriots have won seven of their last 11 games in the series, including four of their last five in Foxboro Stadium. Three of the last four games have been decided by four points or less. The last time the Patriots swept the Bills was in 1997. That year, the Patriots won convincingly, 33-6 in Foxboro and 31-10 in Buffalo. Overall, the Patriots possess a 41-38-1 series advantage. There 41 wins are the most recorded against any NFL opponent.

The Patriots had a disappointing first half. After an 0-4 September, the Patriots rebounded in October to claim an impressive 28-19 victory at Denver (10/1). It was their first victory in Denver in 32 years. The following week, the Patriots returned home and claimed their first divisional victory in over a year with a 24-16 triumph over the defending division champion Indianapolis Colts (10/8).

The Patriots stumbled in Week 7, surrendering a season-high six turnovers and seven sacks in a 34-17 loss to the Jets. It was their most lopsided loss of the season and admittedly their worst performance of the year. Then, the Patriots responded with one of their most impressive performances of the season at Indianapolis (10/22), but lost 30-23. The Patriots scored on their first five possessions, including all three first half possessions. After an 18-play drive and a pair of 14-play drives, the Patriots owned a 13-7 advantage at the half and dominated the time of possession, 23:19 to 6:41. The Patriots did not surrender a sack for the first time in two years and didn't turn the ball over until the final play of the game when Troy Brown lateralled the ball in desperation as time expired.

With the loss, the Patriots slipped to 2-6 at the break, last in the division. Of their six losses, five games have been decided by eight points or less.

While facing arguably the most difficult first half schedule in the league, the Patriots second half schedule appears less daunting, but December has the potential to be among the most chilling in recent history. The Patriots final four games will be played in some of the league's coldest cities; Foxborough, Chicago and Buffalo. The Patriots will open December with a 9:00 p.m. kickoff when they host the Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) on Monday Night Football on Dec. 4. Their two road games will be played at Chicago (1-7) and at Buffalo (4-4) before returning home to host the Dolphins (6-2) on Christmas Eve.

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