Patriots to work magic? [1:18 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'The Pats were so dominant in the first meeting - a 38-7 victory in Orchard Park, N.Y., in November - that they are faced with an interesting quandary. Do they stick with what worked so well back then? Or do they try something new, figuring that the Bills won't get fooled twice by the same game plan? Or maybe the Bills will be expecting them to change, so the Pats could really trick them and do just what they did the last time.'
Hayes still trying to catch on with Patriots [1:17 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Hayes' struggles this season have been well documented. Signed away from Carolina in the offseason, he was supposed to use his 6-foot-4 frame to provide Brady with a big target. Instead, he couldn't dislodge David Patten from the starting lineup and couldn't prevent rookie Deion Branch from assuming the No. 3 position.'
Bledsoe gets to see yard he helped build [10:32 AM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“We were a hot topic early and then we went on a little three-game slide that put us behind the eight ball,” Bledsoe said. “The bottom line is, we’ve just got to play better. Even in this last game (38-21 over Miami), we were fortunate to come away with a win. We still made too many mistakes, and made the kind of mistakes that will really hurt us against a team like the Patriots.”'
Wind can play tricks at Gillette Stadium [9:12 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'In old Foxboro Stadium, the wind ran up or down the field most of the time. It was either in a player's face or at his back. "In this (Gillette) stadium, it looks like as the wind increases it has a little bit of a swirling effect," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "It runs part of the way down the field at the open end, at the lighthouse end, but then it seems to quarter more toward from the home bench to the visiting bench.'
Brown is the man for Pats [9:11 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Seattle ranks dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game and rushing yards per attempt, but Buffalo is not too much better than the Seahawks in either category. The Bills rank 31st overall in rushing yards per game and but 27th in yards per attempt. They cannot be feeling all that confident after Miami's Ricky Williams ran for 228 yards last Sunday in Buffalo. The Dolphins lost 38-21 despite the fact that Williams had touchdown runs of 45 and 55 yards.'
With Winfield back, Pats can't cut corners [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Having Antoine out there gives you a lot of flexibility," said Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. "He can play inside or outside. He is excellent in pass coverage and run support. Anytime you have a guy who can play more than one position in this league it's a big plus for a defensive coordinator."'
The stiff-arm makes NFL comeback [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's a real dangerous move to have in your repertoire because when you have a tackler coming onto you the only way you can avoid him getting to your body is by using that," said Bills free safety Pierson Prioleau. "Otherwise he's going to be able to get into your body."'
Price making quite a case for Pro Bowl [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Price is seventh in the AFC in receptions (72), fifth in yards (1,020) and second in receiving touchdowns (nine). His average of 14.2 yards per catch is second only to teammate Eric Moulds' 14.3 among the top 10 receivers in the conference.'
No fondness for forgettable Foxboro [5:42 AM]
D and C reports: 'In 1998 the Bills lost to Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots 25-21 in what will undoubtedly live as one of the most bitter and bizarre defeats in team history.'
Pleasant a Patriots presence [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Pleasant is an appropriate last name for the Patriots' 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound defensive end. But when describing him, other words come to mind, including respect, passion, conviction, and wisdom.'
Pioli's latest move pleases Epstein [5:40 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Tedy Bruschi, listed as doubtful on the injury report, didn't practice.'
Faulk has Midas touch [5:39 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Running back Kevin Faulk made the Pats' first big play of the game (a 19-yard reception on third-and-10) and another one that put it out of reach in the third quarter (a 45-yard swing pass for a touchdown that was ultimately ruled a run). In all, he was a key part of the Pats' short passing attack that completely befuddled the Bills.'
Brady plays under gun [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In 2001, the Pats were 5-2 when Brady passed for less than 200 yards, again including the Super Bowl. In 2002, they're 0-3.'
Face it, Jones may be right man for job [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Many of the Pats know that the key to stopping Drew Bledsoe on Sunday will be getting to running back Travis Henry first.'
Voices for the ages [5:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'This is Miller's 36th season calling Bills' fortunes, Santos' 26th with the Pats...'.
Smith knows going 'home' is not easy [5:36 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Besides, Smith knows if he is running the ball well, it means the offensive line is controlling the line of scimmage, which means the Patriots offense will be able to keep the ball out of the hands of Bledsoe and the Bills' explosive offense. Getting the ball to Smith is likely to be a big part of New England's game plan, as it was in Buffalo, when he carried a season-high 29 times.'
Izzo proving he's a special player [5:35 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Patriots had huge success with screen passes against the Bills in the first meeting. But Antowain Smith expects Buffalo to make adjustments. "They know what plays we ran hurt them," said Smith. "We'll just have to study them and see what things might work well against them this week."'
Bledsoe Won't Miss Bruschi [5:34 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Unless the Patriots choose to deploy six or seven defensive backs, a risky strategy that could leave them more vulnerable to the runs of Travis Henry (4.7 yards a carry), a linebacker will have to shadow Centers. And with his teammates facing the pressing problem of keeping Moulds and Price in check, that linebacker won't be getting much help.'
Welcome back Bledsoe [5:33 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'What Belichick did wasn’t ground-breaking. He didn’t exactly invent a defense. In fact, the scheme was similar to what his current defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel used when the two were in Cleveland in the mid-90s. It just caught Bledsoe off guard.'
Last year is over [5:32 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is one of only two players along with Lawyer Milloy to sign the final steel beam put in place during the construction for Gillette Stadium last year, but Sunday will be his first appearance in the new venue.'
Smith still puts bullseye on Buffalo [5:31 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: '“There is such a thing as getting a little bit too hyped. You don’t want to go out there and try and do too much. You want to play within yourself,” Smith said. “(Drew’s) going to be on an emotional high. He’s going to be geared up to come in here and do what he can to put his team in a position to win.”'
Slain ex-football player involved in shooting in '01 [5:29 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'According to The Buffalo News, Covington survived a drive-by shooting last year in Buffalo, N.Y.'
Police look at whether drugs had played role [5:28 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Authorities say they are investigating whether drugs played a role in the Friday night shooting death of Damien Covington, a star football player at Overbrook High School in Pine Hill whose professional football career was cut short by a knee injury.'
Brady, Bledsoe enjoy importance of game [10:01 PM]
Patriots.com reports: '"It's a homecoming and I get to come back and play against my old team, and play in front of my old fans, and it'll be an interesting game," Bledsoe said. "The big deal for us is that we've got to play a lot better than we did last time, that was really a disappointment to us, and a big setback for us to come out and play as poorly as we did in that game."'
New England faces shaky Bills run defense [9:35 PM]
AP reports: 'The Patriots had their second-best running game of the season in their 38-7 win at Buffalo on Nov. 3 with 159 yards on 36 carries. Antowain Smith rushed 29 times for 111 yards, both season highs and the only time he has surpassed 100 this year.'
His house may be for sale, but Bledsoe's coming home [1:46 PM]
Portland Press Herald reports: '"I know he definitely has a lot of supporters among the fans," said Seymour, the defensive tackle. "He's a guy with a lot of character and a class act. The fans have always recognized that."'
Updated Listing of Bills Backer Bars [1:41 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Where do you watch the Bills games?
Drew Bledsoe Quotebook: Patriots Preview [1:40 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "That's their defensive style. They change up week-to-week, team-to-team. We expect something different out of them this week. They change it up, give you different looks and make things hard on you. We expect them to do the same. They are going to do some stuff that we have seen and they are probably going to throw stuff in there that we haven't seen before. We just have to be able to adjust to what they throw at us during the game."
It's the most desperate time of year [1:40 PM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: 'Luckily, this Sunday’s forecast is for sunshine and temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s.'
Johnson can't wait to take on Buffalo [1:34 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Even though he has fewer catches than Henry, Centers may be the No. 1 concern.'
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