What to Expect in Week 17: Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots


Well, we’ve reached the end Bills fan. That is, of the 2013 Buffalo Bills NFL season. As I’m sure most will say, this was a disappointing season for many reasons: losing games against weak opponents, giving up home games when ahead, and not taking care of business when they should have. However, there were many bright spots that shone through: three Defensive Pro Bowl selections (and could have easily have had a few more), potential NFL Defensive Rookie of the year (Kiko Alonso), the emergence of Robert Woods as a receiving threat, Fred Jackson’s uncanny ability to never give up, and a new hope that the team could play with the best of them. With this in mind, here are today’s expectations for the game against the Patriots.

Don’t look for this to be too much of a game. The Patriots are in control of their destiny and seeding today, as ESPN reports, and a win with help would put them in the first spot in the AFC Playoff picture. A home game with much riding on it, an injured and uninspired Bills team looking to finish off the season does not spell much of a contest today. However, for the last two weeks analysts have been counting the Bills out, only to come back and finish strong. I don’t expect this to happen today.

Jeff Tuel will get playing time today, but Thad Lewis should solidify his number 2 spot. While Lewis’s accuracy and leadership skills are not what one would want in a 1st string signal caller, his tendency to take shots downfield is inspiring. Thad is not the next Colin Kaepernick, but he is definitely someone I would want as my backup.

Defensive player of the game: Jairus Byrd. Byrd is one of the few players today that has a lot riding on this game. Even though he is already Hawaii-bound, Byrd is looking for a pay raise. Good employees get raises, and Byrd has been one of Buffalo’s best employees the last few years. An interception off Tom Brady to end this season would definitely be icing on the cake for him.

Tags: Fred Jackson Jairus Byrd Jeff Tuel Kiko Alonso Robert Woods Thad Lewis