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Bills vs. Patriots, NFL Week 17: second half open thread

Missing their best run defender, the Bills were gashed for 173 rushing yards and fell behind the Patriots 16-3 in the first half of their season finale.

Jared Wickerham

Marcell Dareus missed the first half of the game thanks to another disciplinary suspension, and the New England Patriots ran for 173 yards in taking a 16-3 lead over the Buffalo Bills at halftime.

Dareus missed the first quarter of last week's win over Miami for a similar disciplinary suspension, stemming from his routine lateness to team functions. While the Bills rotated players like Corbin Bryant and Stefan Charles into the lineup, the Pats ran all over them, with LeGarrette Blount (15 carries, 118 yards and the game's only touchdown) doing the bulk of the work. Several stops deep in Bills territory forced three Stephen Gostkowski field goals; otherwise, this might be much more lopsided than a mere two-score game.

If Buffalo can't firm up against the run - Dareus is expected to play in the second half, for the record - it's tough to envision them coming back in this game. They're running the ball fairly well, with 86 yards themselves, but Thad Lewis has been a tad erratic, and they've struggled to sustain drives as a result.

Buffalo has the ball first in the second half. Let's see if the defense can turn things around and if Lewis has any magic left in him this season. Go Bills!