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Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots week 16 first half open thread

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With playoff possibilities looming, the Bills face a tremendous challenge

The Buffalo Bills, who at 8-6 stand their best chance of reaching the playoffs since 2004, face off against the New England Patriots today in a pivotal game for the AFC playoff race.

The Patriots dominated the Bills in the first meeting, turning a 9-3 halftime advantage into a 23-3 blowout victory in Orchard Park on December 3. In that game, Tyrod Taylor was injured on the first play of the game, and he then proceeded to play terribly until he was removed in the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady, who typically dominates the Bills himself, was held in check in that matchup, throwing for 258 yards and an interception; it was the first time that Brady completed a game against the Bills without throwing a touchdown pass since the 2003 season-opener, a now-infamous 31-0 shellacking courtesy of a Buffalo team that ultimately finished the season 6-10.

With a win, the Bills could move into “win and we’re in” territory next weekend, depending on which of the 4,327 playoff permutations you’d like to follow. With a loss, the Bills will definitely need some help if they are going to end North America’s longest professional playoff drought.

This is your open thread for the first half, Rumblers. May the holiday of your choosing be brightened by a Buffalo Bills’ victory!