Outside of the 2008 regular-season finale, Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills (5-2) and the New England Patriots (2-4) will mark the first time since the 2000 season that the Patriots come to Western New York without Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, as Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
We’re not going to make you relive all the ways that Brady tormented the Bills during his run with the Patriots, but it’s safe to say, Buffalo is happy that Brady no longer resides in the AFC East.
Sunday’s AFC East showdown appears to pit two teams heading in opposite directions. Led by quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills raced out to a 4-0 start, then snapped a modest two-game losing streak with an 18-10 win over the New York Jets as Buffalo’s defense sacked Sam Darnold six times, with Jerry Hughes registering two sacks.
The Bills’ defense held the Jets to four total yards of offense in the second half, while Allen threw for 307 yards while completing 70 percent of his passes, and rookie Tyler Bass tied a franchise record with six field goals in the win.
Buffalo sits in first place in the division, 1.5 games up on the Miami Dolphins (3-3) and a full 2.5 games up on the Patriots.
In year one post-Brady, the Patriots enter this matchup on a three-game losing streak for the first time since the 2002 season, having dropped games to the Kansas City Chiefs (26-10), Denver Broncos (18-12), and San Francisco 49ers (33-6). New England is averaging 9.3 points per game during the losing streak while surrendering 25.7 points per game during the skid.
After a fast start, Cam Newton is completing 67 percent of his passes, but hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 3 and has two TDs and seven INTs on the year. Newton does lead the team in rushing yards (240 on 50 carries, an average of 4.9 yards per rush). The Patriots will be without two of their top three wide receivers in Julian Edelman (21 receptions for a team-leading 315 yards) and N’Keal Harry (19 catches for 172 yards). The offense ranks 29th in scoring (19.2 ppg.) while the defense is 12th, allowing 23.8 ppg.
Sunday’s matchup will be the 121st all-time between the Bills and Patriots.
New England leads the all-time series 76-43-1, including sweeping the 2019 slate by scores of 16-10 in Orchard Park (Sept. 29) and 24-17 in Foxboro (Dec. 21). The Patriots clinched the AFC East title with the Week 16 win in Foxboro, as Buffalo failed to hold onto a 17-13 lead. Allen completed 13 of 26 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns—one to Dion Dawkins and a beautiful 53-yard strike to John Brown that put the Bills up 17-13 halfway through the third quarter.
Allen also rushed for 43 yards on seven carries, and Cole Beasley caught seven passes for 108 yards, but the Patriots scored the final 11 points to win.
Buffalo is currently listed as a four-point favorite. Here are all the ways to catch Sunday’s game from home:
Date: Sunday, November 1, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. EDT
Channel: The game will be carried locally on CBS on WIVB 4 and CFTO 9 in Buffalo, WIVB 4 and WROC 8 in Rochester, WTVH 5 in Syracuse and Utica, WKTV 2 in Syracuse, Utica, and Albany, WBNG 12 in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Elmira, WRGB 6 in Utica and Albany, WCWN 45 in Albany and WENY 36-2 in Elmira. View the broadcast map.
Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst), Evan Washburn (sideline reporter).
Location: Bills Stadium | Orchard Park, N.Y.
Radio: WGR 550 AM (Buffalo), WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester), Fan 590 AM (Toronto), WKRL 100.9 FM and 106.5 FM (Syracuse), and the rest of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Steve Tasker with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Online: NFL Game Pass, NFL.com Game Center
Twitter: Follow @BuffRumblings for complete Bills coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.
Facebook: Like Buffalo Rumblings on Facebook!
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- Ruled out: G Cody Ford (knee), CB Josh Norman (hamstring).
- Questionable: DT Vernon Butler (groin), DE Jerry Hughes (foot), S Micah Hyde (concussion), DT Quinton Jefferson (knee), CB Cam Lewis (wrist), LB Matt Milano (pectoral muscle), G Brian Winters (knee).
- Will play: QB Josh Allen (shoulder), WR John Brown (knee), WR Isaiah McKenzie (ankle).
New England Patriots
- Out: DT Carl Davis (concussion), WR Julian Edelman (knee), WR N’Keal Harry (concussion).
- Questionable: LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), DB Kyle Dugger (ankle), CB Stephon Gilmore (knee), DT Lawrence Guy (ankle), RB Damien Harris (ankle), OL Justin Herron (ankle), CB JC Jackson (knee), TE Dalton Keene (knee), OL Shaq Mason (calf), DE John Simon (shoulder), OL Joe Thuney (ankle).