Bills vs. Patriots 2014 picks and predictions: Near sweep for New England
Most the experts see the Patriots moving to 13-3.
The Buffalo Bills have enjoyed more relevance this season than recent years, but since being eliminated from the playoffs last week, most experts believe they don’t stand a chance of upsetting the New England Patriots in Week 17.
Though they will be watching the postseason from home this January, the Bills took important strides in 2014. The defense, led by Pro Bowlers Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, developed into one of the league’s elite units. The Bills shut down Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers in back-to-back weeks earlier this year.
The offense, however, remains a work in progress. 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel demonstrated that he isn’t a starting quarterback during the first quarter of the season. Head coach Doug Marrone turned to veteran Kyle Orton, and while he was a significant improvement over Manuel his play was rarely better than average. On the bright side, rookie receiver Sammy Watkins looked as good as advertised, and now Buffalo has a talented, deep receiving corps.
As for the Patriots, they possess one of the NFL’s best offenses and a more-than-capable defense. Tom Brady has played like a viable MVP candidate since Week 5, throwing 33 touchdowns against just nine interceptions. Also starring for New England has been Rob Gronkowski. The tight end has amassed over 1,000 yards for the second time in his career, adding 12 touchdowns. Few teams have found a way to contain the Brady-Gronk combo, which is why the Patriots have 12 wins already this season.
The experts are nearly all-in on the Patriots in Week 17. Seven of CBS Sports‘ eight-man panel sided see Tom Brady and company getting to 13-3.
Here at SB Nation, only two of our experts think the Bills can pull out a win.
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