We've been jabbering on and on about the upcoming Bills @ Patriots matchup. Sure, it's what we do on a blog, but after a full Sunday of other team's games, I'm about ready to explode. I want to see dudes in Patriots throwback jerseys getting some regular season reps. I want to see Brady playing his first regular season game in a year. I want to see how his new toys will fare. Oh, and let's not forget the defense. Lots to watch there.
Brian Galliford, Buffalo Rumblings' head writer, and I have been chatting up a storm for the past week, pontificating about what will happen. Our final entry is a joint prediction about the game.
Frankly, with the personnel changes on the Patriots and few Brady reps to go on, it's a bit crazy trying to make solid predictions, but that doesn't stop ESPN. ;-) There's a few reasons why New England will keep its winning streak against Buffalo, intact: a) this is the return of Brady, in a home game opener on Monday Night Football, b) the Patriots will announce their All-Time Team at half time, which includes recently retired Tedy Bruschi, named as Honorary Defensive Captain, and c) the Patriots are undefeated, at Gillette Stadium, against the Bills.
None of these are football reasons for winning the game. They have nothing to do with X's and O's. But all I have to go on is the emotional incentives for the Patriots and their fans.
Prediction: 28-21, Patriots
Brian Galliford's prediction:
Most NFL fans are making backup plans for tonight's game in the event that it turns into an early blowout. (The Jay Leno Show premieres on NBC tonight, but its 10PM time slot doesn't help potentially bored football fans much, does it?)
I am as relentlessly optimistic as Bills fans come. Considering the fact that New England's defense is in transition, nobody really knows what to expect from the Bills on either side of the ball, and the fact that the Bills will always have a chance to put up points so long as the offensive line is even average, they have the capability to hang with the Pats tonight. But as you accurately point out, Dave, there's just no way - no way - that the Pats outright lose this one. Not in Tom Brady's return, not at Gillette, not in the season opener in front of a national audience. I'm not big on moral victories, but if the Bills can keep this one entertaining, even if only for a while, I'll be somewhat satisfied.
Final Prediction: Patriots 34, Bills 16
I think Brian's giving the Patriots a lot of credit. There's been a lot of changes in this team and it's anyone's guess what can happen. Of course, Belichick is known for playing the preseason with about 20% of the playbook; who knows what he's concocted for our Monday night opener.
Thanks to Brian and all the the Bills fans who have chatted, argued, and shared information with us. It's been a fun ramp up. Now, talk is cheap. Let's play some football!